Lou Gaul Q&A
Lou Gaul is the author of the Bruce Lee book
"The Fist that shook the World".
This Q&A took place on Friday July 20th in the Temple of the Unknown forum.
Questions asked by members of the forum, Jen, Paul, Jt, Babu, Big Sean M,
Thank you for visiting us.
I bought your book on May 1, 1999. I always write my name, my son's name and the date of purchase in the inside front cover of books I buy. After reading the book, I wrote: "Dare to dream." under the date.
Why did I write that? I wrote that because you opened a different window to Bruce Lee for me, the reader. Even the Van Damme-Cujo "metamorphisis" tid-bit seems like a relevant piece of information. Your exminations (and discoveries) remind me of the scholarly analyses of other artists like Dali, Nureyev, Balanchine, Khalil Jubran and Rimbaud. Excuse me. I am rambling too much.
IF BRUCE LEE WERE ALIVE TODAY - AS 60 YEAR OLD - WHAT DO YOU FEEL HE WOULD BE DOING?
First of all, many thanks for your extremely nice comments about my
book. Your words are very much appreciated.
One can only imagine what Mr. Lee would be doing today, but what's
remarkable is how much his influence is still being felt. The work of
John Woo, Jet Li, Jackie Chan and countless other does directly back
to Mr. Lee, whose image can now be found on toys, T-shirts, dress
shirts, posters and other items in gift shops, video stores and other
outlets across the country.
One sees a growth in Mr. Lee through his films, and a person might
assume that such growth would have continued. It's particularly
disappointing that he never had an opportunity to show a romantic side
on screen. There was so much to Mr. Lee and it's amazing how much he
displayed to us in just four films.
I completely enjoyed your book, and found it to be an excellient representation of Bruce Lee's work.
Job well done!
All the best,
BIG Sean Madigan
Thanks for the very nice comment about my book.
It was truly a labor of love and I feel honored to have been able to study Mr. Lee's films.
I certainly appreciate your sentiments. It means a lot to me.
Hi, thanks for joining us here...
I should start off by saying I haven't been able to find your book, so I haven't read it yet so if I ask you something you cover in there, accept my apologies.
My question is, what in retrospect, do you think attracted you to Bruce's movies? And do they still have the same impact for you today?
First of all, many thanks for inviting me tonight. It's
always an honor to discuss Mr. Lee's incredible work.
I first thought about writing a book on his films after viewing "Fists of Fury" and "The Chinese Connection" at the Fox Theater in Philadelphia. I was struck by the incredible audience reaction to Mr. Lee. I liken those reactions to a live sporting event and religious revival meeting. The crowd went wild during the action scenes and sat reverently between them. I promised myself that if the opportunity arose I would like to study the films and try to understand why they generated such incredibly heated reactions.
I attempted to do that with "The Fist That Shook the World: The Cinema of Bruce Lee," which was published in 1997 and is now out of print. My publisher does have a few copies left and can be reached at (410) 665-1198.
Ok that makes sense, that's why I can't find it. I'll
give your publisher a try.
So do the movies still impact you the same way?
The films are incredibly rich -- as you no doubt know -- and what amazes me are the things I continue to see. I attempted to make my book different, in that it was designed to "read" scenes and comment on the artistic importance of the films. One thing that always bothered me was how far too many people applauded Mr. Lee's action scenes but dismissed the artistic importance of Mr. Lee's films, especially his early ones.
Important themes run throughout "Fists of Fury," "The Chinese Connection" and "Return of the Dragon" (and to a much lesser extend in "Enter the Dragon").
Do you think that Bruce was a good actor, is it irrevelant?
I think Mr. Lee was a great star who was growing as an actor at the time of his death.
I do think that Mr. Lee's early work showed he was emotionally brave. Who could not be touched by his crying scene when his young cousin is killed in "Fist" and especially by his opening appearance in "The Chinese Connection" when he is so grief-stricken over the death of his Master that he jumps into the grave. Imagine Steve McQueen -- another great star -- pulling off those scenes.
I think Mr. Lee was fearless -- as a fighter and an artist. How he might have grown artistically over the years we can only imagine.
Could you share your with us your views on the life of
Bruce Lee. How did it impact your life if any?
What touched me so much about Mr. Lee's life was his fight
prejudice -- the fact that he was told he couldn't do something and
then did it to a degree that on the surface seems impossible.
What I like particularly about his 3 Hong Kong films are their
sentiments for working-class people -- folks who face roadblocks by
those with more money, power and prestige and must overcome them.
Mr. Lee was a living, breathing example of the strength of the
human spirit. He was a fighter, a man who knew mental and physical
toughness were of equal importance. Life is a battle, and through his
art, he showed viewers that they could achieve their dreams and goals
despite any and all obstacles.
Thanks for allowing me to be on your Bruce Lee Forum. It has been a real pleasure, and it's always an honor to be able to discuss Mr. Lee's work.
May 'The Fist' Be With You and Everyone on the Forum!
For more info on Lou Gaul and on how to get his book go here http://www.brucelee.org.uk/shop/e-zinelou.htm
To get this book....
Order from Midnight Marquee Press in Baltimore. The number: (800) 886-0313. It retails for $20.