Watch “Revolution Trilogy” 睇「革命三部曲」

Friday, 18 March, 2016

Director/producer/independent reporter Kempton Lam has made three full-length documentaries from 2004 – 2015. Kempton’s debut documentary Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命 has been collected by the Canadian National Archive since 2009. The three documentaries are collectively known as “Revolution Trilogy「革命三部曲」 and are in Cantonese with English subtitles (廣東話、英文字幕). You can watch the three films at this YouTube Playlist (beautifully projected on your big screen HDTV or on your computer). Enjoy!

Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命」 (full-length 2005) (read film & Canadian national archive info)

HKtv Revolution 「香港電視革命」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)

Umbrella Revolution: History as Mirror Reflection 「雨傘革命實錄:以史為鏡」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)


2019 Reith Lectures by Jonathan Sumption

Wednesday, 22 May, 2019

2019 Reith Lectures by Jonathan Sumption - Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 10.41.25 AM

I’ve been looking forward to listen to the 2019 Reith Lectures by Jonathan Sumption who recently retired from the UK Supreme Court. Lord Sumption “argues that a decline in the willingness of politics to engage with divisive subjects has been accompanied by an unwelcome rise in the power of the courts.”

BBC is putting up the 2019 Reith Lectures by Lord Sumption up one lecture a week, here is the list of lecture(s) already posted:

(21 May, 2019) 1/5. Law’s Expanding Empire

(more to come)


#GameOfThrones series finale was aweful (Veep, Big Bang Theory, Sopranos ended things much better!)

Tuesday, 21 May, 2019

Major Spoilers Warning!

20190521 Dragon can understand symbolism now?

Game Of Thrones TV series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss (D&D) for HBO was well loved by millions (me included) for 7 seasons. Sadly the show fell apart on its final season 8 with the series finale (s8.6) being an epic cluster beep!

How bad was GoT series finale (s8.6)? We went grocery shopping, ate dinner while watching other TV shows before we actually watched the finale at 11pm EST (2 hours after the show started) before we just had no expectation left. And the finale did turn out to be a #ShitShow in my eyes. A cancelled S8 would have been better for fans. 

Just as comparisons, Veep and The Big Bang Theory also had their series finales and they generally garnered praises! Witness:

IndieWire, 13 May, 2019 “‘Veep’ Review: The Series Finale Is a Terrific Ending America Better Hope Doesn’t Come True
IndieWire, 17 May, 2019, “‘The Big Bang Theory’ Review: Series Finale Delivers an Ending True To Itself

From Vice, “‘Game of Thrones’ Ended in the Worst Way Possible In ‘The Iron Throne,’ the final episode of ‘Game of Thrones,’ nearly every decision was the wrong one.

Inexplicably, Bran is King

It’s hard to justify this one. GoT has a penchant for twists and all that—this is Benioff and Weiss material after all—but only the Three-eyed Raven saw this one coming. We’re supposed to believe that it would only take a well-placed suggestion by Tyrion, man who all parties distrust, to suddenly place Bran as the best choice to rule? We’re supposed to buy that a series that spent entire seasons reveling in political tug-of-wars and in-fighting about governance, just determined it all from Tyrion’s elevator pitch about folks with the best stories?

Even if you forgive all of this, there is nothing gratifying about Bran’s story. For the entirety of season five, he played hooky as a visible player. In season six, he was that Westeros guy nibbling on psychedelic weirwood bark, mumbling endlessly about being “the Three-Eyed Raven” and not “wanting” anything. And now that the Night King is defeated, this series has done nothing to lay the groundwork for the new leader, Bran the Broken, who’s apparently ready and willing to take the throne.

So it’s the ultimate finesse: that Bran who truly knew of the past, present, and future, spent whole seasons silently staring down other characters, with the knowledge that he was destined to be king. Forget the thousands burned by a dragon. Forget the countless innocents who could have been saved from his foresight. Self-servingly, Bran knew this would happen all along. That doesn’t feel right.

Daenerys deserved more

After a heated conversation with Tyrion—because he’s what passes for reason in this episode—a battered Jon Snow confronts aunty Daenerys about her roast of King’s Landing. One thing leads to another, and Jon hugs Dany, proclaiming her his queen before kissing her. Then he kills her.

