Johnny Depp wielded one to battle Geoffrey Rush and a walking, talking man-squid in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series.
Uma Thurman used them to battle, well, everybody, in the “Kill Bill” films.
Between the above films and others such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “The Chronicles of Narnia” series and the mega-hit “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the film industry seems to have renewed its love affair with the sword, and a Clemson-made documentary examine how that love affair has continued from the very earliest days of film to the present.
Clemson University’s Brooks Center for the Performing Arts will premiere “Reclaiming the Blade,” the latest film from Clemson-based production company Galatia Films, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 27.
Tickets to the premiere are $5. That $5 cost can be applied to the purchase of the DVD.
“Celebrity” premiere packages, which include a T-shirt, are also available.
“Reclaiming the Blade” looks at the sword’s place in history and in the movies, and features interviews with Viggo Mortensen and Karl Urban, who both sliced and diced in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, as well as interviews with a wide array of experts of swords and sword-fighting.
One swordsman who appears in the film says the sword never really lost its edge in American movies.
“Everything’s cyclical,” said Tom Urso. “If you look at the Errol Flynn era, those swashbuckling sorts of movies were very popular. It was only a matter of time before they came back around again.”
As more viewer gained accessed to movies from Japan and China, they discovered a wealth of new martial arts films, Urso said.
“Sword-oriented movies have always been popular in Chinese and Japanese,” he said.
“You were getting a lot of films like The Hidden Blade coming across to the United
States and people were enjoying them.”
In the film, Urso demonstrates four sword-based martial arts styles: Kum Do, Goshindo Tameshigiri and Battodo.
Urso calls Kum Do “Asian fencing.”
Both Kum Do and Goshindo emphasize sparring, while Tameshigiri and Battodo focus on rapid cutting of targets.
Urso has been involved with martial arts for 25 years and swordsmanship for about half that time, and represents South Carolina in both the World Kum Do Organization and All Japan Goshindo Federation.
Urso will perform swordsmanship demonstrations at part of the film’s premiere, and may involve the students he teaches at the Anderson YMCA and Clemson University.
For more information on “Reclaiming the Blade,” visit the Web sites
www.reclaimingtheblade.com or www.swordmovie.com.