Kung Fury: Contemporary Debates in Martial Arts Cinema

Kung Fury: Contemporary Debates in Martial Arts Cinema


In the media-congested world of YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix and other digital platforms, it is perhaps surprising that Kung Fury, a 30-minute martial arts action comedy short which pays tribute to the culture of the 1980s, could have raised $630,000 via Kickstarter, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, and attracted more than 13 millions views of its trailer.

This one day symposium in the School of Media and Birmingham City University takes the success of Kung Fury as a provocation to discuss a range of themes emerging around contemporary martial arts cinema in the digital age. Given the multiplicity of approaches to Martial Arts Studies recently set out in Paul Bowman’s field defining book Martial Arts Studies: Disrupting Disciplinary Boundaries (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015),  this is a multi-disciplinary event that includes scholars and practitioners working in all manner of theoretical, industrial, educational and methodological modes.

Topics will include:

  • Martial arts cinema and digital culture
  • Funding and distribution
  • Film festivals, marketing and promotion
  • Martial arts cinema heritage, nostalgia and memory
  • Mashups and genre busting intertextuality
  • The place of period cinema
  • Martial arts stardom and transnationality
  • Martial arts audiences and fandom

Date:                            Friday 1st April 2016

Location:                      School of Media, Birmingham City University, Parkside/Millennium Point, 5 Cardigan Street, Birmingham, B4 7BD

Organizers:      Oliver Carter (oliver.carter@bcu.ac.uk) Simon Barber (Simon.Barber@bcu.ac.uk)

Funded by:       The AHRC-funded Martial Arts Studies Research Network (mastudiesrn.org)

Registration:    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kung-fury-contemporary-debates-in-martial-arts-cinema-tickets-19962611709