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.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

第一场雪 '09 1st Snow

...1st snow of 2009 covers my NDN kar in the middle of the road tonite. A roadside soothsayer appears assuring me that a windfall is on its way. Although I should be happy with the prospects of the coming year, I'm becoming paranoid instead.

As I slowly unwound, I wonder if a past betrayal could be catching up to me. Are our individual fates sealed, or can we alter them by changing our behavior? In trying to shape our destinies, are we just bringing them on? Is knowing the future a blessing because it allows us to plan ahead and make amends, or is it the devil's curse that can’t be shaken?

I begin coming apart as winter approaches and the staticky radio warns of a blizzard. The landscape is charged with a sullen foreboding. As the weather turns colder, I can't help but fear the mysterious seer's other prediction... that there'll be no tomorrow after the first snow...

Monday, January 05, 2009

视觉诗回顾 ; Poesía Visual Revisited

...some yolda-like dude once told me that memories were just that. "Like a zipper...once zipped, it was all over with. And you should never turn around to see if bus is coming once you've jumped in that cab. It'll just piss you off with unnecessary regrets".

...this is as close to NY rez as it gets...or just my way of emptying cup to taste new tea...which can be uplifting.

...but Shelley Saywell & her husband's hook up story proved it wrong & inspired me to revisit some of those buses...pondering whether they might have been worth waiting for...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

无腿鸟的冥想损失 ; Legless Bird's 2008 Meditations Lost

We were just 0.01cm from each other at the high point of our intimacy. I knew nothing about her. Six hours later, she fell in love with another man & is pregnant with child. The harder you try to forget someone, the more it will stick in your memory. If you have to lose something, the best way is to not keep it in your memory

You'd think one minute just flashes by...but it really lingers on. I glance at the clock and tell myself that I have to forget her starting this very minute
... on the 8th day of August, 2008...we were together one minute before 8pm. I remember that one minute because of her. We were friends for one minute from that moment on

She ask me to take her home when I was about to leave. I haven't ridden a motorbike with a woman so close for a long time. The ride wasn't that long. I knew she'll be getting off soon, but I wanted that warmth to linger on...into the night

I didn't really think she'd call. But I still hung around every time I pass that telephone booth. It was possible that she only wanted someone to chat for one night...a sexless one night stand if you will

I've heard of legless birds that can only fly and fly, then sleep in the wind when it is tire. The bird only lands once in its life time when it's time to die...she said I was like 1 of those birds that once born, would keep flying until death. Funny thing was...those birds never went anywhere. It was dead from the beginning

The best thing about my gigs are the simple organic reacts in the absence of over intellectualization. I like things arrange for me. Who's to be shot... when... where... a mirror of my life has all been destined to unfold

I look at the footage over and over again...Watching her cook again in my make-shift kitchen, I felt all warm & fuzzy inside. I'll never forget the taste of her stir fries but I'll never taste her food again...if memory of her has an expiry date, let it be 10,000 years 

Go ahead. Despise me if you like... but at least you won't forget me

...if eventual seeker is "In The Mood" to ride "Chunking Xpress" on "Days Of Being Wild" at station "2046" for some "Blueberry Nites" & non-computer-generated xchange with "Rebel Of A Neon God"...send message along with legless bird

HAPPY '09...peace & rice for every1!