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Kung Fu Hustle

Volunteer of the Month Melody Vallejos on Kung Fu Hustle

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Melody Vallejos Votm Pic

May is already getting into gear with some exciting programming coming up! This weekend, we’ve got Pedro Almodovar’s All About My Mother (the next entry in our Party Like It’s 1999 series), 50th anniversary screenings of cult classic musical Phantom of the Paradise, and another Mommie Dearest Mimosa Mother’s Day. Later in the month, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s new drama Evil Does Not Exist, neo-noir masterpiece Chinatown, and the first movie in our Slumber Party Parties series, Legally Blonde, all grace our screens. But we’re not talking about any of those movies today: we’re talking about Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle, playing next week!

When the hapless Sing (Stephen Chow) and his dim-witted pal Bone (Lam Chi-chung) try to scam the residents of Pig Sty Alley into thinking they’re members of the dreaded Axe Gang, the real gangsters descend on this Shanghai slum to restore their fearsome reputation. What gang leader Brother Sum (Danny Chan Kwok-kwan) doesn’t know is that three legendary retired kung fu masters live anonymously in this decrepit neighborhood and don’t take kindly to interlopers. A comedic tribute to Hong Kong martial arts films, Kung Fu Hustle proved to be a hit not only in its native China but in the US as well, earning the distinction of being the highest-grossing foreign-language film of 2005.

Of course, we wouldn’t be talking about Kung Fu Hustle if it wasn’t for Melody Vallejos, one of our two May Volunteers of the Month, selecting it for VOTM pick! Give my talk with her about the movie and her time at The Frida below, and grab tickets for when it plays next week!

How did you find out about The Frida Cinema?

I first came to The Frida because I was really dying to see The Matrix in theaters and I had been watching for places around here that might potentially be showing it. I finally got in contact with someone who knew that it was playing here and I saw my first movie and I was just hooked ever since. The ambience, the energy you get when you come here is addictive and very comforting.

What made you want to volunteer here?

As you get older, you are always looking for places to meet new people and to connect with people that you have things in common with. So as I kept coming here, I saw that they put a call out for volunteers and I just felt like I needed some community and I was looking for an opportunity to meet like-minded people. 

Kung Fu Hustle 2

Tell us a little bit about Kung Fu Hustle.

Oh my gosh, where do I even start? I’m a big fan of maximalist cinema in general, especially in films that involve any sort of martial arts. I did martial arts when I was a kid for a long time, and so self-defense and just fighting in general were just a part of my life from a very young age. And so the first time my parents showed me this movie when I was thirteen or fourteen – because they could not wait to show me all the cool kung-fu movies that they enjoyed when they were younger – I just ate it up. It was everything I wanted in a movie. It’s funny, it’s heartwarming at times, it has animation, it has everything you could want from an entertaining piece of cinema.

What were your other choices for Volunteer Pick of the Month?

My other two were Stand By Me, which is the classic 1980s film based off the book The Body by Stephen King. I wanted to pick something that was horror-adjacent but a piece of Stephen King’s work because I’m just such a huge fan of his. 

And then my other one was It Could Happen To You, which is a romantic comedy starring Nic Cage. I just love Nicolas Cage as a romantic lead and I’m also obsessed with him and his younger days of acting.

What is your favorite Frida memory?

If you could program any movie here, what would you pick?

Kung Fu Hustle screens starting Tuesday, May 14th.
Tuesday, May 14 – 7:45pm
Wednesday, May 15 – 7:45pm
Thursday, May 16 – 8:15pm


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