Legend of Condor Heroes

Just bought the VCD series Legend of Condor Heroes (She Diao Ying Xiong Zhuan) 射雕英雄傳, by Jin Yong 金庸.

This is a production from mainland China, after a string of adaptations from Hong Kong and Taiwan, since 1983. Seriously though, I have not watched any China-produced TV series for a long time, always having the impression that they are usually of inferior quality – which may have been true even as of 2-3 years ago. However, I was utterly stunned and impressed by the quality of production – camera, special effects and acting – with this series after having watched just 1 episode!

While the story is familiar (also to most Chinese born after 70’s, I would hazard a guess!), what impressed me most was the attention to details: on the sets (almost all shot outside of a confined studio), the costumes, or even the simple kitchen items in a country kitchen. The scenery and some of the historical buildings are simply breath-taking. read more

Pacification

I was watching a video CD “Samsara” this afternoon. The story (about a Tibetan monk) and setting brought back some thoughts I had during my Tibet trip about 5 years ago.

During the trip, travelling along the seemingly endless road from Nepal to Lahsa (which would have gone all the way to Shanghai, apparently), it seemed that God gave the Tibetans nothing but sun, sand and rocks. It really made me wonder how the Tibetans, as a people, managed to survive for all these years? To be able to face the hardships of their habitat, and yet remain so devout and, in many ways, docile?

Come to think of it, before Buddhism was embraced by the Tibetan kings a long time ago, the Tibetans were very ferocious warriors causing lots of problems even for the mighty Chinese empire. In fact, even during the Tang Dynasty, the Chinese emperor had to marry off his daughter to gain peace along the border. But what happened? After the Tibetans had adopted Buddhism, they seemed to have been pacified and lost all aggression it seems. read more

Turn left, turn right

Just came back from the movie Turn left, turn right (see the cartoon version) tonight.

This movie tells the simple the simple of a lonely man, played by Takeshi Kaneshiro and woman, played by Gigi Leung, who live in the same apartment building. One way or another, their paths do not cross, even though they are always in close proximity of each other.

Although this may sound like the old cliche that parallel paths do not meet, etc., perhaps this is also a true reflection of the modern-day life in a big city (the story is set in Taipei). People meet and then lose contact for both the right, and the wrong, reasons. In our busy schedules, people these days can be so close and yet so far sometimes… read more

Do you get it?

Last night, a friend commented that after watching the recent movie Home Run* one can really appreciate the value of a pair of shoes. Useful advice for shoe-lovers out there!? 🙂

Here is an editorial from Iraq Today concerning the recent power outage in New York. Call it a sense of humour, or what-not, but “the irony, of course, has not been lost on most Baghdadis”. As the article says, the New Yorkers only had to endure loss of power for one day. Not months. I think this really puts things in perspective, don’t you? read more

Seize the day

Remember the movie The Dead Poets’ Society? I certainly do, because I saw the movie in the middle of my High School final-year exams, and the story certainly struck a chord with us 18-19 year olds. Well, something along similar lines today. Don’t let your song remain unsung.

“I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung to this day.”

Rabindranath Tagore