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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

All Good Things

Back from the last class…

This song represents how im feeling i guess…

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Chinese-ness

This is totally based on my own opinions…

Be it kungfu, wu xia pian, myths, folklore, religious deities… chinese cinema (china, hongkong) has always been gendered biased…

To begin with ,traditional chinese values, the men are suppose to be the stronger, thinking beings, the protector so to speak and the ones who bring the money home and the MAN OF THE HOUSE…while the women are the supportive ones who stay home, be there to provide for the men in terms of sexual needs, meals, child bearing etc…

Women are depicted as frail, weak, soft, fainting, incapable of greater things or rather never ever equal to men, concerned with their own petty gains, seeking attention, gaining the foothold only in the household, submissive at all times… if they are NOT marriage material THEN, they are EVIL, seductress, temptresses, the cause of all problems…

If you look at the history of China, APPARENTLY…all the Kings who fell from grace, the ruins of empires are attributed to a woman or women folk who stirred up trouble by constantly playing on the King’s emotions and through physical pleasures getting him to give out imperial edicts or change the laws for their own gains… (it is NEVER stated that Kings are stupid and ruled their empire with their male organ) (it is always the bad bad female…) *pls i need to roll my eyes here

Moving on… so far Storyline/plots of chinese-ness movies:

Aesthetics: It HAS to involve elements of nature, from wind, cloud, water, sand, forest, caves, mountains, animals be it to consume or as pets, a lot of flappy garments, long hair, odd shaped scary looking weapons, gleaming swords, the mastering of ‘chi’, horses, donkeys, big vast landscapes, or absolute solidtary, self exile, eye for detail, the choice of cups, seats, the temples, religious statues like the laughing buddha or warrior god…Food and clothing is usually a way of differentiating the classes, the rich usually have pig/duck/chicken meat as dishes while dressed in silk clothing

An example of over the top detail would be the recent : Curse of the Golden Flower
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if you manage to look beyond the ridiculous cleavages,the sets are pretty elborate..not surprisingly, Gong Li the Empresses (FEMALE) who fufils her own sexual desire, engaging with incestual relations with her step son…plots the downfall of the Emperor and even implicates her own son in the process…

Names: Chinese names of characters always end up sounding weird when translated to english  eg:”Flying Snow”, “Broken Sword” but it is usually representational of the elements of wood, earth, fire, water or seasons winter autumn spring summer and it has to do with human traits like courageous and weakness etc.

Men: growing up, from boy to manhood, learning the value of hard work, moral upright behaviour, upholding justice, brotherhood and loyalty, protection of family, carrying on the family line, taking on the rich and powerful who dominate and manipulate the politics and law, learning to do the right thing (like choosing to go for battle / duel and leaving their “nu ren”-woman to go into child birth by themselves) coming back and being a proud father (note only a proud father if it is a SON)-why? son’s bear the family name!

Alright, major gender biasness aside, movies do have positive elements of teaching (which i think some chinese guys need to RE-learn) and take out of traditional films…

-How to be a gentlemen (not being touchy-feely) without being a total male chauvinistic pig
-Women are not meant to be treated like thrash, they are meant to be taken care of, listened to (they are wise)!
-Its not all about me myself and i, there is a greater meaning to life, count your blessings and try to make a difference, even if it is just for one friend…
-Importance of family ties, “ying shui si yuan”-going back to the source and repaying the ones who have been kind to you

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To me, turning a historical figure or classic literature texts into modern day film
with upbeat soundtracks, good looking cast, although it would be an insult to those “stick in the muds” i say GO FOR IT! Sometimes the words in musty old books, no matter how brilliant the language, and narrative… still can’t beat AUDIO AND VISUAL PLEASURE!!

wp1_12801.jpg marie_antoinette.jpg marieant.jpg

I mean people, will watch the movie, fall in love with the soundtrack not to mention… and at the same time, they may get interested and hopefully research up on it, learn more and in a way,the film has managed to get one more person to be interested in world history…

More directors should try to convert historical epics or “dry boring” lit classics into pieces of well “pop movies” like “pop art and pop music” to get the general population to tune in…one never knows what will come out of it!

On the note about music…i think Baz Lurhman’s
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moulin rouge

and romeo-and-juliet.jpg
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117509/

are GREAT examples of movies based histories/text combined with modern day changes and music…you get a hit!:)

As written in the second reading “The issue is not how a particular piece of music or performance reflects a people but how it produces them, how it creates and constructs an experience-a musical experience-an aesthetic experience-that we can only make sense of by taking on both a subjective and collective identity”

And “According to Frith, these “moods” are internal qualities of music, but they learned and signified through emotional, cultural and dramatic codes (qualitites of “matter” and “mind” go together)

Films like Marie Antoniette, Moulin Rouge, Romeo Juliet have elaborate sets, colorful costumes, major sensory experience but most importantly the sound track keeps the movie going! 

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Dear Mr President

“Dear Mr. President”
(feat. Indigo Girls)

Dear Mr. President,
Come take a walk with me.
Let’s pretend we’re just two people and
You’re not better than me.
I’d like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly.
What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
Are you proud?
How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye
And tell me why?
Dear Mr. President,
Were you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
How can you say
No child is left behind?
We’re not dumb and we’re not blind.
They’re all sitting in your cells
While you pave the road to hell.
What kind of father would take his own daughter’s rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
You’ve come a long way from whiskey and cocaine.

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye?

Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Minimum wage with a baby on the way
Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Building a bed out of a cardboard box
Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work
You don’t know nothing ’bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work
Oh

How do you sleep at night?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Dear Mr. President,
You’d never take a walk with me.
Would you?

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