Monthly Archives: January 2007

When you are on the other side

Some few years back when my poor car was stolen, I had to take public transportation for almost 9 months. This is thanks to the super efficient and consumer friendly insurance companies that took almost no time to assess the damage and pay me the sum insured so that I can stop repaying the bank loan even after the car was stolen. Thanks to their super efficient working attitude, I was finally fairly compensated at a value that left me nothing after repaying the outstanding bank loan.

During that 9 months, I relied on the Light Rail Transit, Bus, Taxi and the company provided van that ferries people from the LRT station to the office. Those were the times when I listened to the most number of Mahler CDs ever and read a lot of novels like I have never been before, and especially happy that I actually read “The Brothers Karamazov” but had no luck at all with “War and Peace”.

Last weekend, due to certain reasons, I had to walk from Mid Valley Megamall to the Japan Club for the Weiqi session and while walking I looked into one of the public busses that passed by. I looked into it and saw many faces, mostly expressionless. This reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend (“world without pangs”) during the time when I had to rely on the public transport.

When I had a car and lived in my own world, I have never thought of how those people that takes public transportation feel. What is in their mind? What are they thinking? They are so quiet, so isolated and seemed to always be thinking of something, in their own world.

Then, suddenly, I am one of them. Standing by the roadside, waiting. Isolated. Listening to the discman perhaps. But what am I thinking? Particularly nothing. I simply exist and waiting for something. Life is like a river. It flows and wait for no one. There I am in this flow, nothing particular in mind. No schemes. Just perhaps recalling how the girl smiled that morning or how annoying Mr. X was and how I wish he will fall of the stairs or perhaps thinking of what there is for dinner.

But in general, I am not purposefully thinking of anything at all. I just follow the flow of life, taking me from one moment to another moment. From one disconnected thought to another disconnected thought.

Now, that day, when I looked into the bus and saw those blank faces, I understand. They are not really thinking of anything in particular but just following the flow of life, living from one moment to another, with disconnected thoughts popping up in their mind and perhaps, deep inside, they are only hoping to make ends meet.

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Some things that make me happy

I have been wanting to do this for quite some time and especially so after my geeky friend’s entry in her blog but never really wanted people to know too much about what makes me happy and then find a way to blackmail me. Well, since I am in the mood now, in no particular order and surely not exhaustive:

– Having dinner with my parents, wife, brother and sister in my hometown in Ipoh, enjoying my mom’s cooking, especially “Choy Keuk” (sometimes known as “Suen Lat Choy”) – a dish prepared from a variety of leftover food cooked over several hours in a pot, “Ku Lou Yuk” – small pieces of pork marinated and fried and then stir fried in tomato ketchup paste and this is sometimes referred to as “Sweet and Sour Pork”, “Mui Choy fry pork” – pickled vegetables stir fried with small pieces of lean pork, and tops with ABC soup – carrot, tomato, onions and toufu boiled with a handsome portion of pork ribs.

– Waking up in the morning and realise that it is a holiday. Raining outside and with my wife sleeping soundly by my side, I pull back the blanket and go back to steal some sleep, knowing that I can have a late breakfast eating “Pan Mee” in Balakong and after that, with no firm plans in mind – perhaps finishing some of the short stories that has been lying on the bookself or perhaps watching some DVDs that I have reserved for days like this, or perhaps go shopping with my wife, or perhaps go to the bookshop and pick up some magazines, then buy some food and cook at home, or perhaps to study that Avalanche variation of the Joseki that I have somehow forgotten.

– Hanging out with friends that I like and talk about nothing in particular, the conversation flowing effortlessly and seamlessly, from topics ranging from what is happening to our first girlfriends now to why we think the current government sucks to why we think Vivian Hsu is cute.

– Playing a good game of Weiqi with a good opponent, getting chased around the board and then I discover a brilliant tesuji that saved my stones and captured the opponent’s stones and thus winning the game.

