Friday, May 02, 2003

my leslie phase

His movies. His music.
I have been immersing myself with Leslie Cheung the past week.

When I heard about his death on April's Fool, I shoved it aside as some sick person's idea of an April Fool's joke. When the media printed stories and had tributes to this 'legendary' performer, I didn't tune in or pay attention to them. I'd even thought it amusing that some of the people in the studio cried while watching a video of his concert. Yes! I'm a unfeeling bitch who laughes at others' unhappiness.

Well, what was I suppose to do? Cry along? I didn't grow up listening to his music or his movies. Leslie wasn't much a part of my growing life.

I vaguely remember his 'Monica' playing over the radio while I was living in Kepong cause one of my aunt's a fan of his. About the only time in my life where I listened to chinese music. The same time I listened to Anita Mui and also the time I learned the words to a Malay song - Si Jantung Hati. After that, I hardly listened to chinese music anymore. The next time would be circa 1997 or 1998 when I saw some Sammi Cheng movie and liked the songs that were in there.

So, his death didn't make much of an impact on me.

His movie "He's a Woman, She's a Man" was the only chinese movie that I had wanted to own. I remember watching it at the pro-shop after squash training and loving it and the song Jui (Chase) so much that I tried to learn the song. Not an easy task as I don't read chinese and can only understand the basics of conversational cantonese ... but learn it I did. With the help of some friends, I wrote down the phonetics for it. I don't know where that piece of paper is now. Probably thrown away some time ago.

I had also always wanted to watch "Farewell My Concubine" cause I've always heard that it's a really good movie. I did and I loved it. There are some parts of it that I don't quite understand why it happened, probably missed something and would have to watch it again, but I liked it.

Then last week, I borrowed a CD of Leslie Cheung from a colleague. You see ... I was not familiar with his songs except for those mentioned above nor would I recognise his voice even if I had heard it over the radio. So, I was curious. Why was this man a legend?

I think he sings a little different from the current batch of male chinese singers. It has this floaty feeling to it. Somehow it makes me think that it's a little cantonese opera like. Although why I would think that quite puzzles me as well as I've never heard/seen a cantonese opera. I told my colleague that maybe that's the way that singers of his time, the late 70s early 80s, sang as his other contemporary, Roman Tam, sounds a little like that as well. Leslie's sounds more soothing compared to Roman though.

An article of a DJ turned singer who quoted Leslie as one of his idols probably had the best description of his voice ... sexy. And yes, I do agree. I think he's what people would call a crooner?

While listening to some of his songs and watching his movies, I came to understand why those people at the studio cried, why some would call him a legend. It was cause he was truly talented. His good looks helps as well but then he wasn't just a face. He had talent as well.

It's such a waste that he felt his problems could not be resolved and he had to take his own life. My sense of loss however is selfish. I would not be able to listen to him sing new songs. New movies will never star this actor ever again. There will no longer be anything new coming from him. I cannot be a fan of his and look forward to the day that I might see him live in concert now that I've discovered that I like his music.

No more.

Not any longer.

How sad is it that I am to discover what millions of others have known and enjoyed the past two or three decades only after his death? Are there more like me out there? More like me who appreciate him like Van Gogh; appreciated only after death? But he's probably more like Picasso, appreciated before and even after death.
gambling and ballet

the company

Elizaveta Nebesnaya & Borzov Alexey, Nutcracker pas de deux ... I think
Genting is a terribly boring place to visit.

What I meant was, it's boring if you don't do much gambling and you do not have any friend in which to venture out to the outdoor park for rides. Somehow the thought of going on the roller coaster, screaming your head off even though you're not the least bit terrified, doesn't feel the same without having some friends around doing the same. Which was why I didn't pay to go in the park.

Strange ... I remember the park being free when I was young. We didn't have to pay anything just to be there. Just had to pay for the rides. Now it's like Dreamworld or Movieworld where you pay the entrance and ride to your heart's content.

So, basically I spent most of the weekend roaming the First World Hotel. There's only so much to roam. It's kinda small.

Now ... why was I there and submit myself to such utter boring-ness?

For the ballet. The Russian Ballet - Revival was there. I wasn't even planning to go but then when my mum asked, I didn't say no. So we got tickets for it and there I was. The tickets were free! Mum's been collecting lots of points on her membership card from all her previous visits and we could redeem the points for tickets. :)

The company was good. I especially liked Olga Kuznetsova (I think), the soloist who did the Swan Lake pas de deus. I think she's got very good musicality(?). The other ballerina, Elizaveta Nebesnaya, who has a higher billing was really good as well, her extension was really good but she doesn't seem as expressive as Kuznetsova. Too bad I couldn't quite get a picture of her. Camera's too slow to take action shots. *shucks* These two were about the only good pictures of the dozen or so that I took.


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