Saturday, December 30, 2006

Death Note 2

The story is about what happens when a guy, Light Yagami, gets possession of a magical note book that belongs to the death god. The owner of the notebook is able to kill anyone he wishes when he writes the victim's name, time and method of death on the book. He uses it to kill off criminals but the police, with the help of L who is an excellent detective, are on the verge of identifying and catching him in the first episode. The story continues in this sequel.

I regretted slightly of not watching the first episode and plunging right into the sequel as I was quite lost at the beginning but managed to deduce who the main characters are as the story progressed. The rules on how the Death Note works just flashed across the screen! Light Yagami's sister Sayu and the pop singer Misa Amane looked very sweet! I also liked the exciting battle of wits between L and Yagami towards the end! I was totally engrossed by it and marvelled at how both sides were able to outwit each other!

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Battle in Heaven

The story is about a few days in the life of a general's driver. He accidentally killed the baby that he kidnapped, drove the general's daughter around and took part in a religious procession.

I liked how they panned 360 degrees around to show what's happening in the surroundings and how they simulated the point of view from the driver by blurring some scenes and filtering out some sounds. Also liked the boss's daughter's hairstyle with lots of interesting hair pieces on top!

Internet Movie Database Link

Monday, December 25, 2006

Red Diaries

This consists of 3 short stories. The first is about a mistress falling in love with her lover's servant, the second is about how a young man who is studying in a seminary got infatuated with a young woman, the third is about the unhappy marriage of a wife to a violent policeman.

Read that the Phillipines police wanted to ban the movie because of the third segment as they depicted them in a very bad light. The first segment was pretty straight forward. Liked the dreamy sequences in the second segment and didn't like the violence in the last segment.

Internet Movie Database Link

Thursday, December 21, 2006


The story is about life of a Latino community in Echo Park, Los Angeles. Latino girls celebrate reaching womanhood at the age of 15 years old which gives the title of the film.

Pretty realistic look at how each of the characters spend their free time! Watched my first Mexican film a few years ago and I am still quite amazed at how some of the accent reminds me of "Speedy Gonzalez" which is a cartoon character. The grandfather has exactly such an accent! The two neighbors remind me of Keanu Reeves and Richard Gere!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Scrabble Quiz

The above board position is from an actual game (last game of the Causeway Cup 2006).

Your score: 386 Tiles: ACDGILT
Opponent's score: 379 Tiles: ADEEIST

No more tiles in the bag.

It is your turn next. Is it possible to win?

Causeway Cup 2006 (Day 3)

Could make it a 10 game win if I won all 5 games today and had a realistic chance of winning 8 games in total. Didn't manage to do that and only won 7 in the end.

Round 16 vs Dinna Lim (Sin)
Lost to her narrowly by 2 points earlier on, so this was my chance for revenge! I bingoed with EARRiNG(69) early in the game but allowed my opponent to catch up when I let go VENE* for 21 points which I genuinely thought was good. EENV has 3 anagrams and none of them starts with V! Lost again 354-355 but at least improved from the previous game. Hmm, maybe I'll draw with her the next time.

Round 17 vs Ho Yue Jing (Mal)
Scored well with QUOTA(77) early on while my opponent bingoed with ENTRIES(62). Later scored with LEERY for 41 points which was challenged unsuccessfully. Won 425-281.

Round 18 vs Valliammah Thamb (Sin)
Had TOADIES(80) early in the game but she came back with QUIVERER(135) and WIRIEST(86). Had ELNNSU? on my rack. Saw tUNNELS and fUNNELS but I needed a bingo that started with a vowel. Tried UNLENdS* but was challenged off. Had SUGAREd(80) later on but was too far behind to catch up. Lost 383-535.

Round 19 vs Ruby Sim (Sin)
Bingoed early in the game with GORIEsT(69). My opponent didn't have a chance as I had QZ, both blanks and all 4 S. Was playing too conservatively in the end as I could have scored more if there were more bingo lines available. Won 419-282.

Round 20 vs Alex Hong (Mal)
My opponent had two bingos ANTSIER(68) and LACIEST(69) while I had WORKING(106) back hooking to YOK which got challenged. Lost as I had a poor end game finish with 416-423.

It was an interesting experience taking part in this competition! The organisers did a good job making sure everything went on as planned although there were some small hiccups along the way! Only pity is that I didn't have the chance to play against players from Thailand, India, the Phillipines and the UK. Hope I'll be able to do that in the next Causeway Cup!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Causeway Cup 2006 (Day 2)

Round 4 vs Alastair Richards (Aus)
Met another Australian player whose mother was also playing the field. Didn't have a chance at all as he bingoed twice with DOnATED(77) and mEETING(72) consecutively and lost 278-472.

Round 5 vs Tan Jun Horng (Mal)
Was leading until my opponent bingoed with HEROINE back hooking to PIC to form PICE which I challenged unsuccessfully. Lost 334-395.

Round 6 vs Noor Hanis (Sin)
Knew that she won 2nd place in this year's Nationals div C section as I browsed through toucanet during my free time. Pulled ahead when I bingoed with DIETARY(71) which she challenged. She could have formed ZO/ZANY/OE with the Z on the TWL for 69 points and TAX/DA/MUX on the TWS line for 42 points but she missed them. She also went over time by 2 min. Won 397-309.

Round 7 vs Dinna Lim (Sin)
First time playing with this Singaporean player. She pulled ahead with a STOnILY(72)bingo. Would have caught up with a QUIST(76) late in the game if I hadn't spend a lot of time deciding whether it was good or not to go 1 min overtime. Lost 365-367.

Round 8 vs Ganapathy (Sin)
Failed to challenge his opening bingo phoney OUTSEND*(70). Tried to back hook an S to OUTSEND* later to form RECOILS but was challenged off. Narrowed the gap with VOICERs(74) but he widened the gap again with BANTERS(70). Lost 369-491

Round 9 vs Ruby Sim (Sin)
Lost to her in this year's Nationals, so it was time for my revenge! I scored quite well with QUIM(35), JEERED(44) and DITZ(34) while she scored with FAITH(30), WEANS(39) and PAROLE(31). Got my break when she challenged my MIB on the board. Managed to still win narrowly when she finished her tiles first by 345-343.

Round 10 vs Yeap Gim Sai (Mal)
Knew that she won 1st place in this year's Lim Boon Heng div B section. Was playing in the same division but didn't have the chance to play with her then. Both of us had one bingo each with STIPEND(70) from me and STINTER(71) from her. Could have won if I was not too greedy and played HANS back hooking the S to an existing YON on the board. She held for a long time and decided to challenge YONS* which turned out to be no good. Went overtime for my last move and lost 345-350.