– Reading a good story and realised that a drop of tear is forming and about to drop, or feeling like jumping up and dance around the room, and then knowing that I have stored many more books like this that I have not read.

– Finally got hold of a cotton bud to cure that itch in the ear that has been bothering me for a while.

– Watching a great movie and sat motionless for 30 seconds after the credits roll thinking how great that movie was and wanting to tell the whole world to go watch that movie.

– Crossing out the tasks list and everyone in the team knows exactly what they are doing and supposed to do and in the process, achieves some remarkable feat, earning the company some insane amount of money and the team gets credited for doing so and can expect a good bonus.

– Listening to Mahler’s 9th symphony.

– Ironing clothes and the smell of freshly pressed clothings.

– Teasing my wife.

– Reaching a foreign land during winter and smelling that winter air, getting confused about the temperature and wanting to take off the scarf because it may not be very cold afterall. The sound of snow everytime I walk on it and not too far away, a hot cup of chocolate is waiting.

– Something that I have been looking for for a long time suddenly popped up unexpectedly.

– Watching the fishes swim and realise that they have grown bigger.

– Receiving a letter in the postbox from a far away friend or relative and wonders what is inside.

– Reading Calvin and Hobbes

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Finally….

Yeah…. finally a film guide that makes a bit of sense. Two more copies available at Borders in Berjaya Times Square. I do recommend this book above others, including, yes, The Great Movies series by Roger Ebert and definitely above the The A List: The National Society of Film Critics’ 100 Essential Films. Anyone who wants to be “educated” in movies, to speak bombastically, should watch every one of the movies recommended in this book, and that includes me since there are many in this book that I have not watched but “knows” that they are great movies, and from the selection pattern/decision, I project that the other movies recommended are good as well. At least it will give one a rather well rounded appreciation of world cinema compared to others that I have read.

Just take a look at the table of contents:

Table of Contents

Contributors.
L’Age d’Or (Luis Buñuel, 1930).
The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese, 1993).
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974).
Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tartovsky, 1969).
The Apu Trilogy (Satyajit Ray): Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1957), The World of Apu (1959).
L’Argent (Robert Bresson, 1983).
L’Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934).
Au Hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966).
L’Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960).
Bad Lieutenant (Abel Ferrara, 1992).
Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975).
The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1965).
Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999).
Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004).
Belle de Jour (Luis Buñuel, 1967).
The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio de Sica, 1948).
The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963).
Blow-Up (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966).
Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986).
Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960).
Café Lumière (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2003).
Ceddo (Ousmane Sembene, 1977).
Céline and Julie Go Boating (Jacques Rivette, 1974).
The Chelsea Girls (Andy Worhol, 1966).
Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974).
Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1994).
Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941).
Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990).
The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Paradjanov, 1968).
The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970).
Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963).
Cutter and Bone/Cutter’s Way (Ivan Passer, 1981).
Days of Being Wild (Wong Kar-wai, 1991).
Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995).
Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988).
The Decalogue (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1989).
The Devil, Probably (Robert Bresson, 1977).
Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988).
Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989).
Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003).
Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001).
Earth (Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1930).
Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1977).
The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981).
F for Fake (Orson Welles, 1974).
Faces (John Cassavetes, 1968).
Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999).
Flaming Creatures (Jack Smith, 1963).
The Flower Thief (Ron Rice, 1960).
Flowing/Late Chrysanthemums (Mikio Naruse, 1956/1954).
Gertrud (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1964).
Glen or Glenda? (Edward D. Wood, 1953).
Gun Crazy (Joseph H. Lewis, 1949).
Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978).
The Heart of the World (Guy Maddin, 2000).
A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005).
Horse Thief (Tian Zhuangzhuang, 1986).
The House Is Black (Forugh Farrokhzad, 1963).
I e Huckabees (David O. Russell, 2004).
Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954).
The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1983).
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955).
Landscape in the Mist (Theo Angelopoulos, 1988).
Love Streams (John Cassavetes, 1984).
The Lovers on the Bridge (Leos Carax, 1991).
M (Fritz Lang, 1931).
The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942).
The Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929).
McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 1971).
The Merchant of Four Seasons (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1972).
Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001).
Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993).
Night and Fog in Japan (Nagisa Oshima, 1960).
Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968).
Los Olvidados (Luis Buñuel, 1950).
Once upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968).
Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947).
Peking Opera Blues (Tsui Hark, 1986).
Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966).
Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959).
Pierrot le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965).
Pink Flamingos (John Waters, 1972).
Platform (Jia Zhangke, 2000).
Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967).
The Portrait of a Lady (Jane Campion, 1996).
The Power of Kwangwon Province (Hong Sang-soo, 1998).
Primer (Shane Carruth, 2004).
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960).
Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994).
Punishment Park (Peter Watkins, 1971).
The Puppet Master (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1993).
Real Life (Albert Brooks, 1979).
Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954).
Reds (Warren Beatty, 1981).
Safe (Todd Haynes, 1995).
Salesman (Albert Maysles, 1969).
Sans Soleil (Chris Marker , 1983).
Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954).
Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994).
Scenes from under Childhood Section 1-4 (Stan Brakhage, 1970).
The Searchers (John Ford, 1956).
Shadows (John Cassavetes, 1958/1959).
Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927).
Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (Todd Haynes, 1987).
Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976).
That Obscure Object of Desire (Luis Buñuel, 1977).
There’s Something about Mary (Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly, 1998).
The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1988).
The Thin Red Line (Terrence Mallick, 1998).
El Topo (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970).
Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies under America (Craig Baldwin, 1992).
Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004).
Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932).
Two or Three Things I Know about Her (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967).
2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968).
Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992).
Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1915).
Vengeance is Mine (Shohei Imamura, 1979).
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958).
Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1983).
Zero for Conduct (Jean Vigo, 1933).
Index.

