East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Other People’s Pulps: The Taking of Tiger Mountain (2014)

OK, I said I’d do a few posts about Tsui Hark‘s The Taking of Tiger Mountain – so here’s the film review, or an attempt at it.
Let’s start with the plot.
As mentioned in a previous post, The Taking of Tiger Mountain is based on true events: in the winter of 1946, in North-Eastern China, a unit of the Chinese People Liberation Army tackled a local warlord and his army of bandits.

Then, a novel, an opera, a movie – and in 2014, The Taking of Tiger Mountain.


Tsui Hark’s take on this classic of historical adventure turned Cultural Revolution mainstay is framed as a movie-within-a-movie: in the prologue, Jimmi – a young hotshot Chinese programmer on his way to Silicon Valley – catches a glimpse of the 1970 version of the movie, and decides to re-watch it.
What we see, therefore, is the 1970s movie through the eyes of a post-Communist young man1.
Ergo, the somewhat stiff and overstated 1970 film turns on the screen into a Spielbergesque high adventure entertainment. Continue reading


Tiger Mountain, finally!

It took me almost one year to get my hands on a copy of Tsui Hark‘s The Taking of Tiger Mountain – and the long hunt was well worth it.
The 2014 movie is a great adventure flick, straddling the line between historical narrative and pulp fantasy.


I’ll have to write a lot about it – so expect a post or three in the next days.
In the meantime, the trailer…


Character Profile – Pat Neil

The Ministry of ThunderIt’s about time I made a post about Pat Neil, the female lead in my novel, The Ministry of Thunder.

A while back I did a post on the other woman, and I’d like to do a short piece about each one of the characters in my book – and Pat is the obvious choice.
Other characters will be discussed in future posts1.

Incidentally – this post will not contain spoilers.
I don’t want to spoil the fun for future readers, you see.

So, off we go,
And as a start, how comes a Chinese girl’s called Pat Neil? Continue reading

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The first movie of 2015

The movie I’m expecting the most this year – but I doubt it will be distributed in my country.

The Taking of Tiger Mountain, historical adventure by the great Tsui Hark, based on a popular Chinese novel, and a revision of classic Maoist-era films.

Here’s the teaser, and the trailers.

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The Return of Feng Shui

For me, Feng Shui, the Roleplaying game, remains one of the best gaming systems and gaming universes ever.
Few other games have granted so much fun to me and my players.

Designed to allow players to engage in the furious action of the classic John Woo or Tsui Hark movies, bringing together in a single coherent setting everything from heroic bloodshed to wuxia, Feng Shui was the ultimate action roleplaying game, a perfect blend of elegant mechanics and jaw-dropping worldbuilding.

And now it’s back – and Feng Shui 2 is being financed through a Kickstarter.
As usual, WordPress does not allow me to post you the snazzy animated link… so we’ll make do with a static picture.


I paid my ghost money to the Dragon already.
I invite you to do the same.