East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Horror movies for families and other wonders

I am going to share a video-essay I just saw on Youtube, because it is really interesting and has a lot to say about writing horror and writing my kind of horror, but before we get to that I’ll have to make a little introduction and give a little explanation.

Back in the mid-80s I started getting really interested in Hong Kong movies. Up to that point I had seen mostly Bruce Lee features (lots of friends from primary school got sent to karate lessons because of that), the occasional kung fu movie and of course Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires, the Hammer/Shaw Bros collaboration. In the second part of the ’80s more Hong Kong movies started being distributed more regularly in my country, and we finally got Jacky Chan and his former team, the Lucky Stars.
Then, in the early ’90s movies by Ringo Lam, Tsui Hark and John Woo finally hit the screens.

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Cruel and Unusual

Quite a few years back, I used to contribute reviews and articles to a small literary magazine based in Turin. It was a lot of fun, I met some great people, and started to develop the habit of writing regularly on themes and with schedules set by others.

The magazine hosted a number of independent writers, and it even had some international contributors. One of these was a Japanese gentleman who was writing a book about the Tokyo underworld of fetish and BDSM clubs. He would send chapters to the magazine, that published them as a series. He was quite a good writer, and his pieces were always a great read, very literary and really in no way X-rated.

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The Algorithm got me wrong – and a neat dance

In the last weeks I’ve spent quite an amount of time on Youtube watching streaming, subbed Chinese TV series, and it was a lot of fun. I like watching something new, and often the different cultural nuances add an unexpected spin on classic themes and tropes.
It’s good entertainment, and food for thought.

A curious side-effect was that the Youtube Algorithm decided, based on my viewing history, that I am obviously Chinese – and as a consequence it started suggesting a selection of Chinese language contents – of which I can’t even read the description.
And this is curious, because – for instance – I usually watch a lot of Japanese music videos on Youtube, and it never tried to push on me Japanese drama, or Japanese news service.
I wonder what’s different in this case.

Anyway… being considered Chinese does have its perks, as I am discovering a lot of traditional music and other contents.
So, today being Sunday and all that, I offer you a neat little song and dance number.