An ever-changing life inspired by the pneuma


Do jang day and some running

Filed under: Cass' training blog - martial arts, weights, running — feyMorgaina @ 23:46

Finally, got into the do jang today! Spent so much time doing some writing this week that I didn’t make it into the do jang all week and didn’t get much running in either.

So, went to gumdo class and got to practice my patterns and do some paired sparring drills.

Afterwards, I headed home then Nathan and I went for a run. We ran up to Yonge and Church, then walked back. The total distance on the route we took was about 1.35 km, not quite 1 mile, which we ran in 8 minutes 19 seconds. Our speed is improving.

I think next I will have to push my speed again and try to run 1.5 miles or 3 km easy (1 mile = 1.6 km).

Hm, I’m starting to like running more. Some days I miss it when I haven’t ran.

Next week, hopefully I’ll get in more training (gumdo, taekwondo, running)

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Hollywood’s (Non-)Depiction of Asian-Male/Non-Asian Female Relationships

Filed under: General,TV, Movies, and Music - Reviews — feyMorgaina @ 02:20


After the world premiere of Jackie Chan’s new movie, Sen-Hua (The Myth)(see previous post for a review), Chan’s dissatisfaction with Hollywood was brought to media attention again in the post-Gala interview. (Jackie Chan article)

As Chan has stated before, Hollywood is not ready to take him seriously. His biggest complaint is that he’s tired of doing to same old roles. Every script Hollywood sends him is “the killer from China, the killer from Hong Kong.” Chan states that he wants to do drama and fantasy and that he’s a serious actor. “Jackie is not action star. Jackie is the actor who can fight. He’s not the fighter who can act.” I see his point, does Hollywood think every Asian male is just some killer or super street fighter? In addition, Jackie Chan is well aware that an action star’s career only lasts awhile. As he is now in his early 50s, Chan is concerned with his well-being and being able to act 20 years down the road from now. As a fan of Chan’s sense of on-screen humour, I have to agree with him. He needs to cut down on the stunts (at least cut out the extremely dangerous ones), so that years later we can still enjoy his charismatic personality on the big screen.

Aside from Chan’s personal safety concerns, what is really going on with Hollywood and how do they deal with Asian male actors? One part of the problem is that Hollywood is not quite ready to depict romantic and sexual relationships between Asian males with non-Asian females much less have an Asian male play opposite a non-Asian female. In many ways, Hollywood still has its biases.

I spent some time trying to think of an Asian male playing opposite a non-Asian female. So far, the most prominent movie to come to mind is Anna and the King which starred Chow Yun-Fat and Jodie Foster. However, since the basic premise of the story IS the romance between an Asian male (he’s the King of Siam) and a Caucasian female (she was his children’s very English teacher), I wouldn’t really count this. Hollywood had no choice but to find an Asian male actor (Chow Yun-Fat was definitely a good choice as he definitely had the charm and charisma the role needed). In addition, because the movie was a romantic period piece, it was easy enough to not show the sexual relationship (if any) between the two main characters much less a kiss. Chow Yun-Fat also starred in Replacement Killers opposite Miro Sorvino, but their romance is only alluded to and Chow’s character is cool and detached enough that the characters don’t even share a good-bye kiss. (See

Jet Li too has had his chance at the Asian male/non-Asian female relationship on-screen. (See In Romeo Must Die, he starred opposite Aaliyah (yes, the singer) (see for a review of the movie as I have not seen it) and in Kiss of the Dragon, he played opposite Bridget Fonda. As with the Chow Yun-Fat movie’s above, the romance between Fonda’s and Li’s characters was only alluded to and although in the end they were seen together (plus her daughter), the audience was left to wonder if they stayed together and had a relationship. Again, there was no kiss.

Jackie Chan’s on-screen “romances” with non-Asian females has been much the same as Jet Li’s. In The Tuxedo, an attraction to Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character is implied, but nothing was ever made of it. (Though you get the impression from watching the bloopers that Ms. Hewitt might have been slightly interested in Mr. Chan.) Though a little less prominent, if I recall correctly, Chan’s character in Shanghai Noon attracts the attention of a Native American, however, he’s not interested as his character is supposedly interested in the Asian female, a Chinese princess played by Lucy Liu. It’s not that Jackie Chan hasn’t ever done romantic roles. His movie Gorgeous is the most notable. However, of course, the love interest was an Asian female.

One can’t argue that there aren’t any willing non-Asian females either. Mallika Sherawat, who stars in Sen-Hua (The Myth) with Jackie Chan, appeared at the Film Festival and said that she was disappointed that she didn’t get to kiss Chan in the movie. In her mind, starring in a Jackie Chan film is the same as starring in a James Bond flick.

