Thursday, July 27, 2006
Thanks to Paul McEvoy, beloved master of mayhem of London, UK's Fright Fest along with Alan Jones (read his great blog, a delight for true genre fans) and Ian Rattray (Ian - start a blog or something so I can link you!), for sending this link to the new video for Knights Of Cydonia by the band Muse. Oh they certainly don't mak'em like they used to (or did they ever?)
Friday, July 21, 2006
They are talking about us - yes, CANADA! The son of the author of the novel that 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' was based on has filed a suit against Columbia Pictures and The Weinstein Company for prequel rights in Canadian court no less! Click and read on for more info! (image from UtahArtists.com - the work of Jesse Draper)
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
"Some of you might have read that Jackie Chan made a clown of himself the other night by getting up onstage at a concert he attended and swearing at the crowd, singing songs, and so on. All the English language stories so far printed online have left out the juicy details such as him saying "Fuck Your Mother" to the audience. This is the Chan that HK people see, but that isn't seen by the outside world! This story is translated from local Chinese press..."
Jackie Chan angered the public by making himself a clown on Monday night while appearing at his long time Taiwanese singer song-writer friend Jonathan Lee's concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum.
The public complained that Chan's embarrassing stupidity truely detrimantal to Hong Kong's image.
Chan invited himself and turned up on the stage towards the end of the show, obviously drunk, started swearing right at the beginning. "I rarely show up at this kind of occasion drunk. But tonight I'm really drunk. Fuck [diu, lei lo mei, another version of fuck your mother in Cantonese]...Oh damn I just swore," he said.
The crowd was stunned. Chan then quickly explained that he just entertained some 20 Japanese friends and drank a lot. "What did I say? I can't quite remember. Damn I'm really drunk...I have to apologise," Chan said, then bowed to the audience. He continued: "I apologise to everybody. I shouldn't be on stage drunk. But I know that if I made a fool of myself, you guys will be happy. So I'd rather make a fool of myself."
After singing two songs, Chan still had no desire to leave. He wanted to sing one more song but the audience was getting impatient. Some members of the audience began swearing at him and saying something like: "Go home", "Very irritating" and "Shut up". But Chan acted as if he heard nothing. Then his singer friend Lee began looking at the watch and it angered Chan. Chan said: "Why are you looking at the watch? I'll pay [for the fines] if the show over runs. What do you look at your watch all the time?"
Then the band began to play, but Chan shouted at the band: "Shut up! You play music only when I tell you to! Now we sing 'Chun Sum Ying Hung' [True Heart Hero]"
Then Chan acted like an orchestra conductor and the keyboardist began playing. However, that angered Chan too. "How arrogant! I haven't even started to count one, two, three! Where do you come from?" he shouted. Audience then booed when he started singing.
After singing the song, Chan apologised to the audience and said: "We thank Jonathan for coming to MY concert." Then he said: "I've disturbed your show. Thanks to Jonathan for letting me come on to the stage. There was a crazy man out here." The show was over run and fined for HK$40,000.
When Chan was about to leave the show, he was interrogated by journalists and apologised. "I'm really ashamed of myself. I'm so sorry," he said.
But the next day, Chan denied that he was drunk on that night. However, his son Jaycee Fong was embarrassed by his father's stupidity and apologised. "I hope this will not happen again," Fong said.
The public was offended by Chan's stupid action as Chan was chosen by the Hong Kong Tourism Board as the ambassador. They feel that the incident did make Hong Kong look bad internationally.
The Tourism Board said that they were very concerned with the incident and has been trying to get in touch with Chan's management. But the board refused to comment on whether Chan's incident would affect Hong Kong's image.
Source: Chinese language newspapers.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
How does HK like their football? Well, 30 billion viewers watched the last World Cup in 2002, and 2.78 million Hong Kong people tuned in to watch Germany play Brazil in the final. And on the morbid side of things, according to the ever vigilant World Cup Death Watch from the WFMU blog, fifty soccer fans around the world have died as a result of the World Cup since it began on June 24 and eleven of those fans were from China, the most of any country.
