Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Party this Friday @ Mango Landin

See you on the dance floor....

Lucky Cat S07 Ep 11 Podcast - Final Show of Series 7

Dr Anne Witchard discusses her new book Lao She in London and the China in Britain project.

Featuring music by:
Li Shuangjiang
Yao Lee
Deng Bai Ying and Friends (Calendar Girl soundtrack)
Hollie Cook and Horseman (Prince Fatty versus the Drunken Gambler LP)
Edine with Lisle Mitnik et son Orchestre with the new song The West Coast

Monday, December 17, 2012

Edine Returns! This time it's Vinyl - Hurrah!

Edine Kwok aka Tramgirl Clubber aka one half of The Marshmallow Kisses has a fabulous new record out!  And when I say 'record' I mean it - Edine has brought out a beautiful white coloured vinyl 7"EP.

You may remember Edine from series 6 of Lucky Cat when she contributed a super cool mix of her favourite songs plus her own music.  Edine has now teamed up with US based Lisle Mitnik and the partnership has produced great results.

Check out the lush retro-tastic video for her song with Lisle Mitnik et son Orchestre The West Coast:

This is out now on the Elefant Records label. Vinyl is 500 press limited edition.  Mp3 versions are available too.

Edine and Lisle Mitnik et son Orchestre also feature on the Elefant Records Christmas compilation with their lovely floaty retro-pop Spector influenced Xmas Day.

Like Edine on Facebook here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

British East Asian Atists Debate: RSC 'Orphan of Zhao'

Daniel York, Dr Benedict Chow, Dr Amanda Bear and Anna Chen discuss the recent casting catastrophe of the the Royal Shakespeare Company's The Orphan of Zhao. RSC declined to participate.

Thanks to Madam Miaow for posting these on youtube.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Lucky Cat S7 Ep10 24th Nov 2012 - Chris Menist Mix

Here is the super mix created exclusively for Lucky Cat by Chris Menist. Thank you Chris for the top notch selection.


  • 01. Unknown Yemeni 7"
  • 02. Kobkul Wongsawad - Lam Plearn Hug Num Ban Na (Phin Kaen 7")
  • 03. Buppha Saichol - Roob Lor Thom Pai (Star Records 7")
  • 04. Piya Takoonratch - Isan Ban Kong Hao (Petch Phin Tong 7")
  • 05. Collins Oke Elaiho & His Odoligie Nobles Dance Band - Omoniyakioya (Philips 7")
  • 06. Marcia Griffiths - Working To The Top (My Ambition) (Studio One blank 7")
  • 07. Marion Black - Who Knows (Capsoul 7")
  • 08. Mahmoud Ahmed (pictured above)- Yefikir Woha Timu (Mahmoud Records 7")
  • 09. Sextette Camayenne - Kaniba (Syliphone 7")
  • 10. Maneerat Kaewsadej - Kiew Choo Puen
  • 11. Kana Petch Plachai Band - Lam Plearn Dok Koon Siang Khaen (CTL 7")
  • 12. Montein Teinthong - Kor Kai (Phin Kaen 7")
  • 13. Prince Alla - Their Reward (Dalphin 7")
  • 14. Dillinger - Freshly (Prophets 7")
  • 15. Orchestre Poly Rythmo - E Wa Dagbe (Albarika Store 7")
  • 16. Chailai & Duangdao - Chak Mak Pai (Archer 7")
  • 17. Plearn Promdan - Wan Maha Sanook (Mocking Bird 7")
  • 18. Samsak Band - Pu Yai Lee (Three Cats 7")

Check out Chris and Maft Sai's record label ZudRangMa Records Thailand.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lucky Cat S7 Ep 9 17th Nov 2012 Podcast

For this episode I ramble on a little and play some vinyl treasures and new digital releases from the UK and China.

Do check out the new album on the hipster Hippos in Tanks label from Vietnamese/Hong Kong/British rapper Triad God aka Vinh Ngan from New Cross, South London. See: http://boomkat.com/vinyl/609720-triad-god-nxb


  • Police in Helicopter - John Holt(12" vinyl, Greensleeves label)
  • Bruce Lee Funeral - Triad God, pictured here(from the album NXB)
  • Four Seasons - Josephine Siao Fong Fong
  • Kung Fu Battle Inna Brixton - Prince Fatty feat. Horseman(Prince Fatty vs The Drunken Gambler LP)
  • Kung Fu Master - Solo Banton (Jahtari label EP Music Addict)
  • 黑寡妇之爱 (Hei Gua Fu Zhi Ai) - AM444 (from the new album Rooms)
  • Pok - Triad God (from the album NXB on the Hippos in Tanks label)
  • Love Without End - Josephine Siao Fong Fong (from the LP The Rhythm of Fong Fong on the EMI label)
  • Premier Qiu Spinning Cotton - (Tenor Solos by Li Shuangjiang, China Record Company 10" LP)
  • Aint That Loving You - Alton Ellis and Hugh Roy(7" on the Treasure Isle label - B side)
  • By the Rivers of Babylon - The Melodians (7" on the Beverley's label)
  • All My Tears Come Rolling - Alton Ellis (7" on the Treasure Isle label - A side)
  • Why Punish Me Kneel Down - Unknown Chinese singers
  • I Feel Good - Roy and Shirley (7" on the Aladdin label)

Dr Anne Witchard on Lucky Cat this Saturday

This Saturday I am joined in the studio by Dr Anne Witchard of the University of Westminster. Anne is the author of Thomas Burke's Dark Chinoiserie: Limehouse Nights and the Queer Spell of Chinatown (Ashgate Publishing, 2009) and co-editor with Lawrence Phillips of London Gothic: Place, Space and the Gothic Imagination(Continuum, 2010).

I will be talking to Anne about her latest book >Lao She in London (Hong Kong University Press 2012) which details the time Chinese writer Lao She spent in london in the 1920s. The book reveals Lao She's encounter with British high modernism and literature from Dickens to Conrad to Joyce as well as his tiem spent in the notorious and much sensationalised East End Chinatown of Limehouse.

Along with her colleague Dr Diana Yeh, Anne has headed up the AHRC funded reserach prject Translating China which has hosted a number of workshops, discusssiona and events.

China in Britain #4 Aesthetics: Visual and Literary Cultures is on Saturday Dec 8th 2012 – Time 9:30:AM – 4:00PM. Entrance is free but booking is essential. For more information see: http://translatingchina.info/ This will be the last episode in Series 7 of Lucky Cat on Resonance 104.4FM.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Exclusive Chris Menist Mix on Today's Lucky Cat

Today's Lucky Cat features an exclusive mix from crate digger extraordinaire Chris Menist (pictured).

