Sunday, May 10, 2009

民主; Please Vote For Me (full feature)

'Please Vote for Me's Chinese title is 民主 which means democracy. '民主' is an experiment in democracy seen thru the eyes of 3rd graders at Evergreen Primary School as they encounter a class monitor election. Evergreen is located in Wuhan, a city in central China about the size of London.

Elections in China take place only within the Communist Party, but recently millions of Chinese voted in their version of Pop Idol. Weijun Chen's film explores how democracy would be received if it ever came to China.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Grandmaster Ip Man—the man who ushered Wing Chun kung fu out of obscurity, and presided over the instruction of a young Bruce Lee—is the subject of an exciting new Hong Kong biopix. It stars cuzzin 甄子丹, portraying the petite but powerful Ip in early adulthood (pre-Bruce Lee) during the Japanese occupation.

Thanks to the influence of Ip Man and his disciples, Wing Chun is one of the world’s most widely practiced Chinese martial arts today. Its sparse representation in kung fu cinema has been attributed to its preference for short, straight forward, simple, non-theatric, no nonsense but practical & efficient movements.

Watch for North America Spring release.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Dragon and the Crown:Hong Kong Memoirs

                                     I had to miss the Dec.11 Dim Sum Lunch launch which fell on my students' last class & exam day, but caught up with Stanley Kwan @ his TO home for an interview today...A fascinating account of 20th century Hong Kong Identity with stream of consciousness passages reading viscerally like scenes out of a Wong Kar Wai flic.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

恭喜发财! HAPPY 牛 NIU YEAR ! 萬事如意,身體健康 !

World economic crisis doesn't seem to have much affect on the most important Chinese tradition as citizens carry on with usual shopping frenzies in Fuzhou, capital of south China's Fujian Province. The celebration activities of the Chinese Lunar New Year have reached high tide today as the Chinese Spring Festival draws near. Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year, is the most important traditional Chinese festival of family reunion. Even quake-hit regions of southwest China's Sichuan Province have found their resilient way to celebrate as these 4 girls rehearse for a show celebrating the Spring Festival in Pengzhou.    恭喜发财 ! HAPPY 牛 NIU YEAR ! 萬事如意 ! 身體健康 !

Friday, January 09, 2009

一无所有的花房姑娘 ; Nothing To My Name

I first heard 一无所有 the summer of '89 during the Tiananmen Square protests when it became anthem to the Pro Democracy Movement worldwide.

Summer of '97, I was back covering the Handover for NewsWorld. It was also the eighth anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre. I remember standing in Tiananmen Square for the first time and finding myself in uncontrollable tears for no apparent reason as 一无所有 echoed from a distant boom box. It was emotionally a very moving moment for me. My only logical explanation for my reaction was that “I am Chinese” no matter how far I’ve transcended my ethnicity and cultural boundaries. But I've 'Nothing To My Name'.

While shooting 女书 after the '97 Hand Over, I saw 老崔 (pinyin: Lǎo Cuī or Old Cui as he is affectionately call) unplugged in a small Beijing venue playing 花房姑娘I luved his Rock N Roll sound of Chinese orchestral instruments (Xiao, Suona & Pipa).

The Pipa in this live version of 假行僧 Fake Monk is 1 of my favs.