Sunday, 28 August 2016

My Favourite Movie Audiophile Scene

Well, I had a great time away in Asia and glad to be home in Vancouver!

Just wanted to share with everyone my favourite "audiophile scene" from a movie :-). It's at the start of the Chinese movie Infernal Affairs (無間道, 2002). I remember watching it at a buddy's place when it first came out - maybe around 2003 and was just blown away by the movie! I guess Martin Scorsese must have been impressed by it as well to come up with The Departed in 2006 which of course won him the Best Director and declared Best Motion Picture in the Oscars.

As often happens with first impressions, I much preferred the original movie situated in Hong Kong - shorter, more concise, less of Leo DiCaprio's brooding, more cinematic than gritty realism - all subjective of course. Starring Andy Lau and Tony Leung, the opening scene where they meet each other in an audiophile store is a "classic" for me as an audiophile moment... Featuring a vacuum tube amp, audiophile female vocal, "transparency", soundstage and imaging, veils lifted with small tweak, uncontrolled sighted listening and $4000 cables :-). But at least the guy got a tip on where to buy cheaper speakers! Also a nice view of the electronics street in HK circa early 2000s.

By the way, the song is "The Forgotten Time" (被遗忘的时光) by Cai Qin (Tsai Chin / 蔡琴). Available here among other similar compilation CD's...

Enjoy as we end off August and the summer vacation season... :-(


  1. 你好 Archimago. 我叫 Juergen.
    I also just came back from 4 weeks in Asia. I was a lot of work but I do still enjoy what I am doing, had also a good amount of fun and have done some hiking in the mountains (sweating like hell but at the end of the day, felt always happy) and met again some nice HiFi and Music fans that makes my journey a pleasure.
    谢谢, 再见
    PS: 我讲一些普通话,但没有粤语

  2. 很好Juergen!


    Nice to know you had a good time in Asia! It was really hot throughout the time we were there, but at least the last couple days in Beijing cooled down a bit and was actually quite comfortable with blue skies. Hope you had a smooth return trip and getting back to the timezone at home :-).

    Cantonese was my first language growing up. So the dialect and dialogue always feels special for me so always remembered that scene.

    Have a wonderful September!

  3. 不客气
    Do you know, that the above mentioned shop still does exist? Its on the Kowloon side at
    Sham Shui Po MTR Station. And you can find a very nice shop / showroom is at Central (Hong Kong side) at Li Dong Building, 9 Li Yuen St E. Ask for Kennith or Timmothy. ;)

    1. 你好Juergen,
      Cool to know that the shop still exists :-). It has been about a decade since I was in HK last. Hmmm, will have to check out what's there when I next visit the city! Maybe next year :-)

  4. Hello Archimago. I am a native Hongkonger. A lot of more rational Hong Kong people like to use this "sweet treble, accurate mids, powerful bass" phrase in this film to tease placebophiles :-)

    1. :-)

      Nice. Are you still living in HK? Wondering how the market for Hi-Fi looks like over there these days. Would love to know as reference what places I should visit when I'm in town next!

  5. Yes I am still living in Hong Kong. The biggest audiophile event in Hong Kong in my opinion is the annual AV show held in HKCEC, Wan Chai, which is usually held in August.

    Admission fee includes a hybrid SACD or a more expensive limited version of "LPCD" -- virtually a CDR claims to have superior sound quality, but often deteriorate after several years and become unreadable, like typical CDRs.

    BTW I am the member called bennetng in hydrogenaudio and seldom post in local audiophile forums because all of them are more or less flooded with snake oil discussions which I am not interested about.

    1. Nice Bennet! Sounds like a nice AV show :-).

      I really like that idea of including the hybrid SACD with show admittance. Bizarre that the "LPCD" is even more expensive given the fact that it's just a CD... Would have thought it would be the other way around.

      I'll certainly flag that show as something to keep an eye out for in the years ahead if I'm out that way! Looks like it happens in early August.

      Keep up the good work dispelling snake oil!

  6. Hi Archimago, I got given a copy of Tsai Chin Classical LP and it has forgotten time on it but do you know if there is a LP pressing of the version which featured in the movie? Would love to hunt that down as I work in a Hifi shop here in the UK.

  7. Hello from another Vancouverite.

    My motorcyclist friend in HK intrigued me with his love of valve amplifiers. When he played Forgotten Times on one of his units, that gave me quite some shivers.

    Turned out, my spouse has a high-school classmate who's married to a family that manufactures and sells such units on Apliu Street, although it's not Audio Space where the movie's scene was shot. Small world, indeed.

    I rue to this day that I didn't have enough time to shop for a good set from her classmate before moving back four years ago. Hopefully it'd still be around when we get to go back for a visit after the pandemic.