You may remember Chris came on the show last series to talk about his compilation of Vietnamese records for Dust to Digital. Chris is now, along with Maft Sai, bringing out vinyl releases of undiscovered nuggets on the labelParadise Bangkok: Zudrangma Reords.

Thank you to Chris for an astounding mix. Track listing to follow....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nikkatsu & TOHO 1960-1967: An exhibition of Japanese film photography

There is an amazing looking exhibition of Japanese film posters of the 60's that were made in Thailand.
Nikkatsu & TOHO 1960-1967: An exhibition of Japanese film photography

The collection belongs to Tanja Malo who writes:

"the photos I have were used to design film posters & lobby cards in Bangkok in the 60's, but as the film studios were making less and less money due t o the popularity of television, the work space shown in the magazine were eventually abandoned. Until this young Thai man Noi (found or inherited it? not sure) starting selling the posters on a little soi (skinny street) in Bangkok.

I was living in Bangkok at the time (2007) always looking for old unusual stuff in street stalls & flea markets, and was a regular to this stall of 60's posters. Noi spoke very little English and I speak little Thai, so our ways of communicating were extremely limited.

The exhibition (on a whim, we decided just a couple of weeks ago to do this) will be a bit of a discovery, hopefully someone who knows more than me about the actors will come. The composition and colouring (and style!) is what attracted me to them first, that rather than a particular interest in Japanese film.

Also the whole thing with abandoned places, how a treasure like that can survive in a humid Bangkok room for 50 years. Looking at the sad effects of innovation, I wonder how many more forgotten rooms like that are in the world, and how much is thrown away. First time I asked seller Noi what the pile of photos just sitting on the asphalted sidewalk were, he just waved and meant it was "just rubbish"."

The exhibition is at at MOKA, 5 Wightman Road, N4 1RQ London, UK.

Opens tomorrow 22nd November!

See http://tanjamalo.tumblr.com/ for more details.

Thanks to Tanja Malo for the images and info.

Lucky Cat S7 Ep 8 10th Nov 2012 Podcast - Soft Film Jukebox

Taiwan girl group Mimi Tsai & The Five Petals Band As featured on the the Soft Film Jukebox: Vintage Vinyl from Hong Kong, Singapore & Taiwan (1957-73).

Please see my previous post for the full track listing. The cover of Yesterday is phenomenal!

Dave will be posting a full liner notes on his blog soon so don't forget to check on http://softfilm.blogspot.co.uk/

For more beautiful 45 covers and images of featured artists see: http://softfilm.tumblr.com

A truly wonderful mix - enjoy listening! Thanks again DD.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Soft Film Jukebox Tracklisting

Soft Film Jukebox: Vintage Vinyl from Hong Kong, Singapore & Taiwan (1957-73)
  • The Queen Envoy 王昭君 by Tong Pei Pei 董佩佩 (1957)
  • The Choice of A Lover 愛的抉擇 by Lui Hung 呂紅 (1964)
  • 情種 [The Affectionate Type] by Fong Sam 方心 (ca. 1967)
  • 鼓舞新生 [Encouraging a New Life] by Chun Long 俊郎 (ca. 1967)
  • Three Flowers of the Factory 工廠三小姐 by Ting Ying 丁瑩, Lydia Shum 沈殿霞 & Lee Chan Chan 李真真 (1967)
  • 賣花姑娘 [The Flower Girl] by Josephine Siao 蕭芳芳 (1966)
  • Chivalrous Girl in the Air 空中女殺手 by Connie Chan 陳寶珠 (1967)
  • 愛情滋味 [The Taste of Romance] by Josephine Siao & Connie Chan (1966)
  • You Are the One I Love 我的愛人就是你 by Josephine Siao 蕭芳芳 & Pearl Au 歐嘉慧 (1967)
  • Sixteen Candles by Ruby Wah 華怡保 (ca. 1967)
  • 為甚麼我們要分手 [Why Must We Break Up?] by Chang Lye Lye 張萊萊 (1967)
  • 一路順風 [Have a Pleasant Journey] by Doris Ang & The Sandboys 洪佩佩聖童樂隊伴奏 (ca. 1968)
  • 咪咪貓 [Mimi the Cat] by Mimi Tsai and the Five Petals Band 蔡咪咪與五花瓣合唱團 (ca. 1968)
  • 風流郎君 [The Playboy Prince] Yang Li Hua 楊麗花 (ca. 1969)
  • 多少思念無從寄 [Inexpressible Longings] by Teresa Teng 鄧麗君 (ca. 1973)
  • 王昭君 [Wang Zhao Jun] by Yao Su Rong 姚蘇蓉 (1971)
  • 想起你可愛的笑容 [Thinking of Your Lovely Smile] by Lena Lim 林竹君 (1969)
Thank you Dave!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Soft Film Jukebox on Lucky Cat this Saturday

Soft Film Jukebox
Vintage Vinyl from Hong Kong, Singapore & Taiwan (1957-73)

This week's show features a guest mix from the vinyl collection of David Wells (aka Durian Dave). Dave is a blogger who has written extensively on Chinese cinema and has an impressive collection of movie memoribilia.

moviefanprincess.com was Dave's first web site, dedicated to Hong Kong singer, actress and 1960s teen idol Connie Chan Pao Chu.
Dave then went on to create softfilm.blogspot.co.uk: "Exploring the ephemeral past of Chinese entertainment from Hong Kong, the U.S.A., and around the world: vaudeville pioneers, flappers, aviatrices, burlesque dancers, hula hoopers, movie queens, sex bombs, jade girls, tomboys, pin-ups, sour beauties, girl jocks, swordswomen, and go-go girls." Accompanied by the tumblr: http://softfilm.tumblr.com/

His latest obsession is Taiwanese auteur and actress Pearl Chang, see: fuckyeahpearlchang.tumblr.com/

Tomorrow's mix features a marvellous selection of vintage Singaporean, Chinese & Taiwanese vinyl goodies from the vaults of a Sinophile extraordinaire. Thanks Dave! Tune in at 3.30pm GMT on Resonance 104.4FM

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

DJing @ Mango Landin' Fri 16th Nov

Dust off your dancing shoes for a night of pure musical niceness. Facebook Event Page

Monday, November 05, 2012

Lucky Cat S7 Ep 7 3rd Nov 2012 Podcast & Play list

Here's last Saturday's show.


