Sunday, January 30, 2005

kung fu hustling

It was set during the 30’s (I hope I have gotten the message loud and clear) in Shanghai where dangerous gangs rule the streets. In the movie the most notorious was the Axe gang. They strike fear into the hearts of honest citizens and for some weird matter they inspire admiration in one young wannabe gangster member (Stephen Chow). One day he wreaks havoc when he recklessly poses as an Axe member and causes a veritable riot between the real gang members and the denizens of a housing project (pig sty) who happen to be strangely well-versed in the art of kung fu.

The first film that I have watched this year. Which is very special since I have to schedule my viewing pleasure because my work demands a lot of my time. And just as I suspected I was not disappointed. The film was hilarious. It brought tears in my eyes (because of laughing). Once again Stephen Chow proves that he is a genius.

I was stunned by the action sequence of the film. It was well thought of. Considering that for quite sometime I grew tired of oriental films, because it has been dominating the movie scene in our country.

Kung Fu Hustle was different. Refreshing. Spectacular. And the best word to describe it is a ‘knock out.’ From the set to the costume it was complementary. I just wish I understood cantonese to better understood the film, some translation was incoherent. But it does not make the movie less incredible.
When they say that Chow is possibly Asia’s biggest onscreen star next to Jackie Chan, I definitely agree.

Kung Fu Hustle is Chow’s joyous homage to the Shaw Brothers’ movies of the late sixties and early seventies. The director affectionately revives classic Shaw tropes from Western-style kung fu showdowns to dance sequences featuring tuxedoed mobsters.
One surprising thing is that Chow employs veteran stuntman Yuen Wah – who was Bruce Lee’s stunt double for back flips and went to the Peking Opera School with Jackie Chan – as the seemingly shy landlord who turns out to be a kung fu master. When I first saw his face I said that he really looks familiar and I was not wrong.
Almost every element of this film has its origin in the movies, but they are taken to new heights here through the use of special effects, clever wire-fu tricks and the incomparable choreography of both Sammo Hung (still remember him) and Yuen Wo Ping.
The truth is that even those unfamiliar with the references will enjoy the film; the intricate plot barrels along, the jokes are relentless and the fighting sequences – a vortex of kicks and swift punches – are exhilarating. The film’s unforgettable ending conveys the sheer pleasure in Chow’s nostalgia and no one will be able to resist sharing his enthusiasm.

a confession of a prodigal daughter

I have something to confess.
For the last two weeks I have been a really mad about God.
I would say that we are not in speaking terms.
My journal only contains hate notes about Him.
My prayers are all but routines and an immense silence that only send one strong message to Him ‘I hate you’.
But just when you think you have every right to be mad at Him he has a subtle way of telling you that what you're doing does not compare to what he had done two thousand years ago…
I have been a faithful daughter but what I don’t understand is that every promise that He told me, none of them came true (yet). I started to wait but waiting can be very tiring, waiting can be very draining. I started to rebel. But what is so interesting is that even if I rebel I can’t bear to show it for the people to see. It's like it's a family affair that I don't want people prying over the 'issues' that my Father and I have to deal with.
One of the entries in my journal goes like this- 'I have been a good daughter, I have been faithful, I have been
a worker. And You, my God, You don’t even notice. Not even a single word. A word of approval, of praise
not even a hint that you are pleased! Are you to busy playing favorites? Am I not worthy in your eyes, do
I not have your favor?'
Slowly the pain in my heart grew bigger, day by day it's like I have been moving an extra mile away form Him.
It even became worst when I have been asking him to give me time so that I could commune with him, so to fix all
of this mess, but the exact opposite happened I was bombarded with work, I can’t even read my bible without interruptions.
God has given me so much pain that I started to be distant. silent. unwilling.
Then the unforgettable happened.
He spoke (I’m not going unto details about it). He said loud and clear that He had taken notice of what I have been doing, He said that I will soon hear from Him, that I have been faithful and that faithfulness will soon have its rewards, and He said that His words will not return to Him empty handed, that I will be a blessing to other people. That 'my daughter there will be bigger platform in the ministry for you. He even said the familiar line that recurred in every page of my journal 'Don't worry my daughte, I will be using you'.
Eversince I have been a christian all i ask is for God to use me, to speak for Him. To let other people know that He exist. I was in awe.
But this time it’s like I was hit by a truck. All along I have wanted to have a confirmation from Him, an approval but what he had given me is more than what I have asked for.
I ask for time with Him, he had given me Eternity. I ask for a communion with Him,
He made me his daughter.
This time waiting can be very exciting.

chaotic week

Finally, a time to write, don't get me wrong I love writing but it’s the time that I don’t have.
The last two weeks of my life has been chaotic.
Work, work and work.
One of the subjects I'm handling had reach its zenith, that it practically demanded all of my life source.
Imagine going to school at 8 in the morning and going home at around 2am, then you do it again the next day.
Draining? Not.
Physically it is exhausting. But the rest it's all good.
My class is coming up with its own gag show. And to be honest humor came out naturally as though they don't have to think about it. As if the conception of the program was just a protocol. They all speak of the same language.
As we underwent the said production, I can't help but to realize that there's a lot of things that I don't know about my students. That even if I claim to have a relationship with them and I am more than willing to extend the hours and reach for them, what we have will no more than just a student-teacher relationship. Considering that I have exerted an extra mile to get to know them.
People often ask, why the need to do that? Why do you have to get to know them personally, just give them what they want to know (lesson) then give them the grade.
I strongly disagree.
The minute you enter the classroom a whole new world opens up and the outside world you belong unto closes.
Getting to know my students, their hopes and their dreams brought a new challenge in me. It pushes my ability to comprehend, it gives me a new and fresh perspective. It teaches me the value of listening and had taught me the power of passion and desire for the future.
Don't get me wrong not all of my students are lovable so to speak, but it is not an excuse not to love them. Some of them are smart asses, mr./ms. know it all, but that personalities makes me even more fascinated.
I have learned that real teaching happens after class hours, that real relationship is not built on the three hours spent inside the class dissecting intellectual abilities of each others and grades are just and again representation on how a student understood you (as a teacher) as a person.
It may seem vague and incomprehensible to some but what investing time with your students is an activity that needs to abridge the relationship you already have, it’s like waiting for the pie to be cooked or for the your favorite movie to be shown. The satisfaction I on the waiting.

Grace Bible Church