The Drummer – The Godfather Meets Drumline Meets Zen Noir
I just read a movie review, A New Chan Emerges, In A Film Of Hybrid Genres, by Robert K. Elder (Chicago Tribune, May 1, 2009), that describes The Drummer in this manner:
Perhaps it’s apt that “The Drummer” will have its Midwest premiere in the Gene Siskel Film Center’s “Hong Kong: The Next Generation” program, which begins this week.
The film, directed by Kenneth Bi, stars Jaycee Chan — son of Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan — in a raw yet traditional film that evokes both “The Godfather” and kung fu epics such as “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.”
Chan stars as Sid, the hotheaded son of an equally volatile Triad boss (Tony Leung Ka Fai, recently of Johnnie To’s “Election”). When Sid runs afoul of his father’s stronger rival, however, he’s sent off to Taiwan, where he finds refuge with a cadre of Zen drummers.
Of course, Leonard Cohen had to be involved somehow. The excerpt that caught my eye is apart of an interview with Kenneth Bi, follows:
Q In the film, Sid is told to carry a sack of rocks around as part of his training. You’ve been in the industry for a while — what is the equivalent task for a budding filmmaker?
A In the film industry in Hong Kong, I did everything. … That was my packing around rocks.
But the story, I heard it from Leonard Cohen. He talked about going into a Zen monastery, and he was full of rough edges, like a rock. For a few years, he bounced around against others in the monastery and …over the years, the edges were smoothed out.1 When I was a young filmmaker, I was very cocky also. I had to learn to be humble. That was just me bumping into rocks.