  • London is the Place for Me - Lord Kitchener (used as backing audio for the Between East and West oral extracts then played).
  • Lies - AM444 from the Shanghai duo's new album Rooms
  • Worried Over You - Keith and Enid
  • Ten Commandments of Love - Harvey and the Moonglows
  • Cow Cow Boogie - Ella Fitzgerald And The Ink Spots
  • I Love Boh Boh Cha Cha - The Stylers With Johnny Teo
  • How Long Do I Have To Dub For You - Sharon Jones And The Dapkings Remixed By Ticklah
  • I Wanna Love Him So Bad - The Jellybeans
  • Baar Baar Dekho - Mohd. Rafi
  • Solider Baby - Candy And The Kisses
  • Go Go Track - Josephine Siao Fong Fong
  • Vietnamese track - from Hot Women Singers from the Torrid Regions Robert Crumb compilation CD)
  • Song of the Fisherman 漁光曲(一) - Wang Ren-mei王人美

Saturday, November 03, 2012

British East Asian Actors Group

Statement from the newly formed British East Asian Actors group:

RE: The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)
The Orphan of Zhao

"For more than three weeks, we have protested to the RSC and the Arts Council England about the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of the Chinese classic The Orphan of Zhao.

Our concern is that there are only three actors of East Asian descent in a cast which consists mainly of Caucasians but no other Asians. This does not, in our opinion, represent "multi-cultural casting" as the RSC insists it is."

The statement then goes on to identify key issues.....
"It is clear to us that there is an industry-wide problem regarding the opportunities available for East Asian actors. Too often, actors from our background can only access auditions for poorly-written and stereotyped roles on television that require a heavy emphasis on being "foreign" as opposed to being integrated and three-dimensional members of British society. In the theatre, with the occasional rare exception, we are shut out completely from all but community and children's theatre, with opportunities to appear in classical and mainstream drama extremely rare.

We welcome a time when actors can play across race, gender, class or disability. However, this can only meaningfully occur on a level playing field to which we must ensure we have fair access.

As a publicly-funded company, the RSC has a responsibility to reflect the make-up of society. In order to tear down the limitation on East Asian actors, it is our heartfelt wish to see far more active outreach to our sector. When the Harry Potter film franchise was casting for an actress to play Cho Chang, applicants queued around the block, disproving the notion that people from East Asian backgrounds have no interest in the performing arts. At present, the message being sent out to young people from East Asian backgrounds is that a career on the stage is not available to them.

We welcome greatly the closing paragraph from the RSC's most recent statement on the subject:

"We acknowledge that there is always more to do and recognise our responsibility in this area. We want to explore the rich seam of Chinese drama further, and engage more often with Chinese and East Asian actors. We want to integrate them more regularly on our stages and hope that this production, and indeed this debate, will be a catalyst for that process."

The statement then makes requests which include an apology, a public discussion forum, 
ethnic monitoring of auditionees for both race-specific and non-race-specific roles and for that data to be freely available and see a clear measurable target in terms of engaging and developing East Asians actors.  Also it is requested that there are no "professional reprisals" in light of any recent comments made by actors in response to the casting of The Orphan of Zhao.

The British East Asian Actors group comprises of:

Daniel York – Vice Chair, Equity Minority Ethnic Members’ Committee

Anna Chen
Dr. Broderick D.V. Chow - Lecturer in Theatre, Brunel University, London
Kathryn Golding
Paul Hyu – Artistic Director, Mu Lan Theatre Co; member of Equity Minority Ethnic Members’ Committee
Michelle Lee
Chowee Leow
Hi Ching – Artistic Director, River Cultures
Jennifer Lim
Lucy Miller – Associate Director, True Heart Theatre
Dr. Amanda Rogers - Lecturer in Human Geography, Swansea University

To read the full statement and keep updated please visit the British East Asian Actors Facebook page


The RSC have now responded to this statement.  They have stated:
"Equity and the RSC have committed to working together to identify action that can be taken across the industry to bring East Asian talent to the attention of casting directors and to promote the employment of East Asian performers. The RSC lent its support to Equity’s call for an industry- wide event designed to facilitate greater understanding of the particular issues affecting the casting of East Asian performers, and how the industry can best address issues of invisibility."

To read the full statement please see the RSC Facebook Page.

On today's Lucky Cat I speak to Daniel York about the RSC controversy and the BEA actors group statement.  Tune in at 3.30pm 104.4FM or via resonancefm.com

Friday, October 26, 2012

New Upcoming Exhibition: Between East and West

Photograph of PC William Wong. © Mike Tsang www.miketsangphotography.com.

 This looks like a really interesting exhibition opening in a couple of weeks in London:

‘Between East & West: The British Chinese’

An artistic investigation by documentary photographer and oral history trainer Mike Tsang into what it means to be British-Born Chinese - featuring 12 photographic portraits, archival imagery and written and recorded interviews.

Mike Tsang says: “Most British people’s exposure to Chinese culture is through the Chinatowns or the ubiquitous takeaways of UK cities. But where are the Chinese in culture, sport or politics? ‘Between East & West’ celebrates the role of British-Born Chinese in modern society and challenges the distorted view of Chinese culture as the mystical Orient.”

The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Open from 6th -16th November @ SW1 Gallery, 12 Cardinal Walk (up escalator), Victoria, London SW1E 5JE.

For more information see: www.betweeneastandwest.com

Mike has kindly send me some of the oral history extracts and I plan to air these on next week's Lucky Cat (Sat 3rd Nov).

The Orphan of Zhao - RSC Insults With It's Casting Decision

I was hoping to cover this on tomorrow's radio show but unfortunately my illness is dragging on and I am not able to make it in to the Resonance FM studios. I wanted to provide a balanced discussion on my show but was informed that no one from the RSC was able to come on. Equity BAME representative Daniel York was set to appear.

I cannot remain 'neutral' on this issue - I am shocked and appalled by the RSC, both by the actual casting and the subsequent statements provided by the RSC explaining their decisions. Their misguided and misjudged actions and reasonings have deeply saddened me. The only positive is that this seems to have brought people together to protest this and will, I hope, eventually bring about a change for the better in the UK theatre, TV, radio and film industry.

If you are not aware of the story let me fill you in:

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) are putting on an adapted production of The Orphan of Zhao. This classic Chinese play was originally written by 13th century Chinese dramatist Ji Junxiang. Incidentally Kaige Chen made a film adaptation in 2010; The Sacrifice. The play is often referred to as 'the Chinese Hamlet'. The RSC version has been adapted by James Fenton and is directed by the RSC’s artistic director Gregory Doran.

The RSC travelled to China to research the play and have kept the setting in China with the original characters.

Hmm, so far so good. This is sounding like something I would be interested in shelling out £50 to go and see (probably still a cheap seat!).

Then the cast list was announced. 17 actors in total. 3 of which are British East Asian.

Hold the phone - just 3? They gave the 3 lead roles to BEA actors? Sorry, what did I just read? The 3 BEA actors cast play dogs and a maid? Not the orphan (cute chubby faced Chinese kid on the poster has changed a lot growing up)? Not the princess?

