Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Don't Wanna Be a Cantopop Star

UNGH: Don't Wanna Be a Cantopop Star from duriandave on 8tracks Radio.

I've got five posts simmering on the stove right now and each is insisting on taking its own sweet time. So to help stave off your hunger for new content, why not let your ears snack on these eight sweet tracks from my old friend Hong Kong!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fashion Forward: Qipao and Sneakers

Not only is this Chinese student progressive in her cause — advocating for a united front against Japan at a time when the Nationalist government was still stubbornly pursuing a policy of appeasement while it focused its military efforts instead on eradicating the Communists — she is progressive in her dress, sporting a pair of practical sneakers with her plain qipao. I wonder if she realized at the time that she was also making a fashion statement.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Connie Chan: “Princess of Movie Fans”

Another old article of mine that I’m bringing back into the fold. It was originally published in the print magazine Heritage Asia (Oct-Dec 2006). I corrected some typos, made a few minor fixes, changed the title, and dropped two photos; otherwise it’s as it originally appeared.

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Connie Chan, featured on the cover of World Today magazine, personified the quality of a yuk nui, or flawless maiden.
During the 1960s, a group of Cantonese teen idols known as the ‘Seven Princesses’ helped shape the youth culture of the post-war generation in Hong Kong, Singapore, and in Chinese communities across the world. The most popular of the group were Josephine Siao Fong-fong and Connie Chan Po-chu. While both stars were idolized by Chinese girls everywhere, it was Connie Chan who was known as Hong Kong cinema’s ‘Princess of Movie Fans’.

The ‘Seven Princesses’ of Hong Kong cinema. Front, left to right: Nancy Sit, Fung Bo-bo, Wong Oi-ming. Back, left to right: Sum Chi-wah, Josephine Siao, Fung So-po, and Connie Chan.
From the beginning of her career in 1958 to her retirement in 1972, Chan made 250 movies in almost every genre, from opera and swordplay films to action thrillers and youth musicals. Modern yet traditional, independent yet filial, Chan reflected the aspirations and obligations of young women growing up during the social upheavals of the 1960s. Like The Beatles in the West, Chan was followed everywhere by her fans. At the height of her popularity, the sudden appearance of a crowd of teenage girls could only mean one thing: “Connie Chan is coming!”

Chan and her mentor, Cantonese opera legend Yam Kim-fai.
Born in 1947 in Guangdong, Chan was adopted by opera performers Chan Fei-nung and Kung Fan-hung. At the age of five, she began learning Cantonese opera from her parents and then studied Peking opera with Fen Juhua. One of Chinese cinema’s first female action stars, Fen appeared in the swordplay movies of 1920s Shanghai. It was she who decided that Chan should specialize in the male roles of Peking opera. This had a lasting impact on Chan who later became renowned for playing male characters in her films.

When Chan was nine she began performing onstage. Two years later, she made her film debut alongside Fong Yim-fen, the ‘Queen of Cantonese Opera’, as the son of the title character in Madam Chun Heung-lin. Then, beginning in 1960 with The Unroyal Prince, Chan starred in several films with the legendary Yam Kim-fai, the best-known female practitioner of Cantonese opera’s cross-gender performance tradition. Although Chan never received formal training from Yam, who was too busy working onstage and in movies, Chan is nevertheless considered her disciple because of their close relationship.

Chan’s training in the acrobatic and martial arts of Peking opera prepared her for the many swordplay films she made as a teenager. In the early sixties, Chan played supporting roles as a young hero or heroine, often along with fellow ‘princess’ Josephine Siao. Chan’s breakthrough came in 1965 with the lead male role in The Six-Fingered Lord of the Lute. The film’s publicity campaign included a Connie Chan fan club, which helped boost her popularity. Strong yet sensitive, the characters played by Chan in this and other movies was the ideal model of masculinity for her fans, many of whom wished for a big brother or boyfriend just like her characters. In her swordplay films, Chan’s onscreen love was usually played by Josephine Siao, who throughout 1966 was Chan’s most frequent leading lady.

