Saturday, September 29, 2007


I've just reading this book that Lawrence lent me. It's written by a psychiatrist who was treating this young patient for a host of psychological problems including recurring nightmares and a host of phobias. He's been treating her for 18 months using ordinary therapy techniques, but nothing worked. Then he tried hypnosis. The patient to recall with minute details her past lives, going back thousands of years. As she began to survey these past lives, it becomes apparent that her phobias such as fear of dark rooms and choking are related to past life experiences in which traumatic events took place. More astonishingly she began to speak in other voices, the voices of 'master spirits' who guide us both in this life and the next. The masters tell the psychiatrist that we are put here on earth to learn lessons, that the people we come into contact with in this life may have been known to us in the past, and that we are constantly working out karmic relationships with these souls. This idea that one's soul travels through many lives building wisdom is a wonderfully attractive one, humbling yet life affirming at the same time.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Guilin Trip

The obilgatory tourist experience in Guilin is a riverboat trip down the Li River (漓江). For the privilege of being stuck in a cramped cabin with a hundred or so chain smoking, loud-talking Chinese tourists one pats 245yuan. The trip lasts for 4 hours from Guilin to Yang Shuo, during which every attempt is made to squeeze one's wallet dry. Soon after the ferry got going a guy whom I thought was the guide took the mic and started to tell us about the various sights we'd encounter along the way. He began to talk about the kinds of camera lens most suited to taking in the panoramic mountain views, and I thought, how interesting, the guide was a camera buff. But of course he was really offering his service as a photographer. For something like 150 yuan one can get 10 pictures taken of one standing in front of various scenic spots along the way . Then there is lunch. It is included in the price of the ticket, but if one wants more than the soggy vegetables they serve, one can pay 300-400 yuan for a fixed menu for 4 consisting of soggy seafood, or rather river food. So a typical Chinese family of three could easily drop well over a thousand yuan on this crummy boat trip.
My happiest moment on the trip was when I took this picture. I'd arrived at this roadside restaurant after hiking for a whole day through the river valley. The hike was quite easy by Hong Kong standards. The paths were flat and well trodden. But it was quite long--20 km, and the day was scorchingly hot. All along the way bamboo raft operators and touts kept pestering me to take a raft. I refused them all, so I felt quite proud of myself when I arrived at the end of the journey. It was around 4pm. I guess since it was neither lunch nor dinnertime the owner made no effort to serve me. He simply invited me to take a seat and left me alone to enjoy this rare uncommercialized corner of China.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Islamic School

Sanjog is now studying at the Islamic school in Tuen Mun. He has to take a bus from Shumshuipo every day. The other thing I'm not too happy about is that he probably won't learn much Chinese. 80% of people of South Asian descent in Hong Kong is illiterate in Chinese. They are relegated to menial jobs like construction and security guards.

If the department's policy is that children of non-Chinese speaking families be integrated into the local school system, then why was Sanjog's father simply sent away with a list of English language medium schools? On the other hand, would the person at the Education Bureau got Sanjog a place at a local school if his father had insisted? It's as if there's a vast conspiracy to keep the poor in its place, with the active involvement of the underclass.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Executive Producer

最近為電影節的catalogue當編輯,為了一部影片的工作人員職銜的中文翻譯引起了一場爭議,這職銜是Executive Producer,我譯作「高級監製」,有人馬上說,有冇搞錯,梗係譯執行監製啦。他的原因有二:第一,跟本沒有聽過高級監制這名詞,第二,Executive,即係execute 個 producer嘅意旨啦。

但Executive有決策人或manager的意思,如Chief Executive行政長官,相對於執行是較高級,如行政長官定下的措施交由部門執行。

而在荷李活, executive producer往往是唔使做的一個,在很多製作中是個虛銜,用來安置一些重要人物,如劇本/小說的版權持有人,又或者是片廠派來監控一部片的studio executive,在片場通常是Producer話事,那個studio executive 只是偶然落場看看而已。另一種executive producer 則負責搵錢,跟片廠/發行傾成個production deal. IMBD 網的glossary 說executive producer "is a producer who is not involved in any technical aspects of the filmmaking process, but who is still responsible for the overall production. Typically an executive producer handles business and legal issues." Executive producer 在片場沒有實際工作,所以很難跟執行二字扯上關係。

香港電影很少有Executive producer,因為通常大老閭是出品人,沒有其他人需要安置。而港片中的執製(執行製片)較接近Associate Producer 或Production Manager,負責安排有關制作的一切事務如搵景搵演員埋班安排器材等,位置在製片之下。而Executive Producer 無論是傾deal或虛銜那種,職級都在producer之上,不信的話下次看電影時不妨留意一下邊個個名出先?比如近期很賣座的Transformers, 導演是Michael Bay,Executive Producer 是史匹堡,片子是史匹堡當老闆的Dreamworks製作,若說史匹堡任Michael Bay的執製是不是很好笑?

