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Above the standards for a sketch show
Sketch shows are generally not my thing since they tend to follow a tradition of being campy. Portlandia, on the other hand, is damn straight (and most importantly consistently) funny. I mean where else could I look to see a smart parody of a radical feminist lesbian played by a feminist lesbian? Or catch a glimpse of Kaia Wilson as a cafe customer during a sketch? I realize that these are partially (OK so the latter, completely) personal reasons to enjoy the show only more. However I think that anyone who enjoys absurd comedy with some social criticism would really appreciate the show.
I don't believe that creativity and the will to work on it comes by easily, so call me old fashioned but when I see someone showing a good bit of it, I support it.
Hu die (2004)
It'll be a little difficult to express my every opinion on Butterfly.
First of all, the youthful love and passion between Jin & Flavia is portrayed more than well; although I thought (young) Flavia isn't much of a character compared to (young) Jin. Jin on the other hand is interesting and deeper, although she too is a commonly seen character in life or in movies: the smart and angry high school girl. But it's not a cliché, it's reality. She has deep ideas about life, about the question of life and that's a fact. Most people do that, especially at that age. I really could relate to the scenes involving those two, cos I was there too, kind of.. Being that young and in love was very similar in my situation. I think this is actually important in a movie, cos empathy is one thing some movies are designed to give you, but most (of those who claim they can) usually can't be so close to life. This is something I like about Asian movies, I'm not a big fan of the slow story lines but I appreciate their sense of reality.
About the story.. I believe it could've been told better. At times I felt like I was stuck in a movie that just won't go further. But this is independent cinema right? I can't and don't want to look for a Hollywood-type narrative. But I wish I could say it had a unique or at least not (mostly) boring way of narrative. But I can't, it's just too slow at times. I actually thought right before the end that it probably had been almost 3 hours since it started. The story wasn't new blood either, but it was good anyway. I don't need to discuss that.
The acting was generally good enough. Stephanie Che was brilliant. The woman who played Rosa was the only one I thought wasn't as good as the rest. But I'm not a critic, I'm a supporter. Just commenting.. I believe people can/should do whatever they like no matter how discouraged they are by others. I think it was the late reactions she gave in her lines, I don't know.
I gave the movie 5 out of 10, I could've given 6 though, considering it was in Chinese (subtitles are still obstacles against full comprehension) and for the sake of the scenes involving Jin & Flavia's love. Finally, it's nice and important to see homosexual visibility and issues in movies, that is really appreciated. This is pretty much what I think of Butterfly.
ps: I forgot to mention another thing about the movie: the kissing scenes between women. my god were they awful.. they were too conservative or just dull.