How Far West?

How did a telly series based on a Chinese classic end up not having a single Chinese actor?

Should we even be surprised at the casting decisions for Netflix’s The Legend of Monkey, which is based on the sixteenth century novel Journey to the West? Probably not, considering how Scarlett Johansen was given the role of Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell and Tilda Swinton played the Ancient One in Dr Strange.

journey to the west
Sun Wukong and gang go West … to La La Land.

The book tells the story of Xuanzang, a Tang dynasty Buddhist monk who travels to the ‘West’, meaning Central Asia and India, in search of sacred texts. He is given three friends who function as helpers and body guards of sorts: Sun Wukong (the monkey king); Zhu Bajie (the Pig of Eight Prohibitions – a half-man, half-pig); and Sha Wujing (a hideous immortal).

emilieWhile you could argue that monsters and immortals could be any race, Xuanzang is definitely Chinese. However, there is no Buddhist monk in this version of the tale. Instead, there is a teenager called Sandy (this is confusing because Sha Wujing is called Friar Sandy or Sandy in English translations of the novel) and Emilie Cocquerel [left], the actor who plays her, is definitely white.

There is no further information about the series, like where it’s set and how the three companions of Xuanzang end up hanging out with a white girl instead – I don’t know if Sandy is even supposed to be white. I notice that she is shown bald and with a tan in the promo pic – perhaps in an attempt to give her a more ‘edgy’ appearance.

Anyway, the series is supposed to be release in 2018. I guess we’ll have to wait til then to see just how bad it is. Of course, it may be good in terms of script, direction, acting etc, but I feel it’s failed already due to its casting decisions.

Whingy

ms cat nail bar

By Ms. Cat

For my fiftieth birthday, my eldest niece, Nadia, got me a voucher for a nail spa and so I went for a pedicure this morning. It was a very expensive pedicure (RM75) but seemed no different from the sort I usually have at the salon down the street. (Note to self: If a salon is called Posh!, you can expect high prices for nothing more than ambience, speaking of which, the piped music was embarrassing and included a tinkly version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.)

I also had the ‘callus heel treatment’, which cost RM70, but I’m not sure I noticed where the pedicure ended and where this treatment began, especially as the former included the ‘removal of calluses’. I must say my heels look and feel smoother than they’ve done in a long time. I’m pleasantly surprised as nothing can usually be done with the cracked and hard skin on the soles of my feet. Perhaps I was paying RM70 for magic!

I usually choose scarlett for my toe nails, but the last time I had a pedicure I picked a dark coral shade. You can see what I opted for this time. The colour is beautiful but, as always, my toes look like slug corpses.

While I was having my hour as a lady of leisure I received a text from the kids saying that my bedroom door had ‘locked itself’ and there was no key to be found. I shall have to call a locksmith tomorrow, but in the meantime, I’ve got one of the condo’s maintenance staff to remove the lock and door knobs and so now the door has to be held closed with a stool. I just thought I’d add that to this post as confirmation that a mother’s day always ends up equal parts bitter, sour and sweet.

One Each, Please

blue

I can relate! Used to be if I found anything that fit and I liked it, I’d buy one in every available colour. I think it was a knee-jerk reaction to it being difficult to find clothes my size. I’m trying to break the habit, but it’s hard. However, an outfit sometimes does justify getting ‘one in every colour’.

Sunday Lunch

 

grace helmer

By Grace Helmer

How lovely to sit eating and drinking with friends on a mild-weathered Sunday. I will be meeting Marisa for lunch today. I hope it will be a good day for both of us.

Something About My Name

This morning I listened to the recent BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour episode about first names.

I’ve always been interested in the meanings and origins of names. And I like knowing how people get their names, or choose their children’s names. I was nearly named Diana, but my uncle’s then-wife protested, saying it sounded like the name of a ‘working’ girl. Apparently Malaysian women who worked in bars in the 60s (they were referred to as bar girls) were called Suzie, Maggie, Lucy, Alice, Diana etc. (my great grandmother was called Lucy, and my grandmother Alice – I don’t know what my uncle’s then-wife had to say about that!). I don’t like Diana, but it’s not for that reason. I just don’t like the way it sounds and I can’t imagine being a Diana. I don’t, in my opinion, seem like a Diana; or look like one. Do I look like a Daphne?

Daphne du Maurier: This picture reminds me of my mother who was a smoker and often cooked with a cigarette hanging from the corner of her mouth.

Daphne was chosen as my name because my uncle’s then-wife, my mother and her sisters had all read and liked Daphne du Maurier’s novels. I don’t know if my father had any say. I believe he chose my Chinese name because he was the one who could read and write Chinese. However, my sisters and I have very ordinary Chinese names. They are the Janes and Jills of Chinese names: Mei Choo, Mei Chan, Mei Mei and Mei Lin.Read More »