MUBI Revisits Iconic Movie Posters From the Legends of Martial Arts Cinema Exclusively For Hypeart

For the release of its new ‘Shaw Brothers: Wuxia Warriors and Kung Fu Masters’ season.

Art 
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For nearly a century, production house Shaw Brothers Studio was considered a juggernaut in the East Asian film industry, releasing a catalog of kung-fu and wuxia films that have gone on to inspire modern-day cinema such as Tarantino’s Kill Bill. Now, its most recognizable titles – including The One-Armed Swordsman, King Boxer and The 36th Chamber of Shaolin – land in a new collection on MUBI, just in time for back-to-back holiday watching.

As part of the long-awaited retrospective, MUBI and Hypeart look at a collection of the Shaw Brothers’ striking vintage posters that were once plastered across billboards and picture houses around the world. These provide a look into the house’s intrinsic cinematic style, capturing action and drama through classic hand-drawn graphic design.

With vibrant tones and bold typography, the film posters went on to become works of art in their own right. In the curated collection by MUBI, the artwork for Clan of the White Lotus takes on a classic East Asian style with a sky of deep red hues setting the background for symmetrical illustrations of starring characters – a composition shared by the Dirty Ho piece. Meanwhile, other artworks in the line-up graduate from linear typography formats, showcasing titles in a symbolic sun form.

Beyond aesthetics, certain posters have gone on to be historical signifiers of the changing landscape in filmmaking. The release of King Hu’s Come Drink with Me, for example, features Cheng Pei-pei who is considered to be the world’s first and fiercest female action icons, and the poster sees the actor at the forefront with clans in the backdrop. Take a closer look at the poster, along with others in the archive, via the gallery above.

To celebrate the release of Shaw Brothers: Wuxia Warriors and Kung Fu Masters, MUBI is giving away 30 days of free streaming specially for Hypebeast readers. Head to its website now to find out more and explore the full collection.

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