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BRNS

Hong Kong Cinema Timeline: http://www.brns.com/timeline/hktime3.htm

On the same site, you can find various articles on not only Hong Kong cinema, but Japan, Korea, Thai and even Bollywood. Plus lots and lots of pictures!

Among others, very valuable will be the list of Hong Kong film recommendations and top 10s. Have fun! :)

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Your Movie Database

Remember I was talking about a database called Your Movie Database in the post below? Apparently the site is now up and running again and has changed its URL.

Here’s my list, just for fun: http://www.shompy.com/fallingstones/l39886_ukuk.html

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Film Canons

I have not even finished doing the links in my previous post and here I am doing another post. The excuse that I am offering, besides being lazy, is that I am trying to find the best links for the objects in the post and by merely going through the links, one can assemble a list of good (hopefully) world cinema related links.

This post is on film canons. If you have been following this blog for some time, you will probably have picked up that I am not really fond of definitives, e.g. one has to do this and that and that to become a good and complete human being, lists of top 10 or 100 films that one must watch, list of books, music etc. etc. Actually, a confession, I am quite fond of lists because at least it is a starting point for someone who is interested to become a complete human being or interested in watching more movies etc. to rely on.

What I dislike about it has more to do with the nature of lists, i.e. it has to exclude some good stuffs because lists cannot go on forever and as such, will lead people to think that the list is all there is and the rest of the stuffs not in the list are not really worth looking at. The second weakness of lists is that lists are compiled by people and the composition of the group of people that decides on the list will be biased towards their own knowledge, culture and tastes. Therefore, people relying merely on lists will find themselves missing a lot of other good stuffs.

That said, I still like lists and will continue to seek them out and in case you do not know yet, there used to be a site that lets you list your top 20 movies and share that list with other people. What is beautiful about that site is that it shows you people that has a strong affinity to your list and therefore shows you people that has similar tastes and interests. With this, you can continue to explore the movie world and seek out more movies to watch based on this. The site’s name is Your Internet Movie Database but it has mysteriously been missing from the web recently and when you type the URL, http://www.ymdb.com, it takes you to http://www.imdb.com, i.e. the famous Internet Movie Database.

