Bruce Lee Statue, Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong, China
  • Songquan Deng//Shutterstock
  • Bruce Lee Statue, Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong, China

A fresh delivery to the I, Anonymous mailbag:

Friday night I saw Enter the Dragon at the newly reopened Egyptian theater. In honor of Bruce Lee Day, the staff wore Bruce's iconic yellow jumpsuit. One of the creative directors gave a speech about the reopening and introduced a person who worked to create the Bruce Lee Action Museum and discuss its grand opening the next day. Even if one was utterly unaware of who Bruce Lee was, what his legacy is, and how important he was to the city, they provided the information to view the film in a bit of a different light. For the utterly uninitiated, a kung fu movie is jarring, even silly. But on Bruce Lee Day, in Seattle, in the context of the opening of a museum exhibition for him, I would have thought people would have at least tried to engage with the material beyond giggles and snark. I don't know if it was just a hipster thing (that everything old is camp) or if, as Patton Oswalt once joked, most people just aren't comfortable with silence, but, regardless, it was a disgrace. One of the most iconic shots in history, of Bruce's face when he kills a man who killed his sister, where you can literally see the cascade of emotions from anger, to relief to sadness and back to calm had people openly guffawing in the theater. If you were one of the people who got a great laugh out of that flick, I'm not going to say that you should change your ways or try to learn about what it is that makes films great. Eye-roll your way through everything whilst making a dismissive wanking motion, I genuinely don't care. Just understand that you are a shitty person and the very reason we can't have nice things.

Here is the scene in question.

Even isolated out of context, it's pretty amazing, and Lee's sidestepping of cartoon melodrama is impressive. (Compared to the facial exertions of, say, late-era Joan Crawford, Lee's work is minimalism.) But....