Chan (foreground, left) became popular playing male heroes in swordplay films like Sacred Fire, Heroic Wind (1966).
Long before Michelle Yeoh became a Bond girl, Connie Chan was fighting crime in films like Lady in Distress: The Invincible Fighter (1967).
Thanks to the drawing power of young stars like Chan and Siao, Cantonese swordplay films were still popular up until the mid-1960s, but they often seemed old-fashioned in comparison to the bigger-budget versions made by Shaw Brothers, the Mandarin studio that dominated Hong Kong’s film industry at the time. Foreign imports, like Japanese samurai films and British spy thrillers, also provided stiff competition. A homegrown action genre rose to the challenge, exploding onto the scene in 1966 with Connie Chan leading the way in films such as Lady Bond and Girl Detective 001. By the following year, these action films had largely replaced Cantonese swordplay films. But in 1968 they disappeared from the silver screen just as suddenly as they had appeared.

Connie Chan and Lui Kei: Hong Kong cinema’s best loved screen couple of the late 1960s.
Although Chan continued to make swordplay and modern action films until the end of her career, she was increasingly cast a young, often working-class, woman in a variety of films that featured comedy, romance, singing and dancing in contemporary settings. In Movie-Fan Princess, the prototype that launched this genre of youth films in 1966, Chan played a factory worker who not only wins the affection of her movie idol but becomes a star herself. Her idol was played Lui Kei, who became Chan’s most popular leading man.

Chan and Lui, along with ‘princesses’ Josephine Siao and Nancy Sit, were the top money-makers for Chi-luen, the film company that spearheaded the development of the Cantonese musical. Because of the success of these films, which featured the latest musical nad dances trends, like the ‘a-go-go’, Chan’s other contemporary films — even her action movies — usually included at least two or three songs. Pathé released these on 45rpm EP records, which were eagerly consumed by her fans. Chan’s songs, which mixed elements of traditional Chinese music and Western rock and roll, helped give birth to what later became known as Cantopop.

At the end of 1970, Chan stopped making movies and traveled to the United States to go to school. She returned to Hong Kong in 1972 and made her final film, The Lizard. After her retirement, Chan married and raised a son. Her fans remained loyal, watching her films on television and, in the nostalgic words of one veteran fan, cherishing the memories of “those good old Chan Po-chu days”. Finally, in 1999 Chan returned to play the role of her mentor, Yam Kim-fai, in the stage production Sentimental Journey. Thanks to the undying support of her fans, including many who traveled from overseas to see the show in Hong Kong, they play had a remarkable run of 100 sold-out performances. Since then, Chan has remained active in the theater and as a concert performer. As before, wherever Chan goes, there is always a crowd waiting to see her. Even now, 40 years after her heyday, Connie Chan is still coming!

Chan greets fans outside Shaw Brothers studio during the production of her final film The Lizard (1972).

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For more information about Connie Chan, check out my fansite Movie-Fan Princess.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Grace Chiang: Like Blue Smoke...

Photo of Grace Chiang from Scherl’s Magazin (December 1929). Courtesy Illustrierte Magazine.
I first read about the forgotten Chinese German actress Grace Chiang in Graham Hodge’s biography of Anna May Wong, who reportedly played a cameo role in Achtung! Liebe! Lebensgefahr! (1929), a movie starring Chiang and directed by her husband Ernö Metzner.

Metzner was a Hungarian Jew who got his start in the German film industry in 1920 working as a set designer on Ernst Lubitsch’s Arabian fantasy Sumurun. He is best known for his partnership with G.W. Pabst (creating the sets for such films as Diary of a Lost Girl and Kameradschaft), but he also made documentaries (for the Social Democratic Party of Germany) as well as the avant-garde short Polizeibericht Überfall (co-written by Chiang).

As for Chiang, she appeared in half a dozen films between 1928 and 1932, primarily in exotic roles à la Anna May Wong (see for example, her thankless part as a six-armed Oriental dancer in Ein Lied, ein Kuß, ein Mädel). She also played the Chinese mistress in Weib im Dschungel (1931), Paramount’s German-language production of W. Somerset Maugham’s play The Letter. (The U.S. version made two years earlier featured Chinese American actress and vaudeville singer Lady Tsen Mei in the same role.)

