Mando- and Cantopop

My ears have seemingly taken an uncanny route. After “settling down” last year, now I listen to…Mando- and Cantopop. Something that I would never think of some ten years ago.

I regularly listen to these nowadays.

***

Leslie Cheung – 當年情 (In the Sentimental Past)

Although I watched A Better Tomorrow [in 2014], I wasn’t interested at its soundtracks back then. Now I listen to this again after watching its sequel, which features this song overlaid with the next song.

***

Leslie Cheung – 奔向未來日子 (Will Rush Toward Future Day)

Now this is the best Cantopop song ever. Listening to this makes me feel like listening to a summary of Leslie Cheung’s entire life (although I need to put a disclaimer that I don’t really know his story very much, and I don’t know what this song is about). Plus that scene in the movie.

***

Hu Xia – 那些年 (Those Years)

I watched You Are the Apple of My Eye a couple of weeks ago and hint hint: it is a top 5 candidate for this year.

***

Eason Chan – K歌之王 (The King of Karaoke)

I have no idea what this song is about—oh let me google it. OK now I know what it is about. I find [two] [links] that tell slightly different translations. Are the Mandarin and Cantonese different? But nonetheless, how funny it is, as I’ve been known to sing melancholic songs…melancholically.

***

Wang Jie – 別讓明天的太陽離開我 (Don’t Let Tomorrow’s Sun Leave Me)

Wang Jie and this song embody the late 1980s/early 1990s atmosphere: a clean-shaven man with leather jacket singing a heartbreaking ballad.

Film-film yang Kutonton pada Tahun 2015

Melanjutkan postingan [tahun]-[tahun] sebelumnya, saya mendaftar film-film yang saya tonton tahun ini. Sedikit saja, 30, dan ini ada unsur cheating, karena beberapa dari mereka adalah film pendek. Ya, memang saya perlu mengorbankan ini demi memasukkan thesis yang mustinya sudah masuk bertahun-tahun lalu. Anyway, ini daftar film yang saya tonton pada tahun ini.

  1. Made in Hong Kong (1997). Gangster (Singlish: ah beng) muda dirundung berbagai masalah keluarga dan pertemanan. Soal duka dan kelam di dalam hati manusia. Soal impian untuk meninggalkan jejak tapi merasa mentok. Tokoh utama bikin ingat sama Mas Anindito.
  2. The Admiral: Roaring Current (2014). Dua belas kapal Korea melawan 300an kapal Jepang pada saat invasi Toyotomi ke Korea. Lambat panasnya, dan mayoritas orang Jepangnya diperankan aktor Korea. Walaupun jelas timpang kalo dibandingkan dengan Red Cliff, lumayanlah.
  3. Leaving on the 15th Spring (2013). Anak SMP di tempat terpencil di Jepang yang ingin menyelamatkan kelanggengan keluarganya yang terpisah jarak.
  4. Farewell My Concubine (1993). Dua aktor opera Peking, sebagai elemen budaya lama, bertahan hidup dalam gejolak politik Cina pertengahan abad 20.
  5. Gangster Payday (2014). Gangster tua mendukung usaha kafe cewek yang dia taksir. Bonus Carrie Ng.
  6. A Road to Sampo (1975). Mantan napi pulang kampung ditemani buruh pengangguran dan wanita penghibur.
  7. Devils on the Doorstep (2000). Tentara Jepang dan penerjemah ditawan di desa di Cina. Duapertiga pertama ketawa-ketawa, sepertiga akhir depresi.
  8. To Live (1994). Tuan tanah jatuh miskin, yang sebenarnya menguntungkan buat dia karena jrengjrengjrengjreng perang saudara di Cina.
  9. Chungking Express (1994). Takeshi Kaneshiro dan Tony Leung mencoba move on dari pasangan masing-masing. Also feat. Faye Wong muda.
  10. In the Heat of the Sun (1994). Slice of life, persahabatan anggota gank remaja dan cinta monyet dengan latar belakang Revolusi Budaya. Diceritakan dengan samar2, dari sudut pandang si karakter waktu sudah dewasa.
  11. Yellow Earth (1984). Harapan tinggi seorang gadis petani yang dipaksa menikah muda, tapi sangat berhasrat untuk bergabung sama Partai Komunis.
  12. Calvary (2014).  In this world full of darkness, hatred, pride, and adultery, how can one spread the good news of God?
  13. Red Sorghum (1987). Gong Li sebagai bos pabrik ciu™ menghadapi intrik internal, bandit, dan Jepang.
  14. Blue Kite (1993). Perempuan kawin tiga kali, suaminya mati semua, gara-gara berbagai macam fase politik RRC.
  15. Spring in a Small Town (1948). Film Cina rasa Jepang. Tanpa politik dan dukungan maupun antipati terhadap kom—anuitu-isme. Tempo lambat kaya film-filmnya Ozu.
  16. Chicken Rice War (2000). Film Singapore berbahasa Cantonese (+ Singlish). Anyway cerita cintanya silakan lupakan. Nonton komedi antar keluarganya aja.
  17. Street Angel (1937). Drama komedi tentang kaum marjinal melawan kehidupan.
  18. Ju Dou (1990). Keluarga slewah, neraka dunia.
  19. Bus 44 (2001). Udah ketauan ini mah pasti ada  yang mati.
  20. Mei (2006).  Impian ingin ke luar negeri, dan ikatan keluarga. Ini film Taiwan feelingnya Jepang banget.
  21. Bean Cake (2001). Penindasan jingoism terhadap beancakeisme. Sesungguhnya anak ini adalah seorang martir on the making!
  22. Something Universal (2014?). Miskomunikasi antara turis India dan orang Singapore yang pingin belajar Hindi.
  23. 2046 (2004). 5cmps versi dewasa, versi Hong Kong, versi Wong Kar Wai. Atau, 5cmps itu 2046 versi Makoto Shinkai, versi remaja.
  24. A Brighter Summer Day (1991). Efek perang saudara terhadap kenakalan remaja di Cina-yang-satunya. Makian di mana-mana.
  25. A Time in Quchi (2013). Anak kota liburan di desa. Walaupun kadang subverted.
  26. Durian (2003). Orang selingkuh ditemani durian.
  27. Outpost (2012). Prajurit muda nan idealis ditempatkan di sebuah benteng pertahanan di Kuantan bersama prajurit veteran yang suuuuper nyantai.
  28. Mulberry (1985). Seorang wanita yang ditelantarin suaminya nggodain laki-laki sedesa.
  29. Nambugun: North Korean Partisan in South Korea (1990). Pasukan partisan Korut di wilayah selatan yang ditelantarkan utara dan satu per satu gogrok, entah mati atau ditangkap.
  30. Mandala (1981). Dua biksu berbeda gaya hidup bertualang bersama untuk mencari pencerahan.

Statistik asal negara (seperti biasa, Hong Kong saya pisah dari Cina, yang kebetulan tahun ini absen; Taiwan eeee…™):

  • RRC = 11
  • Korea Selatan = 5
  • Hong Kong = 4
  • Taiwan = 3
  • Jepang = 2
  • Singapore = 2
  • Irlandia = 1
  • Indonesia = 1
  • Malaysia = 1

Seperti biasa, film Asia sangat mendominasi. Bahkan, tahun ini saya cuman nonton 1 film non-Asia (Calvary, dari Irlandia). Bedanya, tahun ini RRC yang jadi nomor satu. Entah kenapa. Mungkin pesona Gong Li. *eh* Dan kok ya pas tahun ini juga saya dapat rezeki bisa ke Beijing sama bapak saya. Sementara, tiga film terakhir dari Korsel karena mudah nyarinya, ada channel khusus di Youtube.

Bikin ranking tahun ini sulit juga. Tapi buat saya begini.

  1. Nambugun: North Korean Partisan in South Korea
  2. In the Heat of the Sun
  3. Devils on the Doorstep
  4. 2046
  5. Farewell My Concubine

Selamat tahun baru, dan sampai jumpa lagi tahun depan!

The Current State of Ears

Back in 2009, I posted [this].

Nowadays I enjoy almost completely different sets of songs. Just want to share some that I enjoy lately.

***

Posted this late last year.

Discovered Malay rock and immediately liked it.

Have always liked Gregorian, but not to this level. Duty calls.

Went to Mew’s concert a few months ago. Their best song.

I don’t know who she is and I don’t know what she says, until I read an English translation.

Just sang this song in the church yesterday.

***

I don’t enjoy much what I call “angry people’s songs” anymore. Not that I turn my back on them now. I do still listen to the likes of Metallica, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, etc occasionally. But I don’t know, the spark is mostly gone…

Fides et Ratio et Humilitas

In search of William and Anastasia,
I re-found Jesus.

The new tagline is thus “fides et ratio et humilitas”.

Faith, reason, and humility.

Not one over another, but three, equal, as one.

These, should be the foundations of things to come.

It’s a Wonderful World

This day has been good to me.

I woke up earlier than usual, and I managed to sneak in to the early working time slot.

I had breakfast in the canteen not far from my lab. Slightly different than usual: 3 pieces of kaya toast, instead of the usual 5, and two half-boiled eggs, with teh-o gelas. Perfect Singaporean breakfast.

The rest of the day started slowly. But I managed to finish two slides my professor asked me to do (although I realised afterwards that I forgot some to add some contents; I can do it tomorrow). FYI I will be assisting him in a class that he teaches this semester, and I had been doing the slides for a few days already.

I also managed to liaise with other colleagues on another report.

In short, I accomplished a few tasks today.

In the evening, I went back home early.

I stopped by midway in a canteen to buy a cup of sliced fruits.

I walked slowly this evening, enjoying the clear evening breeze.

Not far my apartment, a primary school posted an advertisement for canteen stalls. One of the required stalls is “Muslim noodle”. This term always tickles me. I have a feeling that that probably means a stall that sells various Malay noodle dishes, e.g. mee siam, mee goreng, mee soto. However, if I were to sell halal [Lanzhou lamian], that would still be considered Muslim noodle too. In fact, that is the most common halal cuisine in China, if Wikipedia can be trusted on this. But anyway, that was just my imagination.

At home, I went to the washroom to do my business for a short while. It was so relaxing.

I then went out again to jog. I managed to jog around the complex where I live twice, or about 3 km. Without walking. That was quite an achievement for me. The key is actually to relax while running, and try to think about something else.

I then had a dinner of MUTTON SOUP in a nearby food court. FYI I don’t mutton very often, and the last time I ate mutton was when I returned home around 6 months ago, when my colleagues visited me. I can’t even remember when I had mutton soup the last time. I decided to eat one after I submitted my paper, which I did 2 days ago, just to give myself a small reward.

Probably the only bad news today was 1) my internet bill this month is 5x the usual bill. Yes I am pointing at you, Steam sales! 2) I experimented to cook instant noodle with rice cooker (Indonesian: magic jar/com?), but it failed. I let the noodle boiled for too long, and in the end the noodle was too soft.

All in all, 11;59 PM, and I feel happy. It’s a strange feeling of happiness, but anyway it’s a wond—

***

This is the beginning of the end.

Fire of Joy and [???]

Fire set up in the city of happiness!
Its citizens indulged on the mass-feast to celebrate the reign of the new sultan.

Hoorah, long live to our blessed sultan!

I was just a guest to the small city-kingdom, but I was overjoyed
as the citizens were warm and welcoming
and all from every walk of life, native or foreign, were invited to the feast.

And all my worries in the past seemed unfounded.

As I called it a night,
my heart was filled with two contradictoru feelings,
one of joy, one of which I cannot recognise.

It was the feeling that one feeling was supposed to be there, was expected to be there, but it was not there.

The journey is still long.

Melangkah Masuk Bagian III

Angin misteri membawaku terbang menuju dekat Al-Sa’ada
Kota penuh tanda tanya yang dulu membuat berpikir delapan, delapan juta kali
Dan yang dulu kuputuskan untuk kutinggalkan untuk sementara

Barangkali besok aku sudah bisa sampai di gerbangnya


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