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23

FRIDAY

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Now that every bloated Hollywood action movie is borrowing extensively from the Hong Kong kung fu flick, it would be refreshing to rediscover how scrappy and kinetic that genre used to be. Here’s just the tonic: two HK films from the mid-’80s, Holy Flame of the Martial World and Wheels on Meals. The former is a mystical melange with vampires, demons, and a secret weapon that must be recovered by young martial arts master Benny Mok; the latter is one of the hyperactive buddy films Jackie Chan used to make with pals Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao. Set in Barcelona, it features a fugitive heiress, a storm-the-castle scene, and a climactic battle between Chan and kickboxer Benny Urquidez. The title, by the way, was originally Meals on Wheels, but the studio changed it because two other films whose titles started with the letter “M” had recently flopped. The films screen at 6 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. For reservations call (202) 707-5677. (Mark Jenkins)