Round 11 vs Chen Huang Zhi (Sin)
Both of us had one bingo each, TrOLLERS(79) from him and ANESTRI(75) from me. He was complaining to me all the while about his bad luck throughout the game! Wonder if he says the same things to his other opponents. Won 403-297.

Round 12 vs Ho Yue Jing (Mal)
This Malaysian player wore his school scrabble uniform personalised with his name at the side that looks pretty professional! His good nature was a contrast to my previous opponent. Was more than 100 points behind when he bingoed twice with SNARLERS(70) and LINtERS(65). Managed to overtake him when I bingoed with BRUISING(86) and scored well with ZED(50) and STOW(44). Won 404-375.

Round 13 vs Ismail Kassim (Sin)
Started well with ZETAS(48) and both of us bingoed once each, ROUTInE(70) and MOoDIEST(75) from him. Made a big mistake when I wanted to score with either COD, CON and COL but forgot which one didn't have a front hook. Played CON for 21 points and he played TRAIN for 24 points down the TWS line promptly. Tried to bingo with POLARIED* later but was challenged off. His KRONE(33) and WOXEN(48) sealed the game and I lost 346-381.

Round 14 vs Yeap Gim Sai (Mal)
Had CEIORW? early on in the game. Saw the bingo but didn't know whether it is good or not. Played COW just next to the left TWS line intending to front hook S later on but somehow convinced myself that SCOW may not be good when it was time to play it. Completely didn't have a chance after that when she bingoed with BEAdIER(81) and SPRAINT(75) while I had LORRIEs(62). Lost 360-521.

Round 15 vs Noor Hanis (Sin)
Had a choice of playing the next day but my opponent seemed very enthusiastic to continue so I agreed to play. On retrospect, maybe it was a bad choice as my opponent bingoed twice with STINKING(73) and TASTERS(81) while I phonied twice with ARRETING* and FEETING*. Still had a chance to win if I had blocked the Q spot towards the end of the game but I think I was too tired by then and lost the game 325-353.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Causeway Cup 2006 (Day 1)

I wanted to take part in at least one international Scrabble tournament before retiring from the Scrabble scene, so playing in the Causeway Cup sounds like a logical choice as it is nearest to Singapore.

Three rounds were played in the Open Division for the first day and we had a Chinese wedding style dinner in between the games. The food was delicious and we heard interesting news of the latest tourist attractions in JB from the guest of honour!

Round 1 vs Diane Ward(Aus)
Got thrashed by this elderly lady from Australia with her REtAINS(71) and INULASE(79) while I phonied at least 3 times with BINO*, VICER* and NARRY*. Had BGIMNOO for my last rack but she blocked the only bingo line. Lost 269-464.

Round 2 vs Martin Teo(Mal)
Had one bingo each, HIRiNGS(84) from me and ETOILES(73) from him. Gave away 20 points for challenges (ETOILES, LATI, SWAMI, VADE) and 30 points for going 3min overtime to lose 390-400.

Round 3 vs Aloysius(Sin)
Quite confident as I had a 2-0 record against him. We had one bingo each, LOAThES(81) from me and LABORiNG(61) from him. He was plagued with consonants towards the end of the game and I was able to play FOUL to set up FREAK(48) above it across the TWS line to win 396-348.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sex and Philosophy

The story is about what happens after a forty-year old man invites four of his lovers to the same meeting place. There are flashbacks to how each of his lovers met him and some philosophical discussions.

The film is a bit slow and I felt that the forty-year old man is pretentious when he said that he is measuring his happy moments with a stop watch. Nice scenery and interesting dance movements though! One of the lovers look quite pretty too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sketches of Frank Gehry

The story features the works of a famous architect, Frank Gehry, and explains how he conceptualises his ideas together with his team. The film also interviewed his friends, fellow architects and his clients.

Interesting how an idea gets transformed to something concrete for everybody to see and walk around! Liked the nice weird buildings shown and Frank's innovative spirit! His design is unique, pretty and keeps in mind the functional objective at the same time!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Princess and the Warrior

The story is about how a couple met each other through pure coincidence. The guy, Bodo, is an ex-army guy who has psychological problems while the girl, Simone, works in the mental hospital. They met underneath a truck due to a series of events!

Liked the part of the soundtrack with the bell ringing in the background! Sounds very nice! Also liked the depiction of Simone at work and how she managed to find out who Bodo was and where he lived. The ending is very nicely done and it showed in an innovative way how Bodo was able to forget about his past and move forward.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, November 25, 2006


The story describes the social impact of plastic surgery through the ups and downs of a couple's relationship. The girl disappears for a few months to undergo plastic surgery without the boyfriend's knowledge and suddenly reappears with a new face. Some twists and turns occur after that.

Interesting look at how plastic surgery is looked upon as a solution to all sorts of problems as one erases the past and starts a new life with a new face! Time comes to a freeze during the 5 months when a person recovers from the face change operation and the relationship is tested through the passage of time. Time's cyclical nature is also revealed through the opening and closing scenes. A good social commentary on current society!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Digicon 6+2 Showcase 1

Attended this free screening of 20 animation shorts as part of the "Animation Nation" at the National Library.

The list of shorts are:

The Legend of Shangri-la, The Bad Egg, Kioku, Oasis, Hunting, After Blue, Robota, Graffiti, Nioh, Lotus, No. 5768, Tsumiki ningyou, Miniascape Mix, tough guy! 2005, The Four Seasons, The Running Man, The Naked Ape, Hana, Kungfu Gecko, Hunters

Great action and humour in "Oasis", "tough guy! 2005" and "Kungfu Gecko"! I also liked "Graffiti" which is like watching an animated game being played on the blackboard and "The Running Man" for its story about an overweight man running to keep fit.

Friday, November 17, 2006


The story is about how a couple's love for one another could suddenly dwindle for no reason at all. This is interspersed with comments on the movie industry through the husband who is writing a script for an arrogant producer and a famous director.

Great acting by the leading actress played by Brigitte Bardot! I also liked the fluid camera work within the house and the nice scenery at the sea! The conversations are intellectually interesting too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Casino Royale

The story is about James Bond who is a spy from England, tracking down the identity of a bad guy who finances terrorists around the world.

Very exciting chase sequence at the start! The small fry bad guy is really good at jumping from one place to another! A bit disappointed with the lack of new gadgets though. Seems like the handphone, the notebook and the car are sufficient for any spy's needs. The leading lady looks not too bad and the poker action at the casino is reasonably exciting!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Rhythm Is It!