It is so cold and out of character for a protagonist known as being stupidly loyal and honourable to side-step Dany’s advances for three episodes, only to slide his tongue down her throat as he stabs her. It took her mad queen transformation one episode to reach an extreme, and this kill had the same energy. It was the cheapest and quickest way to rid Thrones of a huge problem it wrote into existence, regardless of believability. […]

Drogon can understand symbolism now?

What’s Drogon’s deal? In one episode, he can’t take on a fleet of ships led by a deranged pirate. In the very next one, he not only destroys those ships, but takes down King’s Landing, too. And now, when he finds his mother dead by Jon’s hands, he reacts by melting down the Iron Throne with unrelenting fire. It’s a little too on the nose.

Dragons were once thought to be unstoppable weapons, but in the show’s final season their abilities were inconsistent. An indestructible weapon would pose issues from a storytelling perspective, so the thought of a dragon being important enough to kill a certain god-tier character wouldn’t exactly work. But it’s hard not to wonder why Drogon didn’t turn his wrath toward Jon Snow, who just knifed his mother. Instead, the dragon turned the Iron Throne to lava, destroying a symbol that has caused plenty of destruction of its own. Satisfying? Yes. Cheesy? Very.”

This VOX article has made some good points that are fairly close to how I feel. [HT Yvonne] “The Game of Thrones finale had a chance to break the wheel. It upheld the status quo. – The long-awaited series finale, “The Iron Throne,” proves Game of Thrones was never interested in breaking cycles of power.Read the rest of this entry »


I. M. Pei – Great minds of our time

Friday, 17 May, 2019

I M Pei - Pix 01.jpg

RIP I. M. Pei 貝聿銘 (2017 – 2019). I picked up my copy of “I.M. Pei: A Profile in American Architecture” in the early 90s as I began my lifelong love of beautiful architectures. So thanks to Mr. Pei for your inspirations.

I like to remember the recently passed with their own words if I can, here he talked about the various challenges and ideas in redoing the Louvre.

I. M. Pei at MIT – Tech Day 1994

American Architecture Now: I.M. Pei, 1980

I. M. Pei: A Centennial Celebration – Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD)

Video description: //The GSD is proud to celebrate the 100th birthday of Ieoh Ming Pei, MArch ’46. Both I. M. and his wife Eileen Pei GSD ’44 studied at the GSD, as did their sons Chien Chung (Didi) Pei, MArch ’72, and Li Chung (Sandi) Pei, MArch ’76. Pei was also an assistant professor of architecture at the GSD. This event, with guests including Harry Cobb AB ’47 MArch ’49, moderated by Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of Harvard GSD and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, will focus on the formative years of I. M. Pei’s career as well as some of his special friendships, influences, and projects.//

P.S. There are some archival news footage of the building of Louvre in this clip.

(Hopefully more to be added later.)


Keanu Reeves & Warren Buffett have Love in common

Wednesday, 15 May, 2019

Keanu Reeves left Stephen Colbert speechless

Keanu Reeves left Stephen Colbert speechless on Friday night when the subject of death came up as he promoted two of his upcoming projects (third “John Wick” movie & third instalment of the “Bill and Ted” film series).

“After the late-night host asked him what happens if they aren’t able to write the song, Reeves responded: “Well it’s the end of the universe, it’s the end of the time and space continuum. It’s all over.”

“So you’re facing your own mortality and the mortality of all existence?” Colbert asked.

“Yeah,” Reeves nodded his head.

Colbert quickly followed up by asking Reeves what he thinks happens when we die.

The “John Wick” star thought about it for a moment before giving the profound response: “I know that the ones who love us will miss us.

As the audience said “Awwww,” Colbert appeared stunned. As a smile spread across his face, the late-night host said, “Wow,” before he shook Reeves’ hand for a moment and ended the segment.

Reeves is no stranger to tragedy. According to People, the actor lost his best friend to a drug overdose in 1993 and his girlfriend Jennifer Syme died in a car crash in 2001. Syme and Reeves previously had a child who was born stillborn in 1999.” [source text of this quote: Fox]

Watching Keanu’s insightful answer reminded me of a relevant Warren Buffett quote I read in his biography “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder which also comes down to LOVE:

“Basically, when you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.

I know many people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them.