That £50 is going back in my wallet. I am APPALLED by this casting decision. It's 2012, maybe someone should let the RSC know? The days of East Asian actors being passed over should be OVER. It was 1938 when Anna May Wong was passed over by Louise Rainer for the title role in The Good Earth (see still below).

Has time stood still here in UK theatre land? Even though the RSC state none of the white actors will be taping their eyes, overdoing it with the eyeliner or painting their skin yellow this is still Yellow face!

Thankfully people like Anna Chen, Equity BAME representative Daniel York, Lucy Sheen and Amanda Bear have let the RSC exactly what they think about their casting decision. After all the intellectual debate (I'm not going to engage in it here, others have done it much better than I can) it boils down to the fact that what has happened was a colossal error of judgement which is racism in practice (intentionally or not). This should be apologised for and corrected. This behaviour is abhorrent and needs to stop NOW. I truly do not understand how anyone can think this casting decision was OK.

There have been some excellent articles written about this and American and Canadian actors have been quick to show their support. In particular I am grateful to Broderick Chow whose blog post introduced me to this brilliant poem Colorblind by Jason Chu: This was in response to the La Jolla playhouse in Los Angeles casting choices for it's China-set musical The Nightingale.

There are several ways in which you can help to let the RSC know what time it is (had to get a Public Enemy reference in!):

1. Write to the RSC to express your feelings about their casting policy for the play.  You may also want to question the appropriateness of their responses to questions re the casting. (see www.rsc.org.uk/contact-us.aspx) or make your opinions known on the RSC Facebook page. If you're on Twitter you tweet them: @thersc
2. Write to the Arts Council. The RSC are part funded by the Arts Council, who are funded by us, the tax payer: Barbara.Matthews@artscouncil.org.uk
3. Join the Facebook Groups: Let's Get More British Chinese East Asian actors on TV, film, theatre and radio and British East Asian Actors
4. Write to The Rt Hon Maria Miller MP Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Women and Equalities. Email: maria.miller@culture.gsi.gov.uk
6. Tell your friends about this!

Whilst I've been ill for the past 2-3 weeks I have discovered one excellent piece of TV from 10 years ago which has a main character who is British Chinese. His ethnicity is barely mentioned and it does not define his character, a rare occurrence. It also happens to be one of the funniest sit-coms I've ever seen, not sure how I missed in when it was on the BBC. I am speaking of 15 Storeys High starring Sean Lock and Benedict Wong. Truly excellent. Here's a clip (you can watch all 2 series on Netflix). I hope to update on the Orphan of Zhao story on air when my health is better. In the meantime I suggest following Anna Chen's blog if you are not on Facebook.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Copesetic Sound System in Manchester Sat 27th Oct

This Saturday I highly recommend ska-ing on down to the M19 bar to hear the amazing record collections of the Copesetic DJs.  Their beautiful sound system is vintage style valve and hand-built.  Lovely warm sound with vinyl 45s from Memphis to JA.  If you're in the Manchester area this should be a great night out.  And you'll be able to get a naan bread kebab on the way home, yum.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shinya Tsukumoto DVD Reviews

Calum Syers, writer and blogger has contributed his reviews of the latest Blue Ray DVD offerings from Third Window Films.
Please see Calum's blog for more of his work: http://laurelleafcinema.blogspot.co.uk/

Tetsuo: The Iron Man
It is not often that a film opens with a man cutting a large gash into his own thigh only to stick a large metal rod into the wound, but when it does happen you know you are in for something original, to say the least. One thing that can be said about director Shinya Tsukumoto, is that he does not do things by halves. As the man (credited as "Metal Fetishist", played by Tsukumoto) sees his wound has been infested with maggots he runs out into the street only to be hit by a car. The car's driver, a Japanese business man (Tomorowo Taguchi), and his girlfriend (Kei Fujiwara), figure their best solution is to dump the still living man in the woods and have sex in front of him, as you do. As punishment, the metal fetishist forces the businessman's body to gradually transform into a working pile of metal.

With gloriously inky black and white photography and an uncompromising take on the body horror sub-genre of horror cinema, it is easy to see why Tetsuo: The Iron Man has become so beloved among cult circles. Like a lot of science-fiction and horror which these days would be described as "cyber-punk", Tetsuo: The Iron Man acknowledges the post industrial, post-modern, technologically advanced world. It also acknowledges that with such advancements comes the fetishisation of such industrial advances to the point where it becomes lustful, making the eventual metamorphosis ironic. Machine and flesh become one and the more our lives are integrated with such technological advancements, the more we allow it to become us, making the outward transformation a reflection of peoples' inner need for industry. Like David Cronenberg’s Videidrome, Tsukumoto shows the integration of technology into our lives is here made to be a literal metamorphosis, where flesh and machine become one and the same. 

Although, while all this may be true, I may be giving too much credit to audiences who just came to see a man's penis transform into a gigantic power drill, which is the image I am left with after watching this movie. 

As a piece of visual story telling, the film is relentless, using high contrast black-and-white to tell its story, instead of dialogue, which there is very little of throughout the sixty-seven minute running time. Such a pulpy visual style allows the film to have a distinctive aesthetic, and Tsukumoto's use of close ups allows us to see even the tiniest of details, such as sweat on a character's face. Comparatively speaking, Tetsuo: The Iron Man’s visual style and use of sound is not dissimilar to the early work of David Lynch, especially considering both favour disturbing, nightmarish, black and white visuals. Perhaps what is most impressive about the film's visuals is that they show just how lacking in boundaries filmmaking can be and that incredibly violent or disturbing imagery can be intellectually important. 

Structurally, the film is somewhat of a mess, with nothing more than a handful of vignettes making up its brief running. It is because of this that the film does not quite live up its reputation as a cult classic, and falls just short of the mark. It also rushes a little too quickly from scene to scene, which on one hand is a good thing, since it moves too quickly for you to question the film's logic, but on the other hand, means that it is hard to allow the film to really connect. Although, having said that, regardless of whether the really work as a cohesive whole is almost irrelevant; especially if you do not look at it too seriously, especially when the film's greatest punch is in its visuals. Besides, long after details of the plot have been forgotten, people will remember this film, whether it be for its metaphoric, cyberpunk  body metamorphosis or simply for its distinct visuals.

In conclusion, while I believe this to believe this to be a worthy entry into the cyberpunk sub-genre of science-fiction and horror, and deserving of its reputation. It falls just short of being a cult classic due to it lacking details in its plotting, structure and character motivation, but it is shockingly original and full-blooded. However, it is easy to see how its relentless visuals have inspired a generation of filmmakers, both in Japan and in the West, since there is nothing else like it and is such a crazy ride. Where it succeeds, other than with its visuals, is how it handles the transformation from man to a machine. While this is a well worn trope, it is handled with incredible imagination and with fantastic make-up and costume designs to make it look convincing.