This is a documentary about how the Berlin Philharmonic collaborated with 250 youngsters from the ages of eight to early twenties to perform the classical piece, "Rite of Spring", by Stravinsky together. The Berlin Philharmonic played the music while the youngsters danced to the rhythm.

Interesting to see the youngsters at the dance rehearsals! They were taught by two very experienced artistes who knew how exactly to bring out the best of these young people who are distracted at times. As a result of their coaching, they became more disciplined and were motivated to test themselves beyond their limits! Their original teachers on the other hand were clearly not as good motivators and would give in when they see their students struggling.

Nice music by Stravinsky! Good that the conductor explained the background story to the music! I finally understood what it meant after hearing it several years ago in the library. It was a piece that I randomly picked that I thought would be relaxing as it contained the word "Spring" in it. The final music and dance performance also blended very well together!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, November 04, 2006

49 Up

This is a documentary about the lives of a group of 49-year old English men and women that started 42 years ago in 1964 when they were 7 years old. The director would produce one documentary every seven years and call it the 7x Up (where x = 1 to 7).

Interesting to see how the lives of these people change over time! We cheer for them when they do well and feel sad for them when they do not so well. I especially like the black and white footages of the time when they were seven years old. They look cute and their comments were humorous!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, October 21, 2006


The story is about what goes into preparing for a robot contest. Satomi joins the school's second robot club to earn extra credits. Their team is very small with only the captain, the chief designer and a mechanic but they are innovative and worked well as a team as time passes.

Quite coincidental that I was playing Jenga just before watching the film as the contest is about robots stacking up blocks. Two teams play against each other at any one time. Each robot has three empty spots to stack their blocks and only the top most block at the end of the time limit scores a point. The team loses a point if it causes the opponent's blocks to fall while trying to stack on top of it.

Was thinking that it might be boring to see robots stack blocks but I couldn't be more wrong! The competition is very exciting with each team cracking their brains to outwit each other! Was totally engrossed by it! I realised that the performance of the machine is only part of the success formula. The ability to think up good strategy to counter the opponent's moves and to improvise when facing unexpected problems contribute to the other parts!

Internet Movie Database Link

Minds Cafe Outing

Had a few friendly Scrabble games at Minds Cafe with players from CPF. Think we used up all their Scrabble boards with six CPF players and four DSTA players all playing at the same time! They had three Scrabble boards and one party Scrabble board. Four of us played party Scrabble while the rest of us played standard Scrabble without the timer. Hmm, maybe should ask if they have timers, dictionaries and score sheets the next time.

My first game was with Mr Lai from CPF. Had a very closed board and might have won if I didn't miss one bingo but I lost eventually by a narrow margin.

Second game was with the CPF captain. Lost to him two years ago, so this was my chance to take revenge! My tiles were quite good and I managed to bingo twice and win!

After that, we played Jenga whose objective is to remove one block from the bottom of a pile of blocks and place it on top without causing everything to collapse. Not too challenging as the blocks seem quite stable.

Walked towards National Museum after the game to catch the Japanese Film Festival which is free of charge.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


The story is loosely adapted from the "Hansel and Gretel" fairy tale. A brother and sister are deserted by their family in a forest. They made their way to Spain to find their Uncle but discovered that he is dead. Then, the sister married a rich surgeon and invited the brother to stay with them in a big mansion. Many strange things happened after that.

Liked the modern twist to the fairy tale and its many funny moments! It is very much darker though.

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Little Red Flowers

The story is about a little boy, Qiang's stay in a kindergarten and his relationship with the rest of the kids and the teachers. The teacher gives little red flowers to kids who behave well and he longs for them too although he finds it hard to conform to the strict rules.

Pretty interesting to see a day in the life of the kindergarten kids! The day starts with the children waking up and changing their clothes. Then, they go to the toilet together to get rid of the previous day's waste. Quite surprised to see the so called toilet is a narrow stretch of drain that can accomodate more than ten kids squatting down in line simultaneously! The day ends with the teacher wiping the bottom of every kid and sending them to bed. Liked how the process of removing one's clothes as well as wearing socks and shoes is broken down into many detailed steps and presented as a poem!

Great acting by the kids! I got to see the social dynamics and how a non-conformist thinks and feels. Liked how the film mixed reality and Qiang's perception of it seamlessly! Nice ending too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Werckmeister Harmonies

The story is about how the lives of the people in a small village changed when a whale came to visit in a giant truck. The film begins with a group of drunkards in a bar and the protagonist explains how the sun, the earth and the moon behaves by asking each person to act the role. From the movements of the planets, he explains how a solar eclipse occurs and how animals become irrational during the eclipse period but returns to normal behaviour after that.

Very nice opening as it gives a hint of what is to follow! The protagonist walked from one place to another to run errands and in the process, he discovered that people are gathering in the square and acting mysteriously due to the presence of the whale. Liked the black and white cinematography and the long takes that slowly uncovered the truth! I also liked how the film made us accompany the protagonist along his journey! WH reminds me of "Songs from a Second floor" by Roy Andersson which has a similar theme with equally long takes.

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

The story is about how a family travelled across the country so that the little daughter can participate in the "Little Miss Sunshine" competition. Along the way, there are conflicts among the family members but they work well together too!

The little daughter look quite cute in the over-sized spectacles! Liked how the family members overcame their differences and worked together towards a common goal!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Thunder of the Mountain

The story is about a Japanese family that is falling apart. The wife's husband is having an affair and the little sister is leaving her husband. Only the father tries hard to pull everyone together.

Didn't understand how the husband can be so cold and distant when the wife maintains her smile and cares for the family! The home imprisons the wife within instead of becoming a safe haven for her. The whole film is so sad that I felt indifferent about the characters as they are so helpless. Liked the family warmth displayed by the father towards his daughter-in-law though.

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee

The story is about how a young girl, Akeelah Anderson, tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee. She comes from a single parent family but she is very good at spelling and playing Scrabble! The school principal knows about her talents and asks a very strict English Professor to coach her. While preparing for the competition, Akeelah has to manage her relationship with her friends, her mother, her siblings and everyone who knows her.

I am already familiar with the rules of the game as I saw a National Spelling Bee documentary, "Spellbound", a few years ago but it is still exciting to watch the kids trying to spell difficult words! I like the human touch in the film! This can be seen in the unconventional methods used by the coach and how Akeelah treats the people around her. It is also funny at times and educational to see unfamiliar words being spelled or being played at a Scrabble game. I learnt new words like FUCHSIA, SOUCHONG, XANTHOSIS*, LOGORRHEA, PLACEBO and LIMN!

