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Posts Tagged ‘China’

An excellent book.

I think I might read it twice before even trying to discuss it. Otherwise, I am going to finish my thoughts on Yann Martel’s new novel soon.

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Today, I had another interesting chat with a PhD in nuclear physics about China. He asked if I had a stúdentspróf, he actually thought I was twenty. Funny, yesterday I turned thirty. We both laughed and I said it was nice to look that young and he agreed. Apparently, I have not aged that much since I was 18 when a Greek thought I was sixteen – despite that he did mention I was handsome. In Icelandic that would be called lán í óláni or idiomatically luck in bad luck. Direct translations do not work especially if the language which you are translating is SVO from SOV,  I am looking at you Japanese language!

Maybe I will look thirty when I am 45.

Sometimes, it is good to be a spectator.

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As a child there were numerous films that I adored and later had the chance to relive and reevaluate as a teenager – and later as an adult. Big Trouble in Little China still has a special place in my heart.

“I’m a reasonable guy. But, I’ve just experienced some very unreasonable things”.

The film actually was going to be a western according to the audio commentary and ended up being a martial arts, action adventure, comedy where the main protagonist has a mullet – so you know you are in for a ride.

In Odell’s and Le Blanc’s guide about John Carpenter’s film they discuss why the film received such a lukewarm reception from audiences, making the point that Hong Kong had grown up from its ” you killed my sifu” period into an “intense  and exciting cinema”. Not only was the film a response to Eastern cinema but an amalgam of the genre which was all the rage in Asia at that time; not to mention 70s Hong films and the Lone Wolf and Cub series. Both in the commentary and in the guide they mention how the film was ahead of its time due to its blend of Eastern mysticism, ghost stories, comedy and how traditional roles were subversive in the Reagan era when the Cold War was still raging. This film could easily be called a a blend of  genres.

However, there analysis of Jack Burton ( who has a big swagger toward him as Carpenter mentions)  is perhaps too severe because in the commentary both Russell and Carpenter mention that the hero and sidekick roles were reversed in the film:

“The comedy in the film is derived mainly from the fact that Jack’s attempts at chivalry are not only ineffectual, but misguided and potentially dangerous too. … He has no knowledge of the culture or traditions, despite his affinity.  … his own impotence reaches its nadir when he uses that trustworthy penis extension of every macho Western hero – the gun”.

Green Flame

Lone Wolf and Cub

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Woju or Snail’s Home

Newsweek in a recent report on China has this to say about this show “[it] depicts the despair of average Chinese people amid spiraling apartment prices. To get developers to cut back prices, the government is cracking down hard, increasing minimum down-payment requirements and suspending lending for some new projects”.

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