Run Run Shaw, godfather of Hong Kong film, dies at 106

Today, we lost Run Run Shaw, one of the most prolific film producers of all time and perhaps one the most influential figures in Asian cinema. Shaw’s studio, Shaw Brothers Studio, produced nearly 1,000 films in his lifetime, particularly popular low-budget genre flicks. Among other achievements, Shaw is credited with inventing the kung fu film genre and co-producing the landmark film Blade Runner.

Though more of a keen producer than a creative type, Shaw’s nine decades of work in the film industry undoubtedly changed the Asian film industry. Executives of the Shaw Brothers Studio went on to produce landmark action films, such as the Bruce Lee classics Enter the Dragon and Game of Death. Quentin Tarantino has also cited Run Run Shaw’s films as a stylistic influence; many elements of Kill Bill are taken directly from Shaw’s Five Fingers of Death.

Unlike many notables who have since retired, Shaw remained active in the industry up until his death, focusing on television production at his Hong Kong studio TVB. His lost is felt, and his presence will be missed.

If you are interested in learning more about Run Run Shaw’s contributions to film, consider watching the documentary Chop Socky: Cinema Hong Kong (HU DVD 1207).

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