The truth on how this post came about was when I was re-reading the September 06 issue of Film Comment where there is a long article on film canons. It is interesting, no doubts, and here is the list of top 20 movies listed:

1. THE RULES OF THE GAME, Jean Renoir 1939
2. TOKYO STORY, Yasujiro Ozu 1953
3. CITY LIGHTS, Charles Chaplin 1931
4. PICKPOCKET, Robert Bresson 1959
5. METROPOLIS, Fritz Lang 1927
6. CITIZEN KANE, Orson Welles 1941
7. ORPHÉE, Jean Cocteau 1950
8. MASCULIN-FEMININ, Jean-Luc Godard 1966
9. PERSONA, Ingmar Bergman 1966
10. VERTIGO, Alfred Hitchcock 1958
11. SUNRISE, F.W. Murnau 1927
12. THE SEARCHERS, John Ford 1956
13. THE LADY EVE, Preston Sturges 1941
14. THE CONFORMIST, Bernardo Bertolucci 1970
15. 8 1/2, Federico Fellini 1963
16. THE GODFATHER, Francis Coppola 1972
17. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, Wong Kar Wai 2000
18. THE THIRD MAN, Carol Reed 1949
19. PERFORMANCE, Donald Cammell/Nicolas Roeg 1970
20. LA NOTTE, Michelangelo Antonioni 1961

For the record, I have watched 16 of the 20 films above.

Here’s another list from They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They?. Top 20:

1. CITIZEN KANE, Orson Welles 1941
2. THE RULES OF THE GAME, Jean Renoir 1939
3. VERTIGO, Alfred Hitchcock 1958
4. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, Stanley Kubrick 1968
5. 8 1/2, Federico Fellini 1963
6. THE SEVEN SAMURAI, Akira Kurosawa 1954
7. THE GODFATHER, Francis Ford Coppola 1972
8. TOKYO STORY, Yasujiro Ozu 1953
9. THE SEARCHERS, John Ford 1956
10. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly 1952
11. SUNRISE, F.W. Murnau
12. BATTELSHIP POTEMKIN, Sergei Eisenstein 1925
13. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, David Lean 1962
14. THE PASSION OF JOAN ARC, Carl Dreyer 1928
15. RASHOMON, Akira Kurosawa 1950
16. L’ATALANTE, Jean Vigo 1934
17. THE BICYCLE THIEF, Vittoro De Sica 1948
18. THE GODFATHER PART II, Francis Ford Coppola 1974
19. RAGING BULL, Martin Scorsese 1980
20. THE THIRD MAN, Carol Reed 1949

For the record again, I have watched 18 of the 20 films. The second list has a 45% affinity with the first list.

If you are still interested, here’s the National Society of Film Critics’ 100 Essential films: http://www.filmsite.org/alist.html. I have only watched 58 of the movies listed. I scored better on the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They? list, scoring 72 films out of the top 100. Long way to go but very exciting!

Asian movie fans, don’t vomit blood just because your great Asian movies are not listed in these Mat Salleh lists. If you feel you must, just bang your head on the wall for a while, but not too hard ya. You still need your head to watch movies.

Your list?

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The Obligatory

Hmmm…. I am not a film critic and therefore am not obliged, as Roger Ebert said he does, to come up with a top 10 list or something. However, I am a film lover. I love watching movies and I do watch a reasonable number of movies a year, both good and bad movies. I don’t know how many movies I watched this year but on average, I think I watch at least 7-8 movies a week (in the cinemas, on DVD, VHS and VCD and on TV) and yes this is despite me having a full time job and also spending about half a year in India in the construction industry.

The most I watched in a week was 25, that’s about 4 a day. This happened towards the tail end of my stay in India when I discovered that superb DVD rental shop called Cinema Paradiso located near the Hyderabad Central shopping complex. Add to this enjoyment, there’s a great Subway shop right below, I always managed to get a bite of the superb chicken ham sandwich (superb by Hyderabad’s standard and my desperation for anything that does not taste Indian).

