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David Orange
01-27-2010, 12:24 PM
Well, the old Stephen Seagal jerk thread went kind of ragged. I continue to believe that it's a serious offense to "use" aikido to make yourself rich by pumping images of glorious gory violence into the public mind, but I recently completed my own first screenplay, which does use a good bit of aikido/jujutsu technique in some action scenes and I've been thinking a lot about what would be a good aikido movie to make.

In my screenplay, a former soldier uses aiki/jujutsu skills to take down several men who are attacking a young woman who is mentally incompetent. The aiki man uses stuff like you might see in this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-U_z-ujlhA

He is attacked by two and takes them down in a pile, then adds another and another, piling them on top of one another and holding them down with his foot. One man pulls a pistol on him and he takes that and smashes him in the face with it and drops him on top of the others before they can get up. He then holds the pistol on the last guy and makes him get on top of the others. He breaks the one guy's nose, but then pops it back in place. There is no glorification of violence but it presents him controlling these attackers without doing more damage than necessary to control them.

I mention this just as an example of the philosophy behind the script. A bad guy in a similar situation kills three and takes two others captive, then gratuitously kills one of those, illustrating a person with a ruthless heart.

The screenplay has some gore but does not glorify one-on-one violence and the heroes are never depicted as enjoying the violence or revelling in it.

I'm also working on another screenplay about Alex Marshall, a man here in Birmingham who used to train the police in defensive tactics. He was a real master of jujutsu and aikido and the police used to send him into areas where thugs were terrorizing old people and he would take down two or three big SOBs at a time with judo and jujutsu. This would include a lot of graphic fighting scenes, but it would not portray a good man enjoying or revelling in violence. Mr. Marshall was always very humble and the fight scenes in this movie would portray the valor of a very small man taking on some very big and very bad characters and winning through endurance and creativity as well as serious training over many decades.

So my question here is, what kind of movie would best exemplify the values of aikido and judo/jujutsu for the modern world?

Recently, I watched Mamet's "Red Belt" and was rather disappointed that it perpetuates some of the ridiculous misconceptions that spread through the networks of "amateur professionals" with their bizarre lineages and symbologies and one-off local dojo cultures with their intricate homemade rituals and customs. And the old master "the professor" and how he handled 'the red belt'. It kind of creeped me out.

So what would better exempify aikido/judo/jujutsu values for the modern world? Can we come up with scenarios here that show realistic applications of martial arts, yet communicate the positive values we (some of us) believe these arts embody?

Best to all.

David

Eugene Leslie
01-27-2010, 01:00 PM
Keep the creative juices flowing Mr. Orange.
Alot of the same old same old. Damsel rescued; bad guys get beat up; gunfights and car chases and explosions.
I myself like Kirosawa, Leone and Kubrick...but they're directors I know and you're talkin' screenplay....I should learn more about the writers of my favorite films..definitely the unsung yet invaluable aspect of movie making.
IMHO too many films are created for a $ these days and I like it when an independent b grader with substance comes along.

In answer to your question how about a character that uses Aikido in all areas of life to harmonize with the world and not take a stance of extreme ideology but shows others that justice is both harsh and forgiving.
A bit flowery I know; but that premise of a movie I would be interested in viewing.

dps
01-27-2010, 02:26 PM
....this movie would portray the valor of a very small man taking on some very big and very bad characters and winning through endurance and creativity as well as serious training over many decades.


Hmmm, deja vu all over again. Instead of Aikido it was Hapkido.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLAKEM0bO2A

David

David Orange
01-27-2010, 03:32 PM
Hmmm, deja vu all over again. Instead of Aikido it was Hapkido.

Except that this was a real man who really kicked some serious criminal asses on a number of occasions.

David Orange
01-27-2010, 03:44 PM
Keep the creative juices flowing Mr. Orange.

Thanks!

I myself like Kirosawa, Leone and Kubrick...but they're directors I know and you're talkin' screenplay....

I'm definitely influenced by all those guys.

IMHO too many films are created for a $ these days and I like it when an independent b grader with substance comes along.

I'm definitely targeting the big thing. I want to do something as successful as Seagal's best, but I won't stoop to degrading levels to achieve that. I think you can have commercial success in an action movie without doing what he did. Look at Jackie Chan's movies for a great example.

In answer to your question how about a character that uses Aikido in all areas of life to harmonize with the world and not take a stance of extreme ideology but shows others that justice is both harsh and forgiving.
A bit flowery I know; but that premise of a movie I would be interested in viewing.

I agree. The thing is to devise scenes that show how this person expresses that aikido. He has to face violence and neutralize it with as little harm to the attacker as possible for the situation. The thing that always bothered me about Seagal's movies was how he would build up a villain that was so bad, it would justify anything Seagal wanted to do to him. And that's a very dangerous mentality. It can become a habit to see people in the worst terms possible and to build up their "badness" to justify bad actions against them.

One idea I've had is a cop story where a good cop with a lot of martial arts experience is working alongside the type Seagal usually plays, taunting and humiliating people and savaging them when they resist. This honest cop has to resolve how to bring the violent man down without destroying him.

And so on. In other words, how to bring the unique values of aikido action into a popular action movie.

Thanks for the comments.

David

Eugene Leslie
01-27-2010, 06:38 PM
The Crouching Tiger-like movies are beautiful eye-candy and one can overlook the poor plot and still be entertained: Hero was excellent in that the story was really good and the ending very philosophical.

Combining those movies would be a real treat and like Kubrick's eye, the colorful cinematography can be applied to modern cities.
How 'bout a gritty, hardworking, contemporary "normal" guy. Steve McQueen type "strong yet personable" with faults like anyone else....
Blade Runner type guy?
Steven Seagal movies portray "ubercool", and they end up coming across as stupid.
Enough with the good guy; bad guy, beat 'em up stuff.

How about a true neutral character that follows his own moral alignment drum and makes mistakes but ultimately is of benefit to society? With some fight scenes using Aikido of course, and his flashback training and lessons. Keep Osensei's vision in mind.