Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mei Hua classic Chinsese movie (Victory)

Its just incredible what contents exist in Youtube... There are songs, instruction videos and movies...
Sometime ago, I watch a classic Mandarin movie that was produced in Taiwan in the 1970s. It was directed by the highly gifted songwriter and movie producer-Liu Chia Chang (Spelling?). Anyway the mandarin title is Mei-hua or Plum flower which is the national flower of Guomintang or Nationalist government of China. The actual English name is Victory. Plum flower actually symbolized the steely character of the Chinese able to face up to adversity such as the Plum flower that can endure winter and even blossom during that difficult season much as the Chinese people had endured and ultimately overcome the barbaric onslaught of the fiendish Japanese in the 1930s-1940s invasion of China.

This was a major film that was a blockbuster and with a highly patriotic theme about the resistance to Japanese invaders of Taiwan and China in the 1930s-1940s. I remember the whole family went to see it at The New Capital cinema which was fully packed. The song was also written by Liu and was a sensation. There were many major stars in the movie and the story was written to wring tears from the audiences. I saw the full movie at youtube and remember only part of the story but felt some stirring of emotions as when I did when I first saw that film so many years ago. I think the movie was not as well make as it could be and there are contrived moments but while it was flawed in some ways, yet its is certainly well worth a watch.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Song for Sis

I would like to present you with a song I like very much. Hope you like this cheerful US folksong-Turkey In the Straw, this is not the original lyrics but comprised of "nonsense" verses. The lyrics below is not the same as this song as there are different verses but you get the idea. Its a very funny and happy song! Best Wishes to you!

Songwriter: ROY CLARK

Well, I had an old hen and she had a wooden leg,

Just the best old hen that ever laid and egg,
She laid more eggs than any hen on the farm,
But another little drink wouldn't do her any harm.
Turkey in the hay, in the hay, hay, hay!
Turkey in the straw, in the straw, straw, straw!
Pick 'em up, shake 'em up, any way at all,
And hit up a tune called 'Turkey in the Straw'.
Well, I hitched up the wagon and I drove down the road,
With a two horse wagon and a four horse load,
Well I cracked my whip and the lead horse sprung,
And I said "Goodbye" to the wagon tongue.
Well, if frogs had wings and snakes had hair,
And automobiles went flyin' thro' the air,
Well, if watermelons grew on a huckleberry vine,
We'd still have winter in the summer time.
Oh, I went out to milk and I didn't know how,
I milked an old goat instead of a cow,
A monkey sittin' there on a pile of straw,
A-winkin' his eyes at his mother-in-law.
Well, I come to the river and I couldn't get across,
So I paid five dollars for an old blind horse,
Well, he wouldn't go ahead and he wouldn't stand still,
So he went up and down like an old saw mill.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Incredible Real Life Horrors of Andersonville

I recently checked for a "horror" movie at yahoo; a made for TV movie I saw many years ago on TV. Actually, I did not see the initial portion but remember the horrors of fellow Union prisoners of war grouping together into gangs and preying on their fellow prisoners for their meager rations and valuables and scanty property in highly vicious manner. The murderous gangs were actually one hellish components of the ingredients that made Andersonville such as hellish place; prisoners were fed starving rations, there was almost no clean water, there were no adequate protections from the elements of heat from summer or cold in winter, etc.

The hardcore gang members were sinister vicious murderous beasts in human form. It was horrifying to see such a group lording it over the miserable majority with impunity. Near the end of the movie, one man could not take it anymore and roused the others in a revolt that crushed the reign of terrors by the gang known as Raiders (actually, there were more than one gangs); the rebels was known as the Regulators. 

Actually, there were artistic licenses used as the actual story was that a new inmate (fresh fish to the Raiders) was so incensed at being victimized that he complained to the Confederate prison commandant and got his blessing to set up a rival gang to counter the Raiders and was provided with clubs as weapons to use in the big fight. There is actually the full movie available. 

I was surprised to know that this film was sometimes used as educational aid at US high schools for sociology/history. I find this film horrifying to watch and very gory... but then real life do have such parallels... Let us just look at the Arab Spring that broke out a year of so ago that saw so much violence in revolts by the common people against tyrants and dictators in Africa and the Middle East... Currently. The Assad regime of Syria is seeing the tyrant using extreme violence against his own people after he saw how fellows dictators such as in Egypt or Libya were toppled and even killed. 

Assad can be seen as the evil leader of the gang of Raiders and his opponents the common people of his country whom had suffered decades of persecutions during his bloody handed rule of his father and now under him.  In the movie, the most notorious leaders of the gangs were hanged after a trial conducted by the Regulators, for the evils that Assad had perpetrated against his innocent people; perhaps a similar fate awaits him for his crimes against humanity. 

Actually, the commandant of the prison was later executed for crimes against humanity (depicted in the following short documentary) for his role in the deaths of over 10,000 prisoners under his care at Andersonville. He was the only Confederate officer executed for his role in the Civil War. Actually, the Confederate armies were themselves under low and even starvation rations during the later part of the war as were the many Southern folk; so its not surprising to see the multitude of prisoners also given bad starvation rations as the South had little food for themselves and even their armies.

