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The Silent Flute,
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This review is from: Circle of Iron (DVD)
"Circle of Iron" is either a whimsical martial arts movie or a profound exploration of the nature of man, depending on how seriously the viewer takes the philosophical side of martial arts. Based on a story by Bruce Lee, the movie features a quest by a young martial artist named Cord (played by game good humor by Jeff Cooper), who is in search of a mysterious book of knowledge. He is sometimes accompanied on his journey by a blind seer (played by David Carradine) who alternately teaches and challenges young Cord. The seer seems to materialize almost at random along the journey, announcing himself by playing a "silent flute' that only Cord can hear. In a remarkably versatile performance, David Carradine also plays a series of opponents Cord must confront in his journey to the book. The solid supporting cast includes Christopher Lee, Eli Wallach, and Roddy McDowell.
The movie alternates between the mythic landscape over which Cord travels, and the various set-piece but not always obvious obstacles he must overcome. Cord starts out believing that fighting is the solution to every challenge, but comes to understand that more subtle arts must be learned. At the heart of the movie is Cord's slow journey to self-knowledge, one finally fulfilled at his destination on a distant island presided over by a order of monks who guard the book of knowledge
This movie is recommended to fans of the early days of the martial arts genre, of which this movie is a better than average example. Both the humor and the philosophy are gentle, and the fighting sequences are more rhythmic than brutal. Be sure to watch an included interview with David Carradine for some insights on the making of the movie.