Being directed by her husband in Achtung! Liebe! Lebensgefahr! was probably Chiang's only real opportunity to shine as an actress. German critics responded favorably to her performance, but the following reviewer in the British film journal Close Up (November 1929) was positively rhapsodic:

Words would be inadequate to describe the astonishing artistry of this new-comer to the screen. Her manner has been likened to that of Lillian Gish, and, indeed, it is possible to detect similarities, not so much in method as in mannerism. One might say of Miss Gish that her method is a little too mannerised—or better still perhaps, her mannerism a little too methodical. At least it is apt to be if you have seen her many times. There is a too deliberate whimsicality perhaps, a kind of insistence on porcelain delicacy, some piece of Meissen, with the eternal threat of porcelain that it can be so easily broken. Grace Chiang goes beyond this. She is less capturable, less static. There is always a something behind the something that you see. She is like blue smoke, and not to be broken, as Miss Gish insists she is to be, but blown away, and nobody would ever know quite where.

You feel she was not meant to steal the picture, but steal it she does. The arch concessions of Anna May Wong are shown up at their true value. Musk, snake-hips, almond eyes. Grace Chiang could go among the Asta Nielsens, for her ability of expression has that purity that lacks all callowness or cant, to be found only among the chosen few.

Until Achtung! Liebe! Lebensgefahr! becomes available for viewing (a 35mm print is reportedly held by the Deutsche Kinemathek), we’ll just have to wait to see for ourselves if she was indeed one of the “chosen few”, but I for one am very eager to learn more about the elusive Grace Chiang.

~ P.S. Additional images can be seen at her Soft Film Pinterest Board.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hong Kong Movie Magazines of the Late 1950s and Early 1960s

Movie fans Man Yi-hung and Yan Po-ping show off their collections of Southern Screen. “Visits to Movie Fans”, Southern Screen, No. 44 (Oct. 1961).
This article was first published in the online film journal Cinemas of Asia (Issue 1, 2012), which has since vanished from the Web. As a result, I’m bringing my piece back home to the mothership, where it belongs. I corrected some typos, made a few minor fixes, tweaked the title, added hyperlinks and the lead photo, but otherwise it is as it originally appeared.

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As someone who can only read a fistful of Chinese characters, I’m hardly qualified to write an authoritative history of Hong Kong’s film magazines. But I hope that my amateur enthusiasm will make up for my lack of scholarly credentials. In this spirit, please join me on a personal tour of the magazines from my favorite period of Hong Kong cinema: the late 1950s to early 1960s.

International Screen


Published from 1955 to 1974, International Screen was the official publication of the Singapore-based Cathay Organisation’s Hong Kong studio, Motion Pictures & General Investment (MP&GI). Along with Shaw Brothers, MP&GI was the most powerful and influential Chinese film studio of the 1950s and 60s and is remembered today for such classics as Mambo Girl (1957) and The Wild, Wild Rose (1960). Founded by the cosmopolitan Loke Wan Tho, the studio specialized in comedies, melodramas, and musicals squarely targeted at Chinese audiences with Western tastes and middle-class aspirations.

International Screen was the first Hong Kong movie magazine that I started collecting and proved an entertaining supplement to the MP&GI films which were being released on DVD at the time. Besides the alluring full-page color portraits of the studio’s stars, the magazine offers a fascinating—albeit carefully scripted—glimpse of MP&GI’s development (for example, the construction of its studio, billed as “The Best Equipped Studio in the Far East”) and of its leader Loke Wan Tho, who was regularly featured in the magazine (being honored by Hong Kong University, celebrating his 42nd birthday, attending the International Ornithological Congress in Helsinki).

Of particular interest to me is the news about the early interactions between Hollywood and Hong Kong. Long before Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi journeyed to the West, superstar Li Lihua had been signed up by Cecil B. DeMille for his production The Buccaneer (although she ended up instead in Frank Borzage’s 1958 film China Doll). Her trip to the U.S. was covered in the pages of International Screen, as were those of Linda Lin Dai and Lucilla Yu Ming (who, I was surprised to learn, had met with Gene Kelley about a role in the Broadway musical Flower Drum Song). There are also articles about Hollywood productions that filmed in Hong Kong, such as Hong Kong Affair (1958), the first American feature shot entirely in the colony (at the MP&GI studio). Its cast included local nightclub singer Shek Yung and veteran Chinese American actor Richard Loo, who was profiled in the magazine. Evidently, Loo had plans to produce and direct an English-language feature set in Hong Kong with an all-Chinese cast: an intriguing project that alas never came to pass. And then there are the “East-West” meeting of the stars, some of which, like that of Robert Wagner and Cantonese opera superstars Yam Kim-fai and Pak Suet-sin, are so unexpected that they border on the surreal.

