Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Movie Version Is Better

Tang Guoqiang is a Chinese actor best known for portraying historical figures in several films and television series. One of his more memorable roles include portraying Mao Zedong in "The Founding of a Republic" (Chinese: 建國大業), a 2009 Chinese propaganda film commissioned by China's film regulator to mark the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. Here Mao is treated to several revisions, appearing jovial, tolerant, and even permissive of some forms of capitalism, the latter being definitely out of character with the real Mao during the heydays of his revolution. Tang Guoqiang bears such a remarkable resemblance to the Communist Party leader that he has played Mao in at least ten other films.
Tang's Mao tip toeing through the tulips

Bruno Ganz played Adolf Hitler during the final ten days of his reign over Nazi Germany in "Downfall" (German: Der Untergang), a 2004 German war film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel. The New Yorker film critic David Denby wrote that Ganz's performance was not just astounding, it's actually rather moving. By emphasizing the painfulness of Hitler's defeat Ganz made the dictator into a plausible human being. Other journalists in Germany were queasy about "humanizing" Hitler, and some wondered aloud whether it might be somehow dangerous to see him as a human being.  Hitler was, after all, human being or not, an especially obnoxious, detestable specimen capable of cold ruthlessness and dispassionate brutality in determining the horrible fate of millions.
Ganz's Hitler listening to the sound of music

Lim Kay Tong has agreed to play the role of Lee Kuan Yew in the $2.8-million SG50 movie "1965", to be directed by Randy Ang. The vice-chairman of Singapore Film Society thinks Lim has the gravitas required of the role, but the actor is not without trepidations: "Because it's a real-life person, and it's Lee Kuan Yew. I hope he doesn't call me." Then again, Lee might not want to see the documentary, a film genre his son dissed so vehemently recently.
When Lee first saw himself on television, Josey tells us, he was momentarily shocked into silence. He was appalled at the fierce and unsmiling figure on the screen, clearly spoiling for a fight. "This was not the figure the political Lee wanted to present to the electorate," wrote Josey.
("No Man Is An Island", James Minchin, page 284)

According to the author, Lee set out to soften the image, but the result was not an unqualified success: "... his official smile is not unlike that of a crocodile tenderly anticipating its prey." Looks like Lim Kay Tong has his job cut out for him.


  1. If Singaporeans spit or gesture at Lee Kuan Yew, they will be in big trouble. The Chap has many personal protection officers. In case Lim Kay Tong gets into unpleasat encounters due to acting as LKY in future, it will not be worth the Role.
    The anger and hate are palpable and rising by the days.

  2. As if writing books is not enough, now wants to act in a movie. Looks like they are desperate to re-write history.

    What will be next, force everyone to watch the movie or what ?

    1. All CCC, CC and RC members will be given lots of 100 tickets to sell to their family members and neighbours. Hawkers and shop owners are required to see the movie. How about that?

  3. History as he wants you to know,
    Not history as it happened.
    I hear only one sound and its the PAP

    Did the "people" really know what was the meaning of merger?
    Did the "people" really know that there was only one way?

    "people" probably meant the elite capitalists but the common man was fooled since he was more concerned about feeding his family. Here lies the root of the income inequality,
    and also the "daftness" of people.

    The greatest con on earth.

  4. Nothing but a vanity project. Historically and intellectually worthless.

  5. Well that is their official account of history, history is for victor not loser

    1. Looser.

    2. Winners are grinners, that's why all the propagandist images of our elites are all grinning like the joker in the batman comic.
      Why so sad, the rest of you?

  6. Maybe younger brother Lim Kay Siu can play the younger Lee. He is botak, but can always put on a wig.

  7. If Singapore can banned or censored everything that oppose to the Lee's liking, I am sure this movie is going be trimmed, polish and revised until LKY became "God" for public consumption.

    1. Don't be surprise they will script in a Nobel Peace Prize in there for him too. These folks have a licence to fictionalise and glorify.

  8. in search of....10/10/2014 1:23 PM

    when con artists tell you about pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, they say:

    do your own due diligence.

    when movie makers tell stories about the singapore of the past, they say:

    they are not being truthful, we are disallowing mass distribution.

    How does this affect their credibility?
    How does it affect your thinking?

  9. Bigotry is in full swing. Just stop it!

  10. The LHL PAP govt is in a truly sorry and sordid state to have to come down to this. I recall that LKY was dead against personality cult. So it seems like his son has run out of ideas on how to save his father's party from a truly absolute trouncing in the coming GE. Pathetic to know how a ruling party have to depend on a by now moribund past leader to save the day for the party - as it is obviously beyond his now completely frail physical, emotional and mental capacities, the party has to resort to a PROXY. BY whatever title they want to call the film, it would be spelt D E S P E R A T I O N!

  11. Me fully concurs with the Observation that PM Lee Hsien Loong is grabbing any remnants of his fathers' namesakes, be they good or otherwise. However, I will say the Timing is inopportune. Lee Kuan Yew and Ex-president Nathan are now widely known to have worked for the Japanese Imperial Army during WW II. This was not as commonly known before, much to the Credit of the Internet. They are called all kinds of Names, including traitor and other most derogatory ones.
    Many have chilled their champagnes and hoping to see the First Prime Minister of Sin to suffer in agony or dies in pain. This is hitherto unheard of. With such angst in the Average Singaporeans, whatever is said of Lee Kuan Yew now WILL ONLY CAUSE NEGATIVE EFFECTS.

    PM Lee Hsien Loongs' own reputation is already at stake for sometimes.