Monday, April 07, 2003

Soaring high in the sky

You know what day it is today? It's Astroboy's birthday! The little metal blighter is fifty. Of course, you couldn't tell by looking at him. A fresh coat of paint and he still looks like a mechanical boy of twelve. Still, he can celebrate by flying around in circles and firing incendiaries from his butt.

Fifty years and Astroboy is still popular. More than popular. He's a multicultural, multigenerational icon of ephemera. Even today I saw someone wearing an Astroboy t-shirt. Who knows if she's ever seen the show. It don't matter. He's Astroboy. He is because he is.

So what is it now that Astro represents that makes so many use him as an identifier? I think it's because he's the happy zooming rocket boy of a glorious happy future that was a past dream. He is the embodiment of the dream of the flying car and technological luxury for all. He the promise of a fun filled future that would be exciting and entrancing. But he also, by being a naive little boy who is more than capable of defending himself, represents that attitude that we know better about the realities of the world today but we still have the willing ability to dream. We didn't get our future of flying cars, but we were no more robbed than those who dreamt of wondrous future things in the first place. Astro is a sympathetic bridge between past, present and future. We're the truth of their long ago dreams, but we are grateful that they did try to dream. Astroboy is the good will ambassador to our millennial disappointment. And in this time of war and technological horror - and the religious callousness that controls it, on both sides - the need for sweet and well-meaning symbols like Astroboy is more important than ever.

Of course, a smiling, waving Astro can also just look tre cute on a t-shirt.

Regardless, I say...

Happy Birthday Astro! Glad you're still flying around.

He may be small but only in size.

Friday, April 04, 2003


After much lengthy consideration and full and extensive use of my critical faculties, I've come to a unshakable conclusion.

Tweety-Pie is originally based on Lucy O'Ball.

I'm sure of it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003


If you haven't heard of him I would quite understand.

But if you follow Asian cinema, especially the good stuff, then you'd know he is one of their brightest talents.

He featured in:
A Better Tomorrow I
A Better Tomorrow II
A Chinese Ghost Story I
A Chinese Ghost Story II*
Once A Thief
Days of Being Wild*
Farewell My Concubine
Bride with White Hair I*
Bride with White Hair II
Ashes of Time*
Temptress Moon
Happy Together

Asterixed titles are ones I particularly like with "Days of Being Wild" & "Ashes of Time" being in my fav 50 films.

Leslie Cheung made 60 films and starred in over 40 of them and there seemed every sign he'd continue contributing to good cinema.

So I guess you can imagine how sad it made me to learn he committed suicide yesterday at the age of 46.

Able to do funny and dark with equal skill Leslie Cheung did it all with a sincere charm he could make flirtatious or tragic. He was one of my favourite actors.