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Classic kung fu film no longer gets the silent treatment

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A trio of rockers will bring some noise to a silent kung fu film during a rare screening.

The Boston-based Devil Music Ensemble will perform a live, original soundtrack for the 1929 martial arts movie “Red Heroine,” the only surviving silent martial arts movie from Shanghai’s Golden Age.

The live accompaniment at the Aug. 9 screening will create a totally new context for the obscure fighting film by merging classical Chinese music with 1970s kung fu film stylings.

“It’s a challenge to try to bring a film to life with music,” said Jonah Rapino, who will play a keyboard, electric violin, lap steel guitar, vibraphone, and a two-stringed violin called an erhu — all tuned to traditional Chinese scales.

“People really listen because there is no dialogue, there are no sound effects,” he added.

That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of action in “Red Heroine,” which tells the story of a female fighter avenging her grandmother’s death.

As if that isn’t enough for kung fu fans, a troupe of martial artists will perform before the film.

“Red Heroine” with the Devil Music Ensemble, at Automotive HS (50 Bedford Ave. between N. 12th and Lorimer streets in Greenpoint), Aug. 9, 8:30 pm. Tickets, $9.

Updated 5:13 pm, July 9, 2018
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