Below is a trailer to the TV movie: Andersonville
follow by a rousing scene where the victims of the Raiders were roused to an uprising. Finally, there is a short documentary explaining about Andersonville,  a true life horror story.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Famed & Soulful Chinese Song (Sung Peah: Farewell)

I would like to share this wonderful Chinese song. This famous Chinese song has a romantic story and the lyrics was composed by a famed Chinese legendary multi talented artist. Anyway, the lyrics was set to an American song he heard while he was studying in Japan: Dreaming of Home and Mother. So this artist was the only son of a wealthy family in Tientsin and he was schooled in the classical way but later went to Japan to study art. He was the pioneer in bringing the Western way of art such as drawing nude models. He not only drew but also wrote musics and plays and excelled in calligraphy of which original copies were highly treasured by learned Chinese such as Luxhun. He married a Japanese but later became a monk during his 30s and became a venerated monk until his passing in his old age. This song which was his most famous song was inspired one day when one of his five best friends came to bid him goodbye. His friend was once from a wealthy family but was ruined due to the policies of Premier/General Yuan Shuakai who was then the del facto ruler of China. His friend came to the outer door of his home and cried out to him, telling him that he was ruined and will be going to seek out Yuan Shuakai to try and get redress for his destitution. After crying out his story to him, he bid his friend goodbye. Our hero was then getting out of the house amidst the snow as it was winter and stood immobile as his friend had left and he did not know how to comfort him... so he stood out in the courtyard like a stone statue reflecting upon the travails of human conditions. It was maybe an hour later standing out in the freezing cold that he was finally prevailed to come into the house and it was then he was inspired to write this soulful song as a memorial to the parting of his impoverished friend whom he had found so much enjoyment together with other liked minded friends. The original song is short but there are some versions that had additional lines not written by him. The first few times I heard this song on Chinese documentaries, I was hooked by its emotional power but was not able to find it on the Internet as i don't even know the title of the song but by and by, I chanced upon this song in Youtube and was able at last to heard it to my heart's content. A fast paced version was sung near the beginning of the acclaimed Chinese film: Let the Bullets Fly.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Father's Third Eye Operation on Right Eye (10-2-2012)

Took dad to his 3rd eye operation at Subang on 10th February 2012. Sis did not took a day off as she can just made use of her lunch break to visit father as her office is rather near to the surgery. We had lunch before at the same corner eatery in which dad's wheelchair had to negotiate some obstacles getting there; dad's eye was being dilated as we had our lunch. After lunch, we went back, They had did an eye check on dad earlier and the surgeon had father's eye examined and then took a photo. He told us that dad's eye had improved in that the wet area in the middle of the eyeball had dried up substantially; and their eye examination in which dad was asked to see alphabets of various size revealed that dad's vision had improve so that he can see another line and he can even make out two of the alphabets in the next line below. Formerly, dad can see the largest and the next largest lines of alphabets; so now he can see the 3rd line and even make out 2 alphabets of the 4th line in the decreasing sizes of the alphabets. We were glad to hear this news as it was like a bonus since the doctors had cautioned us not to expect improvements but rather to get the idea that the surgery is to protect his eye from further deterioration.

The little patch near the middle (south west) is the thing that gave rise to dad's vision problem; this was the old photo (date is incorrect; this also refers to the two other photos) ; the surgeon also showed us the newer photo after the first treatment and said that it showed the wetness had improved much and hopefully, it will improved more after the 3rd treatment.

The surgeon told us that before the operations, dad can see only the first two lines of the alphabets starting from the top. But after two operations, his vision had improved so that he can see the third line and even two alphabets at the 4th line. The surgeries were successful and hopefully, father's eye can see more of the alphabets at the 4th line after his 3rd and final sugery.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Second Eye Operation at Subang Eye Specialist on 6th January 2012

Father had his second eye operation for AMD; the operation went smoothly thanks to the skills of the surgeon. There remains the third operation in one month time. I had a merry time going to and fro in the mazes of KL but as both Subang Jaya and Kuantan are both important directions, I eventually manage to get on to the right tracks. Progress had been swift in Klang Valley but still slow in comparison with powerhouse metropolises in China such as Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzen, Guangzhou, etc. But such rapidt developments brought with them many problems... Frankly, I don't much like the hustle bustle of cities (aka concrete jungle) especially as places to stay... a suburban environment is more to my liking.

After the operation, Sis treated us to lunch at the corner shop.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Taking dad to see an eye surgeon at Subang Jaya

Yesterday I brought father to Subang Jaya Eye Specialist Centre to treat his eyes of AMD. Many things had changed since my long ago trips with mom to Subang Jaya and I had some trouble arriving at the centre. Nevertheless, after an inquiry from a local and also help from sis who also went there to met us, I managed to get there. I was glad to get a parking right in front of the premise; the parking situation there is pretty congested. Dad was examined and while we wait for dad's eyes to dilate; we then went to a nearby shop for our lunches. Eventually, the surgeon arrived and gave us a more thorough briefings on dad's condition. Eventually, for fear of the risk of infection, he suggested we do dad's right eye only and left his left eye for the time being as it is in better shape.

Sis treating dad and me to lunch at a nearby shop.

Dad sporting the cool look of wearing sunglass for eye protection.

The surgeon appearing in an awareness article in a Chinese daily.