"The experts attribute the death to the 'World Cup Syndrome', " China Daily reported. "The experts say the Chinese fans have to watch the World Cup at midnight due to the time difference, which breaks their biological clocks and makes them more exhausted, so the incidence rate rises sharply."
In Lan Kawi Fong, the notorious ex-pat nightclub/bar area, the streets are packed with fans and the booze does flow. I was there in March during an international rugby match and it was out of control. I have some footage I shot of the crowds and the cops standing by on alert, but sadly that is on my HD at the office. In the meantime, here is some fresh footage of Hong Kong-ers watching 2006 WC.
Here are more topical HK football postings:
"Airport 98" John Woo's Nike football ad from 1998. Watch the ad here.
"Already a sponsor of the Brazilian National Team, Nike hired the skillful players to introduce their new soccer shoe line "Mercurial" in the wake of the 1998 World Cup France. A TV spot was conceived with the team killing time with a soccer ball while waiting on their flight to France. Wieden & Kennedy of Amsterdam, Nike's agency, teamed up with the advertising branch of Quentin Tarantino and Lawrence Bender's A Band Apart Commercials to produce the spot. A director was needed who was capable of bringing the lightweight and dancelike quality of Brazilian soccer to the small screen. John Woo seems like the ideal choice, although the acclaimed action director never had done a commercial before. But he brought TV experience to the project, the ability to stage fast-paced action sequences and his enthusiasm for the sport.
"In a commercial, you can try to do a lot of new experimental techniques. It's no limit. It's a crazy thing, but very, very creative," the directors told the Shawnee News Star." >>more
The above taken from a wire story posted on hardboiled.de
A pair of Nike ads by HK art film director Fruit Chan (Made in Hong Kong, Longest Summer, Little Cheung, Dumplings: Three... Extremes). called "Baby Heart" and "Estate Joy". Great stuff, especially the one showing the residential estate.
An ad for the Emirates Airline where a soccer ball will help you when you are shopping for chicken feet and tripe at the local market in HK...
A San Miguel beer ad starring Stephen Chow Sing-chi and the cast of Shaolin Soccer. The subs are tiny, but at least they are there...
Watch your back! During the final minutes of a soccer match in Hong Kong, two spectators had a dispute on which is the best team on the field. And here is how it ended... Lord love You Tube!
Can't really blame the behaviour of the fans, when the referees act like this! Check this clip of a referee starting a fight with local football star Lee Kin Wo.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Ten years over... It finally came and it was quite the day. I spent the afternoon at The Royal in the basement along with two disciples mastered in the boxing arts, Matt and Graeme, as we packed up prints from my collection of 35mm prints. Since the Royal was closing on the 30th, this has been an intensive endeavour to say the least. I think I spent around $600 on boxes that are the right size for these 50lb suckers. A film crew from CBC at Six stopped by and did some interviews with me and the owner of the cinema, Chris McQuillan about the state of rep cinemas in Toronto and the fate of these glorious spaces. I have a bright outlook on that, but more details on why, when the cards finally fall and get picked up...
I just had enough time to head back home, shower the filth off, leap into a cab and arrive at the Revue to meet up with the CBC crew again as they wanted to get some cool footage in the cinema with the film playing in the background. Once that got done, I joined boxing art master Matt and his lady friend and fellow Kung Fu Fridays devotee, Kate, at The Local, the cool bar next door for a drink. We were joined by Luis Ceriz, (owner of Suspect Video), Dave Constable (uber cinephile and print traffic grandmaster from the Film Circuit), his lady friend, Kagan McLeod (the ink pugilist responsible for the Infinite Kung Fu comic book) and several others who dropped by as we swigged beers and reminisced about the series. As I glanced out the window I saw my mom and sister walk by, who came all the way from Ottawa as a surprise! I was bowled over to say the least and almost started to weep!