Hollywood’s reluctance to depict these kinds of inter-racial relationships has caused a stir in the past with Media Action Network for Asian Americans, an organization that monitors media depictions of Asian Americans. According to this article, the reluctance to depict the Asian male/non-Asian female relationships could simply be a reflection of societal trends. It is so far more likely to have an Asian female dating a non-Asian male. However this doesn’t mean that the Asian male/non-Asian female relationships don’t exist or should be ignored completely. The biggest problem this bias produces is not giving Asian males a chance to act in diverse roles in Hollywood, it’s like Jackie Chan has stated, it’s always “the killer from China, the killer from Hong Kong” or as pointed out in the WireTap article above, it’s some geek or nerd role.

Am I the only one to notice this trend in Hollywood? No. Read “The Yellow Menace in American Popular Film: 1991 through 1995” by Jeffrey B. Ho for an idea of how Asian males have been depicted in Hollywood cinema to 1995. I think it’s clear Hollywood still has a long way to go.

With all this going on in Hollywood, no wonder Jackie Chan went back to China – at least there’s a chance he’ll get more interesting roles and his career will last a longer time.

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Toronto International Film Festival Review – Part Three

Filed under: TV, Movies, and Music - Reviews — feyMorgaina @ 02:12


Here’s a review of Jackie Chan’s new movie. It is definitely something different to see if you’ve gotten used to his roles from Rush Hour.

Sen-Hua (The Myth) is directed and co-written by Stanley Tong and stars Jackie Chan (who along with being stunt choreographer also had his film company, JCE Movies Ltd., produce it).

In a movie Stanley Tong co-wrote with Jackie in mind, this is Jackie Chan Hollywood failed to take advantage of and Jackie Chan everyone outside of China has never seen. If you couldn’t see this movie during the Film Festival, you should be hoping it is released this year so you don’t miss out.

The movie is a mix of the Indiana Jones-type adventure with the traditional Chinese historical action flick. Jackie Chan has a dual role in this movie – he plays the present-day archeologist, Jack, and the historic General Meng Yi who falls in love with Emperor Qin’s Korean concubine, Ok-Soo (both of whom Meng Yi has sworn to protect). In present-day, Jack has been having dreams of being the General and is not quite sure what his dreams mean. Then, by some twist of fate, his long-time friend, a scientist named William, leads him on a quest for a magical stone which causes things and people to levitate. It is on this quest that Jack sees a perfectly preserved painting of the woman of his dreams (the Korean concubine, Ok-Soo) and (unintentionally) obtains the legendary sword of General Meng Yi. When Jack is tested with the sword (he has an unexplicable bond with it, or not so unexplicable if you believe in reincarnation), he realizes that William’s quest and his dreams are tied together somehow. Jack’s dreams are clues to the past and to the answer to some of China’s greatest mysteries – immortality, Emperor Qin, and the Heavenly Palace! Of course, Jack and William are not the only ones who know about his dreams and their quest – no Jackie Chan film would be complete without the ultimate villain. As always, our hero has to defeat the villain(s) and still manage to fulfill his quest. Along the way, we also find out what happened to Jack’s dream woman and Meng Yi’s love, Ok-Soo.

Stanley Tong co-wrote Sen-Hua (The Myth) with Li Hai Shu and Wang Hui-ling of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame, which explains the epic familiarity of the story and the vast landscape scenery. However, the mood of the movie is markedly different from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, likely due to the comic relief provided in the present-day scenes. Jackie Chan’s brilliant humour and famous slapstick comedy is effectively used to lighten the underlying seriousness and tragedy of the story taking place in the past. Whatever tragedy has occured to General Meng Yi in the past is now mitigated by the relative peace Jack has in the present.

Reviews for Sen-Hua (The Myth) are so far mixed, in spite of the long standing ovation received during the Gala and World Premiere at the Film Festival. (I, unfortunately, did not see the Gala showing, but the regular screening at the Festival.) Overall, I thought the movie was exciting and fun to watch while at times being appropriately dramatic. The ending surprised even me.

As for Jackie Chan’s performance, Hollywood thought he couldn’t be taken seriously as an actor (see my next post above), he was just an action star to give roles that no serious actor would take. He may have just proven Hollywood wrong with this movie. He plays well as the loyal General Meng Yi who would sacrifice everything for his honour and his love. Finally, Jackie Chan gets to play a role he’s always wanted to play.

Fun movie facts:

1. Jackie Chan sings (in Cantonese) the love song featured in the movie.
2. Stanley Tong and Jackie Chan waited eight years to do another movie together.


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