Dietmar Lorenz
Olympic gold medalist judoka Dietmar Lorenz passed away Wednesday at the age of 70. Born in Schleiz, in what was then East Germany, Lorenz started judo training in Berlin at the age of 16. He went on to compete internationally for the German Democratic Republic winning individual titles at the European Judo Championships three times.

In 1978 Lorenz became the only non-Japanese to capture a gold medal at the inaugural Jigoro Kano Cup competition in Japan (now called the Grand Slam Tokyo). His greatest triumph, however, came at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. With many nations, including Japan, boycotting the games due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Lorenz claimed the bronze in the 95 kg division, then went on to capture gold in the open weight category. With the open weight division eliminated following the 1984 games, the feat of capturing two individual medals at the same Olympic Games will likely never be repeated.

That a director of my city's opera company would call me seemed a little odd. There are probably some monkeys who know more about opera than I do. But the director was inviting me to lunch, so of course I went.

It turned out the company was producing a performance of Madame Butterfly, the Puccini opera that tells the story of a doomed love between a French military officer and a geisha in early 19th-century Japan. The opera has come under fire for its stereotyped, utterly fanciful depictions of Japanese culture. The local company was trying to anticipate such criticism, and the director asked me, since I serve on the board of some organizations related to Japanese culture, what I thought.
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Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

Have you ever watched a film that was just so amazing that when the sequel came out, your mind started developing great expectations and that it would be a pip, which has nothing to do with a Charles Dicken's novel, yet a movie that could be a real humdinger?

In 2017, one of the most engaging and exciting elements of the Sammo Hung and Vincent Zhao starring God of War is that it was a remake of Jimmy Wang Yu's classic kung fu flick Beach of the War Gods (BWG; 1973). This gave me the perfect opportunity to see how a film on the same subject was handled by two Chinese filmmaking eras 44 years apart and how the fight choreography was used to tell the hero's story.

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