Tuesday, 25 September 2012

ThreeA ~ WWR : Supreme N.O.M. Commander White Mother.

Let Her bring you higher...
She was there at the End, She shalt be there at the Beginning.
- Anon.
She hears all Her children, and they hear Her. Never to be lost, never to be alone, never to falter, that is Her gift. Her shadow cast from Earth to Mars, including Rothchild Moon.
She is Supreme.
Seen only once, appearing before the original 33.
Each of the 33 were enriched with the milk of the Whitemother and propagate her teachings to the blind.
- write up from the box.

A (mis) intepretation.

Name : Magna Mater.
Alias : The Triple Goddess.
Age : Unknown.
Affiliation : The Nine Sisters (former); The N.O.M. Legion (current).
Rank : The Supreme N.O.M. Commander.
Abilities: Psionic embodiment; ethereal/transcendent physiology; ethereal manipulation; near omnipotence; near omniscience; technology manipulation; domain warping; power bestowal.
Std. armaments: Amrita - The Mother's Milk; Herself.
The Supreme Mother is awakened by the resonance of the billions of souls extinguished in the opening phase of the Great War. The chaos which had been accumulating throughout the millennia from the real space has caused the Immaterium to finally loose its balance once more, the Great War being the catalyst, paving way for the malicious entities formed within to awake and regain sentiency once more.  
The Supreme Mother is formerly one of the Nine Sisters. She is the Triple Goddess and had been called upon many times, in many forms and known by many names, worshipped throughout the history since the human race first comes into existence. In Her current incarnation, She established the Nitor Obduro Macto, or The N.O.M. Legion in order to restore the balance between Order and Chaos. She believes that most humans live their lives in a state of hypnotic "waking sleep", but given the right condition and direction, would be able to transcend to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential. Her origin is unknown, It is widely believed by Her followers that the Supreme Mother is birthed through a singular, sacrificial act of one thousand shamans from an age long lost where gods and goddesses walked alongside the humankind. Her birth place was believed to be an ancient region of Terra once known as Anatolia. 
Her longevity is incomparable to the standard lifespan of a normal human and seen as an immortal. As the Triple Goddess, She undergoes birth, life and death continuously. She draws Her powers from both the primordial living essence which sustain the real space as well from the raw warp energies of the Immaterium itself, yet powerful enough to defend Herself from being corrupted or consumed by the entities within. It is said that the Supreme Mother is akin to an extremely bright but small beacon of light amongst the colossal tidal storms of darkness and terror within the Warp space.  
The symbol of Trinity represented Her and the N.O.M. Legion with the Threefold Paths as primary principle doctrines to Her followers. The Threefold Paths are further branched out with unknown numbers of sub-paths, each with their own specialisation. The three primary Paths represent the Supreme Mother doctrine of the fertility cycle, of inception, expansion, virility, enthusiasm, of stability, balance and power,  of wisdom, repose and death. More importantly it represent purity in terms of the body, mind and spirit. Each individual N.O.M. legionnaire chose for himself or herself a discipline, a Path, and will focus themselves upon it. This path would be studied, practiced, and eventually mastered. Then the legionnaire would choose a new path and the process would begin anew. Each new role does not completely replace the previous, but merely adds to the N.O.M. legionnaire accumulated experience. As they passed through these different roles they explored the many aspects of their own character.  Each path has its own perils, for the N.O.M. psychic presence are like beacons to the malicious entities or daemons dwelling within the Immaterium. Two former Nom de Plumes - Kuan ti Plume and Barguest de Plume - are amongst two of the most infamous high ranking legionnaires to have succumbed to the temptations of the Dark Gods and Goddesses from the Warp. This is known as the Path of the Damned, and those whom walk this path are called The Fallens or The Lost and the Damned. After the excommunication of Kuan ti Plume, Barguest de Plume and half of the Legion turn traitorous, and begin the War of Unbelief against the Supreme Mother and those whom stays loyal which perpetually crippled the once powerful legion. 
