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April 2007
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June 2007

Heroic Grace 2: Kung Fu Boogaloo

David Chiang loses it in The New One-Armed SwordsmanWe've been here before, of course. The first Heroic Grace season started out as a collection of Hong Kong martial arts films presented at UCLA: it then went on a tour of the US and Europe, pausing for a month-long run at London's own National Film Theatre. The follow-up season has taken a similar route, premiering at UCLA in Autumn 2005 before eventually making it over to the newly renamed BFI Southbank in April 2007. The focus is a little tighter this time round, restricted (with one exception) to films from the 70s and 80s, rather than the wider historical range of the first season.

But the basic framework is still the same: mainly classics from the archives of the Shaw Brothers studio, with works from a few other sources thrown in for added flavour. Of the seventeen films presented in the London run, we only managed to catch ten: sorry about that, but we were travelling across Europe for half of April, you know. Anyway, you'll just have to make do with what you get below.

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justin.tv

Poker night with Justin, screengrabbed back in March when I originally planned to write this piece because I was convinced that justin.tv would die on its arse within ten days. Oops. "It's interesting."

"No, it's shit."

"Interesting."

"Shit."

Welcome to justin.tv, the website that's driving a wedge between couples across the globe. Well, at least in my house it is.

Here's the pitch. Justin Kan is a computer techy who lives and works in San Francisco. Since March 19th, 2007, he's had a video camera permanently attached to his baseball cap, and has pledged to stream everything it captures live over the internet until he dies. I'll give you a few seconds to think about the implications of that before we move on.

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REPOST: This Is Radio Spank (or at least it used to be)

A radio announcer, yesterday Originally posted on The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey 18/10/2002.

This was back when internet radio was on the brink of total destruction, and I'd decided to dabble in my own web radio station just to see how long it would last. Four and a half years on, Radio Spank - subsequently retitled Spank's Audio Lair, as you'll see below - is still going. However, internet radio is once again on the brink of total destruction, so it's quite possible the station may not be there after July 15th, 2007. You can find out more details about the problems and possible solutions at Live365 and at the SaveNetRadio Coalition. American readers are requested to contact their Representative in Congress regarding the proposed  Internet Radio Equality Act H.R. 2060, because that option isn't actually available to those of us in the rest of the bloody world who are affected by it.

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Simian Substitute Site for May 2007: Monkey Swallows The Universe

Monkey Swallows The UniverseYes, you're right, it has been a little quiet around here since we got back from Europe. Three reasons:

1. Remember how I mentioned back in Milan that I didn't have a job at the time? Well, I have one now. Go me. But inevitably it's going to take a few weeks to get used to the new routine, which will have an impact on site updates.

2. Literally the day after we got back, we started a ten-film binge at BFI Southbank, catching roughly half of their Heroic Grace 2 season of kung fu movies. That's finished now, and when I get a few minutes spare I'll write about it for you.

3. And, yes, there's still some closure to come on Europe By Train. The final post - wrapping up coverage of our continental tour - will be a packed affair, including a writeup of what happened during our journey from Amsterdam back to London: some food 'n' booze notes by The Belated Birthday Girl: a moblog full of our holiday snaps: and a short video of the best bits of the tour, once we've agreed on whether eleven frames is too long for an average shot length or not. All that'll take time, but you should see the results here eventually.

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