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Midsomer Murders (1997– )
8/10
Screammmminnggg onnnn.....
5 March 2018
I don't remember when I happened to start watching this. The first time I watched it online, my eyes were caught by the green, green countryside, very tempting and pleasing.

Yesterday evening, I just clicked into a certain episode uploaded on youtube, and found that this year it is carrying its 20th season. Amazing! And so, the countryside townsfolks continue to kill and people continue to die... And so...

And so, "Midsomer Murders" is truly a very good way to show the world the luxuriant green countryside of the UK. Yet, in the past 19+ seasons, in total, I mean the grand total, how many got killed? There are always multiple deaths in one episode. Huh, 2000? If yes, wow, 100 for a season. That's why the detectives are so busy.
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Saç (2010)
Turkish traits?
23 April 2012
Expressionless. Staring. Quietness. Motionless. Passion in the form of undercurrent. City scene. Human indifference. Hair infatuation/fetish. Sickness... I just recall the experimental movies of Europe.

Not much to say about the story yet on the treatment. I watched this one at the 3rd Turkish Film Festival in town. "Geriye Kalan" (What remains?) and this film were schedule to be on air on the same evening. In a very funny way, identical treatment of the plots comes up so interestingly from these two different movies: 1) stalking the competitor/ target of passion to trace their everyday routine, 2) steals their home keys, sneaks into to take action (maybe just seeing or messing a little), 3) kills the competitor (who blocks the way). As the coincidence is so surprisingly coincident within one same evening at the same cinema..., I start to wonder if it is a "general practice" of the Turkish people to stalk, steal and slit (throat) when a rival in love appears.

Çigdem Vitrinel is copying Tayfun Pirselimoglu? Or, that's the Turk DNA?
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Yes, yes, politics, history but now it's impatience that kills...
23 April 2012
The blurb tells the depicted period ends in 1963 and I was a little disappointed because "Operation Atilla" 1974 which led to the tragic split of Cyprus is more interesting. If this film is a meal, I am just half full.

History and politics may be the mainstay, the more interesting is the responses of the villagers. They are reflections of human vulnerability under fear or threat. Both Greek and Turk Cypriots are actually living in perfect harmony: they eat, they date, they mate on the same island without any conflicts. After a politically unstable inkling emerges, the old (Anna, Veli) are imperturbable while the young impulsive, impatient.

Veli may appear to be naïve, indecisive, weak in fighting against the ruthless Greeks. Nevertheless, he has faith in people, just like Anna, she believes her neighbours, her friends' goodness. They are both for peace and that's the true nature of the Cypriots.

On the contrary, the inexperienced young hearts are easily incited. Ahmet voluntarily spies on the neighbours even though his mom keeps reminding him to be calm. His wish of displaying gallantry directly causes the death of an innocent Turk shepherd. The bullet from his uncle's pistol crosses the Rubicon, making the fissure even more irreparable.

If I were Ruhsar, I of course would also feel impatient in that uncertain situation. Her wish is pure and direct: getting back the lost father. And, with the divine blessings, the daughter-father reunion at the end is sweet. Yet, when looking back in the later day, she may/might find it unnecessary to sacrifice so many innocent lives for that.

Sinister lull with boiling agitation in the surroundings is a perfect culprit for the wake-up/birth of impatience which leads to a irremediably wrong step. Always, always, patience and sound judgment are products of time and heart.
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Le moine (2011)
Re-edit it, please…
7 December 2011
The book is a very thick one, offering myriad materials, why does it turn out to be like a milk-and-water man? Has D. Moll shot any pilot footage for potential audience to comment? While working on this project, did he still remember MG Lewis's "The Monk" was among the very first Gothic novels in the history of the western literature? Mystery, darkness, suspense are necessary elements, however, the lack of the intensity and the excitement which should be generated by these three makes it less bright. The best treatment or suspense I find thus far is the very slow revelation of the relationship between Ambrosio and Antonia.

