Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Densha Otoko (Train Man)

Saw this Japanese film on an SQ flight to Australia. The story is about how a shy Japanese guy, Densha Otoko, started dating a young woman, Hermes, after he saved her from a molestor on a train. Fellow internet chat users gave him lots of advice on what to do on his date.

Interesting use of split screen to show people from all walks of life reading about the protagonist describing how his day went and giving generous advice simulaneously! Seems like technology has advanced quite a bit since the days of "You've Got Mail" from one-to-one communication to many-to-many communication. It is fun watching Densha Otoko on each date although the character of Hermes never really got developed fully.

One thing that bugged me was the thick notes given to Hermes to choose her computer. I think it is too much information overload! It'll be better if there is only a single piece of paper that says buy computer brand W, model X from shop Y at price Z.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Corpse Bride

The story is about the arranged marriage between two families and what happens when the groom, Victor, accidentally recites his wedding vows to a female corpse, Emily, who mysteriously died during her wedding day. Victor is brought to the underworld while his bride-to-be on earth, Victoria, is put into another arranged marriage.

The film is done using stop motion animation and it is visually stunning! I like the piano pieces played by Victor and Emily. Emily's fingerwork is dazzling! The relationship among the three people, Victor, Emily and Victoria is very interesting! Through these characters, the concept of a sense of duty and self sacrifice is explained and we see how it is being executed in different scenarios. Recommended!

Internet Movie Database Link
Original Folk Tale

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Interesting Maths Question

I saw this interesting maths question on TV.

PQRS is a rectangle with PQ = 15 units, QR = 6 units and it is divided into 4 smaller rectangles by two lines, TU and VW. T is a point on PS, U is a point on QR, V is a point on PQ and W is a point on RS. X is the intersection point between TU and VW. If the area of triangle SXW is 4 sq units and area of triangle XVQ is 16 sq units, find the area of rectangle XURW.

Here is my solution:

Let WR = x and RU = y.

This means that
(XURW) = xy
SW = (15 - x)
UQ = (6 - y)

(SXW) = 4
==> (TXWS) = 8
==> (15 - x)y = 8 ---- (1)

(XVQ) = 16
==> (VQUX) = 32
==> x(6 - y) = 32 ---- (2)

From (1), y = 8 / (15 - x) ---- (3)
Sub (3) into (2)
==> x(6 - 8 / (15 - x)) = 32
==> 6x (15 - x) - 8x = 32 (15 - x)
==> x^2 - 19x + 80 = 0
==> x = (19 +- sqrt(41)) / 2 ---- (4)

Sub (4) into (3)
==> y = (11 +- sqrt(41)) / 5 --- (5)

(4)*(5) ==> xy = 25 +- 3* sqrt(41)
==> (XURW) = 25 +- 3* sqrt(41) sq units

Both solutions for the area of rectangle XURW satisfy the consistency check that 0 < x < 15 and 0 < y < 6. Note that the assumption that S, X and Q are collinear is not true.

Check out a related link here

Afternote: By replacing the hardcoded values with variables using (TXWS) = A, (VQUX) = B, PQ = w, QR = h and k = wh - (A + B),

I found that (XURW) = (k +- sqrt(k^2 - 4AB)) / 2

Saturday, October 08, 2005


I watched this at GV Plaza as part of the European Union Film Festival. As I made my way up the escalator, I saw gigantic banners of "The Legends of Zorro" and they look very good, especially the one with Catherine Zeta Jones!

The story is about the everyday life of a group of ticket controllers. They have to deal with many different types of passengers who refuse to co-operate. It made me realise how tough the job of the ticket controller could be. I also like the ambience in the subway and the cool soundtrack. The girl in the bear costume look quite cute too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Brothers Grimm

The story is about the encounters of the brothers grimm who were witch hunters. A difficult task was assigned to them and it was to find missing girls who were taken away from the village to an enchanted forest with a deserted castle.

Monica Belluci who acted as the queen in the castle looked quite pretty! Liked the funny scene with the toad in a belly up position! Didn't like the scenes with the soldiers as I think they should be trimmed off to make the show more compact. Had fun identifying fairytales like "The Little Red Riding Hood", "Hansel and Gretel", "Rapunzel", "Snow White", "Sleeping Beauty" and many others that were incorporated into the show seamlessly!

Internet Movie Database Link

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

When The Rain Lifts

The story is about a few days in the life of an unemployed samurai and his wife during the rainy season. They were initially staying in an inn before the husband got invited to be a fencing master at a castle.

The samurai is very skilful! I liked the way he dodges his opponent easily! A little disappointed with the lack of action, passion and suspense like in "The Incident" or "The Tragedy of W", but the film is still enjoyable as a quiet little piece peppered with a dash of humour!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Incident

The story is about a shipyard worker being tried for killing a woman who was his girlfriend's sister. The whole film is centered around the court, similar to that in 12 Angry Men and Rashomon.

My favorite film so far at the Japanese Film Festival followed closely by TTOW! Liked the exciting court room scenes and how the film slowly describes in-depth about each character! Very well written script! I also like the complex relationship among the chracters!

Internet Movie Database Link

Castle of Sand

The story is about detectives solving a murder case of an old man who had been a model policeman.

As in the previous film, I am amazed at how the detective can find out what happened from seemingly unconnected clues! The flashback about the son and the father is quite well done! The soundtrack is nice too! One thing that does not look quite right is the pianist doubling up as the conductor at the same time.

Internet Movie Database Link

Zero Focus

The story is about a newly wed wife searching for her husband who went missing during a business trip. Many secrets were revealed during the process!

For the first few minutes, I was distracted by the mole on the actress's face but I soon forgot about it as more clues pop up and the mystery deepens! The scenery at the countryside is very nice, especially that on the cliff! The rich man's wife looks quite fierce though!

Internet Movie Database Link

The Tragedy of W

My first film at the Japanese Film Festival. The Japanese Association of Singapore is showing a number of films for free at its auditorium and this is one of them. The story is about how an aspiring actress got the leading role of a play named "The Tragedy of W" through an unexpected turn of events.

Very similar to All About Eve that won the 1951 Best Picture Academy Awards but with more detailed explanation on the training and auditioning process. Well written script that shows how real life parallels the stage play! The actress looks quite pretty too!

Internet Movie Database Link