I like the ending too that had an interesting twist to it! It made me understand what true sportsmanship is!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Banquet

The story is loosely adapted from Hamlet but the settings has changed to China during the warlord period. The film describes the complex relationship among the members of the royal family and members of one of the minister's family.

Quite a violent film! I had expected more erotic scenes with Zhang Ziyi and less violence! Liked the nice songs and the beautiful costumes! The imperial guards looked just like mini Darth Vaders in their uniform while the court ladies looked very pretty in their dresses! Interesting study into human behaviour and office politics too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Host

The story is about how man's action created a monster in the river that in turn disrupts the lives of the people staying near it. In particular, the film focuses on a family who stays in a trailer selling food stuff.

Was quite surprised to find out that the first scene where an employee was ordered to pour chemicals into the drain was based on a real incident! The monster looked like an ugly fish but it is as agile as a monkey! Liked how the family stayed together throughout the crisis and how it depicted the authorities ignoring the voice of ordinary folks!

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Singapore Dreaming

The story is about the life and dreams of a Singapore family that consists of an old couple, their son, their daughter and their son-in-law. Their son also has a girlfriend who lives with them but they are not married yet.

Liked how the film showed the everyday life of Singaporeans. Great acting by the main actors and actresses! Its funny and sad at the same time!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, September 03, 2006


The story is set in Macau, just before Portugal's handover back to China. It describes the budding relationship between a young teenage girl and her father who is a policeman. Her mother has brought her up singlehandedly without the father's knowledge.

I liked the nice music and the beautiful scenery of Macau! Quite interesting to see how the father and daughter interacted with each other after many year's of absence!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, September 02, 2006

ISBG Scrabble Games

The ISBG Scrabble games is held every two years, for statutory boards to take part in a friendly game of Scrabble. It was held at the LTA Staff Club on 2nd September 2006 from 10am to 4.30pm.

Here's my match report, with quizzes marked with [number] and the answers given at the end of the report.

Our first game was against CPF which was the team that I most wanted to play with!

Game 1: CPF
My opponent was a jovial girl whose name was June. She claimed to be new to the game but she is pretty quick at calculating the scores! I calculated the score for one word wrongly as I mistook the double letter score to be a triple letter score and she promptly pointed out the mistake.

Had a pretty easy time as I scored well with ZEIN(69), HOMES(42), QI(36), WEN(39) and GOY(35). I also bingoed with PANTeRS(70) and got away with LICY*. My opponent had no bingos and none of her words scored more than 30 points. It was only after the game that she found out that LICY* was a phoney and she shouted "Ni Pian Wo!" at me subsequently. Was quite embarassed as I was worried that people might wonder what serious sins I have committed for her to say that!

Won my first game with 488 to 233. My team also won the match 3-2!

Our second game was against EDB. One of the players was my school mate!

Game 2: EDB
My opponent started strongly with FAH(31) after I put down OYE. Then I started to lead when I bingoed with EVASION(82). I scored well with KIB(30), FOE(35), MAZE(40), JARrED(58) and OX(36). Was challenged for ONY when I front hooked OX to an existing NY. Heard my opp remark the phrase "ONY is only in Collins" several times to himself when the challenge was unsuccessful.

Made a mistake of opening up the board and allowed my opponent to narrow the spread with a bingo of UNGATEd(78) but I still managed to win.

Won my second game with 454 to 300. Our team also won the match 3-2.

Lunch was provided by the organisers. It was not very good! After lunch, my third draw resulted in my team playing against NP. An important match for us as a win would guarantee at least a second place.

Game 3: NP
I was matched against Winston Gwee whom I have played several times before. Our scores were very close when he bingoed with DiVINES(76) and I bingoed with STORIES(77). I widened the gap when he tried twice to form a bingo with an ENRTTU? rack but was unsuccessful. He tried STUNTERs* and OUTRENTs* but both were challenged off. There are two 7-letter bingos if we treat the blank as an S[1] and two 8-letter bingos through a floating S[2] with the blank as something else which he failed to see.

I got the Q, X and Z very late in the game but was lucky to be able to put all of them down thanks to a phoney that my opp put down which I chose not to challenge. He formed WED/NUD* which allowed me to form WIZ and then QAID later. Would definitely have lost if I had to eat both the Q and the Z which would minus 40 points from my score instead of scoring more than 50 points with them.

Won my third game with 414 to 359. Our team lost the match narrowly 2-3.

Our final game was once again against EDB. They had one player short, so it was important that our lineup does not result in our best player playing against the missing player. I made a bad choice of lineup and the exact thing that we wanted to avoid happened!

Game 4: EDB
My score had been decreasing consistently since the first game while my opponent's score had been increasing consistently. Somehow had the feeling that I might lose this game.

My opp bingoed with HALVERS(78) and I almost caught up when I bingoed with ELATiON(68). Was plaqued with consonants after that and I lost inspiration on what to do. Tried to open up but my opp extended his lead when he bingoed with DUCTiLE(83). Played badly and made many low scoring moves to end the game.

Lost the last game 342-439. Our team lost 2-3 and came in 7th. We managed to play with the eventual 1st and 3rd place winners which were NP and EDB respectively. A pity that we lost in the 3rd game, otherwise we might be able to play with the 2nd place winners, NUS as well!

Quiz answers (Highlight to see clearly):


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Crazy Stone

The story is about a group of people trying to steal a precious jade from the exhibition hall while the security guard tries ways and means to prevent that from happening.

Liked the quick MTV-style pacing and the interesting plot that linked the different characters very neatly together! The security guard made pretty good use of his limited resources while the bad guys had many tricks up their sleeves! They engage in a battle of wits and skill together which is exciting to watch!

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Lake House

The story is about how two people are able to communicate with each other despite being separated by a two year gap through a magical post box. This is an adaptation from the Korean film "Il Mare" which starred Jeon Ji Hyun who is the main actress in "My Sassy Girl".

Knew how the story would develop as I had seen "Il Mare" before. So, I wasn't surprised by some of the twists and turns in the plot. It was interesting to see Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock collaborate together again since "Speed"! This film is much more quieter than "Speed" but their chemistry remains!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mano Po

Saw this Fillipino film at the ASEAN film festival at GV Marina. The story is about the struggles of a Chinese Fillipino family to stay together and to preserve their language and tradition.

The story is interesting especially the parts where they showed the grandmother's encounters in China with her in-laws! Learnt quite a bit about Fillipino history and social situation from this film! Great acting by the actresses!

