October 2007 Archives
See other post. Please excuse the mad screaming.
Okay, rendons à César ce qui appartient à César: this was the first time that I attended a singing contest, and it was a very remarkable event. So, yes, a singing contest for Chinese folks in Montreal. It's very interesting that the language of choice is still Cantonese (both hosts spoke Cantonese all the time, except when the contestants were Mandarin-speakers), but that half or more than half of the songs sung were in Mandarin. Shows how meaningful the "old" Cantonese establishment (and how the new force of "pan-China" is changing things). Overall very pleased to having Hong Kong in Montreal.
at17 were very cool on stage. They corrected the crowd on the pace of the clapping for instance, poking fun simultaneously. They started with 始終一天, and there was 三分鐘後, and The Best is Yet to Come, and some song from Sing Sing Sing (我們的序幕), their September 2006 show at the AsiaExpo.
I believe that it is a rare thing to have Hong Kong artists perform in such intimate venues, as the Cantopop stars that we do hear about always do at the HK Auditorium and the like. It is an observation that needs exploring. We know after seeing Beijing Bubbles that a Chinese city could have a music scene. Hong Kong does have one, but if I read about it in a English-language newspaper, is it only geared towards expats, or a "certain slice" of the population? Question en l'air.
Green Life had a kiosk during the singing contest.
Phew. It's solved now, and my tables have been made in utf8!
Basically, I got backups from the MySQL console, then went to the Movable Type back-end to get further backups (this time, not dependent on the database's encoding), and changed the table charset (from the MySQL console), and restored the MT blog data to a new blog. I'll need to do some clean-up and will be done with this op.
Blah blah and blah. Movable Type required that I upgrade my database schema to the new "4.0026" version, and caused something to go awry with my mt database character encodings. I am not too sure what the original encoding was, but I think it was latin1, even if unicode characters were present all over (I clearly do not understand the logic behind these things). After the blowup, all my "é" (French e acute) became "Ã©", and the Chinese characters in my entries were transformed into gibberish.
After a fix that emerge out of magical incantations, at least the French accents work again, but I'll need to obtain a clean backup to figure out if it really did. The trick was to make my database latin1 again (I made it utf8, thinking that a consistent encoding environment would solve things), while keeping the tables in utf8. Chinese characters still don't appear at certain places, seemingly those after one or two other Chinese characters. Strange... Of course, I'll need to know more about how characters are managed. It seems like it's a seasonal thing to struggle with.
Il faisait drôlement doux pour un 21 octobre. The Indian Summer came late, and the wind blowing on Montrealers' faces today was surprisingly warm, comfortable. Along the way, I discovered an Asian snacks shop near Concordia, on De Maisonneuve close to St-Mathieu, below Tapioca Café, and formerly a comic books shop, that hides behind a nondescript "Dépanneur" sign. The sign above actually points to the existence of veritable Sichuan (Szechuan) food, which could be served at the place that is/was Tapioca Cafe, say some of my friends who have been recently. It has yet to be tried and integrated into Métro Boulot Resto, if deemed worthy.
It was indeed a really really nice day. Once more tomorrow, and it's "see you next year, summertime!".
So, we went to see Lust, Caution on Friday, and the movie was long, but surprisingly captivating from beginning to end. A complex story, it is set in WWII China, mostly Shanghai, but with its beginning happening in Hong Kong. Some scenes were shot at Hong Kong University, and I feel like there was some confusion in the translation, as I did not notice once the mention of HK's most renowned university (they talked about a Lingnan University), but it may've referred to another plot information). Roland Soong's blog reposts a SCMP article about himself, and this HKU connection with the movie.
The South China Morning Post is published in Hong Kong, and is a newspaper that I am very fond of. So fond of that I took photos of the copy that my parents bought at the HK International Airport on the day that they came back from their four-week trip to China. September 27th also happens to be my birthday, being one extra reason to spend time on a petty newspaper copy (albeit one that comes from the city I love the most outside of Montreal, written in the one language spoken in Hong Kong that I am most familiar with)...