Tetsuo II: Body Hammer, Shinya Tsukamoto’s sequel to his cult beloved film, Tetsuo: The Iron Man,  opens with a man being shot in the street by a man named Yatsu (Tsukamoto), who extends his arm as if it were a gun, and fires the shot from his hand. As openings go, it is not quite as heavy going as the opening for the first movie but it does give you an idea of the film’s tone.

Tomorowow Taguchi, who played the lead in the first movie, plays Taniguchi Tomoo, a man who is has no memories of his life before he was adopted at the age of eight. As he, his wife, Kana (Nobu Kanaoka) and his son, Minori (Keinoske Tomioka) are walking through a shopping mall, a pair of skinhead thugs forcibly inject Taniguchi with something, try to kill him and attempt to kidnap his son. Luckily, he is rescued by Kana and the child remains unharmed. When his son is, once again, taken and Taniguchi is, once again, attacked, his rage consumes him and he turns into something resembling a human weapon, similar to the power shared by Yatsu.

There are two things which are immediately apparent about Tetsuo II: Body Hammer. The first is, despite the “II” in the title, this is as much of a sequel as Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn is a sequel, by which I mean it is not. Instead, everyone involved seems to have started again and remade the first film with a much higher budget and better visual effects. The second thing which is apparent, despite still being about a man changing from a mild mannered weakling into a metal warrior, there seems to be a conscious effort to make a more marketable film. For one, it is shot in colour, and was shot in 35mm film stock, both of which seem to be geared towards making the film more accessible for general audiences. Also, this film is focused more on action whereas the first film concerned itself more with grungy body horror. 

It is not only in style where things are more conventional, since its plotting has a clearer, more conventional, beginning-middle-end style structure. Even the film’s characterisation leans towards the typical.
This loss of the former film's roughness and experimentation makes the film far less interesting than its predecessor, and unfortunately, with the loss of the experimentation, comes far less interesting sound and visuals. In addition, unlike James Cameron's Aliens and Sam Raimi's Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn, the tonal shift from horror to action is a little jarring and does not work as well with this franchise.

 Having said that, there is still plenty to recommend. There are some fantastic pieces of production design, such as the skinheads' hideout, which is gigantic industrial area with various pieces of machinery spitting out sparks and molten metal. While the visuals are not as nearly as strange or imaginative as the previous film's, it still has its own style, relying heavily on red and blue filters, for creating mood. 

Perhaps the best thing about the film is how it looks at a metropolitan city like Tokyo. Tsukamoto is known for having a love-hate relationship with Tokyo, and is quoted as saying, "It's strange. Part of me loves a city like Tokyo, but part of me would quite happily destroy it." And, true to form, the final shots of the film are of Tokyo in ruin as Taniguchi, Kana and Minori look on with a peaceful, even happy look on their faces. Before that, the city is shown as being sterile and made of nothing but steel and glass, which has a strong contrast with the scenes set in the bad guys' lair, or an abandoned factory where Taniguchi and Yatsu fight at one point during the film. Whereas the first movie used its main character turning into metal as a way to prod at the reliance on the expansion of industry, this film makes the same point, but expands its gaze out to the city, where reliance on technology and industry cannot be ignored.

In conclusion, while the film is certainly weaker than the original, it is not completely without merit. Shinya Tsukamoto directs action with a deftness, but without the spark and imagination that he did horror, and overall the film feels as if it is compromised and polished to make it acceptable to general audiences. 


Japanese auteur, and cult favourite director, Shinya Tsukamoto’s latest film is at once brutal,  frustrating, distressing, and, at times a little touching. Tsukamoto directs with a realistic eye, favouring handheld camera work and naturalistic lighting which is uncharacteristic of his former work, which was often more stylised. Kotoko, the protagonist, is played by singer-songwriter Cocco in her debut acting role, and as well as playing the film's lead, she is credited as a co-author on the script, writing and performing the music and providing art direction.

Kotoko is a single mother who lives alone with her child. She is tormented by terrifying visions and often sees doubles of the people she meets in her day to day life, who are almost always hostile and threaten either her or her child. Her only escape from such horrific hallucinations comes when she sings and when she cuts herself, which she does not do in an attempt to commit suicide, but to confirm to herself  the body’s willingness to survive. Her condition is only made worse by her child’s constant crying and by her TV, which constantly blurts out horrific news about a masked knifeman who is on the loose. As her mental state continues to deteriorate, she is deemed unfit to raise a child and her son is taken out from her and is sent to stay with her sister who lives in the country with her family. As Kotoko tries to create a normal life for herself, she meets a man named Tanaka (Tsukamoto), who admits to her that he has been stalking her and the two form a strange, almost masochistic relationship. 

Perhaps what is most interesting about Kotoko is Cocco's performance and influence over the film. It is an unbearably intense and tragic portrayal of a woman losing her mind, and she absolutely convinces during the scenes where she starts to see things that may or may not be there. To people who are not aware of her career as a musician, they may be surprised that this is her debut performance. Luckily, Tsukamoto gives her free rein, allowing her scenes to play out in front of the camera with seemingly little restraint. At times, the camera is fixed on her for several minutes at a time as she sings or dances and as her voice and dance steps become more primal and erratic. In scenes such as this, she is utterly captivating,  showing just how terrifyingly fractured her mind has become.

Although, I should make it clear, Cocco's performance, while defiantly central, does not overshadow Tsukamoto's filmmaking, and instead feels like a partnership between the two. As well as directing and co-scripting the film, Tsukamoto is also the film's producer, editor and is one of two directors of photography, along with Satoshi Hayashi. Technically it is an extremely competent piece of work with the star's art direction and the director's photography meshing seamlessly. At no point is this more true than the scenes in Kotoko's apartment, which are designed and shot impeccably and use coloured lights well to symbolise her growing insanity. 

Unfortunately, one of its greatest strengths can also be seen as a weakness, in terms of story telling. As we see the world from Kotoko's point-of-view, it means questions are never really answered. Paradoxically, one of the greatest strengths of the film is that it uses its vagueness to keep us guessing. Eventually, it gets to the point where we simply do not know whether what we are seeing is a fantasy or a reality.

The film does not pretend to be a searing look into a particular mental illness, but in terms exploring madness and psychological horror, it is very sharp. From its opening frame it grabs you by the short hairs, keeping you wriggling in discomfort until it ends. Shinya Tsukamoto, in terms of style, is often mentioned in the same breath as David Cronenberg due to their use of "body horror", so it is nice to see him apply the same intensity to horror of the mind

Thanks to Calum Syers for these excellent reviews.

Lucky Cat S07 Ep 6 - Alex and Virginie Movie Special

Sadly I was unable to host this week's show due to illness.
Thankfully fellow Resonance FM presenter Alex Fitch stepped in. Alex is also the assistant editor of 'Electric Sheep' film magazine and was joined by the editor of the magazine Virginie Selavy to discuss East Asian films showing at the London Film Festival - e.g. 'The Samurai That Night', 'Nameless Gangster', 'For Love's Sake' and 'Helpless'(still from this film is pictured here). 
Alex and Virginie also discussed Filipino cinema - in particular Virginie recommended 'Mondo Manilla' by independent filmmaker Khavn and 'The Woman in the Septic Tank' dir. by Marlon Rivera.
UK DVD releases from Third Windows were also highlighted: 'Kotoko' and 'Tetsuo I & II' by cult director Shinya Tsukamoto. The Terracotta Festival tour was mentioned too (currently at the Genesis cinema in Mile End London).
Vintage northern soul vinyl was supplied by Virginie and Alex kindly provided dim sum lunchbox snacks (blueberry oreos and sweet potato crispy bars).
For all the Electric Sheep reviews of East Asian films at the 56th LFF see: http://www.electricsheepmagazine.co.uk/news/2012/10/22/east-asian-films-at-the-56th-london-film-festival/

Virginie is a member of the fab all-girl dancing troupe The Actionettes.
'Kotoko' and 'Tetsuo I & II' by cult director Shinya Tsukamoto are covered in my next blog post where reviews are contributed by writer Calum Syers…..

  • Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - Santa Esmeralda (The Good, The Bad and The Weird OST)
  • Dance theme - Koji Endo (Sukiyaki Western Django OST)
  • Violent Love (Ai to Makoto) - Satoshi Tsumabuki
  • Twiggy Twiggy - Pizzicato Five (Austin Powers OST)
  • Humpty Dumpty - The Vogues
  • Here Comes That Feeling - Brenda Lee
  • What Shall I Do - Frankie and the Classicals
  • Theme from The Godfather - Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday Uprooted Sunshine!

The Shanghai reggae and bass culture crew have been going for 7 years and are celebrating at the Shelter nightclub in Shanghai. Happy Birthday guys have a blast tonight.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lucky Cat Sat 20th Oct 2012 - Movie Special

I'll be back in the studio this Saturday for a movie review special when I am joined by the editor of Electric Sheep film magazine Virginie Selavy to discuss East Asian films showing at the London Film Festival - e.g. The Samurai That Night, Nameless Gangster, For Love's Sake and Helpless.

Also under the spotlight are the latest UK DVD releases from Korea and Japan: Petty Romance by Jeong-Hoon-Il Kim and Kotoko and Tetsuo I & II by cult director Shinya Tsukamoto.

Vintage vinyl from both mine and Virginie's collections and a little light snacking in the dim sum lunchbox.

Hope you can join us. 3.30pm UK time Resonance 104.4FM.

Mango Landin - DJ residency tomorrow

Catch me on the 1s and 2s tomorrow night in Brixton.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lucky Cat Podcast (13th Oct 2012 - Anna Chen Guest Hosts)

A big thank you to Anna Chen who did a fabulous job of guest hosting last Saturday's show.

Photos below were taken in the Resonance FM studio by Navjot Singh (copyright Navjot).

Anna played some tracks from her Dad's China Revolutionary folks songs LPs.
Anna's poetry book Reaching for my Gnu is out now. For more poetry and Anna's upcoming gigs see: http://madammiaow.blogspot.com

Legendary rock critic Charles Shaar Murray's Jimi Hendrix book Crosstown Traffic has been revised and updated and will be published next month. See http://charlesshaarmurray.com/ for details.

Navjot's latest China travel Guide is out now (see below). Check out the photos of in-flight meals on his web site section Airline Reviews. Beef flavoured mooncakes (green coloured!) feature.

Actor/director and Cambodian restauranteur Hi Ching was also a guest on the show. Anna asked Hi Ching about his role in the historical film/documentary The First Emperor The Man Who Made China. Available to watch on youtube:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Resonance FM Survey - Please Help

Resonance FM listeners! Please take a few moments to complete this survey and help out the greatest station on earth:


You could even win an iPad....

Thank you for your feedback

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Madam Miaow sits in for Lucky Cat

This Saturday 13th October Lucky Catwill be guest hosted by Anna Chen (aka Madam Miaow). Ann will be reading from her poetry collection Reaching For My Gnu, with musical accompaniment by musician and journalist Charles Shaar Murray on guitar.

Anna's guests will be travel writer Navjot Singh who lives and works in China and has witnessed some startling changes since his first visit in 2003. Plus performer and artistic director Hi Ching whose latest venture is a Cambodian cabaret restaurant.

Anna has also promised to play some vintage vinyl Chinese revolutionary songs.

Tune in this Saturday on Resonance 104.4FM at 3.30pm UK time.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Lucky Cat Sat 5th October 2012 Playlist and Bitter Melon Recipe

Today's show features:

Extracts from David Yip's talk at the China in Britain event. Here is a video showcasing his latest project Golden Mountain. For more info see: www.davidyip.co.uk

Also featured are a number of tunes by movie queen of Amoy-dialect cinema Zhuang Xue Fang. Courtesy of http://softfilm.blogspot.co.uk

Zhuang Xue Fang links:

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain:

Hot Lady lobby card from 1958. Ling Po also stars.

Also in today's show music from Japanese girl groups: 5,6,78s and The Dreamlets.
Plus Drinking Song by Hanggai and Let's Be People by Delroy Williams.

Tune in for my easy bitter melon recipe to cool your qi:

China In Britain Presentation July 2012

Here is is folks, the youtube video of my presentation at the China In Britain event back in July at the University of Westminster. Hope you enjoy. It was my first time presenting to a large audience and I was worried that I was not academic enough but I think my passion and knowledge come through. Despite the nerves I really enjoyed it!

Also on the bill on 18th July were:

Dongshin Chang (City University of New York), Diana Yeh (Birkbeck College and University of East London), Simon Sladen (University of Winchester) and Ashley Thorpe (University of Reading), comedienne, poet and political pundit, Anna Chen (aka Madame Miaow), David Yip (remembered by many for his role as Detective Sergeant John Ho in The Chinese Detective) and actor David Lee-Jones, (currently the lead in Richard III - the first British Chinese actor to be cast as one of Shakespeare’s English Kings).

Read my previous blog posts on China in Britain.

I recorded David Yip's presentation and will play extracts on today's episode of Lucky Cat. Here is David's video:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy Mid Autumn Moon Festival 2012

Lucky Cat S7 Ep 3 (29th Sept 12) Podcast & Playlist

In this week's show I review the Ai Wei Wei documentary feature 'Ai Wei Wei Never Sorry' (out on DVD Oct 8th). The dim sum lunch box returns with a review of Haozhan in Chinatown, iced matcha shakes and Burmese chilli sprinkles.

  • Kung Fu vs Kung Fu Hustle - Dillinger 45 plus audio from the Stephen Chow movie
  • Chinese Charleston - Josephine Siao Fong Fong()
  • Sunday Girl - Ourself Beside Me
  • Shanghai to Hangzhou - audio from my train journey in 2011
  • Slowly Fly - Long Shen Dao
  • Wrap You Up - Long Shen Dao
  • Ghosts of Bush House pt 1 Cantonese subs - from Ghosts of Bush House LP
  • Ghosts of Bush House pt 6 Haunted Handle - as above
  • Elenurhan(Missing) - music from the Xinjiang/Uyghur region of China
  • Moonlight on the Ching Yang River - The Chinese Cultural Theatre Group
  • Pussy, Pussy, Pussy - Light Crust Doughboys

Adieu Bush House xie xie for the memories

The Ghosts Of Bush from Robin The Fog on Vimeo.

This week I played a couple of tracks from the beautiful LP Ghosts of Bush. Bush House was an iconic BBC building for many years and home to the World Service. Sadly the idiots in charge of this country, (in the UK we have a half arsed coalition government that no one voted for fyi), decided to obliterate the World Service's budget and close Bush House. Many different languages were spoken in this building and news was relayed all around the world via short-wave radio. I myself visted Bush House a couple of times - in particular to speak with the Mandarin department when I wrote a few articles for their web site. Being a fan of art deco architecture I was in seventh heaven in the building. I don't often feel patriotic but I did as soon as I stepped into that building - there was a feeling of camaraderie oozing out from the very walls of the place.

Sadly the corridors are now empty. Resonance FM stalwart and then BBC World Service employee Robin the Fog recorded sounds from around the hidden corners of Bush House before it shut its doors earlier this summer. Excellent photography and filming from another Resonance FM alumni Hannah Brown.

The vinyl LP has all sold out and is now being repressed see: http://robinthefog.com/

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hell to the Yeah!

Watch the eyeball! www.ironfists.com

Lucky Cat S7 Ep 2 (22nd Sept 12) Podcast

Hong Kong in the 6o's pictured, skilfully avoiding the camera lens. Hey over here you guys! Hope you enjoy the podcast.Feel free to comment. Thanks again to the band for an incredible mix!

UK DVD Release: Ai Wei Wei's Never Sorry

Released on DVD 8th October. Hope to review this documentary on my show this Saturday. The guy who says "I love the culture but I want something new" is like a caricature! I watched teh BBC piece on Ai Wei Wei with Alan Yentob a few years back (when Ai was exhibiting at the Tate Modern) and really enjoyed that.

Andrea Wan

I just stumbled across the work of illustrator Andrea Wan and I really love her surreal style. Andrea is a Vancouver/Berlin based artist who has worked on various illustration projects and also has her own online store. Check out the lovely images on her blog: http://babbletoe.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Exclusive Hong Kong in the 60s mix on today's Lucky Cat

Today's show features an exclusive mix by hauntological hipster band Hong Kong in the 60s.
  • 01) Hong Kong In The 60s - The Flower Of Quince House
  • 02) Jane Birkin - L'Aquoiboniste
  • 03) Lio - Sage Comme Une Image
  • 04) Charo - Dance A Little Bit Closer
  • 05) Harry Hosono & The Yellow Magic Band - Paraiso
  • 06) Gigliola Cinquetti - Quizas, Quizas, Quizas
  • 07) Ennio Morricone - Samba In Tribunale (from The Cat OST)
  • 08) Gato Barbieri - Girl In Black: Tango (from Last Tango In Paris OST)
  • 09) Teresa Teng - 忘記他
  • 10) Chang Siao Ying - 第二夢
  • 11) Ho & Duck - [title unknown]
  • 12) Chang Loo - Da Yu Mang
  • 13) Liu Yun - Ban Qiao Dui Chang
  • 14) The Ocean Tango - Stills (excerpt)
  • 15) Margo Guryan - Timothy Gone
  • 16) Mai & Yumiko-Chan - Akogare No Machi (from Kiki's Delivery Service OST)
  • 17) Dave Grusin - Girl And Tea (from The Yakuza OST)
  • 18) Hong Kong In The 60s - Banbury Grove

for more info on the new HK60s EP Collision/Detection (the second project from Long Division with Remainders, a collaborative experimental music project)see: http://hongkonginthe60s.com/2012/07/16/collisiondetection-new-ep-coming-in-august/ Talkover music and final track on today's show is I-Society by Madtone.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Lucky Cat S7 Ep 1 (15th Sept 12) Podcast & Playlist

  • The Lecture - Jo Jo with The Fugitives (7" 45)
  • Lucky 7 - The Skatalites with Prince Buster (Tojan Mod CD)
  • Chinese Title - Rebbeca Pan Wan Ching (Diamond label coloured vinyl LP)
  • Touching the Ch'In - Madame Tsa Teh Yun (11th Centuries of Chinese Classical Music LP)
  • Water and Clouds of the Rivers - Madame Tsa Teh Yun (11th Centuries of Chinese Classical Music LP)
  • (Bangkok Paradise label 7" 45)
  • Kati Sorn Jai - Nung Lamyong Kularbseemung (Maft Sai and Chris Menist's Bangkok Paradise label 7" 45)
  • Ripe Cherry - Dennis Alcapone (Jaguar 7" 45)
  • Kung Fu Master - Solo Banton (Music Addict EP, Jahtari label)
  • Put It On - The Wailers (Coxsone 7" 45)
  • Thursday, September 13, 2012

    Lucky Cat Series 7 Starts This Saturday

    I am pleased to announce that I will be returning to the airwaves this Saturday.  Same time (3.30pm GMT), same place (104.4FM in London or http://resonancefm.com anywhere).

    For series 7 I have exclusive mixes from the UK & China from a range of musicians.

    Topics will include: translating from Mandarin and contemporary Chinese fiction, the Philippines film industry, Chinoiserie and contemporary art (interview with artists Erika Tan).

    The Dim Sum Lunchbox returns with East Asian restaurant reviews and recipes.

