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Hello everyone! I've lurked here a fair bit, thanks for sharing all the info on Anita. I absolutely adore the theme song for Stanley Kwan's Rouge and I want to know everything about it. So two questions
1) mostly importantly, the English lyric translation on the site is fantastic and very helpful, but I'm guessing it's not precise. Can anyone point me to a clearer translation or any other resources or ways of obtaining one?
2) Is there any background information on the making / writing / recording of the song? Did Kwan, Anita, Leslie ever have any commentary? I know there's a Mandarin version complete with a music video with Anita, and of course Leslie's version too.
Thanks so much!
Thank you so much for the posting.
Having new postings in the Forum always makes me very happy.
Is funny that I only see your posting now, and this week's feature video clip happens to have "Rouge" within the medley.
I (and hopefully other readers of the Forum) will keep our eyes and ears out for the items you requested above.
Yes, I think it's fantastic that there is a somewhat active forum dedicated to Anita Mui! Thanks so much for your kind reply! It's really nice to hear from other Anita fans.
Haven't found anything about the theme song yet.
However, as I was searching, I did come across this extensive review of the DVD package of the movie Rouge:
Will keep looking for anything related to the theme song.
Thank you so much BeepBeep! That was a very informative review. How I would love to gain access to special features of that DVD release - the "digipack fold out case with... two small sized 24-page photo books" + the Kwan interview on actual DVD.
Anyway thanks again for searching and sharing!
Hi, Isadora. I've seen Rouge several times over the years at film festivals, and then tried to get it on video. There are about four or five versions of the English subtitling of the dialogue (and of course the song lyrics). They are all so different from each other! In one, a perfectly set up, funny sequence loses all its humor because the English dialogue is clumsy and badly timed. In another, the surprising plot development (Leslie's character is alive) is not revealed in an understandable and dramatic way, practically ruining the whole movie.
The best subtitles were on a bootleg VHS tape from a showing on BBC TV, the same as on the print I first saw in the theater. You should try to find old VHS tapes, VCD's or laser disc versions. Try looking for Taiwanese or Japanese editions with English subtitles that might be different.
This "digipack fold out case with... two small sized 24-page photo books" edition is nothing special, the photos are still shots from other Anita and Leslie films. The Stanley Kwan interview is very good, but this interview is on the cheaper non-special edition as well, and probably on the new Blu-ray version.
If you get one of these new editions, be sure to at least once use the "original mono audio track" which is more hissy but has the ambient sounds of the original film. They cleaned up the background noise and gave it new deep rumbling streetcar sounds in stereo etc. but changed the background music in the nightclub (while Emily Chu calls home to say she'll be late) to a new techno style which wouldn't exist for another ten years-----these sort of mistakes are in the default Dolby stereo audio.
The film credits say "Composer--Bill Wong", which doesn't mean he wrote the theme song. The film version of the song appears on the "Red Lips" CD but a careful listen will reveal that it was not recorded along with and in the same studio as the other songs on the CD, it has a lush intimate presence and very clean sound compared to the others. Anita performs the song on this audio CD of her live performance in "87-88":
This new edition of the concert is a must have. It is probably the first opportunity she had to perform it live following the release of the film.
Also, you will enjoy the film by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien called Flowers of Shanghai:
which takes place in the same historical setting as the Rouge story but explains much, much more of Anita's and Leslie's situation. I would venture to say that the two films are "companion pieces" to each other, "Rouge" for glamourous entertainment and "Flowers" for scholarship interest. Our friends Tony Leung and Carina Lau are in it. This film is long, slow and dark. It demands your full attention and the latest version and the best equipment to watch it on (and maybe some opium to smoke along with the characters, haha!) It was shot with just the natural light that would be in the room at the time,
Hope this helps.
FB, thank you SO much! I have had difficulty finding much information on this film, so I am thrilled to hear in-depth details on the various aspects of it and its release, etc. How wonderful it must have been to see this film on the big screen!
This award-winning film, considered a classic of the time period, continuing to received bad, muddled subtitle translations is irritating. Thanks also for the tip about the original audio track with the "the ambient sounds of the original film", for a film this atmospheric the audio is very important.
"This "digipack fold out case with... two small sized 24-page photo books" edition is nothing special, the photos are still shots from other Anita and Leslie films."
What a wasted opportunity! Thanks for filling me in - had I not known, I might have been tempted to buy an import of this release just for the books.
I'll have to look for that concert CD - I peeked at the reviews and some are saying it's her best concert. How interesting! Meanwhile, I've heard of Flowers of Shanghai but now I'm very intrigued by your description and will check it out ASAP.
Thanks again so much for all the info, I'm so grateful!
Thank you for the postings above.
I will try to translate the theme song for the movie "Rouge" as precisely as I can.
Here are the first 2 passages for now:
胭脂扣 (梅艷芳) 作曲/ 編曲: 黎小田/ 填詞: 鄧景生
誓言幻作煙雲字 the oath has become illusional words of smoke and cloud
費盡千般心思 wasting all (my) whole-hearted thoughtfulness
情像火灼般熱 passion is hot like burning fire
怎燒一生一世 but how can that burn for a whole lifetime
延續不容易 is not easy to sustain
負情是你的名字 abusing love (not keeping promise) is your middle name
錯付千般相思 putting in (my) mind and thoughts for the wrong person
情像水向東逝去 love is disappearing like the water flowing out East
痴心枉傾注 faithful passion has poured out in vain
願那天未曾遇 wish (we) never met that day
other readers' input and revisions are welcome.
Will continue next week.
Continue from last week, here are the remaining verses of the song "Rouge":
只盼相依 only hoping we could be beside each other, relying on each other
那管見盡遺憾世事doesn't matter that one has seen all the sorrow/regrets in the world
漸老芳華 aging through the years
愛火未滅人面變異 the loving flame has not been extinguished while the face has changed
祈求在那天重遇 wishing on the day that we meet again
訴盡千般相思 can talk about all the loving thoughts of missing you
祈望不再辜負我 hoping you will not let me down again
痴心的關注 caring with a faithful heart of passion
人被愛留住 one is staying all due to love
問那天會重遇 asking when shall we meet again