Tag Archives: Chinese

WARPS Up HERO_sei with This New Single and Music Video Debut

11 Jun

HERO_seiJapanese-Chinese boys’ collective WARPs UP‘s new single HERO_sei is now out. It’s a mid-tempo ballad about living life your own way and is performed by a group who refuse to be confined by their own boundaries. The bold use of colours–of red, white and blue–contrasted against varied backdrops shows how they’re breaking free. Each tone is meaning, as red represents anger, white with sadness and blue with freedom. The progression is very telling.

This second original single released by the group’s two Chinese members LANGYI and MINGJUN, follows January’s single POWER_Shin. Previous songs by WARPs UP feature lyrics in English, Chinese and Japanese. This approach to reach a global market is an impressive achievement and helps make this group stand out.

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Judy Lei’s “The World’s Greatest” Evokes Love and Heartache

12 May

The World's GreatestPlaying at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum @ JANM May 13, 2022 (Buy Tickets)

Judy Lei is a young filmmaker based out of New York City, and her debut work serves more than one purpose. The World’s Greatest is a powerful story about a Chinese-American family struggling with life. I find the title has two meanings:

Call it Fresh Prince of Bel Air or something else, but I firmly believe this film cautiously and intimately examines that relationship between parent and teen (played by Lei). There’s also getting to understand the mindset in the lead and what she wants to do to achieve that dream. These two ideas combined makes for a compelling tale. I found it’s a very personal and relatable piece.

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When Meilin is “Turning Red” in PIXAR’s latest…

15 Mar

Turning Red poster.jpgAfter the tremendous success with the animated short Bao in the awards circuit, Domee Shi and Julia Cho developed Turning Red as PIXAR’s next film. What’s created isn’t too different from past films, namely Brave, but in this case, we’re seeing a story set in modern times and in Toronto, Canada no less!

It’s tough to live up to a parent’s expectations. Dealing with overprotective mothers is perhaps the hardest and this film hits a very familiar tone faced by most during their childhood. And what’s shown isn’t necessarily restricted to just her, but also for anyone growing up in a Chinese family. It’s not about the cultural barriers, but also in honouring traditions. The screenplay nails those aspects down because I’ve lived through much of it myself! 

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Wei Xiang’s Too Cool To Kill is Hot and in North America!

19 Feb

Too Cool to Kill Official Movie Poster

Well Go USA
For showtimes and locations in North America, please visit the official English website.

Too Cool To Kill (这个杀手不太冷静) is too hot of a movie to handle. After its debut during the Lunar New Year in China as This Killer Is Not Too Calm–with terrific box office results–it’s coming to North America so Wei Xiang‘s comedic talent can be recognised.

The joy is in how this zany film pulls you into the life of Lyingtown with its sweeping Tim Burton style cinematography and iconic Euro style setting. The name of this sleepy seaside hamlet is intentional, as it foreshadows everything to come! Even the soundtrack establishes a Henry Mancini style tone.

After meeting the supporting cast of Mr. Harvey (Chen Minghao) nearly shot by the assassin Karl (Allen AI), we are introduced to Wei Chenggong (Xiang), a hasbin stand-in and part-time actor who hopes to make it big in Chinese Hollywood. But after the director MIller (Huang Cailun) chides him for his overacting, he’s asked to star in a bigger movie by the star of the show, Milan (Ma Li). The two happen to be siblings. But there’s a secret, the cameras will be hidden, and her agenda isn’t all that pure.

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It’s Time for Tea Pets, A Nearly Forgotten Joy

11 Feb

Image gallery for Tea Pets - FilmAffinity

Light Chaser Animation Studios

Spoiler Alert

Tea Pets was a movie I had to watch during the last days of Chinese New Year and it’s one that’s not as well known. The animation house earned its cred with White Snake and its sequel, and it’s odd they would sell the rights of this early effort to a less than ideal international distributor.

These little clay figures trace back to 13th Century China and are used during tea ceremonies. These figurines bring good luck to those who affectionately play with them during tea time. All it takes is to pour some tasty liquid over them and they’ll come to life. The unkilned porous clay transforms the colours into another pigmentation, and it’s amazing to watch.

According to one online source, writer/director Gary Wang saw some for sale at in an antique store in Paris! It reminded him of home. Although I’ve never seen them at Murchie’s Tea & Coffee in Victoria, BC, or any Asian tea houses here in town, I had to wonder. I’d love to have a feline tea pet to keep me smiling on those grey days.

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