I wished I have kept a detailed journal of the movies that I have watched along with a capsule review of it so that I can keep track but alas! I am such a weak-willed animal and could never do anything consistently and I lack discipline, both physically and mentally and most of all, I am definitely a lazy Lao-Tzu-an (if such a term exists to justify my wu-wei). Hahahaha…. too much philosophy will corrupt the mind.

Ok, seriously, maybe I can do so much as to indicate that few movies that I thought are worthy of one’s time, starting from my country Malaysia and moving beyond. Because of me having not watched too many movies, this list is a list based on some ignorance because I could not watched all the movies in the world and the world produces about 4,500 movies a year.

Malaysia – Malaysia released again about 20+ movies last year but most are forgetable movies. The movies to watch are RAIN DOGS, LOVE CONQUERS ALL and GUBRA with RAIN DOGS leading the way by quite a large margin. Directors to watch out for: Ho Yuhang, Yasmin Ahmad, Amir Mohammad. Tan Chui Mui is also to watch out for. There is something in LOVE CONQUERS ALL that clicked for me (I don’t know about you). On the box office side, CICAKMAN led the way with a box office collection of close to RM4.5million, followed by REMP-IT. Two very forgettable movies, but somehow made quite some money. Sigh… Une generation purdue c’est moi.

Thailand – Maybe I have not watched too many new Thai movies this year but maybe Thailand’s film industry is not doing very well also. This is sad given the potential that it has shown. I hope in 2007, we will see some more exciting Thai movies. For Thailand in 2006, INVISIBLE WAVES and Wisit’s THE UNSEEABLE are a good attempts. Thai directors worth checking out, if you have not: Wisit Sasanatieng (CITIZEN DOG, TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (TROPICAL MALADY, BLISSFULLY YOURS), Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE, 6IXTYNIN9).

Philippines – The only movie I watched from this territory that was released in 2006, THE BLOSSOMING OF MAXIMO OLIVEROS, was worth the time.

Singapore – Ooops… only watched I NOT STUPID TOO which was ok. I think I should pay more attention to our neighbour.

Indonesia – Indonesia’s film industry is now experiencing a come back, with some good movies made in 2006. BERBAGI SUAMI is good. I have not watched EKSKUL but it swept the best film award at the recent Festival Film Indonesia and should be worth checking out. In terms of box office, the horror movie KUNTILANAK sold more than 1.5million tickets while HEART also made it to the box office, both in Indonesia as well as in Malaysia. KUNTILANAK will be released in Malaysia soon. Directors to check out: Nia Dinata (CA BAU-KAN). Watch out also for movies produced/directed by Mira Lesmana.

Hong Kong -heh heh, here it is. I have watched almost 30 Hong Kong movies released in 2006, I think. Worth checking out are A BATTLE OF WITS, FEARLESS, ELECTION 2, EXILED, MC DULL: THE ALUMNI and MY NAME IS FAME.

Korea & Japan – Again have not watched much new Korean and Japanese movies but among those watched THE HOST is very good. THE KING AND THE CLOWN and THE PRESIDENT’S LAST BANG (yeah, those are 2005 titles, not really 2006 but I managed to watched only recently) is good as well, although I would prefer the latter to the former. From Japan, ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET and NANA (yeah, again both 2005 releases) are really worth checking out. I really wish we can get Korean and Japanese releases faster here in Malaysia, if not on the big screen, then on DVD. We are always about 1-2 years late! Am looking forward to HULA GIRLS from Japan.

India – I have watched quite a few new Bollywood movies last year. I think about 10 new Bollywood movies. Not to mention catching up on older Bollywood/Indian movies, I think I have watched about 20-25 Indian movies last year. Among the new movies, LAGE RAHO MUNNA BHAI is very good, followed by RANG DE BASANTI and FANAA. On DVD, BLACK is really superb.

