One Love Manchester.

In light of all the fucking awful shit that’s been happening all over the world, it’s good to see some solidarity and love shine through the cracks… And in the name of charity and in the name of love, a shit tonne of really famous people put their differences (and sometimes their bands!) aside to come together to put on a fantastic show in Manchester.

The show started with Marcus Mumford (except… I missed that part, had to rewatch it on YouTube, oops), and then Take That took over the stage and led the crowd in song. Take That, my beloved boy band, who had had to cancel their three Manchester shows in light of the attack. Take That then introduced their brother in arms, Robbie Williams (wearing a Justin Bieber hoodie!!), after Robbie was a clip of U2, and then it just went on, all these amazing people coming together.

It’s funny that to me, the highlight of the show was Coldplay. I’d never been a Coldplay fan until earlier this year when I saw them live in Singapore. But Coldplay managed to take a sombre crowd and turn it up a notch and got everyone singing and dancing, the rainbow confetti, it was just… a party. Not to mention the fact that they opened with Don’t Look Back in Anger, which was just incredibly fitting.

Huge respect to Ariana Grande, Scooter Braun, and the many, many, many people it took to pull something like this off. Big love to Facebook for streaming it live for people like me as I was in a city where it wasn’t broadcast live…

Simple awesome <3

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When Breath Becomes Air

by Paul Kalanithi.

It’s rare for me to find beautiful prose. I think it’s the type of book I usually read – mostly crime thrillers and biographies, sometimes children’s books, mostly adventure-based – which are story-driven and so it’s rare to have words that pirouette off the page.

I randomly came across an excerpt of When Breath Becomes Air in The New Yorker in the middle of the night a few nights ago. It was a breathtaking piece of writing. So much so that I went and bought it immediately, and read it on my Kindle. I finished it at 9am.

Not all of it was as good, some parts of it were better. I suppose that’s normal. The excerpt was actually from towards the end, which made me suddenly realise we were nearing the end of the book, which made me sad. The most surprising part I think, was the epilogue. It was incredibly well-written, and I totally hadn’t expected that. I hadn’t expected both husband and wife (both full-time medics) to be such good writers…

But anyway. It’s a beautiful book about a talented man who had spent his life training as a neurosurgeon, and then just as he was about to take on the world, was forced to face his own mortality. An incredible read.

Philip Seymour Hoffman.

There’s a part of me that thinks this is still just a hoax. Even though I found out via Circa. Even though it’s been reported on the New York Post and also on the WSJ. Even though BBC has now published an obituary, and James Urbaniak posted a beautiful anecdote, and Vanity Fair has an In Memoriam, which talks about oh-so-many of his wonderful films, I still can’t quite grasp it.

He really made every character he played his own, winning the Oscar (and practically every other film award under the sun) for Capote. I’m so glad we got to see his inspiring performances in every film he was in, from Boogie Nights to The Big Lebowski, Magnolia to Mission Impossible III, plus Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt, and The Master, which earned him yet more nominations for his talent.

My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones, especially his family. Rest in peace, PSH. You will be sorely missed.

HK Boy

Throughout the couple of years that I worked in film, most of the crew that I worked with were super good to me. I suppose the fact that I’m smiley and loud helps – they like to make me laugh when the bell has rung and filming is in progress… It’s fun to get me into trouble hahaha. In any case, Hong Kong Boy – one of the best gaffers in HK – really looked out for me in all situations. To the extent that during pre-production, when he wasn’t on the payroll yet, he would come down to the casting room (I hate casting) and help me set up the lights so that the casting videos wouldn’t completely look like shit.

I just found out HK Boy died of a heart attack. Life. So damn fragile. Hai. Rest in peace, man.