Blackbird Singing

There is no one place where love begins and ends. It just seems to spring up, as if formed magically from nothing. So it is with movies – when you find movies that you love you want to share them with the people that are important to you. You know that not everyone will love the same movies as you, but you want to give them that chance to share the beauty of a story well-told, a life well-lived, the magical fragility of being human.

This love story has a beginning, but like any author I get to chose where we start. It seemed appropriate to start with my two favorite Chinese movies; “Peking Opera Blues” (1986) and “In The Heat Of The Sun” (1994).

Peking Opera Blues is best described as a truly “Chinese” movie (even though it is a Hong Kong movie). It has everything; drama, romance, men dressed as women, women dressed as men, slapstick, history and of course Chinese Opera. Just watching it makes me happy.

In The Heat Of The Sun is a coming-of-age story at the time of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Just four friends sharing their days together. It is truly one of the great movies of Chinese cinema.

Some great romantic movies were also made in Hong Kong. My three favorites are: “Lost And Found” (1996), “C’est La Vie Mon Cherie” (1993) and “Comrades, Almost A Love Story” (1996)

Lost And Found is the story of Mr Worm (Takeshi Kaneshiro), the chief of a lost and found company who is hired by Lam (Kelly Chen) to find her lost lover. It is probably best described as a journey of discovery.

C’est La Vie Mon Cherie is the story of a struggling jazz musician (Liu Ching-Wan) that moves into a poor neighborhood where he meets a girl (Anita Yuen) who inspires him to write songs again.

Comrades, Almost A Love Story is the movie that made Peter Chan famous as a director. It is the story of two Chinese mainlanders that meet in Hong Kong, become great friends, fall in love and then fall victim to circumstance.

Just because I am the driver we now to get to visit France and a movie I almost feel is a companion movie to Peking Opera Blues – the French comedy “La Grande Vadrouille” (1966). This is the only movie that featured two of France’s greatest ┬ácomedians; Bourvil and Louis De Funes. A RAF bomber is shot down over Paris during World War II and the resistance tries to smuggle the airmen over the southern border to safety. It is very French and universally funny.

Coming from England I have an abiding love with English TV. Unfortunately the best of it is delayed in coming over to the US, or never appears. It seems we are two countries divided by a common language. So here are three of my favorite shows from the past year; “Motherland”, “McMafia” and “Chewing Gum”.

Motherland focuses on the joys of middle age motherhood. It is both funny and a little awkward.

McMafia is a drama about money and corruption and power. It is very compelling.

Chewing Gum is not for everyone. The life of Tracy, her boyfriend and family. It is profane and very R-rated, but funny and endearing too.



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