Truly, all ingredients are ready: beautiful, poetic visuals, high quality music score, good acting. It is so promising to be more powerful than J-J Annaud's "The name of the rose"! Only, seriously, truly, absolutely… re-editing is definitely imperative. Just a couple of revisions may make the work far much better: 1) more on Valerio and Le débauché for they prove Ambrosio's pride to be wrong, 2) score with Bach's St Matthew Passion and St John Passion or other church music of his on the shots of Frère Iago being struck by a heavy stony object from the façade, 3) adjust the lighting, use more candle light to reflect the darkness to create suspense and mysterious ambiance (I guess that something can be done on the footage/film), 4) re-arrange the storyline order, for example, right at the beginning, put the crow-pecking on the baby and the dead body of Ambrosio together to rouse people's curiosity, 5) more on his demure sermons to exhibit his hypocrisy, 6) close-up shots of Ambrosio's face while he is on the way to drug and rape Antonia, and a couple of other revisions...

While leaving the cinema house, my only comment: the editor is too lazy or busy to think. I for sure will be 100% happy to see the re-edited version if there will be one.
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Even on hangman's noose, we are together…
7 December 2011
Death is the only destination to the well-educated Iranian gay couple Moshen and Hassan if they continue to stay in the country, and so their fleeing to Europe is nothing surprising. Nevertheless, no mortal hand can divert the path of the destined. You may take a break but you cannot break away. During the escape, chances do pop up for them to secure longer stay in France but it so happens that Destiny stops that.

Saint-Claude is a quiet and uneventful town lying on a large natural park and next to Switzerland. The power of Hassan's quiet courage wonderfully matches the backdrop. In the beginning, one of them nearly misses the train and Hassan questions Moshen if he would wait for him or not. Moshen tellingly states that he loves Hassan very much but never wants to be killed together with him. That's Moshen's attitude towards their relationship. Thus, it is very clear that Hassan's love in this relationship, his love to Moshen is more superior to that of Moshen's. At the end of the story, after this older one is arrested by the French provincial police and to be deported, Hassan in actuality can stay in this small town in a secretive manner. Yet, he does not abandon Moshen (even though Yolande promises to take care of his younger lover when Moshen begs her to do so), rather, he joins in the repatriation with hearty smiles, and of course subsequently the inevitably fateful ending of their life.

Hassan's love is powerful as even death cannot part him from his love.
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Let's Go! (2011)
Memories are sweet...
15 November 2011
"Space Emperor God Σ" (a Japanese animation) enjoys its prime time in HK in the 1980s. The film is based on it and is an abode of looking-back, "nostalgia" for the 40 to 55 years old HK Chinese dads and moms to bring their high school teenage kids(if these young ones are willing to) to see it together with their frequent explanation. There is a stalwart crew, a juggernaut of seasoned, familiar and experienced actors appearing in the film, and Pat Ha is a brilliant surprise. What the directors desire to capture is the spirit of 'righteousness', 'friendship', 'courage' which are fading away in our time.

The visuals are fully printed with a lot of "HK motion picture signatures". I especially enjoy the peculiar aesthetics of the HK cinematique violence, very strong visual stimulation / arousal, it can be easily recognized. The scene of the syndicate boss being stabbed by sharp blades reminds me of the death of Julius Caesar who got assassinated by 40 (60?) liberator Roman senators, though there is no atrocious "Et tu, Brute?" sentiment here.

Though Juno Mak said that So Uk Estate looks like a robot so they pick this housing project as the backdrop of the story, I worry that it may need to strive hard to grab resonance from the audience, i.e. barely convincing. When the said Japanese became popular in town, most children at that time were housed in better environment, both govt.-owned or private. Only small number remained living in those housing projects which were intended for working class stratum. A Chinese saying goes like this, "It's always the lower class dare exercise righteousness." With such a physical backdrop, do the directors imply this?

A production of heart and thought for the city... and, the vocalist of the title song of the said animation is our late and always-beloved Leslie Cheung. Somehow the movie brings back the good memory of HK's canto-pop gold time where talented stars were so easily thought up about.
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Yeolnyeomun (1962)
Embodiment of Confucian humanity
11 November 2011
"Oh, worn-out stuff!" was the only words sprang up my head while I was reading the blurb of this restored version (whose footage, with traditional Chinese subtitle, is found in a Taipei, Taiwan).

Presumably, not many refreshing idea is found in the story, yet, how the father-in-law (Dong-won Kim) dealt with the fallen daughter-in-law is uncommon in the story of this genre.

