Picture of the Week #41: Happy Birthday, Michelle Yeoh (and a bunch of other people)

It’s a birthday fest this week, but special mention goes to Michelle Yeoh, who hits 48 today. As I’ve said before, the golden age of Hong Kong cinema (approx 1985 – 1995) was my gateway drug to the wonders of films outside my insulated, narrow viewing habits to date. Police Story III was one of my favourites, and Yeoh one its greatest assets, a rare occasion when Jackie Chan allowed his lead actress to upstage him. Elegant and poised, she was never above risking her neck in a fight or an ill-advised vehicular stunt. See her  jumping a motorcycle onto the top of a moving train. Yes, really:

Her first time on a motorbike, apparently, in the film that relaunched her career in fine style after she had retired for the duration of her marriage to spoilsport businessman Dickson Poon (when they met, Yeoh was Miss Malaysia, representing her country at the 1983 Miss World where Maggie Cheung was a semi-finalist – it’s a small (miss) world). The following year, she starred alongside Maggie Cheung and her friend, the late, much-missed Anita Mui in Heroic Trio, directed by Johnnie To (currently riding the crest of a wave of critical praise akin to that granted Jerry Lewis by the French), the last word on that increasingly exploitative sub-genre of women in tight clothing kicking stuff.

Michelle shares her birthday with plenty of illustrious movie people, some no longer with us, including: M. Night Shyamalan, Danny Lee (star of John Woo’s The Killer), Andy Warhol (d.1987), Robert Mitchum (d.1997), Lucille Ball (d.1989), the great Ealing director Charles Crichton (d.1999), and Harry O. Hoyt (director of the 1925 version of The Lost World, d.1961).

6 thoughts on “Picture of the Week #41: Happy Birthday, Michelle Yeoh (and a bunch of other people)

    • She’s great in Wing Chun, too. I think she chose some duff roles in recent years (I don’t remember getting all the way through Silver Hawk, for instance), but she’s got two new films out, one from John Woo, the other from Yuen Woo-Ping. Nice.

      You have a blog now? But it’s private? Share your brains!

      • I don’t really blog. I’m a bit new to the whole thing. I don’t want to fall into the trap of bitching about work in a blog.
        I’ve only really got a blog because my students are blogging their weekly journal rather than writing in a book. So I set up a blog to allow me to view and comment on their journals.
        I might do another blog and make it more public, but I’m not sure it’s a good idea to let my students read stuff I have to say. It’s a potential minefield.

      • I try not to put anything too personal on a blog, since I sometimes write posts that are meant to be read in preparation for a particular class. But I realised pretty quickly that our students have zero interest in the private/personal activities of their tutors. Unless, I suppose, if I did or said anything scandalous. Where to start?…..

  1. I’m giving it a go. I sippose it can’t hurt to try out ideas. Mind you, your post about The Social Network reinforced a lot of my own thinking about the big changes to the ways we communicate and socialise…
    I’m still new to how this site works, but my public blog is called Who Reads These Things Anyway? If you find it then we’ll both know that the answer to the question is You and Me.

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