Most tantalizing of all are the articles about those MP&GI films not yet released on DVD. Some have screened at film festivals, like the Eileen Chang–scripted Battle of Love (1957). Others have been spotted on the Web, like the musical Calendar Girl (1959), which though battered still survives. And then there are those which remain frustratingly “lost”, like the Lin Dai mega-production Scarlet Doll (1958), which was hyped as the greatest Chinese movie ever made. Although these films remain impossible or difficult to see nowadays, at least their ephemeral traces survive in the foxed and fragile pages of International Screen.

International Screen glamour girls Helen Li Mei (left) and Christine Pai Lu-ming (right). International Screen, No. 28 (Feb. 1958) and No. 40 (Feb. 1959).

Pak Suet-sin, Robert Wagner and Yam Kim-fai (left); Fred Astaire and Mona Fong Yat-wah (right). International Screen, No. 21 (July 1957) and No. 23 (Sep. 1957).


Scarlet Doll (1958) and Calendar Girl (1959), still unavailable on home video. International Screen, No. 25 (Nov. 1957) and No. 27 (Jan. 1958).

 

Southern Screen


Debuting in December 1957 (and in print until 1984), Southern Screen hewed closely to the successful format established by International Screen—with its mix of studio propaganda, star profiles, coming attractions, international movie news, and amusing quizzes—yet it also seemed to proclaim, “Anything MP&GI can do Shaw can do better”. The most obvious example being the gorgeous fold-out pinups, whose popularity with readers can be gauged by their frequent removal from old copies of the magazine. Other instances of Shaw’s one-upmanship include Southern Screen’s exclusive coverage of Li Lihua’s second trip to the U.S. (with a special color page of personal snapshots taken at Disneyland) and an illustrated overview of Shaw’s “Five-Year Plan” to build new theaters and modernize its old ones.

Elizabeth Taylor’s 1957 trip to Hong Kong offers an interesting example of the rivalry between the two studios. MP&GI’s International Screen featured only two pictures of the press conference and a caption complaining about how she and husband Michael Todd showed up late—“as usual”. Contrast this with Southern Screen’s 4-page coverage and full-page portrait of “The Liz”. It seems that Liz and Michael spent most of their 10-day visit at Shaw’s private villa overlooking Deep Water Bay. Looking at the two magazines together month by month, one can catch flashes of the media blitzkriegs and talent raids that occurred continuously between Shaw and MP&GI.

The early issues of Southern Screen are an interesting record of the development of Shaw’s movie empire, from its humble incarnation as Shaw and Sons to its transformation into the globally ambitious Shaw Brothers brand. In particular, the documentation of Shaw’s Cantonese division is what I find most valuable. The omission—whatever the reason—of the studio’s Cantonese films from Celestial Picture’s acquisition and digital restoration of the Shaw Brothers Film Library has resulted in the symbolic erasure of an important part of the studio’s legacy. Shaw’s Cantonese division was inaugurated in 1955 with the founding of an actors training program and gave birth to two certifiable superstars: Patricia Lam Fung and Pearl Au Kar-wai. Director Otto Preminger was so impressed with Au Kar-wai that he cast her in his never-realized film project The Other Side of the Coin. As for Lam Fung, she created the mold for 60s super idols Connie Chan Po-chu and Josephine Siao Fong-fong and was so popular that she was dubbed “The Jewel of Shaw”. But where are her Shaw films today? Six were featured in a special retrospective at the Hong Kong Film Archive in 2003 and a couple have subsequently screened again at the archive. Yet the continued unavailability of her Shaw films remains a conspicuous gap, somewhat like if Audrey Hepburn’s best films were unavailable on DVD. Once again it is these old magazines that tenaciously preserve the radiance of Hong Kong cinema’s fading stars.

Twice as gorgeous: Southern Screen fold-out pinups of Betty Loh Tih (left) and Margaret Tu Chuan (right). Southern Screen, No. 23 (Jan. 1960) and No. 28 (June 1960).


“There Will Be More”: A promise to moviegoers or a not-so-veiled threat to rival studio MP&GI? Southern Screen, No. 2 (Jan. 1958).


Shaw’s early Cantonese films, such as Sweet Girl in Terror (1958) starring Lam Fung, remain difficult to see. Southern Screen, No. 10 (Dec. 1958).