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Cloud-capped Star

The story is about how the eldest daughter of an Indian family picked up the burden of supporting the family and many unfortunate things happened.

Nice songs and the main actress looked quite pretty! Quite a sad story though as it talks about the sacrifices that she made for the family. Learnt that the director was particularly influenced by the Partition and an Indian poet Tagore. Think Tagore writes pretty good song lyrics!

Internet Movie Database Link

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Scrabble Poll

This is adapted from an actual game to make the board more closed so as to limit the number of choices.

Your opponent just missed a turn by putting sHAFTED 11G as AJEES* was challenged off. Your rack is EINNORU. What would you do?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Blood of a Poet

The story is about the strange adventures of a poet when a statue came alive and asked him to step across the mirror.

Was quite surprised at the beginning when a well built half naked poet is seen drawing a self portrait on the canvas. Guess the director wanted to break the pre-conceived notion that poets are the thin mal-nourished sort. The director had a pretty good imagination and he created many strange happenings! The statue looked quite cool with her short hair!

Internet Movie Database Link

Battleship Potemkin

The story is about a mutiny on the Russian battleship "Potemkin" and the resulting crackdown at Odessa. The communist ideal of "all for one and one for all" is brought across quite strongly in this film.

Watched this 1925 silent film at the Picture House and it was accompanied by a new score composed by Pet Shop Boys. Had a rough idea of the plot as I had borrowed the DVD from Esplanade before, so I was more interested to hear how well the score would fit into the story. The parts where the horns blew and someone stepped on the piano fitted very nicely! The "we are brothers" song did not fit the Odessa sequence too well though as it sounded too mild.

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, August 04, 2006

Double Suicide

The story which is adapted from a puppet play is about the complex relationship among a married man, his wife and a courtesan that he loves. The man has no money to buy the courtesan's freedom and enters into a suicde pact with her.

Liked the use of black hooded men who adjusted the set in the background! It simulated the puppeteer controlling the actors' actions pretty well! The plot flowed very nicely too! Great acting by the actors and actresses! The courtesan looked just like a doll with the heavy make-up!

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How much do you love me?

The story is about a guy's relationship with a prostitute. He claimed to have won the lottery and asked her to live with him for the price of 10000 euros per month. Things became complicated when more people came into the picture.

Interesting look at the many difficult scenarios that people enncounter when they fall in love! Nice witty dialogue that gives food for thought!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Scrabble Nationals 2006 (Day Two)

Here's my match report for day two, with quizzes marked with [number] and the answers given at the end of the report.

Game 6: vs Ashley Ng
Was more than 150 points behind when I held a DEINRST rack with an open bingo line that required a front hook to OM. Remembered that STINTER was good, so I played STINDER* hoping that it would be good too but it was challenged off. My opponent scored big later with FANNER(50) down the TWS!

New words learnt: FANNER
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: FOOTERS(93), ENDEARS(65)
My Phoneys: STINDER* Opp Phoneys: OST*, ULEI*, AUDI*(21)
My High Moves: YA(40), BEST(44) Opp High Moves: ZANY(32), LOWER(32), BOP(31), TRANQ(47), FANNER(50), HEAL(32)
L 299-511, -212. 5W 1L (Accum spread +207).

Game 7: vs Tok Wei Min
My opening rack had both the C and the H, so I opened with CEL with the E on the star, hoping to capitalise on the H on my next move. Alas, my opponent also had the other H and he put down THROW for 32 points underneath! Held a DEHISU? rack[3] and missed the bingo in it. Put down UnHIDES* instead and it got challenged off! I also made a big mistake in my last move where I allowed Wei Min to capitalise his F on the triple letter score while trying to avoid the double letter score.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: ERUdITE(76) Opp Bingos: PERSIsT(85)
My Phoneys: HEB* Opp Phoneys: PALID*(23)
My High Moves: - Opp High Moves: THROW(32), TAJ(30), DZO(31), BEST(34), FED(31)
L 315-430, -115. 5W 2L (Accum spread +92).

Game 8: vs Ng Ming Wei
Have been playing almost all the HCI high school players and Ming Wei is the last one that I met. Managed to win by having a bingo early in the game and playing conservatively to close down the board. It also helped that I got away with a phoney LUPE* and challenged off the phoneys that my opponent put down.

New words learnt: POKIER
My Bingos: LEARNeR(69) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: LUPE*(18) Opp Phoneys: ETCY*, OT*
My High Moves: SEZ(43) Opp High Moves: TAX(35), POKIER(33)
W 394-264, +130. 6W 2L (Accum spread +222).

Game 9: vs Lester
I was behind by 64 points with no more tiles in the bag and I was desparate enough to try a bingo with a HIPRSTU rack. Tried PHITRUS* but got challenged off!

New words learnt: STOT
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: INFARES(70)
My Phoneys: PHITRUS* Opp Phoneys: GHITS*
My High Moves: XI(33), HITS(33) Opp High Moves: DIPT(32)
L 342-371, -29. 6W 3L (Accum spread +193).

Game 10: vs Tan Boon Hock
Start of the KOTH and I was playing Steven again. Was quite lucky to get two blanks on my rack. Got a couple of vowels, an S and two blanks. Thought of the 6-vowel bingo[4] but forgotten how it was spelt. Somehow the "old McDonalds had a farm" song kept ringing in my head. Bingoed with OUTSEts(62) later and my opponent bingoed with TINDLES*(71). Didn't realise that TINDLES* was a phoney until much later! He managed to score very well whenever I tried to open up. Lost even though I had a second bingo with STAINED(72).

New words learnt: ROGER
My Bingos: OUTSEts(62), STAINED(72) Opp Bingos: TINDLES(71)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: TINDLES*(71)
My High Moves: - Opp High Moves: ZATI(40), RAX(35), QI(37), HIP(32), BABY(33)
L 373-395, -22. 6W 4L (Accum spread +171).

Game 11: vs Lawrence
Started with COL and my opponent put down DELVING(75). Wanted to challenge as I thought I saw DEVLING, but stopped myself as I had a better look at the board and Lawrence's surprised reaction. He had another bingo with MINUTeS(82). Was almost 150 points behind at one time, but managed to catch up a bit with FEINTER(82) towards the end.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: FEINTER(82) Opp Bingos: DELVING(75), MINUTeS(82)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: VIVOS*, FEINTERS*
My High Moves: ZAG(51), MAY(30) Opp High Moves: FEY(34), JADED(48), SHEW(45)
L 375-426, -51. 6W 5L (Accum spread +120).

