Going Home: So Long, and Thanks for All the Chickenfeet.

Starting March 15th, I will be working as a video producer for a large advertising agency based out of Saarbrücken. It’s really a win / win situation, not only for me, but for us, my family, my friends… Not only will we be able to enjoy living in Germany and Europe, but we’ll also live near my parents and near my friends, they are in my hometown, and just an hour away. Also, I should be able to get back to Shanghai and Asia every once in a while for video jobs, as the agency wants me to keep doing those here. So how do you sum up the experience of over five years of living in China in a blog entry? It’s nearly impossible, unless I make the longest entry ever written by me out of this. I would really like to go into detail and explain very clearly what is making me move out of China by remembering the past, but it’s just too much right now. There’s some unfinished business, we have to pack, deal with Shangdown: The Way Of The Spur and other things. I will only quickly mention the main reasons. The first and biggest […]

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Italian seeks kung-fu stardom in Shanghai

SHANGHAI — At a Shanghai building site, a man in a black Stetson looks over his shoulder at two approaching thugs. Four others appear, fists raised. They lock eyes and the cowboy springs up in a whirlwind of kicks. The scene is from “Shangdown: The Way of the Spur”, an independent kung-fu spaghetti western, and the cowboy is Christian Bachini, a 25-year-old Italian actor who came to Shanghai to become an action star. Bachini grew up in Prato, the Tuscan city that has become a symbol of globalisation after Chinese immigrants poured in to transform the traditional textile trade. But as a boy, he dreamed of going the other way to make movies. “People thought I was crazy,” Bachini told AFP at a Shanghai gym after a workout incorporating the tiger, praying mantis and drunken fist forms of kung-fu. Jackie Chan’s “Supercop” inspired Bachini to become an actor, and Prato’s vibrant Chinese community meant he could learn the Hong Kong star’s moves from real kung-fu masters. After 13 years of kung-fu training, five years of practicing gymnastic-style “tricking” stunts, five years of acting school and six months of Mandarin classes, Bachini left for China in 2009. He saw little choice. […]

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