Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Songs which Remind Me....

There are a few songs which always remind of a few stars whom have committed suicide..whenever i hear these songs, i always remember them and feel sad that they've decided to kill themselves and end their lives prematurely...

張國榮《追》 - 金枝玉葉

I never understood why Leslie Cheung killed himself on April 1st 2003. He was like the brightest star in Chinese pop and cinema. He had an amazing career being at one point the most popular Chinese singer during the late 80s and had many memorable film roles, the most famous being arguably his role as the homosexual Chinese opera singer in Chen Kai-ge's 'Fairwell My Concubine'. He had money, love, and friends as well as fans whom loved him and spanned all age groups. I just never understood why. They said it was because of depression, but he was so famous, so loved by fans and movie world friends alike, would it have become so serious? I mean he had some of the most well-known friends in HK entertainment circles, being close to super icons like Brigette Lin Hsin Hsia and Lydia Sum..and had so much wealth...and he had a very good looking partner whom he was in a long term relationship for over a decade..i first saw the partner's pictures when Leslie died and newspapers posted his pictures..he was very good looking for his age..early 40s i think..and even if another rumour was true, that they had relationship problems because Leslie had another new relationship with a younger hunk whom was working at one of Brigette Lin's Esprit shops in Hong Kong...shouldn't it be his partner whom should have been more likely to commit suicide not Leslie, whom effectively had two incredibly good looking men in his life, one younger and one whom he's spent over a decade with??

Anyways, whenever i hear this song from the movie 'She's a Man, He's a Woman' I always feel like ALWAYS reminds me of Leslie Cheung and how i grew up watching video tapes of his old movies..sniff sniff..the lyrics are extremely moving in this song and the film, which was a huge box office success, was a thinly veiled reflection of his real life at the time and his relationship with his partner..:(

Since I Met You:
The beginning of this Korean drama always tears me as well as I remember the first time i saw Choi Jin Sil and watched a whole 50 episodes (the length of this drama!) of her...the opening sequence is always etched in my mind..its so sad...she killed herself as well in 2008, leaving two children behind. Once again, I lament at the unnecessary loss of life. She was once Korea's Sweetheart, being the most popular Korean TV drama actress in the mid-90s. She had such fame and money and although her career was going down by 2008, she should have clearly cherished what she had right? I mean most actresses don't even ever get to earn as much or become as famous as Choi was...its sad..i never understand her suicide as well..yes, everyone has problems, including Choi, i just don't see the problems being so insurmountable...i mean if the average beaten up woman with two kids and financial problems can live it out, i don't see how wealthy Choi Jin Sil with all her former fame and family support couldn't get pass what she was going through..:(

The song below (no one dies this time!) just reminds me of my primary childhood days hanging out with my mother's Taiwanese friends and living within the Taiwanese community in Penang...looking back, I never really led a normal 'Malaysian life' during my years in Penang, I had always led an expat life, surrounded by a variety of foreign schoolmates and Taiwanese expats, friends of my parents...the song below, which i had randomly found on youtube a couple of days before, ignited my memories of the Taiwanese expat childhood i had in Penang, Malaysia:


duriandave said...

I had the chance to see Inner Senses at the 4 Star Theater in San Francisco shortly after Leslie Cheung's death. Boy, was I crying during that screening! It was quite a cathartic experience and helped me mourn his death.

Judging from his intense performance in Inner Senses and his previous film Double Tap, it certainly seems like Leslie had some inner demons that he was struggling with. Suicide always seems avoidable to the survivors, but the person caught in depression is incapable of seeing the way out.

Rest in peace, Leslie.

hcpen said...

duriandave: True, true, I miss him dearly..

aimlesswanderer said...

The even more tragic thing about Choi's death is that she was being sued by a construction company that she was a 'face' for, because she was photographed after being beaten up by her ex husband! Talk about stupid, but then again Korea seems to be rather backwards in regards to women's rights.

It seems like there is a serious underlying societal problem with (lack of) women's rights, depression and suicide, as it happens far too regularly, and the netizens are often less than helpful. The govt and society don't seem to have acknowledged the problem, so it won't get better...

hcpen said...

aimlesswanderer: I totally agree with your viewpoint. sigh...what to do..

aimlesswanderer said...

A bit of pressure from both inside and outside the country for some positive changes would be good. There needs to be a recognition that there is a problem first, however.

So you still working FT, or only PT? Am still gainfully unemployed, sadly.

hcpen said...

aimlesswanderer: I think Koreans do realise on the whole that they've got a problem with women's rights..its just that things like this keep on happening..anyways, I'm working F.T. what makes you think i ever worked P.T.???

aimlesswanderer said...

