Martial Art

A great collection of kung-fu on film

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ung Fu Video and DVD isn’t the easiest place to spot from the street. To reach it, you have to climb a staircase from a jewelry shop at street level. But hang a left at the landing and say hello to what may be the best selection of kung-fu movies in town, ranging from the familiar (Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee) to cult classics (The Happiness of the Katakuris, in which visitors to a country guesthouse keep mysteriously turning up dead, and the frantic family that owns the place tries to avoid attention by burying the bodies out back; it’s actually a comedy), all for sale, alongside display cases full of knives and other kung-fu gadgets. It’s a simple room filled floor to ceiling with DVDs, the office walled off by a beaded curtain. If the definition of a cult classic is a sleeper that becomes extremely popular with a select audience, then this place is a cult classic in itself. Horton

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Until the early 1980s, audiences packed no fewer than three all-Chinese cinemas in Chinatown that were a center of the neighborhood’s social life, often to watch kung-fu films. The moviehouses abruptly closed with the advent of the VCR, but the Asian Community Development Corporation shows martial-arts movies outdoors for free for a week every August.

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