Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Etta James - Something Got A Hold On Me

Coronation Street Dub

I remember hearing this Reggae take on the theme to Britain's oldest TV soap Coronation Street a few years back. I liked it's cheesy novelty value back then and I still do now - I picked it up in a charity shop yesterday, result! Now to find Smiley Culture singing about Pat and Frank and of Eastenders and my life will be complete...Well, as chance would have it I spotted a Mike Reid Sings CD in another charity shop today, but I let that one go. Someone else can enjoy that gem.
Watch/hear the Corrie 45 by the I-Royals here:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gamelan A Go Go

Multiple Gamelan albums played simultaneously on Benedict Drew's Unter Radio, broadcast on Resonance FM. Listen again here:
It made me feel as if I was in a Jakarta based gangster film noir escaping the CIA and local mafia whilst sweating profusely and trying to escape the helicopter following me (or was that my Arak fuelled Gamelan induced paranoia kicking in?).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Anna Chen - Anna May Wong Must Die!

Anna Chen now has a web site for her illustrated lecture on the life of film star Anna May Wong.

Anna's tribute to the first Chinese American movie star takes the audience on a personalised journey of Anna May Wong's life and films. Her passion for the subject is clear and Anna reveals the impact of Anna May Wong's star presence on her own life. Many people know the images of this stunningly beautiful actress but nothing about her life story, here Anna Chen makes sure that her story is heard.

Photo above (of Anna Chen in homage to Anna May Wong pose) copyright Sukey Parnell 2004.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

1963 Shaw Brothers Calendar part 2

Let's go back again to Hong Kong in 1963 when the Shaw Brother's leading ladies were glamour personified.

July - Margaret Tu Chuan
Bardot-esque pose from the beautiful star of Madam White Snake.

August - Ivy Ling Po
Co-star to Loh Ti in The Love Eterne, the Huangmei Opera singer is hugely popular and is still performing in concert today. In 2007 Ling Po led the celebrations for Shaw Brothers founder Sir Run Run Shaw's 100th Birthday. A good article on Ling Po can be found at the Action Queens blog.

September - Fanny Fan
Another hairspray tastic hairdo from the Hong King sex kitten. Stills from the movie Angel with the Iron Fists in which she starred with Lily Ho can be found here. Over at the blog Soft Film they are big Fanny Fan fans!

October - Yi Kuang
As with Julie Shih Yen from part 1 of the calendar, I confess that I know absolutely nothing about this actress. Please help if you can, thanks.

Novmember - Li Hsiang Chun
Another actress from the 1963 Shaw Brothers smash The Love Eterne.

December - Diana Chang Chung Wen
This pose reminds me of a 1950's Joan Collins glamour photo. Strange cardigan choice though. Diana Chang Chung Wen can be seen in the Shaw Brothers 1966 adaptation of the classic novel Journey to the West titled The Monkey Goes West.

Well, that's all folks. Check out Magicpoe's Channel on YouTube for some excellent 1970's documentaries on Shaw Brothers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Support Investment in Community Radio

If you are a UK citizen who believes in community radio then please sign this online petition. There are many great community stations accross the UK who deliver original and diverse programming run by volunteers, including Resonance FM.

Lend your support to a campaign for greater public investment in community radio. Last month a letter signed by 82 community radio leaders, media scholars and experts was sent to the Prime Minister in which the case for higher public investment in community radio was made. It argued for an increase in the Community Radio Fund's budget (to view the letter, go to: Pursuant to this action a petition was launched in support of this cause.

Show your support for greater investment in the Community Radio Fund by signing the following petition:

The Fund was initially set up in 2004 with a budget of £500,000 for 14 community radio broadcasters. However, since then community radio in Britain has blossomed while the budget has stagnated. £500,000 must now provide for over 200 broadcast licensees.

This matters because community radio provides a broadcasting platform to voices that would otherwise be overlooked by media outlets. Resonance FM is a paradigm of this model with regular shows for community interest groups. Furthermore, the community radio industry has created over 400 jobs, involving over 10,000 volunteers and serves a potential audience of over 10 million people. This is a social service for diverse groups across the entire country.

For a full list of UK community radio stations see Ofcom's list:

Monday, August 10, 2009

1963 Shaw Brothers Calendar part 1

I have been inspired by the truly magnificent blog Soft Film: Vintage Chinese Cinema to scan in my 1963 Shaw Brothers calendar for your viewing pleasure. I've split the calendar into two parts so you'll have to wait for July-December in my next post.
1963 was the year that The Love Eterne (The Butterfly Lovers) was made by Shaw and 3 of its stars appear in this calendar, though very much in modern attire and not in the period opera-style costume as in the movie. In these pictures the hair styles are big, the eye liner is heavy and the eyebrows are exquisitely plucked! Enjoy.

January - Lin Dai
Slightly weird eyebrows but love the rose motif. Lin Dai starred in many films, (listed here)but tragically committed suicide a year after this calendar came out in 1964.

February - Ting Ning
Aka Grace Ding Ning, had small role in Love Eterne

March - Ting Hung
My personal favourite, amazing beehive style hairdo. Known as Pat to her friends, she can be seen in the 1962 Shaw film adaptation of another classic Chinese tale The Dream of the Red Chamber.

April - Betty Loh Ti
Star of Love Eterne and award winning Shaw actress. Beautiful and yet tragically unhappy in her life. In 1968 Loh Ti also took her own life.

May - Shih Yen
I cannot find any information on this actress, perhaps she only starred in one or two films, please let me know if you have any info.

June - Yeh Feng
The Kim Novak of the East. (Wonder if she knew Sammy Davis Jr too?)

Waiting for Ghibli

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, the latest film from director Hiyao Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke) is out in the US this summer, courtesy of Disney. I've been looking around the net for the UK release date and am disappointed to see reports that it will not be until early 2010. Why do we always have to wait so long for East Asian movies to get a theatrical release here? By the time they've come out most people have got sick of waiting and found an online copy or ordered the DVD from an overseas source. I've watched Totoro many times with my daughter and I want Ponyo to be the first film she sees at the cinema so I'm going to have to wait. In the meantime here is the Japanese trailer (above).

Ponyo Disneyfied trailer here
Ghibli Ponyo site

Friday, August 07, 2009

Questing Bandstand Site

I've been meaning to post about this excellent site for a while and then today I was browsing through and saw the lovely face of Siao Fong Fong.
Questing Bandstand is a wonderful resource for lovers of 1960's East Asian music.
Here is the Siao Fong Fong link where you can listen to her song Mama Hao (Good Mum or Mum is the Best).

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Michelle Yeoh

Michelle's birthday is coming up soon (6th August), Many Happy Returns to my favourite living actress. Remember Michelle's fabulous film Wing Chun featuring the classic fight scene around a block of tofu ("if her beauty doesn't floor you then her drop kick will")? Well, I am happy to report that Michelle is working with the film's director Yuen Wo Ping once more - hurray! Yuen Wo Ping has directed some of the best martial arts films ever made (Drunken Master, Iron Monkey etc) as well as in recent years being action director on many Hollywood films (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Matrix series). Now Wo Ping is directing a stellar cast (incl. pop prince Jay Chou, the late David Carradine and grand sifu supreme Gordon Liu) in True Legend. I can't wait!

Cast list, photos and news here: