Thursday, 30 June 2016

Huang Yaoshi, the East Heretic

Michael Miu Kiu Wai as the 2017 Huang Yaoshi

Since we have more photos of our Michael Miu as Huang Yaoshi (HYS) these days, I thought a post on Huang Yaoshi’s character is in order. I base this post on the English translation of the LOCH book, which can be found at the Wuxia Society. I also need to reiterate that I LOVE Kenneth Tsang’s portrayal as HYS in the 1983 LOCH, but since I have faith in Michael’s acting skills, I believe I will see another favourite HYS of mine next year. Photos of the rest of the Five Greats and the Old Imp are at the end of the article.

First, Huang Yaoshi is the Mandarin pinyin spelling for the real name of this character (surname Huang, "first name" Yaoshi). The Cantonese Yale romanisation is Wong Yeuk Si, the Hokkien version is Oey Yok Su. The traditional characters are 黃藥師 while the simplified characters are 黄药师.

HYS was first depicted as wearing a green robe. This depiction makes some Indonesian fans always asking why the 2017 HYS hasn’t been wearing a green robe. Well, fair point... but a man can change his wardrobe style. Plus, Jin Yong seems to like green. He dressed Yang Kang and one of the Freaks in green the first time we were introduced to them, and he also had Mu Nianci in a dark green clothing in the last chapter. Anyway, here’s the first appearance of Huang Yaoshi in Book 2 Chapter 13. 

Sunday, 26 June 2016

“Bitter Enemies” - Wong Yung vs Yeung Hong LOCH 1983

"Bitter Enemies" - Wong Yung vs Yeung Hong LOCH 1983 from Icha74 on Vimeo.

A few months ago, I watched the Legend of Condor Heroes 1983 with trepidation. I love the pairing of Michael Miu and Barbara Yung, but I always watched their series where they were romantic couples. LOCH 1983 was a different story, because Michael played Yang Kang/Yeung Hong, the mortal enemy of Barbara's Huang Rong/Wong Yung. However, I recently learned that indeed during the making of LOCH 1983 that Barbara and Michael became friends, hence I now see LOCH 1983 as an important series that cemented their friendship for life. With this understanding, I have no qualm to make a movie about the mortal enmity between their LOCH characters. 

Laced with the rock beat of Line Walker's "Walker" (行者) by Justin Lo and Wilfred Lau, this MV features the mortal enmities between Wong Yung and Yeung Hong. As a classic, LOCH 1983 is always in the hearts of the 80s wuxia lovers. However, it was difficult for me to find a dedicated WY vs YH music video, hence this offering. Hope you like it. Traditional characters, Yale (I think) romanisation, and English and Indonesian translations are below the break.

Oh, and this MV is full of classical 1980s fighting skills. New wuxia lovers, watch this. This is how the fighting scenes in wuxia series should have been made! Click this category to check my other action-based MVs. For ballad/romance lovers who prefer to see Michael and Barbara romantic pairing, what about this latest CLH 1984 MV instead?

Saturday, 25 June 2016

"Ripples" - a Chor Lau Heung 1984 MV

"Ripples" - a Chor Lau Heung 1984 MV from Icha74 on Vimeo.

I was expecting myself to continue working on my first LOCH 1983 MV last night (on Yeung Hong vs Wong Yung!), but then my Spotify suddenly aired a song that I didn't even realise I had in my iPad. Upon having its romantic melodies filling my lounge, I was so hooked that I immediately searched for its meaning. Upon understanding what the song is about, I delayed my LOCH 1983 project and chose to work on the new song instead. Since the song fits Chor Lau Heung's love story with Song Siu Ching, here's the 18th CLH MV. The ballad is so beautiful, I can imagine Chor Lau Heung singing it to Song Siu Ching if he was a singer. In fact, this song feels like a love song from Chor tai-gor to Siu Ching...

The song is "Ripples" (Lin Yi, 漣漪) by the late Danny Chan. I felt a loss that I didn't even know his talent, and yet he passed away long ago in 1993. But this song truly makes me happy (I smiled almost all the time while making it), so this MV is dedicated to you, Danny Chan. The MV is of course also dedicated to our lovely Barbara and Michael, of course. May the song brings you happiness as it did, and still does, to me. Traditional characters, Yale romanisation, English and Indonesian translations after the break. I also include the still version for YouTube this time.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Iron Blood and Loyal Heart 鐵血丹心 LOCH 1983 OST part 1

Anticipating the Legend of Condor Heroes 2017 with Michael Miu as Huang Yaoshi, I thought some of us oldies would like to have some nostalgic moments with the OST of LOCH 1983. However, most LOCH 1983 theme songs have not been translated into English yet (CMIIW), hence I recruited my friend Li Qian to translate the first song for us all. The theme songs of parts 2 ("A Meaningful Life") and 3 ("You're the Best in the World") will be translated in due course. All LOCH 1983 OST can be found here as well. 

The translation in English and Indonesian are below the break, along with the Jyutping Romanisation. Input to translation is of course welcome. IMO, the theme of this song is very Guo Jing, or reflective of his life and struggles. The translation has also been uploaded to Kaypang Gallery's FB page. 

Update 9 January 2017: I have uploaded the Yale romanisation (without numbers) for easier pronunciation for non-Cantonese speakers. The Yale romanisation with numbers are after the Indonesian translation.

Friday, 17 June 2016

"Close To You" - an MV for Michael Miu's 58th birthday

Our darling Michael is 58 years old today (18 June 2016). Can't believe he's already 58 years old but still so young in my heart... 