Game 12: vs Ruby
My opponent bingoed with FAlTERS(68) while I bingoed with SAUNTER(68). Played badly towards the end. I phonied with EXED*, almost didn't trap Ruby's "Q" and went overtime for more than 2 minutes. Both of us forgot to include the time penalty in the score sheet though which was spotted by Seow Kie.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: SAUNTER(68) Opp Bingos: FAlTERS(68)
My Phoneys: EXED* Opp Phoneys: POY*(28)
My High Moves: ReZ(37) Opp High Moves: DOTE(31), VAULT(31), SHY(35)
L 327-407, -80. 6W 6L (Accum spread +40).

In between games, I had fun peering behind the Tournament Director's shoulders to see the results being churned out. Saw this very cute little girl beside the TD asking him who is "ZZ Bye" towards the end of the game! Hmm, one of the mysteries in competitive Scrabble!

Quite disappointed with the many sub-optimal plays that I made and the phoneys that my opponent got away with! Must learn how to keep my cool under competition pressure and not be tempted to any how try for bingos in the future!

Quiz answers (Highlight to see clearly):


Saturday, July 22, 2006


The story is a retelling of the "Little Red Riding Hood" story which is uncovered by an inspector who asked each witness: red, grannie, the wolf and the axe man to give a personal account of what really happened.

The plot fits together very well! I also liked Red who has big beautiful eyes and a sweet voice! Nice songs too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Scrabble Nationals 2006 (Day One)

My first time playing Scrabble in Serangoon CC. After having lunch with Chew Chuah, I explored the CC before the start of the game. Saw a group of young ballet dancers practicing at the dance studio on the top floor and saw the nice exhibits at the polling station for lift upgrading!

Here's my match report, with quizzes marked with [number] and the answers given at the end of the report.

Game 1: vs Samad Ahmad

Opened with a bingo JUIcERS(92) and scored well with the Q and X. Was about 150 points ahead after my opponent had two phoneys: EnCLOVES* and LOV* back to back. Had another bingo with TOADIES(74) and got a EFIOORT rack[1] after that. Spotted the bingo but thought it may not be good. Allowed my opponent to bingo out with STAINeR(77).

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: JUIcERS(92) TOADIES(74) Opp Bingos: STAINER(77)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: EnCLOVES*, LOV*
My High Moves: EX(44), QAID(42) Opp High Moves: DAIRY(35), VINE(33)
W 490-327, +163. 1W 0L (Accum spread +163).

Game 2: vs Ang Jin Yang

Held an AEEILY? rack[2] at one time but failed to see the bingo in it. Bingoed with SALIENt(70) and later played JEE to set up for BARBER(41) across the TWS. Was quite lucky to have all the "S" in this game and I had three "S" on my rack at one time! My opponent bingoed with TRANCeD(87) towards the end and I managed to bingo out with STUDIOS(67).

New words learnt: PREZ
My Bingos: SALIENt(70), STUDIOS(67) Opp Bingos: TRANCeD(87)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: CUG*, KIM*
My High Moves: - Opp High Moves: -
W 441-313, +128. 2W 0L (Accum spread +291).

Game 3: vs Catherine

Checked my records before the start of the tournament and I discovered that I had a 0-4 record against her! Bingoed first with SATIATE(68) and Catherine bingoed next with AGONISe(63). Our scores were very close throughout the game! Thought I could pull ahead with RAZE(32) but she scored more with RAZERS(47) to the TWS cell! Managed to "eat" her consonants after finishing my tiles first to win!

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: SATIATE(68) Opp Bingos: AGONISe(63)
My Phoneys: PEL* Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: WO(33), RAZE(32) Opp High Moves: QIS(36), RAZERS(47)
W 396-351, +45. 3W 0L (Accum spread +336).

Game 4: vs Tan Boon Hock

Was discouraged at first when my opponent scored well with KEX(64) on his second move! Managed to pull ahead with a 4-timer PERCENT back hooking to LOG that drew a challenge. Got away with a phoney LOGED* and scored consistently to maintain my lead.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: PERCENT(100) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: LOGED*(27) Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: JISM(37), CIG(41), FAP(34) Opp High Moves: KEX(64),ZOS(34), QAID(46)
W 410-382, +28. 4W 0L (Accum spread +364).

Game 5: vs Valli

My opponent opened with FLORID and I back hooked an E to it. Thought it was the correct spelling until Jobeth told us that it was a phoney. Held an ANRSTW? rack and remembered the bingo that Zi Peng played against me during the Millenium Cup but had to try if it took an S at the end as it scored a lot more down the TWS line. It got challenged off but luckily, there was another spot for me to bingo. Could have gotten a better spread if I stopped her from going out on the TWS line and not made a mistake on the submitted score sheet.

New words learnt: FLORID
My Bingos: STRAWeN(79) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: FLORIDE*(25), STRAWENS*, JUR* Opp Phoneys: GALAR*, FION*
My High Moves: BEZ(38), ZELS(39), VIS(32) Opp High Moves: QADI(37), WAYS(36)
W 404-349, +55. 0W 0L (Accum spread +419).

Quiz answers (Highlight to see clearly):


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The World's Fastest Indian

The story is about an old man from New Zealand, Burt Munro, going on a journey to Salt Lake, Utah in an attempt to set the motorbike land speed record. He has modified the 1920 Indian motorcycle himself in his backyard.

Interesting journey as Burt met many people from all walks of life who helped him along in his journey! I was also impressed by his "never say die" attitude and engineering knowledge!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, July 15, 2006

PSTAR Scrabble Games

The PSTAR Scrabble games is an annual event for organisations in the civil service to take part in a friendly game of Scrabble. It was held at the Civil Service Club on 15th July 2006 from 10am to 5pm.

Here's my match report, with quizzes marked with [number] and the answers given at the end of the report. Don't look at the actual board positions if you are trying the quizzes.

I was there a bit earlier to help draw the pairings for my team. The new Collins dictionary is used for this tournament and many players were talking about the new words to be studied. MOE, HDB and CPF had 3 teams each. A friend of mine told me that she hoped that she would not draw against MOE or HDB as they had very strong players.

My first draw resulted in my team playing against MOE 2! My team mates complained a little bit when they knew their pairings.

Game 1: MOE 2
MOE 2 consisted of three ladies, Ruby, Valli and Selvi. After discussing about the lineup, it was decided that JP played against Ruby, CC played against Valli and I played against Selvi.