Apparently, safeguarding his family's reputation is the primary reason that he does not let the adultery out to her family or others. Her higher social class / richer background / more reputed family history can also be a reason. Nevertheless, at that very conservative era and context (though westernization and Japanese modernization starts to leave mark on Korea), he has every right to handle it with an iron fist, for instance, exercising capital punishment (in whatever atrocious way), summary execution etc. At any rate, he lets the child live and spare the lives of the adulterers. The humanity and leniency are both exceptional and rare at that time.
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Take a break and light comes...
9 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Quiet your own voice down (both inside and outside), just follow each man's thought and action throughout the 150-mins journey, you will find you are inevitably one of them: busy with life's serious and trivial issues respectively in both interwoven or stand-alone manner, still being troubled by the though long-buried pain etc., established belief being dissolved...

Poor, poor men, while they don't even have enough resources and energy to deal with their living: insufficient power supply, short of medication for an ill son, dissatisfaction with the hierarchy in workplace, all of them have to spend lots of time on the dead: searching for the murdered, wishing for a new fancy morgue for the villagers (to secure the position), fighting for new equipment for autopsy, ruminating on and at the same time avoiding the true reasons of a self-destroyed wife. They struggle to live for the dead and find the living hard to satisfy or please or handle (Dr. Cemal divorced, Commissar Naci got a sick boy, Prosecutor Nusret's wife killed herself out of revenge, Driver Arab Ali is not happy with his families, Suspect Kenan cannot live with his own son, Mukhtar thinks about a new morgue more than his daughter…). Life or death, which is heavier?

The search of the dead body runs to nowhere. After a verbal fight, the tired group decides to stop over at Mukhtar's home. A magical reversal takes place to their search and feeling after Cemile, Mukhtar's angel- faced daughter serves tea to each and every of the exhausted man. My favourite part.

A film not to be appreciated in Facebook philosophy or speed. Patience and time together make the viewing tastier.
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Dooman River (2010)
No French Invasion
8 April 2010
Most movie financiers lust after leaving their fingerprints on the film stripes, manipulating how the story should develop, which actor(s) to take, where to shoot… And this film is just to my amazement, though the project is partly supported by French money, I saw NO accidental French journalist doing secretive investigation in the border village, NOR gone-astray French tourists being Nosey Parker to stay in one of the houses sprouting up. And thus, the original chilly flavour generated from both the weather and the ruling parties, and also the villagers' warm human touch of the northern region is well-kept.

I wild guessed that the fund provider was so open-minded to allow the director, ZHANG Lu, run his imagination and creativity freely. Yet, while asking him this question, I got this answer: French is not his language, he said in humorous tone, and so he might have mis-grabbed the meaning when it was uttered. What enlightening truth: lost in translation, so fortunately.
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Same dish in another lesser known yet familiar language(s)
23 February 2010
The entire piece just suits my taste and whets my appetite for more with very thoughtful elements: metal urban sound (music), minimalism interior design, bleached simple colours, sanitized sets, anorexic nervousness, horrible and fragmented past memories of a precocious and successful gifted music genius, posters of hints. A strong though predictable suspense by the unknown/unseen sinister viral suitor/killer/peeping-tom is a bonus to the setting of unreal world or other world. The cinematique language is familiar, nothing too new. Nevertheless, it's the spoken Romanian that makes the début project appealing and fresh to my eyes.

The entire work may be heavily influenced by western Eurofilm, may find it difficult to stand alone stylistically, artistically it's an attractive work that people may be game to watch again. Wishing to see and hear more from Romanian flavour cooked by Gheorghe Preda in the coming days.
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Hong he (2009)
7/10
**Oh, what a SURPRISE!** But, why did they miss this?
28 December 2009
Many questions marks of huge size why this was not in mainstream movie house but only one, two screenings during a film festival celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Chinese communist rule? Jiarui Zhang successfully captures the odour, the presence of the 1970s in the first part of the story displaying even the film technicality of(ambiance, colour of the film etc) that era. The story though is not without fault, the acting rescues the project. And so, the success more or less is also ascribed to it. Nick Cheung (HK Film Award 2009 – Best Actor) has proved what he deserves, his acting matures as time goes by. Jingchu Zhang is a stunning gem as she is able to play the role of a much younger girl at the age of 28. Loletta Lee is yet another surprise. At 43 and after such a long absence, the female veteran can still fight a good battle, her girlish look is a rivalry between that of Zhang.

