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Six degrees

Mark Peters

 

Cung Le, the Vietnamese-born sanda champion, will headline the first Ultimate Fighting Championship event to be staged in China this week. In a testosterone-fuelled spectacular in Macau, Le (above left) - who says he was discriminated against as a boy after moving to America - will aim to use his mixed martial arts skills to pulverise another man inside an octagonal cage. Le appeared in the 2009 movie Bodyguards and Assassins, in which he first worked with Hong Kong martial arts superstar Donnie Yen …

 

The former stuntman is now an acclaimed action choreographer and movie producer, and one of the most highly paid actors in Asia. He is credited with popularising the traditional style of wing chun following his movie portrayal of Ip Man, Bruce Lee's grandmaster. Yen has signed on to star alongside Canto-pop star Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi in the remake of the American movie Mr and Mrs Smith. Yen will take the role of "Mr", formerly played by one Brad Pitt …

 

The man who had to settle for Ms Angelina Jolie is passionate about design and architecture, and formed the collaborative Make It Right Foundation five years ago. The project has the noble aim of rehousing 150 families in New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina. So it was a great surprise last month to see the obviously bright actor spouting a load of old eco-hippy nonsense from within a poorly lit cellar as part of a new, and now much-ridiculed advertising campaign for Chanel No 5 …

 

The perfume, first released by couturier Coco Chanel in 1921, is recognised as much for the simple, elegant design of its bottle as for the fragrance inside it. Chanel moved away from the elaborate crystal containers favoured at the time, insisting her perfume bottle would be "pure transparency". The name arose from the designer's affinity with the number five, an association stemming from her time spent in a Catholic convent orphanage that placed considerable emphasis on numerology. The bottle became immortalised on canvas by pop artist Andy Warhol …

 

Known for his explorations of celebrity, advertising and artistic expression, the "Pope of Pop" claimed Campbell's soup - cans of which featured in some of his most famous paintings - had been his lunch for most of his life. After his death, in 1987, the artist's estate was auctioned off by Sotheby's, a sale involving so many of his possessions it took nine days to complete and grossed more than US$20 million. Warhol is also one of the celebrities to have his birthday commemorated in a Google doodle, a rare honour also bestowed on the seminal movie director Akira Kurosawa …

 

Regarded as one of cinema's most influential filmmakers, Kurosawa was revered by many "New Hollywood" directors, including the young George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Many of his epic samurai tales have received Western remakes and Lucas' Star Wars draws heavily from The Hidden Fortress. The Japanese director's 1951 movie Yojimbo was a basis for this year's Dragon Eyes, which featured a mysterious stranger played by Cung Le.

 

 

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