Things started rolling as a line began to form earlier than usual for the show. With dexterity and speed, prize tickets were passed out thanks to the help of Dave Ferris, who has stepped up to help in the past when I found myself overwhelmed at previous shows. All seemed to be going smooth until I got some news sooner than expected from Midori, the manager of the Revue - at 9:30, fifteen minutes before show time, we only had 30 tickets left and a line-up of around 80 down the block.
It was tense, but we managed to get as many seated in the temple of fu, and rather than have a potential fire hazard due to over crowding, regrettably informed the line-up that the show was sold out. I was fretful about that, but everyone seemed to understand and I got an enthusiastic round of applause and thanks for my efforts over the years of putting on the shows. Time to start the show!
I did my usual schtick and introduced some coming attactions, that of course, are never coming to a theatre near anyone! I usually show 2 or 3, but packed with five! These included: POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP (which got rawkous applause when the Brit superintendent says, "We need a cop - a SUPER COP" and Jackie Chan shows up and salutes!); DEAD CURSE (a good contender for a Halloween show); CHINESE KUNG FU AND ACUPUNCTURE; ZEN KWAN DO STRIKES IN PARIS; and the show stopper, CHALLENGE OF THE LADY NINJA (aka CHINESE SUPER NINJA 2), complete with stripping lady ninjas, Chen Kwan-tai, and some funky ass muzik!
Light went up and I ran back to reintroduce myself and give a little rundown on how Kung Fu Fridays started. Not going to recite it again, but in brief, I looked back at the humble start at the Metro Cinema (Toronto's last remaining porn house) with a print of SNAKE IN THE EAGLE'S SHADOW that turned out to have no subtitles! I name checked the night we had a celebrity in the house at the screening of MASTER KILLER (aka 36 CHAMBERS OF SHAOLIN) - Quentin Tarantino and a rather bored looking Mira Sorvino. I rambled on some more and started throwing out props to the folks who helped over the years like Tim Smy, Hal Kelly, the staff at the cinemas, Dion Conflict, Suspect, Magic Pony, our valiant projectionist Kai (who I first worked with at Golden Classics), and Peter McQuillan, the late owner and cinema fan who owned the cinemas, giving me the chance to relocate to the Royal and the opportunity to start my little theatrical distribution game with BUBBA HO-TEP.
With the help of Prize Queen Jen, her magic box of raffle tickets, and courtesy of Suspect Video, we gave away around 14 dvds and some gift certificates. As I was about to wrap it up, the above mentioned Kate, came down to the front and presented me with a trophy (with a cool karate dude on it) for my efforts along with an amazing piece of artwork by Kagan. And she even had a prize for Jen! Then two long time disciples, Donald and David Simmons (these two spear headed anime screenings in Toronto) presented me with a Bruce Lee poster that they had the audience sign!
And finally Dion Conflict of Trailer Trash/Hunkajunk/Conflict Archives fame gave me a trophy with a baseball player, but he modified the bat into a nunchuck! The thing that really humbled me was when the whole cinema gave me a rousing standing ovation.
Picking CRIPPLED AVENGERS as my final title for Kung Fu Fridays turned out to be a random choice. When scheduling for June I originally intended to schedule AVENGERS to fit in with the end of the Shaw Brothers series at the Cinematheque Ontario followed Taoism Drunkard to continue with the Yuen Wo-ping theme. After turning in the write-ups, I was told that the owners had decided to close the Review and the dates I wanted were unavailable. I decided to play only one title in June and AVENGERS was it, but I was unaware that AVENGERS was actually the second title that I screened after moving the series to the Royal in 2000 and it also played on June 23rd! AVENGERS turned out to be the best choice as the audience went nuts for the flips and kicks matched by the classic Shaw Brothers English dubbing.
After the screening I was joined by others at the sports bar up the street, Joe Mercury's, where we our ears were assaulted by drunken locals doing karaoke. Luckily Hal Kelly brought a cake to celebrate which made things better. As the booze flowed, dubbed lines and flubtitles were quoted back and forth. Truly a good way to bid farewell to Kung Fu Fridays. One chapter closed, another is just starting...
Photos courtesy of Jen Howard and Greg Woods (editor of The Eclectic Screening Room)