The border town exhibits the present China-Vietnam relationship, especially while the former is becoming more influential in that part of the world. Besides, the tradition of Yao-ethnic group (e.g. wedding), the affection of A Tao towards A Xia (which he felt in hindsight and can never reciprocated), crime boss Sha Ba's care and love to the young girl, they are all delicately told.

Just a wild guess that the production team might have to consider income and the worldwide market, otherwise, Sha Ba and A Shui actually would be better played by Mainland Chinese or even Vietnamese actors but not those from Hong Kong. (It has been purported that Tran Nu Yên-Khê, the wife of Anh Hung Tran, has been invited to take up the role of A Shui. Only that her schedules did not permit.) The three Hong Kong actors needed to try very hard to speak Putonghua, the local dialect and also Vietnamese.

It's a movie you'd enjoy but it's also a movie with an ending that breaks your heart.
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Brightened, thanks!
11 January 2009
Enough! Enough incontinent funeral-like reportage on the finance page, the front page, enough dreadful warnings of prospective unemployment, enough.

At this time of credit crunch and financial tsunami, we need an anti-climax in cinema, in art, in church to cheer us up. I give my 100% tight hugs to Poppy and Mike Leigh. We had lots of plans in mind: mortgage, children, work, retirement and now? Because of Poppy, I feel so happy to think about this Bible verse directly from the mouth of Jesus, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Let's enjoy today, no matter what as life runs on whether you smile or sob.
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7/10
Thanks for the variety...
9 December 2008
I don't know Taiwanese, I didn't know the foul word "LP" actually means testicles. But I am surprised that Hengchun can be a beauty through the camera and thought of the director. I am 100% delighted by the life of this quiet coastal town. And I am also made astonished that Japanese people would be there to have jobs and shows. Thanks to this movie, I otherwise got to know all these about this small place of Taiwan.

I have forgotten since when from day to night and dusk to dawn, the word "globalization" is like the charm of a chanting medium, a witch, that hypnotises the entire world. Now the laureate crowns on Cape No. 7 (Bollywood movies, Korean films too) bring in a sheer fact that slaps the face of it: people prefer "localization". Local peculiar taste, regional special savour rather than the showy astronomically figured Hollywood mega-production. The unified globalization equals a boring formula without any varieties. What's the word of Obama's Campaign this year: CHANGE.
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Summer Hours (2008)
7/10
"What's the big deal?" Hong Kong jeered.
3 December 2008
The lament of the Marlys can never strike any resonance in Hong Kong. We live in constant construction and demolition. Old houses? Old vases? Old painting? No one cares about them unless they sell well with good money return. Embracing the new (mostly technology and money), living the moment, forgetting the past, pulling down the old buildings for new glassy-window high rise (= money, money, money), dumping all those used once…, our usual behaviour. Past is past, never mind. Out of sight, out of mind, no regret of its disappearance, no matter that's people, object, time or whatever. Sorry, sorry, in a city of super fast pace, no time and no need and no habit to think about history, to study history. Today, nostalgia, heritage are too expensive to a place where people only live "this absolute right moment", so, don't ask me to plan for the next and don't ask me to reflect the past. We only look forward and forget all that has happened.

A 100% correct decision of the brothers and sisters: send every "valuable" object to the museum because today, no one, normal people, intends to live in a museum.
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6/10
Happy? Well...
4 March 2008
A philosophical question and a very western idea that human beings are perpetually in pursuit of happiness. Frankly speaking, happiness is not the final goal of life, rather, "joy" is more profound psychologically and physically.

