十年了 ,永远的哥哥 – 张国荣

Watched a HK drama in the past which comes with the classic phrase – 人生有多少个十年!Time truly files – it has been 10 years since a great HK legend Leslie Cheung has left us ……

With 1st April being the 10th year of his passing, lots of commemorative events and news going on , which makes it a truly Gorgor month! And of course, have to blog about this before April comes to a close!

Not only that, after being immersed in all things K-entertainment related for the past 1 year or so, thanks to Gorgor – started to surf fanatically for all news, YouTube videos of his music & live performances, started watching (and re-watching) his movies, and got back into Cantopop again. Come to think of it, Cantopop was truly in its prime in the 80s and 90s – with the infamous Leslie & Alan rivalry, followed by the golden era of ‘Four Heavenly Kings’. Of course it is a much different scene today – when looking back, makes one miss the ‘golden era’ a lot more ……

Leslie’s Music

My 1st encounter with Leslie was with his music. His peak came in the 80s – with an intense rivalry with Alan Tam and his 1st retirement at his musical peak in 1989.

The very 1st song I heard on VHS (video casette recorder). It was a taped HK variety show/charity show.

This is an MV version of 無心睡眠. Still remember being mesmerized by his singing and dancing on stage when I 1st heard this song. I was only in Primary 1 (7 years old) at that time. Ha! Found another performance version here which will show you he’s the real deal ….

As mentioned earlier, with his 1st retirement in 1989 (when he was only 33 years old, pretty young on hindsight) …… Next came the era of the ‘Four Heavenly Kings’ aka 四大天王 when transiting to my teenage years. As Leslie returned with multiple hit movies, he came back to music and made many more memorable hits too!

Such as 追 – the theme song from ‘He’s A Woman She’s A Man 金枝玉叶’ …… The movie came out in 1994 – 19 years later, this still remains a very timeless classic and probably most of my generation (borned after 1980) will be a lot more familar with as compared to his 80s hits ……

Rather than posting up the MV version, picked out this live version instead from his 1996-1997 concert series. Love the rousing arrangement and from here, you can see that he’s a much more confident performer after he made his 2nd comeback to music! When watching the same concert series on my iPad, I noted also that his live singing voice is a lil’ more raspy and thinner than his recordings, must be the auto-tune (very prevalent for studio recordings) – I guess which is why watching a live concert is such a priceless experience (having watched Jacky & Lee Hom live, can definitely attest to that) …… The bittersweet thing here though is that I will never ever get to watch a Leslie live concert in my lifetime ……

Leslie’s Movies

Majority of my generation would probably be more familar and acquainted with his movie work. Myself included. Going into the 90’s, Leslie focused a lot on his movie career and filmed count-less memorable roles and performances.

Can you remember this smoking hot scene?

This was one of the 1st introduction scenes of ‘Days of Being Wild 阿飞正传’ ….. This was Leslie truly at his prime – dashingly charming and debonair. If you ain’t charmed, something’s off … heh

Another classic – a bird with no legs. Recalled reading the backstory of how these 2 scenes were put together via editing – truly amazing and no wonder this movie is such a cult classic!

Recalled watching this movie on a Saturday evening (Channel 8 used to show HK movies on its Sat night timeslot) …… I was in my teens then and actually dozed off some 40 minutes into the movie. At that point in time, it was overly abstract and artistic for the 14-15 year old me, haha …… Got inspired to re-watch this movie again when C posted the one minute friend clip on Facebook – as a way of commenerating Leslie. With the help of wikipedia, and 10 odd years later, at the grand old age of 33 – I finally understood what the movie was all about. Yuddy is truly one of Leslie’s best performance (and the only performance that he won a HKFA Best Actor for) ……

After a couple of memorable works with Wong Kar Wai (with ‘Happy Together 春光炸泄’ being their last collaboration) + the tremendous success of ‘Farewell To My Concubine 霸王别姬’ – another groundbreaking role for Leslie …… Post 1997, Leslie further diversified his working relationships with other collaborators and made more memorable movies, notably ‘The Kid 流星雨’ …. ‘Double Tap 枪王’ …. ‘Inner Senses 异度空间’ – which showcased different versatility, range and his total commitment in being ‘the role’ himself. Among his newer works, went back and watched ‘Double Tap 枪王’ after reading about the good critical reception online. He plays a psychotic killer in this – another 360 degree turn from his earlier hit roles. Not only he totally outshone the other male lead Alex Fong Chun Sun, it is also ‘criminal’ on hindsight that he did not win any awards with this role. Where performance is concerned – he breaks new ground in his acting …. no longer relying on looks but simply exemplifying the character himself …… A peerless actor indeed!

For the past month, apart from ‘Days of Being Wild’ …. ‘Double Tap’ …. ‘He’s A Woman She’s A Man’ …. ‘Moonlight Express’ etc …… Will put  ‘Happy Together’ and ‘Farewell To My Concubine’ on my to-watch list next ……

——

Whatever works mentioned as above are just the main highlights of his extensive career (too many classics to state all out lah!) and I have probably touched only the tip of the iceberg ……  As he was talented in both singing and acting – Hong Kong has seen no other true superstar like him. 果然独一无二! And sadly, there’s no other as well ……

His memorial concerts on 31st March and 1st April + the Times Square Exhibition were the key highlights of this 10th year anniversary rememberance. Wanted to blog on the Miss You Much concert next but decided to continue on a separate entry instead before this gets too long.

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