 

Great Wall Pictorial and Union Pictorial


I would be remiss if I failed to mention two other major studio publications of the 1950s: The Great Wall Pictorial and The Union Pictorial. Both studios fell on the leftward side of the contentious political divide that split Hong Kong’s film colony into separate camps. Founded in 1949, the Great Wall Movie Enterprise was one of the first production companies to start making Mandarin-language films in Hong Kong in the wake of the escalating civil war on the Mainland and the consequent mass exodus of Shanghai’s filmworkers. The studio started off with no political agenda but in 1950 fell under the control of leftist factions. The Union Film Enterprise, on the other hand, was a collective established in 1952 by veteran Cantonese film workers, who wanted to counter the escapism that dominated Hong Kong cinema with their own progressive and socially conscious movies. The Great Wall Pictorial and The Union Pictorial were launched respectively in 1950 and 1955, and both ceased publishing in 1962. Regrettably, I’m not that familiar with either magazine. The Union Pictorial, from the few issues I’ve seen, strikes me as a fairly conservative magazine aimed at a more mature readership (although it did spotlight up-and-coming young stars like Nam Hung and Teresa Ha Ping). As for The Great Wall Pictorial, it seems lighter in tone—and not at all what one would expect from a leftist organization—with articles such as “And Then God Created Hsia Moon”, “Li Tziang’s Szechuan Cuisine”, and “Dance, Mao Mei, Dance!”. Although noticeably less lavish than the publications of Shaw and MP&GI, The Great Wall Pictorial also featured full-page color glamour shots (as did Union). In fact, the magazine was a pioneer of this convention through its inclusion of hand-pasted color plates in its early issues. Later on, the magazine featured stylish two-color printing and bold graphic design.

Great Wall teen idol Mao Mei demonstrates that leftists can have fun too. The Great Wall Pictorial, No. 114 (May 1961).

 

Happiness Movieland and Screenland


Let me finish this sampler with two of my personal favorites from the Hong Kong movie magazines of this era: Happiness Movieland (published from 1956 to 1961) and Screenland (published from 1959 to 1970). Running at a slim 32 pages, Happiness Movieland was around half the size of the studio publications mentioned above. But what it lacked in length, it made up with its diverse coverage of both Shaw and MP&GI, smaller independent companies, and the short-lived Amoy and Swatow dialect cinemas. There are also many nods to the geographic breadth of Chinese movie fans with coverage, for example, of Diana Chang Chung-wen’s and Carrie Koo Mei’s trips to Thailand and Shangguan Qinghua’s visit to Vietnam, as well as articles about regional coproductions, such as Pagoda, starring Hong Kong star Helen Li Mei and Philippines star Gloria Romero. Designwise it’s an attractive publication, making creative use of two-color printing (like that in Great Wall Pictorial) and lively graphic borders. As for Screenland, its conspicuously extensive coverage of Shaw films (and lack thereof for MP&GI films) suggests some kind of connection or arrangement with the studio, but what sets the magazine apart from its contemporaries are the memorable 2-to-4-page photo narratives that fill its pages. The following titles suggest the range of topics, from the amusingly dumb to the just plain strange: “Tso Tat-Wah’s Fruit-Picking Ordeal”, “Yu So-Chau Target-Shoots”, “Kong Yat-Fan’s Space-Trip in a Dream”, “Grace Ting Ning’s Magic Handbag”.

Happiness Movieland showcased independent stars such as Hsia Hou-lan (left) and Yang Pei-yun (right). Happiness Movieland, No. 11 (Oct. 1957) and No. 21 (Aug. 1959).


“Margaret Tu Chuan’s Stunt With Eggs”: a typical example of Screenland’s quirky pictorial gags (Screenland, No. 25, Oct. 1961).

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Nancy Sheung: Stopping at Nothing

The Pigtail (1966) by Nancy Sheung. Courtesy of Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres and the Pong Family.
This fabulous photo by Hong Kong photographer Nancy Sheung (常惠珍 Sheung Wai-chun) has already gotten lots of play on Tumblr, but I fancy how it looks on my blog, so I’m posting it again here.