Really, work hard and persist and American Dream will come true is what many US citizens believe in. Yet, there are too many cases of disillusionment, he succeeded and congratulations to him, but that's not about every one. I gather that the happiness (or happiness) here means that he is out of monetary plight. My more serious question: has his wife returned to stay with him and the kid? Personally I don't want to be any Chris Gardner because happiness is so difficult, so cruel to obtain. In my own experience (I did had hardship/difficult time in life), after so much hard time, I don't feel especially "happy" when the hardship's gone or when what I wanted came to me, the only feeling was, and always was "tired" and "exhausted" but not happy.
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Amazing Grace (2006)
Politics and Religion
7 November 2007
A spirit-uplifting story with many efforts on research and script writing, besides, acting in Brit film seldom disappoints. Only that the century-old hymn "Amazing Grace" and its birth appear to be a supporting team. The focus, the beef is on W Wilberforce's decade-long political ordeal. We want an antecedent, a film about how the popular hymn was created by John Newton. There is little to do with religion but more on politics in this movie.

For most period film, costume and make-up always steal the limelight, true here too. One awesome work about the movie is the make-up. The maturing process of William Pitt is well-exhibited as the course of time runs by. His face was from young clean to older with senile lentigo and at last the wretched face on death bed. It makes the viewers wonder the true ages of the actors.
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Healing as time runs on
28 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The attraction of indie to me is the feeling of "living" and quietness, the subtle human sentiments and emotions reeked from the ordinary stories in normal daily living. Mega-multi-million productions are stunning in many ways but they are too "drama", not living. We need indie as antidote.

Since the 1990s, the world movie industry doesn't seem to produce many female directors and how happy we have Kawase, whose works mostly shot with Nara as backdrop. In the peaceful quietness, she is able to capture the meticulous subtlety of human touch and warmth.

Young Machiko and old Shigeki are both bereaved with great sadness. One day they have an outing in the countryside and bad weather suddenly comes. Their journey is journey of healing as Shigeki is looking for the burial location of his wife Mako who passed away 33 years old. He wants to return to her as a means to cease his mourning. To me, the most touching episode is when they wade through the small brook which is suddenly flooded by rain water. The long-silent Shigeki, just like the abrupt influx rain-water, suddenly tells Machiko that the running water will not return to its source. It is a condolence and advice to this young woman whose baby has died: let bygones be bygones, people died, they died without any return. The speedy running brook and her fast running tears are important symbols of healing: they wash away her pain.

The natural beauty of Nara is exhibited superbly with the actors' natural performance. By the way, it is the very first appearance of the 61-year-old amateur Shigeki Uda. Naomi Kawase just got to know him for very short time somewhere at her hometown while she was preparing for the shooting.
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Blind Chance (1987)
No matter what path you take, life does not stop.
19 September 2007
Tom Twyker's "Run Lola Run", Peter Howitt's "Sliding Doors", Lord Dunsany's play "If", Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" and O Henry's short story "Roads of Destiny" are in the family members of this Polish flick. The structure is a beloved one of keen story-tellers as they can twist and turn of their story in uncountable ways with the same beginning or backdrop or development or ending. Viewers also love this genre because it satisfies, at least some parts of our imagination or extension. What matters the most for this structure is the content and the plot of the story. I just wonder why such a juicy flick has not been shown in the movie-house (well, perhaps I missed that before... anyway). A kiss to the VCD distributor.

It takes much courage to release "Przypadek" under the ex-communist regime of Poland. What can one do in a totalitarian state? Though you may still have choice, politics-wise, the philosophy of "If you can't beat them, join them." doesn't seem to be effective for the first two scenarios. Whether to join or to beat, suffering is expecting you. Thinking that one can escape from the extreme duality to abstain? Sorry, sorry, one may circumvent the political troubles but not the uncertainty of life: the plane explodes in the air! The seemingly peaceful life of the doctor in the third scenario was diverted by a small ignition of fire.

No matter what life path you prefer, there is consequence. So, take it easy, just live on according to, well, your liking or conscience or preference or whatever you believe. Life goes on.
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Macho im Schleudergang (2005 TV Movie)
Too macho to be gay...
17 September 2007
Lately, Germany is enjoying good economy so in market we have more German DVDs with either screen works or TV productions perched inside. And from time to time, their good quality surprises me.

Latest news (at least to myself): German people also know humour! The Brits have to de-monopolize it now. The comedy is a common and ordinary one with lots of hilarious visual vehicles. I can't help laughing my head off when seeing a Jan Sosniok in sassy and saucy unfit female outfit. Very true that he is a handsome guy but is facial lines are too coarse and masculine to be a homosexual! It is helped out by his effeminate demeanor like the breathy, lispy voice.