A repost for the Election Sign Project over at Spacing Montréal, an online magazine on urban affairs. It is widely thought that the upcoming throne speech this Tuesday in Ottawa will make the current Conservative government fall (to summarize for those who have not been following the news, the Bloc and the NDP are voting against, and Stéphane Dion of the Liberals is stuck between a rock and a hard place, namely his popularity as the Liberal leader, and his party's popularity with the electorate).
You are strongly encouraged to send us pictures of election signs of years past, or even of this current election, with a comment on the sign, the campaign in the particular riding/district that it was taken in.
Up The Yangtze, a documentary by Chinese Canadian director Yung Chang, had its Montreal premiere at the Nouveau Cinéma Festival. The Facebook group indicates that today's screening and tomorrow's are in fact sold out, but there may be an extra screening, and the movie would see a theatrical release in early 2008.
The visual part is stunning (and reminiscent of the Yangtze cruise part of my parents' trip to China last month), and the story, even if a little "arrangé avec le gars des vues", is a good-enough pretext to show off China, its contradictions, its beautiful natural and man-made landscapes.
Here at Smurfmatic, we ruled out the possibility of Cantopop stars ever coming to Montreal (although, when one mentions Montreal, it is always always associated with Brossard-native Christy Chung), even if my childhood memories recall some of them showing up in Place des Arts for occasional concerts.
So, perhaps to renew my confidence in Montreal as a world city, it was announced last week that the special guest to a Montreal Chinese singing contest would be at17, a Cantopop girl duo, whose music deviate (just a little) from the mainstream mold of other popular singers, and are in my mind, bordering on the indie (they write their own stuff), very popular with a certain teenager crowd.
The concert will be on Sunday, October 28th, 2007, at the Club Soda. The tickets are 40$ apiece - for a singing contest (b/c the Montreal Chinese beauty pageant - whatever they call it - fetches way above 100$), it is a lot of money, but if it's to breathe the same air as Hong Kong music personalities (they are big on promoting environmental awareness in the Greater China), then it changes everything!
At17, on Sunday, October 28th, 2007, at the Club Soda. (And also, I know where to get tickets, so just e-mail me! firstname.lastname@example.org)
Weirdness! That is a story that strikes one's imagination. A random encounter with the modified metro wagon? Sounds straight out of a video game trying to surprise you with rare prizes / monsters.
The first feature film by Jean Leclerc (formerly known as Jean Leloup) was shown at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma tonight in premiere, but also as the premiere of the Temps Zéro section (as said in the press release and by Claude Chamberland tonight in the clip, but not in the actual program). A lot of beet juice was used during the shooting of this movie, which seems to have been entirely done in Vietnam. Some of Jean Leloup's pieces from La Vallée des Reputations were played on the van that took us back from our mini-trip back from Dalat, when I visited my aunt, uncle and cousin in Saigon back in May 2005. "Je suis parti", at that time, seemed to fit my mood completely, as I called Hong Kong home, and swirled across East Asia...
Sunday's Bleating Hearts Show was at McGill University beautiful Birks Building's chapel. On the picture is the band Clues (Alden Penner, Brendan Reed, Bethany Or) sound checking right before the show.
I've been participating in an online magazine called Spacing Montreal, the Montreal affiliate to Spacing. Since federal elections are probably coming soon, we're asking people to submit some of their most interesting pictures of electoral signs in the city, from past (or current) elections.
Radio-Canada regularly organizes "Midi de la Maison", special events on lunchtime for employees. Today's, as I brought along the lunch that my roommate made -a clam salsa with Chinese sausages, over rice-, was appropriately the showing of movies from the Métissé serré contest on Radio-Canada International (the English service has something called Digital Diversity), which is a competition of shorts filmed from the audience, on immigration, racism, multiculturalism, some funny, some a little more serious. The submission of material is complete, but the voting is just starting (a Flash page with all competing videos).