這爭議最後那個贏?當然顧客永遠是對的啦。不過話又說回來,那個列有executive producer 的電影是香港/中國製作,可能大家都說chinglish,同聲同氣,反而譯作執行監製更接近那個人的職務也說不定。


Thursday, September 13, 2007



煽 情 片 的 大 原 則 是 「 可 惜 」 , 但 怎 樣 為 之 可 惜 ? 那 是 看 一 個 人 逐 步 步 向 死 亡 , 不 是 他 幸 福 結 婚 , 然 後 一 出 街 仆 低 被 車 撞 死 , 你 只 會 覺 得 他 戇 居 , 不 會 覺 得 他 慘 , 慘 的 是 你 看 他 快 要 死 , 但 仍 不 停 掙 扎 , 想 逃 過 死 亡 的 命 運 , 卻 偏 偏 逃 不 了 。

舉 例 , 寫 一 個 人 患 絕 症 死 , 爾 冬 陞 就 撞 到 新 火 花 。 《 新 不 了 情 》 中 袁 詠 儀 的 癌 症 病 人 , 她 是 樂 觀 的 , 你 看 她 快 死 , 但 她 努 力 掙 扎 , 很 有 生 命 力 , 這 才 慘 , 日 日 攤 在 床 上 唉 聲 嘆 氣 等 死 的 主 角 , 只 會 令 觀 眾 睇 到

現 在 觀 眾 進 步 了 , 你 好 朋 友 中 槍 , 在 你 懷 中 死 去 , 這 不 會 煽 情 , 是 要 將 情 緒 掌 握 得 恰 到 好 處 , 有 環 境 反 差 才 夠 慘 。 一 個 患 絕 症 的 人 , 幾 時 死 才 夠 慘 ? 就 是 他 有 希 望 醫 好 的 一 刻 , 那 知 噗 一 聲 瓜 了 ; 明 知 他 就 死 就 死 , 果 然 死 了 , 你 就 不 會 覺 得 他 慘 。

今 次 是 《 元 憶 錄 》 最 後 一 回 , 滾 滾 長 江 東 逝 水 , 回 想 從 前 香 港 通 俗 文 化 稱 霸 全 球 , 是 自 由 競 爭 氣 氛 。 這 幾 年 來 , 我 們 逐 漸 失 去 電 影 和 電 視 劇 霸 權 , 大 家 想 想 近 年 創 辦 的 台 灣 《 蘋 果 日 報 》 , 以 香 港 《 蘋 果 日 報 》 為 藍 本 , 都 打 贏 所 有 台 灣 報 紙 , 可 見 香 港 人 的 厲 害 之 處 , 正 是 從 激 烈 競 爭 中 走 出 來 。
故 此 , 香 港 娛 樂 圈 倒 退 的 致 命 傷 , 翻 版 並 非 主 要 原 因 , 真 正 致 命 傷 是 沒 有 人 才 , 以 前 人 才 由 電 視 台 培 訓 出 來 , 自 從 無 壟 斷 後 , 人 才 被 扼 殺 , 亞 視 又 不 爭 氣 , 強 弱 懸 殊 。 官 僚 統 治 下 , 往 時 創 作 人 員 大 晒 , 現 在 是 行 政 人 員 大 晒 , 陳 志 雲 的 專 長 是 甚 麼 ? 我 不 知 道 ; 樂 易 玲 也 不 懂 創 作 。 這 樣 下 去 , 娛 樂 圈 自 然 死 , 然 後 香 港 人 返 內 地 拍 戲 , 但 內 地 又 有 意 識 形 態 管 制 , 很 多 東 西 不 能 拍 , 於 是 戲 就 不 好 看 。

和 內 地 合 作 拍 戲 , 是 激 死 你 為 止 , 內 地 審 批 電 視 劇 後 送 來 的 評 語 , 我 看 後 當 堂 笑 出 來 。 你 說 我 這 樣 寫 , 在 意 識 形 態 上 不 對 , 我 接 受 , 但 評 語 是 「 這 場 戲 的 男 女 主 角 是 不 是 可 以 浪 漫 一 點 ? 」 喂 ! 你 我 寫 劇 本 ? 點 浪 漫 呀 ? 咁 你 寫 啦 ! 你 只 是 負 責 審 查 咋 , 真 被 吹 脹 , 所 以 近 年 內 地 電 視 劇 的 質 素 才 會 漸 走 下 坡 。

Monday, September 10, 2007



Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sanjog's B'Day

Sanjog's '10th' birthday party, although he's really 9 by 'our' standards. I loved the way they made an effort to decorate the place and invited everyone they knew to come. I'm glad I asked Ivory to come so at least I had someone to talk to.

The school term has started but as of today Sanjog is still not enrolled in school. Li Cheng Uk is full, and his dad is considering sending him to Delia, which costs $2000 a month , or a Nepalise school in Yuen Long, which makes even less sense. I'm trying my best to persuade him to send Sanjog to Primary 3 in a Chinese school, because that's the only way he could integrate into HK society, and gets the chance to work in jobs other than construction or security in the future.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


這天的記招在志淙的pop bites舉行,這兒的食物很好吃,那些pasta據說是志淙老婆親手造的。記招上奉上的是些小fruit tarts同很chewy 的曲奇。

志淙大概啱啱訪問完他的永遠偶像Sylvian太感興奮,開場白時無端端話「David Sylvian都話好留意亞洲電影,可見亞洲電影嘅重要性」彷彿DS除了是音樂人外還是電影權威。