It's my first Edzard Onneken work and I have no clue where he was educated, maybe the States because the story, the backdrop and even the props used more or less remind me the gang flicks shot in Beverly Hill or somewhere in the posh and snobbish area of Hollywood.

More interesting productions should be coming out. Worth watching and waiting.
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Seung sing (2006)
Something missed...
17 September 2007
Unresolved pain, harboured grudge and hatred leading to bloody revenge is most destructively tragic. Hei even takes harming/killing his wife as a last resort to fulfil his eye-for-eye, tooth-for-tooth dark plan on his father-in-law who exterminated his family twenty-five years ago.

A "well-taken-care-of" work with who did it is known, how it was did is also known, and viewers chase and chase the line to know why he did that. Every area is fine but something missed... it lacks "power", some more energy and intensity is desired. The film is too "quiet", we need at least one exploding/imploding point to exhibit the tension. In addition, Fiona Sit should take the role of that that Shu-qi occupies here as the girl here is a dotty one. Shu-qi has long passed that playful age. Her talent is not developed her. Wrong choice of actress. And, Kaneshiro is not quite himself, I find no clue why.

When the flame of hatred and pain keeps burning, the fire of vengeance grows stronger and hotter that even the entire furnace falls apart.
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Moon to (2007)
It's just a matter of demand and supply.
17 September 2007
Ordinary development, good research on today's drug-dealing, satisfactory (only) acting, a just so-so plot plus a perfunctorily didactic story, nevertheless, I still recommend this as a light Sunday afternoon amuse-bouche.

We are living in a world of mixed, confusing values. What is right? What is wrong? Lin Quin is an extremely careful businessman. He has a clean family and clean life (he doesn't even smoke, not to mention drug). He is very clear-minded to the point of having a frozen heart without much feeling for the others. He knows, very rationally, all the tricks and danger of drug and drug-dealing. He knows, super-sensibly, the wants and behaviour of the drug consumers. Trafficking drug to him is only a means of accumulating wealth regardless whether it is harmful or evil. He even makes an analogy between cigarette and drug. According to the world system and world values, he is correct: as there is a demand, I supply. As the buyers (drug users) get what they want and I get what (the money) I want, we are both happy. Isn't that the world we are living in? Nick's remark at the opening and closing of the film somehow is a futile didactic statement. "For long, I didn't understand why people take drug.... actually it's all because of emptiness (loneliness). And, which is more horrible? Loneliness or drug? I really can't tell." No philosophy class but loneliness kills more, for sure, more destructive than drugs.

What touches my heart is the ending. Nick promises to continue his duty as a special agent (undercover). When loneliness comes, he also intends to take drug but at last his salvation is brought by "innocence" (personified by Jane's little daughter) who dumps the syringe for him. Only when we come to purity and innocence, goodness and kindness can we have a way out from evil.
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As evil is still dominating...
13 September 2007
I just feel a little tired of the flicks telling me that there were good and kind Germans during the cruel times: The Pianist, Sophie Scholl, Rosenstrasse or even "The Downfall: Hitler and the End of the Third Reich". However kind these good-natured people were, the collective evil of the regimes like the Nazi and communist syndicate can never be evened up. Which side was more powerful, destructively speaking? The emotional switches of HGW were not convincing. Picture that: his country is the fascist East Germany and he is at a fairly important position among the secret police. He knows every tricks and is highly skilled, experienced, well-versed in interrogation. How can that happen? Concealing what he has listened to without reporting it? How dare he? On the contrary, the actress's betrayal is true to its utmost in real life, though.

Many shared with me that it is a fantastic work. True, fantastic in acting, music and many others... I am not being cynical or skeptical, or maybe I am too old at heart and too worldly-experienced about human beings that I just cannot believe that could happen in former East Germany. No way. Human atrocity onto its own species still prevails. Let's wake up and read the news about Iraq, the many civil wars or genocide in Africa, tension in Middle East... The globe is still rotating and human beings are still killing and persecuting one another.

