Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Eye in the Sky Theme Song

The theme song for Eye in the Sky is "Truth" (真相), sung by Alfred Hui and Hubert Wu.

Theme Song MV:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Michelle Yim @ Toronto

Michelle Yim was in Toronto earlier for a Chinese New Year countdown event. Joe Tay was also at the event. What a great way to start the new year by meeting some TVB stars!

Michelle singing "萬水千山總是情"

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year to all my readers! 
May you and your loved ones have a wonderful Year of the Goat.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Upcoming Movie: Triumph in the Skies

Release Date: February 19, 2015
Cast: Louis Koo, Francis Ng, Julian Cheung, Sammi Cheng, Charmaine Sheh, Amber Kuo, Elena Kong, Kenneth Ma, Oceane Zhu

Pilot Louis Koo is the son of a wealthy businessman and takes over Skylette Airlines from his father. He is particularly caring towards one of the air stewardess, Charmaine Sheh, who is his ex-girlfriend. A few years ago, they were forced to separate when Louis had to go to New York to manage his family business. Though they do not voice it, both of them have still kept each other in their hearts.

Looking to establish a new image for the company, Louis invites rock star Sammi Cheng to film a promotional clip. Francis Ng serves as the aviation consultant during the filming. Coincidentally, he and Sammi had a conflict earlier due to the flight schedule, creating an awkward environment. However, throughout the filming, they discover each other's merits and develop romantic feelings.

Julian Cheung leaves Skylette for the better-paying job as a private flight instructor. During one flight, he meets the youthful Amber Kuo. Initially, he think she is a selfish gold-digger, but they soon fall in love as their characters mesh perfectly together. Just when they get madly in love, Jayden discovers the reason behind Amber's living-in-the-moment spirit.

Three relationships that do not develop as planned. However, once you realize that nothing is perfect, being able to find happiness in the rush of things is already enough.

Fans in North America, Australia and New Zealand have a chance to watch the movie in theatres! See here for details.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Overview - Young Charioteers

Him Law and Sammy Sum became high school friends due to a cycling competition, but lost contact with each other after Sammy had to return to Taiwan for family reasons. Years later, they meet again at an accounting firm. Him's boss (Lin Xia Wei) likes to play office politics and often drives a wedge between colleagues. It causes a grudge between Him and Sammy. Fortunately, the secretary (Jinny Ng) is very considerate and encouraging towards Him. His mother (Michelle Yim) wants to make them a couple, but Him does not want to start a relationship because of his family burdens. This is until he meets Sisley Choi, who happens to be Sammy's childhood friend and a fellow accountant. However, Him is hesitant to move forward because of Sammy's feelings for Sisley. In addition, dealing with the office politics on a daily basis makes them lose sight of their goals in life. Finally, Him and Sammy decide to put aside everything and return to the cycling track to rediscover their fighting spirit and friendship.

Young Charioteers Promo Clips

Friday, February 13, 2015

Overview - Eye in the Sky

Former CID detective Kevin Cheng was forced to leave the police force due to suspicions that he was involved in an arson case. He joins a security company, where he meets Ruco Chan. As a former detective, Kevin has a reclusive character, but has a sharp eye that can catch tiny details from surveillance footage which are often the key to solving cases.  Ruco's thinking and style of working is similar to Kevin's and is also excellent at his job. The two become good friends and are looked upon favourably by their superior Lau Kong. This is until private investigator Tavia Yeung appears. Conflict arises when she mistakes Kevin for an old friend. It causes him to recall a long-forgotten incident, which turns out to be related to the arson case. Tavia, known to possess a human "eye in the sky", continues to investigate along with Kevin and Ruco, but as they get closer to the truth, the conflict between emotions and the law grow more fierce and the relationship between the three of them experience a big change...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Historical Context: Nip Siu-sin

My "Spiritual" Ex-Lover is based on one of the short stories in Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio, written by Pu Songling.

The Story of Nip Siu-sin

Nancy Sit as Nip Siu-sin & Edwin Siu as Ling Choi-sun
Nip Siu-sin (聶小倩) is a girl who died at the age of 18 and lives as a ghost inside a temple. One day, a scholar named Ling Choi-sun (寧采臣) visits the temple, hoping to find temporary shelter. At night, he encounters the beautiful Siu-sin. She first tries to seduce him and then attempts to lure him with money. He rejects her both times. Admiring his uprighteousness, Siu-sin confesses that she is being forced by a demon to kill people. Upon hearing this, Ling enlists the help of his demon-slayer friend, Yin Chik-ha (燕赤霞), to kill the demon.

Angela Tong as Yin Chik-ha
Ling then takes Siu-sin back to his home, where he lives with his mother and sickly wife. Initially, his mother appears to be afraid of Siu-sin. However, Siu-sin eventually wins over the elderly lady with her sincerity. Siu-sin continues to stay with Ling's family, doing the household chores and taking care of his mother. After Ling's wife dies, he marries Siu-sin. As she has been in contact with humans for a long time, she regains human qualities and has two children with Ling.

Author's Profile: Pu Songling

Steven Ma as Pu Songling in Ghost Writer
Pu Songling (蒲松齡) is a writer who lived during the Qing Dynasty. As a young scholar, his goal was to achieve success in the imperial examinations. However, despite doing well in the local exams, he never found success at the provincial level. Disheartened, he turned to writing. His most famous work is Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio (聊齋誌異).

Strange Tales is a collection of short stories featuring supernatural beings. The stories generally tell of an interaction between humans and the supernatural, such as ghosts, foxes, demons or other spirits. Legend has it that Pu Songling ran a teashop and offered free tea to any passerby who could tell him a story (although historians believe this is false since Pu Songling was poor for most of his life and would not have been able to afford to set up a teashop).