It was a very closed board at the start. I opened with CHIZ with the I on the star, she played HA underneath and I played VAW on top. There is almost no more place to put any more tiles! The board started to open up a little bit more when I put ANY back hooking the Y on the triple letter score to the ACH on the board to score 39 points. I accidentally closed it down again when I played EAU underneath to get rid of my vowels. Feeling frustrated over the closed board, I opened up with REV but this seems to be a mistake as Selvi promptly put down a eight letter bingo with a DEIMOPS rack through the R[1] for 76 points.

Had AMORU?? on my rack on one turn and I phonied with AMOURed* that got challenged off! Think I overheard the word checkers on what was wrong with the spelling and I managed to put ArMOURs for 86 points on my next turn. Almost ran out of time towards the end of the game and I was lucky to put down the late Q and J that came my way.

Won my first game with 409 to 307. My team also won the match 2-1!

Playing in the tournament is very much like sitting for an examination! The organisers announced the end of the game after exactly one hour after the start of the master clock and everyone is supposed to drop their tiles and calculate their scores even though the individual clocks have not reached the time limit yet. Was figuring out why such a case would happen as the maths added nicely with 25 min playing time to each player and only 5 min overtime was allowed. After one day of thinking about it after the tournament, I finally realised that it was because they did not take into account the time taken for challenges which would freeze the timer. The time taken for challenges would then depend on the number of challenges per game and the average speed taken to process one challenge.

My second draw resulted in my team playing against HDB 2! Oops, two bad draws in a row!

Game 2: HDB 2
JP played against a Chinese guy, CC played against Jessie and I played against Serene.

Serene started very strongly with a bingo: HOARDER for 80 points which I challenged unsuccessfully and a high scoring EXEC for 43 points! I was lagging far behind until I managed to bingo with a ACEILT? front hooking to an existing GIO on the board setting the blank as a "T"[2]. By turn 8, I was only 5 points behind but she pulled further ahead in her subsequent turns.

One interesting rule that my opponents told us before the start of the game was not to turn the board around during the game but to view it sideways. I realised the rationale of this rule towards the end of this game!

The board provided by the official sponsors had no grooves to place the tiles properly on it and it was not designed to rotate smoothly as it is rectangular in shape. During the course of the game, the tiles began to shift sideways even though we tried to move the board minimally. The situation was so bad that I mistakenly put down JOLE, front hooking the E to an existing TEA on the board. Due to parallax error, I thought the EA belonged to another column and noticed it only after my turn. Luckily, Serene did not see my error. She made the same mistake as I as she tried to front hook a B to the ETEA* a few turns later, but I challenged her off!

Lost my second game with 360 to 432. Our team also lost the match 1-2.

Lunch was provided by the organisers and it was quite delicious! After lunch, my third draw resulted in my team playing against IRAS 2. Not too bad although one of my team mates said he preferred us to play against CPF that had many pretty lady players!

Game 3: IRAS 3
Our opponent is an all-girls team. JP played against a Chinese girl, CC played against Sally and I played against a Malay girl. Lost my score sheet so can't comment on the games. Just remembered that my opponent phonied with TIB* and I phonied with CUL* for my game.

Our team won 3-0.

We were placed in the Silver category after 3 games. There were 4 teams in the Gold category, 12 teams in Silver and 14 teams in Bronze. The prize distribution is such that there are 4 prizes for Gold, 3 for Silver and 3 for Bronze, so we still had a chance to get some prizes at this stage. This is a KOTH game and we were placed against HDB 3.

Game 4: HDB 3
JP played against Catherine, CC played against Joseph and I played against Sufarman.

Was very lucky in my game as I had two bingos back to back with a DEGINRS[3] and a AEHILNS[4] rack. After that, I drew two blanks from the bag to form AEETQ?? on my rack which had two possible bingos[5] by itself. Missed the eight letter bingo through an existing N[6]. Scored not too bad with the "Q" for 48 points though.

Won the last game 418-303. Our team won 3-0 and had a cumulative spread of 335 to come in tops for the Silver category teams! Ngee Ann Poly grabbed the top two positions in the Gold Category. Hope we could do even better next year!

Quiz answers (Highlight to see clearly):

[5] EQuATEd or EQuATEs
[6] pETANQuE

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Superman Returns

The story is what happens after Superman returns to Earth after a trip back home. He meets up with his ex-girlfriend Lois Lane, saves people and fights against bad guys.

The soundtrack still sounds very nice after all these years! Nice special effects with Superman flying around and lifting gigantic things! The human side of Superman is portrayed pretty well! Liked the piano piece played by the little boy that is played in "Big" too.

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Road to Guantanamo

This is based on a real incident when a group of British Muslims who were friends, got captured by the Americans in Afghanistan shortly after the September 11 incident. They were held in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for two years where they were interrogated.

Interesting "mockumentary" style where the group of friends recounted what happened with interspersed documentary footages! The first part of the film looked like a tour programme about the adventures in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The second part describes their captive lives where they were not allowed to talk to each other and was physically and mentally strained! Liked the flashback scenes that contrasted their "before and after" lives.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Rain Dogs

A Malaysian film about how the life of a young man changed after he met up with his brother working in KL during school holidays and many unexpected things happened.

Liked the scenes when he ended up staying in his uncle's place and he made friends with his nephew's tutor. She and her sister spoke in Malaysian style Chinese and it sounded quite charming to the ears! Liked the nice scenery in the peaceful village too!


A very short film that describes what happens when everyone has to wear a mask 24 hours a day. The mask looks quite cool and even has a hole for people to smoke and drink! Not really sure how they can eat with the mask on though. There is a end-of-the-world feel to it and the music is quite nice!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, June 24, 2006


The DVD title is mistakenly stated as "Okuni and Gohei" which is another movie directed by the same director, Naruse Mikio, in the same year of 1952. Saw "Lightning" a few years ago during the Naruse Mikio retrospective a few years ago at the Japanese Association and thought the film look suspicously similar to it from the opening scene. Quite confirmed that it is the same film when I finished watching it as I found several other scenes that look similar.

The story is about a family of an old woman and four children, each from different fathers. The youngest daughter, Kiyoko, is frustrated living in the family. Her eldest brother in law is unfaithful, her second sister hangs out with a rich guy and her brother is jobless and plays pachinko all day. She is also being pressured to marry the rich guy whom her second sisters hangs out with, whom she dislikes.

Interesting look at how the family members interacted with each other! Great acting by the actress who played Kiyoko! She looks quite cool in her bus conductress uniform! Found out from this link that the director has made another film on bus conductresses, "Hideko the Bus Conductress" a few years earlier! Would be great if I have the chance to watch that together with "When a Woman Ascends the Stairs" and "Yearning"!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Roman Holiday

Just realised that I saw two 1953 film on the same day! Saw RH on Central but missed the first half an hour of it. The story is about a princess's adventure in Rome while on holiday there.

