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National Geographic Goes to China—With Kung-Fu Films, Lectures, and More

Executioners from Shaolin. Photograph courtesy of National Geographic Live!

Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte may, in fact, be superheroes, but Kung Fu Panda schooled them on the art of ass-kickery this past weekend with a gross of more than $60 million. So while females viewers may be “the next great hope for Hollywood,” we can’t forget the power of the dude. And what does the dude like? Kung-fu, apparently.

Luckily for us dudes, National Geographic Live! is having a daylong kung-fu film festival this Saturday. “Kung-Fu Cinema: Masters of Shaolin” will screen three kung-fu classics: Shaolin Temple, Executioners From Shaolin, and The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Actor and martial-arts expert Chia Hui Liu (better known as Pai Mei from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Volume 2) is in both Executioners and 36th Chamber. Alas, Liu doesn’t sport the white, floor-length beard in the films, but we (and all dudes) rejoice nevertheless. The films will be introduced by Craig D. Reid, who has worked alongside Jackie Chan and who writes about kung-fu and Asian films.

The film festival is part of “China Revealed” a four-day series of lectures and screenings in support of two new exhibits at the National Geographic Museum: “China’s Forgotten Fleet: Voyages of Zheng He” and “Shaolin: Temple of Zen.” The program kicks off today with “The Voyages of Zheng He,” a lecture examining the journeys of this pre-Columbus Chinese explorer. Tickets to the lecture are $18.

Fore more information about the film festival and the “China Revealed” series, click here.

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