A star is remembered best when it dies brightly; and Asian Parents (again)

July 21, 2009 at 9:59 pm (Informative, Personal) (, , , , , )

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated, and if you’re a regular follower, I apologise. If you know me well enough you can probably guess why I’ve had less to rant about.

Either way let’s get stuck into this post. There are two topics that I have a fondness for, that is asian movie stars, and parents, and recently, an interesting link between the two has surfaced.

When you are famous, you need to die young, or at least move out of the spotlight quietly to save your dignity. Bruce Lee is a great example of this. Aside from the tragic circumstances surrounding his death, passing away at the height of his fame means he doesn’t succumb to the human condition of feeling that longing for the spotlight. Humility is a sometimes is a good word to use when describing such situations. On the opposite side we have Elvis, stories of him being obese in later years dying on the seat of a toilet, and more recently Michael Jackson, the less said about his tortured later life the better. Do I need to mention Tom Cruise? Cassius Clay is also a frail shadow of his former self. I guess we shouldn’t judge them for it. As humans we are all victim to showing bouts of pride. But in his case especially, “keep your words soft and sweet, for one day you may have to eat them.” I’m not blaming the stars for their fame, but they’re there to illustrate a point. Remember them for the reason they were famous, as no one can hold on to that forever. Growing old I guess sometimes cannot be graceful.

Most of you would know that I am a huge Jackie Chan fan, or at least you did, because I was. I’m not so sure anymore. Recently I read a blog post from http://www.LoveHKFilm.com and as it is in tune with popular asian movie star culture, snippets of Jackie Chans slippery slope into some embarassing twilight years surface from time to time. There was one such incident including his comments on China and Communism, and now what inspired me to write this post. While rehearsing for a new movie he has a part in, he has been coaching Jaden Smith, son of some… famous actor… I think his name is Will? In writing his own blog post about the experience, well, let the words speak for themselves.

“If I couldn’t get my own son to train in martial arts, how could anybody else succeed?”
Oh Great one… how can we ever be worthy of thee…

“He put my son to shame! I provided my son with the best martial artists in the world, and he could not be persuaded to try it.”
Giving someone things doesn’t guarantee they’ll use it, nor does it guarantee they need it…

Seriously after reading that stuff I’m dumbfounded. Here is the seminal, hero, good guy icon of the 80’s and 90’s… Teaching Lecture 1 on How to Hurt your Children…
Actually on second thought it’s textbook Asian parenting. Your child is always wrong, what they want for themselves is always wrong, and what you want for them is always right, for the best. You may remember from my previous posts that as a typical asian child we all live under the weight of expectation. But this is something I cannot bear having grown up innately Aussie. As a result my relationship with them is quite strained. For that I am sad, but there is not much I can do, when people like Jackie Chan, so great that he is cannot be encouraging. How can one expect the average asian parent to be anymore empathetic?

Here’s a confusing one… he turns it around by saying this…
“When a person is not interested in a subject, no matter how hard you push them, they will not pick it up. Even if they do, it will be with disinterest and lack of passion.”
Do you actually believe that Jackie?
You wouldn’t be ashamed of your son if you did…

Now excuse me while I go re-watch a Drunken Master…


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Asian Movie Review (kinda)

June 22, 2009 at 2:03 am (Personal) (, , )

I am abit of a stickler for Asian cinema, contrasted to Hollywood, the low budget nature seems to make sure the movies have a certain, genuine-ness. Because of this, they all have very little window dressing to distract you from their true intent. They aren’t really there for you just to sit through and enjoy for 2 hours (I love a good popcorn flick as much as the next person but palp is palp). They make you stop and think as the author puts across their message. One of the recent Q movies is Ann Huis, “The Way we are”. A movie showing a few days in the lives of your typical Hong Kong residents. At face value this premise seems downright boring, but it was executed so well that the title won numerous awards at the last Hong Kong Film Awards. I have not seen it yet as I fear it is too arthouse for me, maybe one day. A movie that I have watched however, and recommend is “The Detective” starring the lovable/laudable Aaron Kwok, I may one day write about this one too, but let me jump to the movie I intended to talk about in the first place, “Men Suddenly in Black” directed by Edmond Pang, starring Eric Tsang and Jordan Chan. The films concerns are, debauchery, philandering, and most of the story hinges on adultery and deception. If you know me at all you’d know that I tend to be a bit high and mighty about these things, and at times the film is utterly gutter dwelling. But don’t dissmiss it for these things, you’ll miss out.

Men Suddenly in Black

Eric Tsang reminisces about the time he threw away Anthony Wongs takeaway dinner

Two of the most beautiful quotes I took away from the movie, were spoken by Teresa Mo playing Eric Tsangs wife

It is often said that the imprints left on the mind are longest lasting, but try telling this to a person suffering from Alzheimers and you will realise how much of a lie this sentiment is. Thus Teresa Mos character believes,
“What you can hold on to is what lasts”
. The reality is, through one reason or another, memories will fade no matter how strong. Just like physical scars, they will fade, and eventually be forgotten. Yes the depth of the wound will define how long it stays with us. But it does not decide whether or not it lasts. I may have ignored the fact that some wounds leave behind scar tissue, but it is exactly this that reminds us, the physical manifestation of the trials survived. For some of us there is nothing else.
I identify with this quote especially as my memory ain’t what it used to be. In fact it never really used to be. One of the saddest things I have come to realise is that I have very little recollection of the years that have passed. Some scant memories persist that in time may leave me, but it is the photos that I take, the souvenirs I savour, the material things that stay with me. Lord help me if I ever lose them. (A movie I am reminded of at this point is the Japanese Movie Gachi Boy, also recommended, but girls, keep a box of tissues handy)

“Destiny is unchangeable, but the events put before you are what you can control” This one is much more philosophical and it’s hard to explain it without having watched the movie. It is admirable that, even when faced with doom and gloom, some people have the resolve to stand up and fight. No ones destiny is ever revealed to them until they have lived them through, but resigning to fate is to let it take control over you. Fight for what you believe in because no one will fight for you. And in the end there is no greater cause

I leave you with one last quote spoken by both Eric Tsang and his wife,

“The way you walk this path is up to you”

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