April 19th, 2011
As the old proverb goes, all good things must come to an end.
Although I’ve been handing in a steady stream of reviews for several months, Ronin on Empty has only been intermittently updated as my schedule permits. After an extended hiatus due to my father’s passing, I attempted to resume steady “publication” last month for a little while, but aside from an April Fools’ Joke a couple weeks ago, this blog has remained conspicuously inactive since March 12th. And there is a good reason for that.
It has been a little over two months since my dad passed away. Following this sudden, tragic, and life-altering loss came numerous and ever-mounting challenges for both myself and my family. I won’t go into the sad details of the event or the disappointing, troubling issues that emerged in the wake of this experience, but I will say that this has been — without a doubt — the worst time of my life. To paraphrase Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, I feel like somebody has taken the lid off life and let me look at the works.
For all these reasons and more, I have decided it’s time to leave LoveHKFilm.com after almost nine years of writing for the site.
So from this day forward, Ronin on Empty will no longer be updated. It’s a real shame, considering all the fun I’d been planning, as those ideas will have to be shelved, at least for the time being. I’m uncertain of what will become of the LoveHKFilm.com blogs in the near future, but whether Ronin on Empty remains archived here or disappears from the site entirely, I can assure you that it will return someday, perhaps in a new form or with a new name somewhere down the road.
As far as my review output for the main site is concerned, I recall turning in reviews for the Shaw Brothers classic, Crippled Avengers (1978) and the HK-set American film, The World of Suzie Wong (1960) several months ago, but if those don’t see the light of day, my recent critiques of Japanese anime favorite Ghost in the Shell (1995), the influential Korean romance, Christmas in August (1998), and the cross-cultural American Western, Walk Like a Dragon (1960) shall be my last reviews for the website.
In parting, I want to extend my sincere thanks to Ross Chen, aka Kozo, who allowed me a space here to share my opinions on Hong Kong cinema and other related subjects. Way back in 2002, I joined LoveHKFilm.com fresh out of college, right after a summer trip overseas renewed my love for Hong Kong and Asian cinema. Although I haven’t quite made it to the nine year mark, I’m proud that I’ve been here longer than any other contributor, save Ross himself. I will always maintain fond memories of my time at LoveHKFilm.com, an era characterized by a genuine sense of camaraderie and community, a shared enthusiasm for the cinema, and an informed, albeit occasionally tongue-in-cheek approach to the material. Those days will be sorely missed.
To fellow site contributors Kevin Ma and Sanney Leung, I want to send my appreciation for your fellowship, hospitality, and, yes, even the occasional friendly Tweet. Best of luck to you both with your respective blogs as well as your future endeavors, wherever they may take you.
I’d be remiss if I left the site without properly acknowledging its unsung heroes, Les (aka the Wongsaurus, cousin of velociraptor and younger brother of T. Rex. No relation to thesaurus) and AmyLynn (AL5430). With this final post, I’d like to take this opportunity to express a big, big thank you to the both of them. As forum moderators for the LoveHKFilm.com Community, these two have done a tremendous amount of work for the site, and their efforts over the years are well-deserving of acknowledgment. Les, Amy — if we ever have a San Francisco reunion, dim sum is on me. But Les, it’s your call on John’s Grill, Red’s, or Li Po for drinks.
Last but not least, I want to thank the readers of this website, who have been so incredibly kind, generous, and supportive of my writing during my tenure here. I have met so many wonderful people and made so many great friends through this website. Some benefits cannot be measured in dollar signs or material goods. In fact, in this particular case, the benefits have been priceless. So to every LoveHKFilm.com reader who has ever visited the site, I want to extend my sincerest thanks for your interest and support. It’s been a real pleasure.
In the words of my former namesake – Toshiro Mifune’s title character in Sanjuro — I say to you all “Abayo!”
In other words, this ain’t goodbye; it’s just “See you later.”
– Calvin McMillin, April 19, 2011