That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life. The trouble with love is that you can’t buy it. You can buy sex. You can buy testimonial dinners. But the only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check: I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love. But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.

I’ve added Reeves’ quote and an excerpt of Warren’s quote to my long list of Quotes I Love.


Goodbye Agnès Varda (1928–2019)

Friday, 29 March, 2019

Goodbye Agnès Varda (1928–2019). In memory and honour of her passing (France24 video report), I’m watching her “Cléo from 5 to 7″ (Kanopy). Here are some reviews of her last film “Varda by Agnes“.

Cleo from 5 to 7 / Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962) – Trailer

Agnès Varda in her own words at TEDxVeniceBeach. //Inspiration and good mood: THAT’S CINEMA!//

Agnès Varda. Cléo from 5 to 7. 2004 (via European Graduate School Video Lectures) Read the rest of this entry »


Stone Garden of Love and the dot dot dot

Thursday, 28 March, 2019

20190328 - DSC_6318 - ATON & LYVM ... (small) (built in 2017 Sept)

Love written in stones.
Love is hard work in life (and when written in stones & landscaping fabric).
Love creates beauty (and, yes, beauty is everywhere).
Love takes two to foster (and constant tender loving care).
Love is endless (just like the “…”).

It took literally thousands of stones to create this Stone Garden of Love (SGL) in September 2017. The SGL (made with stones & landscaping fabric) serves a functional purpose of stopping weed from growing on those ground. The creative genesis came to me when I realized I could use stones of two colours to write or draw things! And soon the name ATON was decided (a combination of my better half’s and my names). And the LYVM was easily decided as the second half. And then I have always tried to find a use for a bag of tiny coloured decorative stones sitting idle in the garage thus the idea for dot dot dot “…” was born. Because of the tiny size of the coloured stones used in the three dots after LYVM, they themselves numbered in the thousands! (Statistically, 2,000+ at least!) And if you ask me, the “…” are one of the best feature the garden as they are the most fragile and delicate to care for (removing leaves and tree branches, etc). Just like Love. I have my temper and sometimes I can act like a bull in a China shop. Luckily, my better half and I agree on many major issues but our smaller differences (and sometime really trivial stuffs) can lead to fierce arguments. But we have a rule. We don’t let our grievances or anger live pass 12 midnight each day. Anyway, as you have read this far, let me wish you lots of love in your life and give lots of TLC to your own Stone Garden of Love!


Good read – 20190322

Friday, 22 March, 2019

20190322 The New Yorker, Masha GessenJacinda Ardern Has Rewritten the Script for How a Nation Grieves After a Terrorist Attack“,

“Ardern, on the other hand, immediately showed that she had no time for the perpetrator of the mosque shootings.“Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand; they may even be refugees here,” she said. “They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence.”

These phrases are remarkable for what they do not contain: a promise to find the perpetrator and bring him to justice; any attempt to degrade him; any recognition of his desire to be seen, recognized, and fought. The opposite of terror is not courage, victory, or even justice, and it is certainly not “war on terror.” The opposite of terror is disregard for the terrorist.

In a later statement, Ardern made her policy of disregard explicit. Speaking to Parliament four days after the attacks, she said, “He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety. And that is why you will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless. And, to others, I implore you: speak the names of those who were lost, rather than the name of the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing. Not even his name.”

[…] In a nuanced response to a BBC interviewer, who asked if she was concerned about a rise in white nationalism in New Zealand, she said, “My call would be a global one. I’m very clear here to make the distinction that yes, this was an Australian citizen, but that is not to say that we do not have ideology in New Zealand that would be an affront to the majority of New Zealanders, that would be utterly rejected by the majority, the vast majority of New Zealanders. But we still have a responsibility to weed it out where it exists and make sure that we never create an environment where it can flourish. But I would make that a global call.”

[…] The most effective way to fight violence is to make the violence less efficient. Less than a week after the attacks, Ardern’s government announced a ban on military-style weapons. Even before the terms of the ban were worked out, Ardern encouraged people to begin surrendering weapons to the police, and at least several dozen people did. The gun ban thus became, at least to a degree, a matter of political agreement, rather than an emergency measure or a restriction imposed by the government.

This is what political leaders do in the face of a senseless tragedy: they grieve with their people, they think with their people, and they act together with their people. None of those tasks requires a declaration of war.”

xxx


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