China – China is catching up very fast and is becoming one of the top five movie production country in terms of number of films produced (close to 300). Number one is still of course India at about 1,000 films a year. However, like India, the films are very regional, small budget and could not travel and as such, the rest of the world could not really see as many films from this territory as they should to do justice in passing any judgments that is valid. Anyways, while the Fifth Generation guys are getting more and more money to go bigger budget, the Sixth Generation continues to impress, such as Jia Zhangke’s STILL LIFE, Zhang Yang’s SUNFLOWER and Wang Xiaoshuai’s SHANGHAI DREAMS are very good works (yeah, last two are 2005 movies but still….)

Middle Eastern – Part of my job is to evaluate movies and recently, I have watched a considerable number of older Iranian movies, no, not your famous Kiarostami, Makmalbalf, Majidi type but some more obscure Iranian movies. A couple of them are actually quite good. However, I have not watched any new Iranian movies released in 2006 but am looking forward to THE UNWANTED WOMAN that won the Best Film and Best Director prizes at the 51st Asia Pacific Film Festival recently. Middle Eastern movies are not easy to get here, partly because of the censorship (for example, movies from Turkey will have some difficulties coming to Malaysia) and also because of political reasons. From Turkey, I managed to watched MUSTAFA which is very good but am looking forward to MY FATHER AND MY SON. However, I have just recently watched YACOUBIAN BUILDING from Egypt and it is indeed very good. Last heard, they plan to release a cut-down version for Malaysian release but I don’t think it is going to be good having one hour shaved off.

Mat Salleh/Western but Non-Hollywood – Sorry to have to re-label this part instead of the original “Europe”, not that there isn’t enough movies from Europe (European Union as a territory is the second largest film production territory in the world after India) but it is some sort of a revenge for the people from that part that labels movies from Asia “Asian” movies despite them coming from many different countries, heh heh. A few of movies that I thought was worth my time watching: VOLVER, THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY and CACHÉ (2005 film but I consider it 2006 somehow). I watched a lot more older European movies on DVD that I have not watched – Fellini, Bergman, Rohmer, Antonioni, Bresson, Kieslowski, Wajda, Bunuel, De Sica, Truffaut, Godard, and from North America: Casavettes, Wilder. It is like a great catching up game and there are still so many movies that I have still not seen! How can I say that I am a movie buff and this is also a reason why I am never confident to talk movies with people who knows their stuff (or pretend to know their stuffs and frighten me by asking me if I have seen such and such a movie that is so obscure, perhaps only 10 people in the whole world has seen that movie but that is their trick, you see).

Hollywood – By Hollywood, I mean those big budget studio backed Hollywood produced movies that has a marketing budget that can be as huge as the production budget. I only remember two Hollywood movies I have seen that I thought is all right, one is THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and the second is THE PRESTIGE. HAPPY FEET is also ok la. The rest of the Hollywood movies, I did not think highly of except perhaps some silly fast-food entertainment. BORAT? Over-rated to the first degree! On the supposedly more indie side, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, A SCANNER DARKLY and CLERKS II shine.

Okay, the above should be the meat of this post. It is meant to be a brief note on some movies that I thought was worth watching from around the world and this of course implies that there are many other films that I have not watched (the world produces about 4,500 films a year, remember?), or films that I have watched and you have watched but somehow I did not include in here because of various reasons, and for that, please excuse me. Again, I really wished I have kept a journal on each and every one of the movies that I have watched so that I can share it but there is a voice that is always telling me that there is really no one interested at all and this whole thing of keeping a journal and writing short reviews on those movies is really a self-agrandisation scheme that my unconcious mind is trying to trick me to make believe that I am bigger than what I am. No one is really interested, so why do it? Why the time? A movie is personal, like religion, it is between me and the movie and nothing should come in between. Bwah haha. Yes, agree. I think, therefore I am lazy.


Photo taken by my wife during the New Year countdown at KLCC. She seemed to be using some black cardboard over the lense that is exposed 30 seconds technique. I have no head of what that means, doesn’t covering the lense equal to a total black out even though she kept waving the cardboard in front of the lense? Hmmm…. I think she used some Photoshop magic also… hmmm….

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