Anyway, danke schön! It's a good movie. But, "I would like it gift wrapped as it's not for me." Well, do enjoy it! (Ah, check your house carefully, BIG BROTHER may be listening.)
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Darling (1965)
"She" never dies...
13 September 2007
"Darling" falls into the category of the short-lived and unsustainable British New Wave, late 1950's to early 60's. Why ephemeral? First, most BNW movies were shot in industrial north England, not the almighty London. Second, they are mostly about the true life of people who made a living with flesh and blood, sweat and toil. In that conservative 1960s, Brits were not really interested in the north, neither the cruelly true social problems nor the new film ideas. The idea was too new. They just couldn't stomach that, no matter how good the films are. Nevertheless, thank God, just across the British Channel, the frogs over there took hold of it well and developed it into a world famous French screen era: Nouvelle Vague Française. And so, we have François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard....

Has feminist movement achieved anything very significant in the past few decades? Wondering... Diana Scott, the Darling, is still on brisk cat-walk around the world cities. She is a common beautiful and sexy species that being reproduced every day in any nationality and in great mass. This species gains her success, fame, money and power by stepping on men one after one. Robert Gold, the poor soul has been so luckily and unluckily stepped on for multiple times. What a paradox that she is said to be a new liberated independent woman and at the same time a semi-detached parasite on men.

The time is 1960's but the story is never old, never out. At its first release, it was a daring movie with sexual connotation at the time. A wonderful analysis and narration of a material girl who ends up rubbing her tears with velvet handkerchief inside an Italian château chamber with an identity as a princess. The good weep still rings around our ears from many ladies. But, do you pity them? Suddenly I remember Diana Ross's voice, "Do you know where you're going to? Do you like the things that life..."
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Nazarin (1959)
Harebrained suddenly? I mean the Vatican.
12 September 2007
My third Buñuel movie so far, far much easier to understand than the French productions "Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie" or "Belle de jour" where imagination and reality intercept each other in higher intervals… ah, my neurons keep dancing in whirpool while watching them, taxing anyway.

After seeing it, the very first question burst out from my mouth was: International Catholic Cinema Office Award? It's a satire laughing at the ineffectiveness and cowardice of the Church and its discrimination and hostility towards women's validity and value to the Church (or God's Kingdom)! Father Nazario doesn't exist in our days on Earth... Why? Because he is Jesus. Jesus is now in heaven. No worker of God, in flesh and blood would or to be more exactly is able to behave, believe, think, act and live like he does. HOLY Nazario is a huge contrast to the hypocrisy of the Church (represented by his superior) who only focus onto the status and the trouble-free life.

I like this movie, especially the very last scene. A village woman gives Father Nazario a fruit, encouraging him to go on. It's a confirmation from the mouth of simple and plain people to what he is doing regardless the hierarchy or the "canonized" or "orthodox" establishment, the Church... touching.
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8/10
Old and lonely? Fine. Old and lonely and being lesbian, oh my God! Poor lady...
12 September 2007
Besides the good story, a star-shining cast of two world-applauded actresses adds much juicy flavour. Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench, how can they fail us, right? The story bluntly tells the excruciating pain of being a lonely and aging person, looking for a life partner by hook or by crook, fearing loneliness in prospective older days. True, Covett's lesbian-yearning is subtly and decently depicted in clandestine fashion: very friendly approach to Hart's family, a help in time of need like concealing the indecent act between Hart and a minor. Yet, her scorn to Hart's husband, her joy when Hart lives with her though short (the star stickers and the lock of hair secretively cut out), her destructive and stupid revelation of Hart's sexual crime… all this explicitly pronounce her homosexual affinity towards Hart. Demure senior teacher Covett cannot expose her desire so openly, maybe due to her age, her reputation in the school, her profession… and so, the unanswered craving is translated into hunting and imaginary notes in her diary. That's the plight of homosexuals in the game of searching for partners when time prints wrinkles on this face.

There should be faithful gay couples but most old ones find it hard to keep the relationship long. No wonder why there are so many senior gays pay for the easy service of the young chaps. It's hard for old people to look for life partner, it's even harder for homosexuals. The hardest goes to the lesbians. In the arena of homosexuality, gays still have the upper hand in many ways than lesbians.

By the way, one of the many reasons why I like UK films is the lines, the wit between the words, not only eye-catching but also ear-snatching, and abundant here.
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