The pace of change seems to be awfully slow and inconsistent. The wage gap is huge, the participation rate is very low, and the birthrate is terrible. If they don't get their crap together, and fast, when we are old it's going to have a much smaller population full of oldies. And from what I remember SK did very badly on the global ranking of women's quality of life. They have a looong way to go.

I vaguely remember you posting that you wanted to work in a clothing store? Unless that was only on weekends I thought that meant you weren't FT any more. But since you are, all is good, given the state of the economy.

hcpen said...

aimlesswanderer: yeah, weekend retail is what i'm going for..south korea is indeed dead last when it comes to women's status within the OECD countries.

aimlesswanderer said...

Yeah, they need all the help they can get.

Well I hope you get the job.

hcpen said...

aimlesswanderer: thanks.

Ai Shiang said...

Depression if not treated is extremely serious. Did you know that one of the television presenter from channel 9 or 10 also commited suicide. She had fame too.

I had a friend who commited suicide back in 1994. I didn't quite understand depression at that time.

I think it is one of the hormones lacking inside somebody that caused depression. That's why they need to take medicine/drugs.

To stay happy, always exercise. endorphine is a natural drugs inside our body that will only generated through exercising or eating.

I normally get grumpy if I don't go for a run for 3 days :o).

hcpen said...

Ai Shiang: I understand depression cos i've experience with it too (im sure everyone has some point in their lives to varying degrees..)...but with all the things they have, eg. fame, money, loads of properties, supportive friends/family/children...i just don't understand why...i can definitely understand why if its someone depressed without money, friends, family, know, that'd be DEFINITELY understandable..but its not hormones in my personal experience, i think most ppl get depressed due to circumstances/a 'trigger point' and that in turns causes hormonal changes in the body, rarely the other way round..then of cos, different ppl have different coping thresholds, so i guess these stars have lower coping mechanisms than others whom may have abit higher threholds eg. transvestites or 'untouchables' in india many of whom suffer worse but choose not to give up on life:-)

Chris said...


hcpen said...


Anonymous said...

hi there hcpen.
it was great coming across your site. i am also an admirer of the 1950s/60 cheongsam and it was wonderful to see
some vintage images form that era on your site.

sorry if this is off topic but you briefly mentioned in a post the differences b/w a 1930s cheongsam/qipao and a 1960s cheongsam/qipao.
could you expand on this?

i would like to hear more of your views on vintage cheongsam.

hcpen said...

Ted: Good to know someone also interested in vintage 50/60s qipaos! I have expanded on the differences here:

The main difference is really 30s: not body hugging nor tight and usually mid calf to ankle length with sleeves of varying lengths.
Not high collar, soft short collars and usually with frog buttons to fasten at the side.
60s: Very tight and body-hugging, knee length,sleeveless or capped sleeves, no frog buttons,etc usually fastening buttons,very high stiff collars.

However, nowadays in tv dramas/movies, you can see inaccurate depictions of 30s cheongsam with many being influenced by 60s fashion such that they become a hybrid of 30s and 60s cheongsam together! Usually, tv dramas/movies are set in the 30s.40s in Shanghai and you seldom see movies being based in the 60s with the notable exception of 'In the Mood for Love'. To get an accurate depiction of 30s cheongsam, one of the rare movies to get it right (actually alot of China made tv series set in the 30s are also quite accurate and realistic) would be 'Everlasting Regret' by Stanley Kwan and the most accurate depiction of the 60s cheongsam in film would be 'In the Mood for Love'. I'm a big fan of the 50s/60s version cheongsam and lament the inaccurate portrayal of the cheongsam in movies dealing with the 1930s as they are too tight and high collared for the 30s.
whereabouts are u from Ted? like what background are u to give u such an interest in the vintage cheongsam from the 60s??

Anonymous said...

hi hcpen
thanks for your reply.
i have had an interest in 1950/60s cheongsam ever since i saw the world of suzie wong with Nancy Kwan. its still one of my favourite movies

i checked out the trailer of Everlasting Regret' by Stanley Kwan on youtube. it looks beautiful.

by the way i am from melbourne. do you have an email address? i did try to contact you via your youtube email.

hcpen said...

Ted: I've replied your youtube email..we can correspond via my youtube email account, if you want:-) Love to expand more on the cheongsam with a fellow cheongsam fan!

PS: I'm a Melburnian too, well, i consider myself a defacto Melburnian..having first arrived in Australia there and living my crucial yrs with many memories in Melbourne..

Anonymous said...

hi hcpen
would be delighted to talk about cheongsam especially cheongsam of the 1950s and 60s.

hcpen said...

Ted: Hi there. About the cheongsam discussions..of course, just comment on my latest post, as i don't really check bck on older any questions just leave it on my latest post, not this one:-)