Chinese School Episode 2 – BBC Documentary

Chinese university entrance exams are intense as hell. It’s of note that the most successful student, Wu Yufei, is extremely pessimistic of her final score but ends up overachieving, as was expected by her parents and teachers. There is also a lot of touching stuff in the documentary about parents hopes for their kids and even more time give to the perspective of the young people.


TFW u Coke

“I feel Coke” ad campaigns.

1987 – Japan – I feel Coke

The Korean version, released a year later, features many nearly identical shots, shuffled in sequence.

1988 – Korea – I feel Coke

After watching these, I really felt Coke.

There are many more of these on YouTube. For all the 80s kitschy corporate sex appeal , they are really effective due to the hyper-expressive acting as well as the aggressive editing, constant motion, and idealization of youth.

It’s also interesting how the Coke being pulled out from ice is paralleled with the one-piece bathing suit woman emerging in slow motion from the pool. I mean it’s not always subtle, but it’s executed to make something hypnotic.

Also, I appreciate the impressive display of Coke based physical phenomena.


Fashion Show Music / Gucci + Vuitton

Alessandro Michele being mesmerizing. His work at Gucci gets pinned with this maximalist tag by many commentators, which I’m not entirely convinced is as useful as they imagine as it implies some lack of control.

Still, it’s remarkable how such a diverse collection never feels like its becoming  discombobulated.

I also appreciate the use of powerful, atmospheric music rather than tracks with lyrics. I’ve come across many instances where the music distracts from the fashion, sends a conflicting message, or is being asked to do too much work in hopes of making an impression on the audience.

I loved this Louis Vuitton fashion show below, but I think it illustrates my point regarding music selection. It starts off really well with a track from the original 1995 Ghost in the Shell Sountrack Kenji Kawai. It’s big, sweet, shimmering, spiritual, ominous . It fills the air of the enormous Louvre courtyard. The vocals are in Japanese, and sung in a choir fashion, and the models are simultaneously walking a circuit on the runway.

It all sort of fits.

At 3:00 minutes in it switches to Cleopatra by Frank Ocean. Suddenly now there is one voice speaking over much less acoustically resonant music, and supposedly now all of the women circulating are the “Cleopatra” the song speaks of. I find it noticeably more difficult to take in the outfits while this song is playing. A good, charismatic song, but one which inevitably draws attention to the iconic voice and lyrics of Frank Ocean, leaving not enough space for the outfits.

It’s also just a major rupture from what the otherworldly Ghost in the Shell track was establishing. The tracks don’t share a common thread.

Well, anyway, I loved the Vuitton show too, although the Gucci one will be more memorable to me fashion wise.


’89 Yohji Yamamoto

Someone on Youtube has uploaded a bunch of Yohji Yamamoto and Comme Des Garcons fashion shows from the late 80s and early 90s, which can be found here. Obviously they more than hold up, especially now, when these two names couldn’t be more influential and active.

I’ve also earned of a 1989 Yohji Yamamoto documentary by Wim Wenders, titled “Notebook on Cities & Clothes.” Apparently Wenders is a bit aggrandizing with his own ideas in it, especially on cities, but I’m excited to watch.




I Look up to Tomb Raider

The original ad for StellaSport, the Adidas x Stella McCartney collaboration, made a a huge impact on me.

The video ties together brilliantly with featured track “Sick Beat” by Kero Kero Bonito, hitting on how the brand is drawing from Asian pop culture influences and youthful, uncompromising female attitude.

All the newer animated StellaSport videos seem to be lower production derivatives of this one, which Adidas has unlisted from their YouTube channel at the moment. It makes me wonder if there’s been a falling out somewhere.

The video was created by London based motion and design studio More and More ltd.

Below I’ve included exclusively the Japanese portion of the lyrics (with minor exceptions) via the Genius page translated by this user. Now that I understand these parts, the song’s message feels even stronger. The translation seems pretty accurate when I compared it to the Google Translate. That thing is getting better every day.

Sick Beat by Kero Kero Bonito (Japanese Portions)

It’s KKB! Let’s go!

Running, climbing, shooting, jumping
I wanna be Tomb Raider
She’s awesome and strong
I look up to Tomb Raider

Windows 98, remember those days?
Head stuck in the clouds, played every day
I promised I’d never lose and never give up
That promise I made to myself never fades

Time warp! I’m 22 years old
Change over into the adult world
People cheating and lying for money

Hard to keep up always stopping me but

I won’t forget, I won’t run away, never ever
The kid in me keeps pushing on through
Their fire, their heart
advancing on to the next level

I won’t be like everyone else
I’ll walk my own path
It’ll be lonely, and it’ll be hard
Everyone’ll make fun of me
The nail that sticks out gets hammered down
You hear that one a lot, don’t you?
Then let ‘em hammer all they want
I did it my way, this is my life