In the Show – 26th February 2008

Last weekend many music-lovers, including several from The Works team, went on a pilgrimage of sorts, to Macau. And the object of that pilgrimage was Cesoria Evora, a diva known for her preference for singing in her bare feet. She’s a several-time Grammy nominee and winner of a 2003 Grammy Award. Cesaria sings in the mornas genre, which has elements of Angolan landu, Portuguese fado, Brazilian modinha, and the blues. She has become the best-known interpreter of music from the Cape Verde islands, off the west coast of Africa.

The 2008 Academy Awards were the Oscars that almost didn’t happen, due to the Hollywood writers’ strike. Luckily the dispute was resolved, and – in the words of show host Jon Stewart – it was time for the make-up sex. Yesterday’s award ceremony may not have been the most controversial ever, or even one particularly full of outstanding moments, but it’s all about the movies, and as reviewer Gary Pollard tells us, for those it was a very good year.

The news came out of the blue shortly before Chinese New Year. It shocked not only the staff but also writers who had connections with SCMP Book Publishing Limited. The company has suspended business from the beginning of February onwards. Books unsold by the end of March will be retrieved or destroyed, and the group may retain the rights of any book it has already accepted from authors, whether published or unpublished. There’s been no mention of releasing or reselling copyright to the authors, who include some of Hong Kong’s bestsellers, and they are far from happy about it.

If you’d like to take a look at the show, click here to see a streaming video


In the Show – 19th February 2008

Ian McEwan is the British writer who wrote the novel upon which the Golden Globe winning movie “Atonement” is based. McEwan’s works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. He has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction numerous times, winning the award for “Amsterdam” in 1998. He was in Hong Kong this week. Gary Pollard spoke to him about his work.

With the Lantern Festival (15th Day of the Lunar New Year) coming up, and Valentine’s Day just gone, we look at the HK Heritage Museum’s 1+1 Culture Couples Programme, which focuses on how arts can bring people together.

One of the movies nominated for the Best Picture award in this weekend’s Oscars is Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will be Blood”. It’s the story of oil man Daniel Plainview, and – as played by Daniel Day Lewis – it’s fair to say he’s not one of the cinema’s most endearing characters. The movie’s been compared to the great “Citizen Kane”. It impressed our reviewer Gary Pollard enough for him to see it twice already. So what’s the attraction?

The New York Philharmonic Orchestra is currently on an Asian Tour, and performed in Hong Kong for three days as part of the HK Arts Festival. The orchestra’s heading off to Shanghai and Beijing after its Hong Kong shows, which will be something of a homecoming for two of its members.

Want to take a look at the show? Click here for a streaming video.