starting the year

with a couple of clips from one of my favorite TV shows, with the focus of course, as always, on strong female characters (the accent and the guns add a bit of a southern flavor to it all)

That is Captain Sharon Raydor. She arrived beginning season 5 (in 2009??). And on the show, “the closer”, we have already a very strong female character, Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson:
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dance to start december

I love the open-hand position (hand to hand connection with free-style spinning), absolute great fun to take turn with the partner while exchanging momentum :-). The movie is great if you haven’t come across already, one of my favorites, east vs west cultures and dancing (don’t get it mixed up with the over-romanticized american version..)

photo(s) for weekend

ripley01
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movie weekend

a little detour from normal posts (whatever that might be). summer is always quiet as far as music is concerned, lots of traveling, lots of working. I’ve been hunting down for many live damnation de faust recording including the one here in the area last month under Charles Dutoit’s baton and with a stellar cast of Susan Graham, Willard White, Paul Groves… I have to say though that i quite dislike the generic take of Hungarian March as well as very very dragging tempo of the performance. This piece is so much about the mixing of voice and orchestra/solo instruments and male/female chorus. In the end i liked both versions from Weimar last year and the one I spotted 3 years ago in the UK with Monica Groop, Ildar Abdrazakov, Gregory Kunde, and Gianandrea Noseda (we remember him as the conductor for Vivica Genaux’ debut at the PROM). Here’s a sample from that, including in the 1st minute Marguerite’s lamentation to the drums/horns on her way to execution which i really like (1st take by Monica Groop, 2nd take by Kasarova, then followed by clip of male chorus to end act I. It’s quite a contrast of voice to mostly drums versus voice to more mixture horn/drum. “Il ne vient pas….” The bits after, love the harpsichord, really love, comes in around min 5. Anyhow, rambling, i didn’t mean to write so much about this because…

this weekend, i needed a break from work. have been working days and nights and weekends since got back on land. a PERFECT break popped up out of nowhere: free showing of Kung Fu Hustle for 2 nights !! If you don’t know about the movie, that’s cool, i think you should. I saw it both nights. If there’s another showing tomorrow, i would come too. I’ve seen it once before on tiny laptop screen. The beauty of big screen is not just about the fighting scenes but the music. I like the music A LOT (sample 1, 2, 3). a bit loud, but if you’re gonna make loud music, that’s the way to do it. The fighting scenes are great. One of the reasons I haven’t been to movie theaters in ages is that here in US, they seem to love big grand slow-mo exaggeration/overacting… If martial arts is involved, i want to see a movie from Asia, in native language too, not english. Love listening to foreign languages. But, the true reason i reallly like this movie? It’s the exact sort of things i grew up reading! every afternoon during teenage years. One sister was more into romantic novels, another into poetry or whatever. I on these, hit end of book, looped back to page 1. I also LOOOVE this one, but unfortunately we only had 1 book which was quite torn. Here’s the wiki version in English (why does it have to sound soooo boring in English translation, the title that is…, also here’s the wiki english of 2nd set.) They all fall under this set of Chinese Four Great Classical Novels. (Oh, now that i see that set, i also spent endless hours reading the 3rd novel, that 4th one somehow never made it to our house…). People can have their superman, spiderman, whatever. As a kid (and even now), i love the idea of the master, with a special skill no-one can possess.

Here’s a scene from it, to really lovely music, and sort of give an idea of the flow of film. It’s actually a comedy, done to very good taste (or rather my taste) i’d say. think i might have to dig up the thing on youtube to re-watch again…