Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Barack Hussein Obama II - Living History

As challenges abound, we are faced with one of the handful of truly extraordinary events of our era. Today is the day of the inauguration of BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA II as the 44th President of the United States. Though I've been cynical of the worldwide political spectrum throughout my life, and have no false patriotism (nor false optimism), the election of this man to the Presidency makes me proud to be an American.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Composer Iwashiro Taro - Red Cliff, Blood & Bones

I just watched part one (2008) of the great Hong Kong and Hollywood filmmaker John Woo's (吳宇森; Wú Yǔsēn) two-part epic, Red Cliff (赤壁; Chìbì), on a HDTV on Blu-ray DVD. The two parts -- part two to be released this month (January 2009) -- are, reportedly, collectively, the most expensive-ever Asian-financed motion pictures. The story encompasses the epic "Battle of Red Cliff and events during the end of the Han Dynasty and immediately prior to the period of the Three Kingdoms in ancient China". Red Cliff is well acted by such Asian cinema luminaries as Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (梁朝偉; Liáng Cháowěi), Kaneshiro Takeshi (金城 武; Jīnchéng Wǔ), Zhang Fengyi (张丰毅; of Farewell My Concubine [霸王別姬; Bàwáng Bié Jī] and The Emperor and the Assassin [荊柯刺秦王; Jīng Kē cì Qín Wáng] fame), Chang Chen (張震; Zhāng Zhèn of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [臥虎藏龍; Wòhǔ Cánglóng]), the, IMHO, always wonderful -- and kind of "MIA" for a while -- Zhao Wei (趙薇; Vicky Zhao Wei) and other important stars.