Bruce versus Samo, Round 2
Not so long ago I was contacted by a film maker who was interested in me taking him up to the location where Bruce fought Samo at the beginning of Enter the Dragon. I believe it was for another documentary. You can read my original post on that long (but ultimately very satisfying) search here. The film maker asked me what the condition of the place was like and I had to admit that I had no idea because I hadn’t been there for nearly 3 years (it’s not exactly on my local bus route, let’s just say that). Well, it turns out that I had some spare time not so long ago and thought it may be worth heading back for a look-see.
The bad news is that I still couldn’t make it into the exact spot due to the trees and general overgrown nature of the place, however, there have been some large access paths cut through the whole area which allowed me to get closer than I have been before and allowed me to grab some more convincing shots (yes, some people still don’t trust my judgement on this).
The reason for the new pathways is slightly morbid – several new graves have appeared both of the final and intermediary types. If you are a bit confused as to what I mean by this then I shall briefly explain what I know of burial customs in the New Territories (it differs compared to urban areas where clan land is non-existent and most of the deceased are cremated and then stored in urn niches at columbarium facilties).
In the NT – and by that I am talking specifically about areas where clan culture is strong and there is land available – the recently deceased are initially buried in the ground with a small stone marker. After several years (5 or 7 I can’t remember which) they are dug back up again, their bones cleaned off and they are arranged in an ossuary: basically a brownish/gold coloured urn with a lid – I’ve often heard them referred to as golden pagodas. The urn is then put inside a specially prepared shelter/grave house (like a small stone hut for the vertically challenged), buried inside a traditional horseshoe-shaped grave, or simply left on the hillside (I assume this is for the people who can’t afford the more grandiose options).
Anyway, I digress. Ho Sheung Heung’s Fung Shui wood, as well as being the last place Bruce ever shot film, is also a rather large swathe of burial land for the local Hau clan and the various parts have seen fresh activity as these newly deceased and newly disinterred/reburied villagers have found nice spots on the hillsides. For me this meant I could walk into one of the newly created pathways – all the foliage completely ripped out and easily access places that I couldn’t even see before.
As mentioned, I wasn’t able to get to the exact spot, but I managed to get some much better angles with my pictures, indicating that the location is perhaps a little south and to the east of where I made it to. here are my most recent pictures.
Now, not much going on in these pics I admit but here are some snips from Enter the Dragon to help with a comparison next to snips from the above pictures.
First, Tai Shek Mo. You may be able to see that I am slightly to the west of where the camera was back in 1973 (we are looking almost directly north in both shots) and don’t forget the film cameras/screen ratios have a habit of stretching or squashing the angle a bit.
Next we have Roy’s hill (named after Roy Chaio who played the monk presiding over the fight between Lee’s and Hung’s characters). The angle is out quite significantly because I am much further north and west (and perhaps a bit wonky with the camera) than the original film crew were but there is a very faint but discernible scrape/cut in the hillside running from top left diagonally down. Look carefully (i.e. zoom in) and you should be able to see the same line on the recent shot at the bottom.
One day I’ll actually break through to the proper filming location. As for the film maker…well, no news for several months now so I am guessing they changed their minds.