Born in Suzhou in 1914, Nancy Sheung led quite an unconventional life before taking up photography at the age of 44 (proving that it’s never too late to become accomplished at something new). As a teenager, she loaded pipes at an opium den to pay for her high school tuition, rode a horse to school, and carried a gun for protection. During the mid-1930s she got married, moved to Hong Kong, and became a mother of six. However, not one to settle down, she left the child-rearing to nannies and started her own construction company.

In 1958, during a slump in the building market, she found a new avenue to channel her energy. After viewing an exhibition of European photography, she was inspired to buy a Rolleiflex. Over the next twenty years, she dedicated herself to mastering the art of photography, setting up a studio and darkroom in her home and exhibiting her work in salons and competitions around the world.

According to her granddaughter Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres, Sheung “was single-minded in the pursuit of her vision, and stopped at nothing to get the best composed pictures, be it invading someone’s rooftop or knocking on doors to get to someone’s window.”

This past spring the Lumenvision gallery in Hong Kong hosted an exhibition of Sheung’s work. You can download a PDF of the catalog here. And below are some articles with further examples of her work:


I’m keeping my fingers crossed there will be more opportunities to see Nancy Sheung’s amazing photographs, hopefully even a book.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

“I Want To Tell You” 我要告訴你


A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of rewatching Flower Princess 百花公主, the 1959 Mandarin musical featuring sex kitten Chung Ching 鍾情 in a dual role as a flowershop girl and a gold-digging chanteuse, with playback singing provided by the legendary “Silver Voice” of Yao Lee 姚莉. It was directed by Wong Tin Lam, who the following year made the pop opera noir masterpiece Wild, Wild Rose starring mambo girl Grace Chang in the juiciest role of her career.

While Flower Princess doesn’t possess the stylistic bravado of Wild, Wild Rose, it remains a solid showcase for the scrumptious charms of Chung Ching and the lovely voice of Yao Lee. This time around I was especially touched by the poignancy and simple, low-key staging of the song “I Want To Tell You” 我要告訴你, which packs a lot of sentiment in little more than two minutes.

I must confess I have a particular affection for Flower Princess. It was 13 years ago that I first saw the film — a first time made even more special by its concurrence with several other firsts: my first trip to Hong Kong, my first visit to the Hong Kong Film Archive, my first time watching the films of Grace Chang, and my first moving glimpse of 60s teen idol Connie Chan.

Watching Flower Princess this time around, I was surprised to discover that my Mandarin has improved enough that I can now almost understand most of the dialogue, especially if I use the Chinese subtitles to help me along. Afterwards I was so happy that I decided to create English captions for this song and put it online. Hope you like it!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

黎莉莉 Li Lili: Shazam!

I *love* this photo of Shanghai film star Li Lili (ca. 1934). It’s both charmingly vintage and surprisingly modern.

It shines with a timeless golden light that evokes my formative childhood memories of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, late teenage infatuation with the comic book heroines of Jaime Hernandez, and more recent fascination with Mack Sennett’s bathing beauties.

Among Chinese cinema’s many superwomen, Li Lili will always be the most super.

P.S. Check out this wonderful tribute to Li Lili by her grandson-in-law and this fab review of her signature film Queen of Sports.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Olive Young’s Great Depression Blues

Finally, after seven years of searching for ephemeral traces of her life, HERE is my story about Chinese American film star Olive Young. Honestly, it still feels like an incomplete puzzle with more than a few pieces forced together, but I hope at least that it conveys something of the spark that drew me to her.

A big round of thanks to Daniel Riccuito, editor of The Chiseler for presenting my piece in his smart and stylish web magazine about people and things forgotten. I had been planning on writing some version of this for Soft Film, but Daniel’s interest and encouragement helped me reach the finish line with something much stronger than if I’d been left to my own temperamental devices.

Finally, I’m both happy and sad to announce that this will be the final definitive post of Soft Film. A heartfelt thanks to everyone who has followed my ramblings and obsessions at any time during the past six years, especially to those of you who took the time to say hello, offer a word of thanks, or share your enthusiasm.

Best wishes to you all!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

-:¦:- Aloha Sunshine -:¦:-



Best wishes to all my readers! I hope your holidays are full of cheer. I’m going to take an extended leave of absence as I contemplate my next incarnation. For those of you following my Olive Young research, I’ve been invited to write about her for another blog and will make my next post there. Otherwise, I’ll see you back here, or someplace entirely elsewhere. 再見!