At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


To the best of my knowledge I've only met one celebrity. And the chances are that you have never heard of him. Trust me, he's big.
Deservedly so.

Nearly twenty years ago he was browsing in a bookstore around the corner from my house. Quite likely looking for something light and sprightly to read before bedtime after a long flight.
I believe he was staying at the Holiday Inn on Van Ness Avenue at the time, and he may have had performances scheduled at the Masonic Auditorium and in Las Vegas.

I was probably the only person in the store who recognized him. Two movies in which he performed are indelibly imprinted on my mind, namely 'Boat People' (投奔怒海) and 'Heart to Hearts'. The first you've probably heard of, the second is a 1988 comedy of which the Chinese name makes a lot more sense than the English title: 三人世界 (saam yan sai kaai) -- three people world. It's about a mother and daughter, and the man whose presence interferes with their lives.
To be totally honest, I remember that movie as much for the stellar performances of the two women characters as for the fact that he was the male lead.


George Lam Chi Cheung (林子祥) has appeared in over three dozen movies in a career that spans thirty five years. But he's far better known for his singing than his acting. At sixty five years old, he's still going strong. Recently he performed in Vegas.

Nah, I ain't gonna embed a video of him singing. He does lighthearted stuff, mostly sensitive and romantic. Not my favourite style of music. What made him remarkable for me was the straightforward quality of the man, which comes through in his acting. His face is expressive.

Which is where his facial hair comes in. It's an instantly recognizable feature, especially as not many Cantonese go for the fuzz about the mouth. Consequently, one of his nicknames is 'siu wu-sou' ("little mustache").
I think that's what he was actually called in a few movies.

I do not know when the picture above was taken. But even today he still looks remarkably boyish and innocent. It's an intelligent face, that could belong to an engineer posted to a test-range in Nevada, or a manager for the Banque de l'Indochine in Swatow or Long Thọ.

If you saw him today, you'd instantly recognize him.

You would think him quite a likable fellow.

He'd make a good assassin.

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