The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI and WNYC, is public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.
July 28th, 2015
Episode 72 of 195 episodes
Kung Furyis every 80s actionfilm you've ever watched and dreamed of, packed into a ridiculous, rollicking, fullyretro 30 minutes. It’s about a renegade cop in 1985 Miami who gets hacked back in time to kill Hitler, of course. But really it's about revelingin synth-pop, mullets, awesome jackets, and all things silly about cinema. David Sandberg, a 29-year-old Swedish filmmaker,wanted to make somethingthat would live up to a child's wildest dreams of what a movie should be. "When you look at movie posters from the 80s, it's like, 'Wow!'"he says. "Iwanted to makeKung Furylike jumping into that poster and delivering what the poster promises." Sandbergcame up withKung Furywhile making commercials and music videos in Stockholm.“I had a piece of paper and I wrote down a bunch of cool words," he says. "Inferno, justice, cop force, and then I had 'Kung Fu'and somewhere on there I had 'fury'and it just clicked: 'Kung Fury!'" Sandbergquit his job, moved back to his mom’s, played around with a green screen on his own dime, and then, in December of 2013,put a trailer on Kickstarter. The internet responded exactly as he had hoped and he raised over $600,000 in under a month. Kung Furywill probably end up in the history books — not because it's particularly good (though millions of YouTube viewerswould argue it is), but on account of it going from popularjoke trailer, to blockbuster Kickstarter campaign, to an eventualdebut at the Cannes Film Festival — yes, that Cannes. Sandberg found out about beachside screenings outside the annual Festival and applied earlier this year. He didn't think much would come of it, butwas accepted.“When we had the screening I was super nervous because there were some films beforeKung Furythat were super serious," Sandberg says of the film'spremiere at this year's festival. "I thought that people would hateKung Furyfor poking fun at the art of film or something. But people loved it.” Next, Sandberg is working on a full-length version of the film. But he might not have to depend on the internet this time around. After Cannes, he met with Hollywood producers who offered to finance a longer version of his kung fu comedy. He also befriended David Hasselhoff, who offered to help in any way possible: WATCH THE FULL VERSION OF KUNG FURY: