We usually don’t put up current news because, frankly, it can be awfully depressing. But given the current media obsession with Japan’s Fukushima reactor, and how little attention they’re paying to the earthquake and its aftermath, we wanted to link to an online diary being written by a Japanese medical aid worker. It’s being translated by internet denizens and reposted here. It’s really a fascinating, on-the-ground report about what’s going on from the point of view of a single person trying to do their best and hopefully more installments will go up soon.
Arcades have long been dying like dinosaurs after a comet strike (or maybe a better analogy is that they’re slowly sinking in tar pits?) but one of the last arcades in America is in Chinatown and NYC has it. Boing Boing links to this post from Scouting New York about Chinatown’s crazy arcade, Chinatown Fair, which features stand-up versions of tons of games, including classics like Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Millipede and a whole lot more.
Forget hipster hang-outs like Barcade. Chinatown Fair is the real thing!
Sammo Hung, how do we love you? Let us count the ways! Most recently it’s because you totally steal the show with your co-starring role in IP MAN 2, which opens in the US on Friday, January 28. To celebrate, anyone who leaves a comment on this post telling how they love Sammo is eligible to win one of two Blu-Rays of IP MAN 1 that we’re giving away on Monday.
Just leave a poem, a sentence, a photo, a link to a video, anything you want as long as it’s about Sammo – and on Monday we’re going to assign a number to all the commenters and then randomly select two. We’ll let them know who they are in a special post right here, late on Monday afternoon.
And let me start things off by saying that THIS is why I love Sammo Hung:
To my mind, there are two truly great books written about Hong Kong cinema. One is Stefan Hammond and Mike Wilkins’ Sex & Zen and A Bullet in the Head which is unadulterated enthusiasm in excelsis and a high water mark for fanboy writing done right. The other is straight out of academia and it’s David Bordwell’s Planet Hong Kong. Bordwell isn’t about themes and meaning and symbolism. Instead, he takes a movie apart like a swordsman, dissecting every frame and figuring out how it works. He’s not interested in telling us what Hong Kong movies mean, he’s interested in telling us how they’re made and how that’s changed over the years.
Unfortunately, both books look like they’re out of print, and new copies of Bordwell’s Planet Hong Kong go for $99 (used are much cheaper, but still). Seizing the means of production in his socialist mitts, however, Bordwell has just released a new an improved Planet Hong Kong himself. The book is only available as a digital edition but it’s vastly superior to the first edition. With expanded chapters, color photos (the first edition is all black and white), and new chapters about changes in the Hong Kong film industry since he wrote the first edition, it’s a must have. It’s in pdf format so you don’t even need a fancy digital reader to read it. There’s lots of expanded info on Johnnie To that makes this book a must-have for To fans. Bordwell’s had a lot of access to Johnnie To over the past few years and this is the best writing about To and Milkyway Image out there.