gambitch - now available in blue Our constant efforts to reinvent ourselves reveal how much we fear our own images.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Do you know your pop music?
Do you remember the songs you used to sing, just ten years ago? Or were you too young to sing, but maybe remembered hearing these tunes?
The Japanese certainly did, and they even have a television programme for it. The show title translates simply to "Our Songs".
They've got lots of songs. Some very nice. Some very, very nice. Some so nice, it sounds new! And some, simply iconic.
So here's one song that I happened to have heard before, absolutely loved it, and still remember today. It's done by this group called Dreams Come True. They were around then, they are still around now. Oh, Miwa Yoshida is probably pushing 40 now, but she's got great energy and presence. As for Masato Nakamura? Absolutely fun seeing him on stage.
They were famous for many songs, one of them being this one. It's a classic, I tell you. They even had it for a Japanese drama theme song - too lovely for words.
And they decided to re-present this song, but of course it's not so simple. They decided to bring BoA along to sing it, and as you can see, she had plenty of fun doing this song!
So, without further ado, from the great YouTube, I give you...
I did mention that I had gone for some work-related stuff yesterday. What I omitted to indicate was that, prior to the evening, I had actually spent the afternoon elsewhere, watching a play. I'm not entirely sure why I hadn't said it the first time, but perhaps it had to do with the slightly different motivations I had for watching this one.
Anyway, the play I watched was Momo, based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ende. It's a pretty well-known text, although the main reason I knew it was because I had to study this book as part of my literature course in school. When I was twelve. Yes, they do terrible things to kids in this country. Well, not really, but that's quite besides the point.
I hadn't touched the book since finishing it as a kid, but I will always remember the book - and the movie, which rather fortuitously was screened on television the same year I had studied the book. Yeah, little experiences like that, getting the interpretations from print to screen. And now, of course, to stage.
What must be said is that when a book was chosen as a schoolchildren's literature text, the content of the story cannot be so deep and profound as to be difficult to understand. So when you have the book turned into a play, you can't expect too many fundamental changes as far as depth issues is concerned. It remains a nice, simple story, with a nice, simple point. As for what that point is, I'd suggest you go read the book.
All I want to comment on was what I got to see from this afternoon visit. Well, for one thing, much of the crowd that turned up consisted of schoolchildren, which shouldn't be too surprising. One reason why it's not that surprising is that the play had been specially promoted to schools, encouraging them to form student groups that would entitle them to discounts. Then there were also some older folk, who aren't usually noted for coming out to watch this sort of plays. No real harm in that, though.
It is funny to see how some of the different characters are represented, although one or two are a little odd. Take, for example, the little tortoise Cassiopeia in the original story. Cassiopeia, for those who don't know, has the interesting ability of communicating by showing words on the back of its shell. Of course, in a theatre where the stage is elevated, it would be unrealistic to expect the character playing Cassiopeia to be crawling on the floor - because how would you see the words? So instead, Cassiopeia becomes a bipedal character whose 'shell' is replaced by some kind of manually-scrolling display. Kinda like the Teletubbies' bellies, come to think of it.
Oh, and there's something else about Cassiopeia. I neglected to mention this earlier, but the play was not done in English. Which means, of course, that Cassiopeia's name had to be translated. Due to some truncation problem, or maybe just out of sheer cheekiness, Cassiopeia's name turned into Casio - a rather well-known Japanese watch brand. Which relates to the concept of time in a slightly different manner, of course.
I found that funny, but what I didn't quite enjoy was the representation of Professor Hora, a key character who emerges in the latter half of the show. From reading the text and watching the movie, I've had the image of Professor Hora as a wise, genial old man with a thick, long white beard and greying hair, a little like Santa Claus. So it took plenty of adjusting when I had to be presented with a different Professor Hora, who just sounds like a cranky old professor with an odd sense of humour. Okay, maybe without so much of the crankiness. But no white beard either.
I should also mention that a fair number of people in the production team, including the cast, are actually from the youth branch of the theatre company putting up the show. The whole idea of it is to promote the practice of theatre among youths. A good initiative, to be sure.
Did I enjoy the show? Well, it wasn't a bad way to spend the afternoon. It could probably have been better, granted, but I guess I'll make do with this.
In any case, I have another show to catch later this afternoon. Until then. gambitch [
Friday, May 18, 2007
Whoa! I expected a close fight, but certainly not a bloodbath like that!
Two seeing red, fierce tempers all over, and a really good amount of organized noise!
Might have been the right decision to stay around, too. Especially with that technical glitch.
Good evenings, good evenings. gambitch [
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Well, the drama over United's tour - or more correctly, Malaysia's part in it - gets bigger and bigger.
So now the Malaysian Prime Minister weighs in, their football authorities finds the courage to stand up to Mohammad bin Hammam, and a showdown looks imminent.
And I'm here, enjoying my popcorn, watching this show unfold.
Once in a while, I do run off and do my own thing. I just did that, having a real crack-up watching a local musical that's all about some Broadway style fused with typical heartlander content. And the effects are laugh-a-minute hilarious!
And I have to say, Seb did great!
Getting three girls in all-so-over-the-top feather boas and stuff was also a nice, glam touch.
Too bad I can't be doing the reviewing here, because it'll just lose all the flavour. You should really go and catch it in person.
A note about Seb. It wasn't until I read through the programme that I realized just who he was. I always thought him a little familiar, but it didn't strike me that he's had plenty of achievements in the past, having participated in this talent show that got him noticed and all in line to become the next local pop star. Guess things didn't work out for some reason or other. But then to switch tack and do Broadway? Was that a stroke of inspiration or what?
Should have got a few friends to come along. Then we can share the laughs.
i saw this coming from the moment you carelessly left your name behind on your own work telling everybody "look for me"
i saw it coming i thought you didn't
and so i told you
but it was too late between you putting up your work and me suggesting the alteration time did pass and somebody already picked it up
so now everybody has a name to attach your work to and they all start knowing "oh so i can look for this person"
and you know what happens next don't you? maybe you don't but and i'm not proud to say this i do
the danger of having a name to point to
they start looking for you for everything you not colleague X or colleague Y whose name they have never seen before but YOU and ONLY YOU
not just this project but the next and the next and the next anything they don't know they just look for you
even if it's none of your business
that's where all the junk starts
you said you didn't want to be a civil servant maybe one of the things you don't want is how the civil service is nameless and faceless and perfect in its anonymity
you like being yourself being your own individual standing out like a blue mountain amidst the lesser long blacks and you like seeing your own creativity lead to an end product
that's fine it really is
but perhaps what you need to realize (whether you want to or not) is that at least in public even though you can showcase your work you don't have to put your name to it and sometimes it's better not to leave your name behind
or perhaps leaving your name behind is exactly what you want? gambitch [