~ November 1940 – 20 July 1973 ~
It's 40 years to the day since Bruce Lee passed away. It's about time we had a thread about one of the coolest motherfuckers on the planet and one of the most influential martial artists in the world, arguably the most influential in the Western World.
Whether the gods conspired, or the stars and planets aligned in a particular way, or he was just a beautiful coincidence of genetics and circumstance, Bruce Lee was to become the embodiment of martial arts. The art, the style, the form, the visual flair, the kinetic poetry, the explosive power, the ethos, the philosophy, the wisdom, the vitality and soul. It seems almost ironic that one of the world's most famous fighters was as humble, warm and friendly as he was. But that's what martial arts is really about – being a better human in all avenues of life. Bruce Lee – The Lost Interview, 1971[Part 1][Part 2]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atD10lpELMQ
I've been into martial arts since I can remember. As a massive a fan of his movies, of martial arts movies in general, I've grown to love him more for his words and character away from the movie set. One of his lesser known talents was his astute philosophy of good living. Like his martial arts, his philosophy was in a style-less style drawing upon all the best work of his peers and predecessors. It's good stuff. Easily approachable stuff. Bite-size axioms, practical mantra, motivational gospel, as well as intricate and instructional technique, or deep and profound meditations on the human condition.
He was incredibly marketable too, having a massive fanbase from all walks of life and being a box office record-smashing brand in himself. His movies were not about acting, or script, or storyline. They were about Bruce Lee being Bruce Lee. He had a winning combination of attributes that transcended racial or cultural ideals. A very charming and attractive man, photogenic, magnetic, unusually mesmerising on screen. He was a classic movie star. A rock star. A superstar. An icon. He was cool. Proper cool. Effortlessly cool. Catch him at a bad angle or in some off-guard expression, he still looked good, like he meant to do that.
Bruce Lee's legacy continues in our hearts and minds. He has an undeniable influence to this day as one of the most well-loved and instantly recognisable cultural icons. Often imitated, often referenced or honoured in the work of modern movie directors, often drawn upon as an exemplar of pop culture symbolism and east-west fusion iconography. So let's celebrate him, guys and galls. I know I'm not the only fan here.
"The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering."
RIP Bruce Lee