    Any requests / mp3s / char siu buns should be sent to me: luckycatzoe@gmail.com

    Big Thanks to Josue for another fantastic illustration, more great artwork here: http://www.freshbrewedillustration.com/

    Monday, September 03, 2012

    Zipangu Film Festival 2012

    I'm back from a summer away from blogging, refreshed after a post-free month or so!
    I bring you news of the upcoming Zipangu Film Festival.  This year the festival will be at the lovely Cinema Museum in good ole South London, which I first visited for an Anna May Wong screening last year.  The Festival is on for a brief weekend only and has a superb selection - curated by writer and Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp.  So stock up on iced matchas and get yourself ready for a weekend of Japanese celluloid pleasure from 14th - 16th September!

    Last year at Ziapngu I had the pleasure of watching the rarely seen 30's horror film The Ghost Cat and the Mysterious Shamisen.  This year another vintage gem is on offer with the 1928 film Crossways dir by Kinugasa (one of the first Japanese films ever seen in the West, with a new score by Minima).

    My picks of the festival are both showing on the opening night Fri 14th:

    • A short animated film by Atsushi Wada The Great Rabbit 
    The Great Rabbit

      Somi - The Taekwon-do Woman

    • Somi - The Taekwon-do Woman which has never before been shown in the West, co-production between Japan and North Korea, made in 1997.  The film  promises lush, epic martial arts action with a kick ass female lead in Ri Mi Yang (apparently an amateur who was chosen by the North Koreans "because they thought that the Japanese might like her face").
    • But there's aso a cat themed movie I should mention!  Chat Noir Lucy which looks fabulously colourful and fun (see pic below).

    You really are spoilt for choice, such a great line up.  A connoisseur's festival for sure.
    All the details and how to book: http://zipangufest.com/

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Chinese Chippendales

    I can't believe that I forgot to post about this! This video was created by UK artist Erika Tan for the Sinopticon project. Erika also created an art installation at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery for part of this project.

    Sinopticon - Contemporary chinoiserie in contemporary art and design.

    More on Erika here: http://www.sinopticon.org/artists/erika-tan/

    and here: http://www.luxonline.org.uk/artists/erika_tan/index.html

    Friday, July 06, 2012

    My Birthday Party

    It's my party and I'll play Chinese Reggae if I want to!
    You are cordially invited to join me on Friday 20th July for my Birthday party at Mango Landin' in Brixton.  My old friend Jak is coming down from Manchester with a case full of vintage 45s to make you move your dancing feet.  I'll be spinning a few platters myself alongside my brother DJ Geko.  As usual it's free all night.  Please note the dress code which is Sharp 60's or China Chic but preferably both!

    New British Chinese Talent: Actor/Director Eldarin Yeong

    Eldarin Yeong is currently taking the MA Text and Performance (directing) course at Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and has directed the upcoming play The Ghost Sonata.

    "An encounter between a poor student and a mysterious Old Man on a Sunday morning changes the fate of both forever. Encouraged by his adventurous nature, the young man decides to make his fortune by accepting the Old Man’s bargain, and gets himself invited into the admiring House of Colonel. It isn’t until he falls deeply in love with the Colonel’s daughter that he realises he has stepped into the House of Dead…"

    For more info on Eldarin see:

    The Ghost Sonata will be on at the Chelsea Theatre, King's Road 18th - 21st July.


    I bumped in to Eldarin at the Chinese Visual Festival as she was leaving some flyers for the play.  Hopefully I might be able to catch up with her for series 7 of Lucky Cat (coming to a radio/computer near you from Moon Festival time, details soon).

    China in Britain: Myths and Realities details for 18th July event

    I will be giving a short talk and playing music at the third event in the University of Westminster/AHRC funded series China in Britain: Myths and Realities. This will be on Wednesday 18th July and the day will focus on Theatre/Performance and Music.

    Time 9:45:AM – 5:30PM The Old Cinema, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

    Entrance - including lunch and refreshments - is free of charge! Please book your place by emailing anne@translatingchina.info.

    The day will present an eclectic programme with presentations from actors and broadcasters and academics: Dongshin Chang (City University of New York), Diana Yeh (Birkbeck College and University of East London), Simon Sladen (University of Winchester) and Ashley Thorpe (University of Reading), comedienne, poet and political pundit, Anna Chen (aka Madame Miaow), David Yip (remembered by many for his role as Detective Sergeant John Ho in The Chinese Detective), actor David Lee-Jones, (currently the lead in Richard III - the first British Chinese actor to be cast as one of Shakespeare’s English Kings) and yours truly.

    The University of Westminster's Old Cinema can make the proud claim of being the birthplace of British cinema. Here, in 1896, the Lumière brothers put on the first public show of moving pictures in this country. Now a space of fascinating historical interest, the Regent Street Old Cinema has retained its stage, decorative gilding, barrel vaulted ceiling and boasts a working 1936 Compton organ.

    For more info see: translatingchina.info

    Friday, June 29, 2012

    Hong Kong Film Festival starts in London next week

    HK15 comes to town!

    Terracotta Far East Film Festival in conjunction with the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office, London will hold a new film festival in London, starting Monday 2nd July, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China. It's a great programme of films which I am very pleased includes some classic Shaw Brothers movies:

    The classic cult Gordon Liu movie with the wonderful wooden men fighting sequence. The script was co-written by legendary HK actor and loveable cheeky chappie Eric Tsang!

    Showing with 36 Chambers in a double bill is the 1967 classic One Armed Swordsman. This is the connoisseur's choice - RZA from Wu Tang Clan cites this as his favourite kung fu film.

    Along with these vintage goodies there are a range of contemporary films and some recent auteur picks from e.g. Johnny To.

    There will also be Q&As with special guests actor Jimmy Wang Yu and producer Roger Lee and acclaimed directors Fung Chih Chiang and Jessey Tsang.

    Full festival line up here: http://hk15filmfestival.com/

    All movies showing at the Odeon West End. Just a mere dumpling's throw from Chinatown so you can fill up on lo pak ko before the screenings.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    Chinese Visual Festival Podcast

    Here's the podcast of last week's special edition of Lucky Cat when I was joined live in the studio by Jing Jing Xie, Candy Ma, Ming Qiang Xie (Jeremy) and Zach Dunbar (all pictured above).

    A wonderful show to record, featuring live performances of Mandarin versions of songs from the musical Sweet Charity by Boulevard Productions. Music from reknowned pipa player Wang Ting is also featured.

    Both Boulevard productions and Wang Ting will be performing at the Chinese Visual Festival.

    Please see previous post for details. Enjoy listening!

    Zoë interviewing Jing Jing Xie at Resonance FM.

    The talented Candy Ma belting out Hey Big Spender, fabulous!

    Ming Qiang Xie (Jeremy) and Zach Dunbar of Boulevard Productions.

    Thanks to James Mudge for the photos.