Each N.O.M. neophytes would drink from the Supreme Mother's milk as both an act of initiation as well as enhancing their physicality to the point of superhuman level. They would develop much faster metabolic rates than normal humans, and their cardiac and neurological systems would become advanced. These traits manifest in their vastly heightened reactions and agility compare to normal humans. To a N.O.M. disciple, a normal human seem to move in slow motion with a certain degree of awkwardness, while to humans, a N.O.M. disciple could move with distracting grace and could be blindingly fast in combat. The N.O.M. disciple that actively cultivate their psyker potential seemed to exhibit a much-extended lifespan as well, one proportional to their prowess. N.O.M. disciple is mentally far superior to humans, and feel all emotions much more strongly, requiring them to exercise constant restraint to avoid mental and emotional collapse.
The Supreme Mother uses her vast psychic powers to see the possibilities of the future to be able to manipulate events to better ensure the survival of the humankind.  The Supreme Mother spent Her time in trance-like state, Her spirit roams at will throughout the real space/material universe and the sea of chaos within the Immaterium. Her visionary ability enabled Her to direct the N.O.M. Legion and its Chapters to avoid dangers which could fall upon them, through exploration of the potential future paths that lie ahead and determine which paths need to be altered. The Supreme Mother would make endless calculations and prognostications where She attempts to guide the fortunes of the humankind. This is seen as attempting to discern and anticipate the future by watching out for difficulties that lie ahead in coming events. As Her calculations are based on predicted events that could be hundreds of years into the future, their immediate effect could be hard to determine. The Supreme Mother is an unparalleled mistress of divination, interpreting one future from a myriad of possible ones. It is Her who direct the N.O.M. Legion to act on events that would protect the humankind from disasters that have not yet occurred, and protecting the existence of the human race as a whole.
Her abilities are not always limited to the interpretation of events to come, but is also a near omniscience and omnipresent psyker in existence, capable of crushing lesser minds to pulp with but an effortless whim. The Supreme Mother personally fashioned and carved the N.O.M. fortress monastery and breathable environment with Her mind. In fact, those whose minds are not trained nor strong enough would suffer from immediate mental breakdown and agony by Her mere presence. The Supreme Mother is also the architect of the labyrinthine dimension known as the Webway or Yggdrassil. It is a psychic conduit or alternate dimension through which the N.O.M. Legion could travel to countless designation amongst the Sol System worlds without suffering from the risk and perils of the Warp. Its greatest usage is allowing the N.O.M. Legion to strike at their enemies without warning and disappear without a trace. The main gateways into the Yggdrassil takes the form of swirling spheres of light and darkness held in stasis astern of each of the 64 Gates. The entire routes of the Yggdrassil are made intentionally ever changing by the Supreme Mother. During the events of the Great War, of which the Supreme Mother would mobilised the greatest concentration of N.O.M. Legion to carry out acts which would deter greater disasters, and eventually seen as the primary terrorist faction throughout the Great War. She orchestrated one of the most infamous act of assault upon the once thought to be impregnable fortress and military industrial complex, the Rothchild Luna City on 20th July 1944, nearly destroying the moon itself in the process.
Extremely powerful as She is, the Supreme Mother nevertheless faces obstacles from the equally unstoppable Chaos entities from the Immaterium, which constantly block Her all-seeing precognitive visions with massive warp storms. These mighty warp entities, formed from the malicious collective sentiency of the human race, are made even more powerful through the destructive acts from the Great War. Numerous Webways have also been breached by the greater daemons from the warp space, forcing Her to seal certain sections off permanently to prevent incursions into the real space.
The Supreme Mother is last seen after the crushing defeat of the Fallens, appearing only once to initiate the Second Founding. Thereafter, She retreats back into Her enclave, guard by Her twelve retinues. Her mind by that point has become so entwined with the flows of the fates, that it marks the ending of the present cycle and the beginning of another. The Supreme Mother's physical body has become dormant, beginning to crystalize. Her spirit remains in presence however, and continues to guide the Legion until the next rebirth.