There are several themes in the book which reveals the author's views about society. Via his stories, Pu Songling criticized the corruption in the feudal system and imperial examination process. He also admired pure, faithful love between men and women, particularly between poor scholars and beautiful female spirits. In addition, he hoped to educated people by injected Confucian and Taoist moral principles into his stories.

At the advanced age of 71, Pu Songling was granted the rank of "gongsheng" (a top rank for scholars at the local level) in honour of his literary achievements. He died a few years later. Strange Tales was formally published after his death. The book is regarded as a classic for its rich content, brilliant structure, elegant prose and overall creativity.

Monday, February 09, 2015

My "Spiritual" Ex-Lover Theme Song

The theme song for My "Spiritual" Ex-Lover is "Repay Kindness" (報恩), sung by Nancy Sit, Edwin Siu and Evergreen Mak.

Theme Song MV:

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Mary Hon's Abandoned Children

Besides Jessica Hsuan being named as the "Hostage Queen" by netizens, Mary Hon has also picked a title - "Most Heartless Mother" for abandoning her children in numerous TVB dramas.

2003 - Triumph in the Skies - Francis Ng
Click to view full size image

2003 - Vigilante Force - Joe Ma

2008 - Speech of Silence - Kate Tsui

2010 - Twilight Investigation - Linda Chung

2011 - Relic of an Emissary - Joe Ma

2012 - The Hippocratic Crush - Tavia Yeung

2012 - Missing You - Jason Chan

2012 - Friendly Fire - Sammy Leung

2013 - Always and Ever - Esther Kwan

2014 - Madam Cutie on Duty - Edwin Siu


Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Miriam Yeung Let's Begin Concert 2015

In celebration of Miriam Yeung's birthday today, here's a compilation of videos from her Let's Begin Concert 2015.

Opening + 勇 (Link)
狼來了 (Link)
煉金術 (Link)
數你 (Link)
愛人 (Link)
小城大事 (Link)
原來過得很快樂+再見二丁目 (Link)
因為所以 (Link)

烈女+當女飛俠愛上萬能俠+處處吻 (Link)
色惑 (Link)
斗零踭 (Link)

岀埃及記 (Link)
花與愛麗斯 (Link)
翅膀下的風 (Link)
少女的祈禱 (Link)

E-714342 (Link)
冰點 (Link)
深紫色 (Link)
笑中有淚 (Link)
Happy Birthday + 可惜我是水瓶座 (Link)
野孩子 (Link)
最好的債 (Link)

大傻 (Link)
私奔+開大+熱血青年+大激想 (Link)
抬起我的頭來 (Link)

飲酒思源 (Link)
好不容易遇見愛 (Link)

Guest Stars
Eason Chan - 狼來了 + 因為愛情 (Link)
Joey Yung - 習慣失戀 (Link) + Chat (Link)
Aaron Kwok - 對你愛不完 (Link) + 狂野之城 (Link)
Sammi Cheng - 終身美麗 (Link)
Jacky Cheung - 還是覺得你最好 (Link) + 您最珍貴 (Link) + Chat (Link)
Pakho Chau - 再見二丁目 + 小飛俠 (Link)
Jan Lamb - 一個好演員 (Link)
Wyman Wong - 最好的債 (Link)
Real Ting - 抬起我的頭來 (Link)
Eason Chan & Edmond Leung - 楊千嬅 + 大激想 (Link)

姊妹 (Link)
火鳥 (Link)
如果東京不快樂 (Link)
楊千嬅 (Link)
飛女正傳 (Link)
化 (Link)
假如讓我說下去 (Link)
最後的歌 (Link)
煉金術 (清唱) (Link)

All credit to the respective video uploaders. 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Historical Context: Tui Bei Tu

The tui bei tu is featured in the drama A Change of Destiny, although the poems used in the drama are not in accordance to the actual ones in the book.

The tui bei tu (推背圖) is a prophecy book that predicts the future of China. Its authorship is most often attributed to Li Chunfeng (李淳風) and Yuan Tiangang (袁天罡), who wrote the book at the request of Emperor Taizong of Tang. The tui bei tu is one of the seven famous prophecy books of ancient China.

The book contains 60 drawings, each with a corresponding poem. Each set of drawing and poem (excluding the first and last) is supposed to predict an event in Chinese history. The predictions span two millenniums, from the Tang Dynasty to the present.  Most scholars agree on the interpretations for the first 39 prophecies, but the remaining interpretations are significantly more controversial. By some accounts, 55 of the 58 prophecies have been fulfilled, while other sources have the number at around 47.

Image result for 推背图
Drawing #60

The book's name, which translates to "Back-Pushing Sketch", derives from its last set of poem and drawing. Allegedly, Li got so absorbed with the task that he predicted two millenniums into the future. Eventually, Yuan pushed him in the back and said "There is too much to say. Let's go rest instead."

Inevitably, the authenticity of the prophecies has been questioned. Since the poems and drawings are cryptic in nature, their meanings are open to interpretation. Moreover, the book was banned and ordered to be destroyed numerous times throughout history. There were multiple versions in circulation, thus making it difficult to verify the original contents.

Nonetheless, examining the events contained in the tui bei tu presents a good overview of the history of China from the Tang Dynasty onward.

Tang Dynasty

Five Dynasties Ten Kingdoms

Song Dynasty

Yuan Dynasty

Ming Dynasty

Qing Dynasty

Republic of China

*Prophecies #40 onwards deal with modern China. There is a lack of consensus for the interpretations, thus, I will not provide a translation.

Leave a comment if you want to know more about any of the historical events above.