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Spotlight on "hidden dragon''

For most people fed on a diet of Bruce Lee's lethal kicks, martial arts are usually restricted to "kung fu" fighting and karate - all originating of course from the "generic" region of China. But giving people a crash course in geography to squeeze in Japan, Korea and Indonesia and history to unleash more than the best known "hidden dragon'' is the 7th Osian's -- Cinefan: Festival of Asian Cinema. A special section devoted to the stylised action of martial arts, it will definitely be a different view from the American brand of self-defence in "Karate Kid".

From black belts to impossible jumps, there will be screenings of celebrated films like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" -- probably the most popular martial arts film of recent times -- on July 23 apart from other landmark movies in the martial arts tradition, "Escorts Over Tiger Hills'' on July 17 and "Arahan'', an unusual film from Korea, on July 23. Dating back to a time much before written history and the legacy of gods and larger-than-life heroes, Sumo is said to be the oldest of the arts in Japan. Moving out of the "kenjutsu" sword schools to screens different forms from Japan like judo, aikido and karate have become part of lexicon of world cinema's action sequences.

From fantastical sword sequences to a more realistic depiction of Bruce Lee wielding deadly blows with a "nunchaku'' to now the slick choreographed fast moves by John Woo, the Chinese tradition of martial arts is probably the best known to most people. -- Mandira Nayar

-- Mandira Nayar

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