To celebrate his birthday, I've made an MV above. The song is "Close to You" from the Carpenters (fell in love with the song when I watched Vicky Zhao's "So Close" years ago). The opening photo is from the Legend of Condor Heroes 2017 where Michael plays as Huang Yaoshi (Wong Yeuk See) the East Heretic. I'm so happy that Michael is playing as Huang Rong/Wong Yung's father... for we know how amazing Barbara was when she played WY back in 1982/3. I think she's very happy to know that her dear friend Michael is playing as the father of her famous character, weird as it sounds...

I'm also uploading the MV to Vimeo and Dailymotion. Hope DM isn't asking me to delete it, cos DM has been rather difficult these days. I also plan to write a piece on Huang Yaoshi for Michael's birthday, but not sure if I can post it before the weekend is over.

Meanwhile, enjoy the MV, and once again, happy birthday, Michael! We love you!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

"Love Is Not Easy" - a Michael Miu/Barbara Yung wuxia MV

"Love Is Not Easy" - a Michael Miu/Barbara Yung wuxia MV from Icha74 on Vimeo.

Featuring Jinny Ng's song with the same title from Line Walkers 2014, this MV combines love stories of Li Sai Man & Chun Sik Sik (The Foundation 1984), Chor Lau Heung & Song Siu Ching (The New Adventures of Chor Lau Heung 1984), and Szeto Man Mo & Lam Chor Yin (Fearless Duo 1984). This song is for my dear friend Sandy Le at the MB Network.

The artist of the first artwork is anon (I use it for my banner). Cynthia (MB Network) made the gorgeous artworks/wallpapers for The Foundation 1984 and Chor Lau Heung 1984. The Fearless Duo artwork was taken from Tomoyo262's Fearless Duo YouTube MV.  I modified the English translation from here; the Yale romanisation was from here; they are below the break.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

"The Legacy" - a Chor Lau Heung 1984 & Nirvana in Fire 2015 cross-over

I wanted to publish an MV today, but I think I need a few more days to finish it. Hence, this fanfiction; a crossover between Chor Lau Heung 1984 and Nirvana in Fire 2015.

Before the fall of Liang, the old retired Emperor Jing was determined to save the descendant of his best friend. Eight centuries later, another hero arrived at the deserted Langya Hall to revisit the past. Inspired by the similar savviness between Mei Changsu and Chor Lau Heung. Romanisation a mix of Mandarin Pinyin and Yale Cantonese.

The bridge to the famous Langya Hall, Nirvana in Fire 2015



Leaning over the alcove, the Old Langya Master Lin Chen didn’t bother to look up from his scroll. Although the person who spoke to him was more than 60 years old, that person still acted like a teenager he was 40 years ago.

“Who?” the Old Master asked in the same ignorant manner.

“Su ge-ge.”

That made the Old Master look up from his scroll. He stared at Fei Liu who excitedly nodded and pointed at the door. Fei Liu had communication problems, he knew that, but the old rascal was not stupid. He knew Lin Shu died four decades ago and he wouldn’t joke about it. Still...

Monday, 6 June 2016

The historical accuracy of the 1980s ancient costumes

The pre-Tang Dynasty women fashion from

After watching Langya Bang, I realised that some Mainland productions are improving, namely in the beautiful cinematography and historical accuracy in costume design. Of course I can complain all day long about the dubbing and the excessive use of CGI and cables during fighting scenes, but let’s stay positive this time. Particularly in the costume design part, I recall that the last few Mainland wuxia series that I watched had been quite accurate, though some has been a hit and miss as well. Granted, I don’t watch a lot of Mainland wuxia series, but I certainly can comment on those that I watched. To me, Bu Bu Jing Xin and Li Hou Zhu definitely joined LangyaBang/Nirvana in Fire in their costume design accuracy (although there might be some discrepancies that my non-expert eyes missed). In the previous decade, it seems the Treasure Venture 2001 (Nicky Wu and Vicky Zhao) was also accurate in their design. I can’t say that about Xiao Shi Yi Lang 2002 (Nicky Wu, Athena Chu) though, for Nicky’s hair and his earlier costumes were definitely not done in a traditional sense.

Having said that, how accurate was the 1980s Hong Kong productions in costume design? Since I have only recently watched the Michael/Barbara series, I can only comment on that, but that’s a good place to start. I’ll divide it into the early Tang Dynasty (the Foundation 1984), the Song Dynasty (LOCH 1983), the Ming Dynasty (CLH 1984) and the Qing Dynasty (FD 1984). I will compare it with the costumes of Nicky Wu and Liu Tao, my other favourite actors (I love Liu Shi Shi too, but I don't watch many of her ancient dramas). I’m still confused with the fashion terminology of Hanfu (Han clothing), so I will just simply refer to the parts as “trousers”, “jacket”, “skirt” etc. Do forgive me for that. Check this video for the fashion up to the Tang Dynasty and this video for the Song, Ming and Qing fashion styles.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Langya Bang (Nirvana in Fire)

Having sworn off the modern wuxia series (as in, made in the 21st CE but the setting is up the Qing Dynasty) due to their constant use of CGI and ‘flying’ heroes using cables instead of the genuine somersault and backflips, I gladly eat my own words for Langya Bang. ‘The Langya List’, a.k.a. ‘Nirvana in Fire’ (see it at Viki or MyAsianTV) is a  2015 Mainland production. It starred Hu Ge, Liu Tao, Wang Kai, Chen Long, Jin Dong, Victor Huang, et al. and it has taken me by surprise for its non-cheesy, ‘non-traditional’ approach for a semi-historical drama. By ‘non-traditional’, I mean that this series is not a romance series, has no love triangle drama almost every writer love to use, and despite full of palace intrigue, it did not resort to the likes of ‘My Fair Princess’ (tho I love Vicky Zhao and Ruby Lin) in the tendency of having the Empress vs Consort war as the main focus.