RZA's 36 Chambers production company—also known as 36 Cinema—has created a platform for the producer to livestream his commentary of martial arts films, Variety reports. RZA will do so with the head programmer of Portland's Hollywood Theater, Dan Halsted. Together, the two will touch on movies that were an inspiration for RZA while he was creating backdrops for Wu-Tang projects.
The films will be screened on 36 Cinema's website, where fans can also buy tickets. 36 Chambers co-founder Mustafa Shaikh told Variety that the platform's first event was held earlier this month when RZA and Halsted streamed the 1983 film Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang. The event drew in thousands of viewers. But to legally stream these films, the sessions have to charge a ticketed price of $10.
"We operate like a movie theater, in essence, paying industry-standard rates," Shaikh explained.
The platform uses some of the profit to assist independent cinemas during this pandemic. Shaikh says that close to 40 cinemas participated in the first session.
"RZA and I both love independent theaters, and we don’t want to see any of them close," Shaikh continued.
RZA and Halsted will present the second film in the program on Sunday. This will be a live deep-dive into the gory jidaigeki flick, Shogun Assassin. That film became served as RZA's inspiration when he was crafting GZA's 1995 album, Liquid Swords, and is heavily sampled throughout the project.
RZA and Shaikh are still working on their platform. But they want to continue to grow as the weeks continue. Also, Shaikh says that the platform will not be limited to just kung-fu films and RZA's perspective.
"It’s not just gonna be kung-fu, and it’s not just gonna be RZA," he explained. "We want to keep it a little internal as we get all the bugs worked out, all the logistics issues… There’s a very well-known director that RZA has done work with before who’s willing to jump on the platform, so hopefully we can make that happen in the coming weeks. I think people will see it’s just a very fun thing to do."