Honestly, when I first saw this figure, my immediate thoughts were that I just bought meself a scuba diver/ballerina. Very difficult to pose or stand. Minimalistic design with the disturbing phallic-like tank hanging in between her legs. She creeps me out sometimes. Would look good in a Gigeresque environment. Hhhmmm....maybe I should start looking for that Harkonnen chair and backdrop by McFarlane Toys.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A Simple Life (桃姐).

Confession. I sometimes cannot stomach Ann Hui (許鞍華) certain movies. No, don't get me wrong. She is a not a director of those B-grades slasher/torture/horror genre movies. She is a formidable veteran Hong Kong film director, producer and screenwriter is one of the best Hong Kong New Wave directors whose peers are the likes of Tsui Hark (徐克), John Woo (吳宇森), Patrick Tam  (譚家明) amongst others. There is a "second" New Wave, lead by Wong Kar-wai (王家衛) but that had been covered in this blog (and probably I would have to wait until year 2046 for his latest film, The Grandmasters to be shown hehehe). These New Wavers are the major factor in the creation of a  Hong Kong cinema with a contemporary Hong Kong identity and in the Cantonese dialect of most residents. thus setting the backbone and foundation for all up and coming HK movies. They are technically proficient, dare to experiment, with grittier feel to all their films, usage of actual locations and explorations of various genres - from martial arts to hard hitting political and social comments. It is the latter two genres of which Ann Hui works are popular for. I was still young when most of her works came out. But I re-explored them and yes, watching them is like a stab into the heart. You feel for the characters, the nihilistic social, political surroundings and environments which they are trapped, like a foreigner in an unforgiving world, struggling to survive and/or adapt to the changes. The Story of Woo Viet (胡越的故事 - 1981), Boat People (投奔怒海 - 1981), Night and Fog (天水圍的夜與霧 - 2009) are some of the ones which makes me feel sad. But there are some which gives hope, not in the strictest sense but to accept that certain things are parts of life. This include Summer Snow (女人四十 - 1995), The Postmodern Life of My Aunt (姨媽的後現代生活 - 2005), The Way We Are (天水圍的日與夜 - 2005) are some examples. Ann Hui also made some other genres movies -  one or two horror comedy and martial arts genre, more on exploration about personal relationships such as July Rhapsody (男人四十 - 2003), Jade Goddess of Mercy (玉觀音 - 2003), All About Love (得閒炒飯 - 2010). 
The latest from the veteran director is A Simple Life ( 桃姐), a 2011 drama about the relationship between a servant and her master. The evergreen Deanie Ip stars as the loyal servant, Sister Peach whom has served Andy Lau's character, Roger Leung, a young master of a rich and big family since the day he was born. Sister Peach is the last of her kind, you know those "Ah Mah" whom forsake everything, maintaining their chastity, always stereotypically depicts as wearing white shirt and black pants with a pony tail, loyally serving her master and mistress and their families. The movie is moving at a steady pace, from the timeline capturing Sister Peach everyday duty of ensuring Roger, a movie producer (and said to be based on the true story of producer, Roger Lee) well being to sufferring her first stroke and subsequent personal insistence to stay at an old folks home, her new found experience of other old folks and their different characters, some eccentric, some with sad histories, Roger regular visits and bringing her out to functions or a meal (there are several popular cameos by veteran directors and actors) to the finale when she finally succumbs to the disease after a second attack. There is no overtly emoting acting in this movie. Everything is calm but that's the beauty of it. The movie also shows, nay, comments on the conditions of old and those whom are "abandoned" by their children at the old folk homes. The final decision of which Roger has had to make is one which is the hardest.  Again, my eyes well with tears long after the credit rolls... 

A Better Life.

 “Listos, para el otro lado”
“Vamos a casa"

A Better Life is a 2011 American drama film directed by Chris Weitz, most popularly known for his works with his brother Paul Weitz, particularly their debut, the crazy as heck teen comedy, An American Pie (1999) and the wonderful movie adaptation of equally excellent novel by Nick Hornby, About a Boy (2002). The screenplay, originally known as The Gardener, was written by Eric Eason based on a story by Roger L. Simon. This movie is Chris solo directorial work, and is quite a departure from his previous works, which I really dislike, The Golden Compass (2007), and Twilight : New Moon (2009).
I do not know any of the cast assembled in this movie, but Robert De Niro lookalike, Mexican actor Demián Bichir is an incredibly popular actor according to sources online, and he is actually nominated, the first time a Mexican actor received such honour since Anthony Quinn, for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for this movie.
The story is a simple, straight forward tale of a Mexican illegal immigrant,  Carlos Galindo, and his son, Luis. The movie also shows realistic, cultural and language depiction of the gangs and the plight of the Mexican illegal immigrants in LA. 
Carlos works hard as a garderner to keep it all together. His wife has left him when they arrives in the States. Ultimately, Carlos wants nothing more than to bring up Luis and ensure that he would eventually have a better life - through better education, surroundings and so forth. For Carlos, Luis is his hope to cling on and endurance for facing the incredibly tiring life of endless hard works and avoiding detection by the abusive authorities. A constant social issue of which Carlos is aware of is the worry of Luis would be seduced to join street gangs as a quick exit from the crushing poverty and more than not, demoralising and lack of opportunities to evalate oneselves through the societal ladder. Luis is increasingly looking forward to join a local gang of which his girlfriend's brother is a member as well as being egged on by his best friend. Luis prefers truancy and hangs out at his girlfriend's apartment. He also feels that his father is a loser of some sort, and questions why they gives birth to him.
Things are normal initially and even looks bright for Carlos when an opportunity to own his own business comes about. But it eventually leads to a series of dire situations and eventually results in Carlos deportation. The final scene between Carlos and Luis, their conversations, particularly when Carlos answers Luis why they gives birth to him, really put a lump in my throat. But the closing scene shows a glimmer of hope, and it is that hope, and the love of a father towards his son and vice versa, which makes this movie a new favourite.  

Thursday, 6 September 2012

被遺忘的時光 - 蔡琴

I just love this song, from the 2002 crime thriller starring Andy Lau and Tony Leung, Infernal Affairs (無間道).

是這樣的 梅艷芳

Here is the memorable end theme song by the late Anita Mui from the Wong Kar Wai's second movie, 1990's Days of Being Wild (阿飛正傳). It is actually a cover of the Xavier Cugat popular Jungle Bells.

Michael Clarke Duncan.

December 10, 1957 – September 3, 2012

Giant of a man, actor Michael Clarke Duncan has passed away due to heart attack at the age of 54. His most memorable role is that of John Cofey, from the movie, 1999's The Green Mile, which is adapted from Stephen King 1996 novel of the same name. He also appeared in 2005's Sin City as Manute and 1998's Armageddon. I always thought one day, if an X-Men sequel or reboot is in the making, and plans to include Apocalypse, he would be my personal first choice to play that role.