The princess, Ann, was given a tranquilizing shot when she tried to slip out from home but managed to escape anyway. She ended up sleeping on a bench and was taken home by a reporter, Bradley, who didn't know who she was at first. He then volunteered to show her around Rome. I began watching the film when they showed Ann deep in sleep on Bradley's bed.

Interesting to see how Bradley flipped Ann to a couch and she continued sleeping like nothing has happened! The adventures in Rome are interesting too! She walked along the streets, had a very nice haircut, rode on a scooter zipping through the busy traffic and danced in a party at night! Wouldn't be surprised if Rome used this film to promote tourism 50 years ago!

Internet Movie Database Link

The Wages of Fear

The story is about four men on a dangerous mission and the reward is high if they succeed! Their mission is to carry tonnes of explosives across treacherous terrain on an ordinary truck for an oil company and the reward is US$2500 per person.

The film describes the background of these people at the start. They stay in a South American village where there is nothing much to do but to drink and listen to music. The mission itself is very interesting as they encounter many obstacles along the way, much like "Worst Case Scenario" on AXN! Didn't really like the ending as I thought it felt a bit like an anti-climax.

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Older Brother, Younger Sister

The story is about how the family relationship changes when one daughter came home pregnant but unmarried. The village people talk about them behind their backs and it affected the propspective in-law's opinions of her younger sister as well. The older brother scolds her whenever she is home and the parents are stressed by the incident too.

Noticed the many different ways the film showed the sister reclining on the floor in a relaxed posture which is pretty interesting! The family relationship is portrayed very well and the buns made by the mother look delicious!

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Golden Age

There is no clear storyline but plenty of strange images: scorpions fighting, a cow sitting peacefully on a bed, the pope being thrown off the window! All these are coupled with a recurring image of a pair of lovers getting interrupted by figures of authorities.

Read that the director is against repression of any sort including sexual repression which explains what that recurring image is about. There is also a very controversial image towards the end which makes "Da Vinci Code" tame in comparison!

Internet Movie Database Link

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

Bought some DVDs at the World Book Fair and this is one of them. The story is about how the lives of a married couple staying in a farm is affected by a temptress from the city.

Nice cinematography and I especially liked the special animation effects from the subtitles! Great suspense in the beginning and I was worried for the protagonists! Dragged a little bit in the middle but the film wrapped up everything pretty well in its closing scenes!

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Scrabble Quiz

The above board is taken from an actual game.

I just played EE 14J and it is now my opponent's turn.
My score: 355. My tiles: ACDEEN?
Opp score: 331. Opp tiles: HIORTW?
Tiles in bag: -

Here are my quiz questions:
1) What is the best move for my opponent?
2) If he didn't play the best move and played WHO M2 for 30 points instead, what is my best move?
3) If I didn't play my best move as above but played DEAN N1 for 29 points instead, can my opponent still win?

Think Q1 and Q2 are obvious by checking LexPert. For Q3, found a move that will enable my opponent to draw. Can you do better?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

9th Singapore Open (Second Day)

Game 6: vs Low Bee Tiang
Could have formed a bingo with ADENORS on my rack and a floating "L" on the board to surge ahead but didn't. I actually thought of the word but decided that it had high chance to be a phoney. After my opponent bingoed with BERTHING(74), I should have just used up the TWS line with my "K" on my rack to form KEB 1A instead of KITED 4A for less points. Allowed my opponent to score twice with the TWS line with AMOK and BINGOS after that. A late VOX(42) managed to narrow the gap but still lost.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: BERTHING(74)
My Phoneys: RADONES* Opp Phoneys: EY*, TTAY*, RETT*
My High Moves: DEFS(30), QI(31), VOX(42) Opp High Moves: VOW(30), HEY(30), ZITS(40), AMOK(30), BINGOS(35)
L 336-409, -73. 3W 3L (Accum spread -244).

Game 7: vs Tan Yao Zhong
Played with Yao Zhong during last year's Nationals and he seems to have grown bigger and taller. Both of us got one bingo each. I played STAINED(82) while my opponent played TAVERNS(96). Was quite surprised that the bag emptied sooner than expected and my tracking seems far off than usual. Realised after the game that about four or five tiles were missing including the blank! It was too late to do anything then but we helped to replace the missing tiles from the spare bag.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: STAINED(82) Opp Bingos: TAVERNS(96)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: CET*
My High Moves: FEH(32), DAISY(37) Opp High Moves: XI(44), WOK(30)
L 388-335, +53. 4W 3L (Accum spread -191).

Game 8: vs Valli
Was frustrated with a very closed board until I decided to open up with EATING 14I. Suddenly, three TWS lines were available at the same time and I was able to score well with FISH O12. Valli was able to score on the other two TWS lines though with EXPOS and JOBS. She also bingoed with LEANEST(66) and won the game.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: LEANEST(66)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: COOR*
My High Moves: FAY(37), FISH(50), RAZED(44) Opp High Moves: EXPOS(53), JOBS(47)
L 351-403, -52. 4W 4L (Accum spread -243).

Game 9: Bye
Not really sure whether to feel happy about having a bye as this means that I play one less game than I am entitled to. Had fun walking around helping people check challenged words! Saw Bee Tiang missing an opening bingo with a AIORTU? rack where he put OUTRAIn* and Serene missing a closing bingo with a AELPRSU rack where she put PAULERS*.

W 150-100, +50. 5W 4L (Accum spread -193).

Game 10: vs Valli
Surprised to meet Valli in the KOTH round as I thought she should be somewhere on top of the field, way out of my league. I bingoed with TRAILED(66) while Valli bingoed with FLEECING(82). She missed a few turns trying for a bingo but was challenged off. It was a very closed board towards the end and I decided to open up. Turned out to be a bad decision as she promptly put down REQUITS(105) back hooking the T to an existing VAU. Later, she scored with FITS(46) underneath REQUITS across the TWS line and won convincingly.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: TRAILED(66) Opp Bingos: FLEECING(82), REQUITS(105)
My Phoneys: WALT* Opp Phoneys: SURRIES*, SOURIES*
My High Moves: AX(36), CREW(43) Opp High Moves: SEZ(39), PANE(37), FITS(46)
L 344-501, -157. 5W 5L (Accum spread -350).

Game 11: vs Peter Yu
A game that is full of bingos! I bingoed twice with INEARTH(87) and TIRADES(78) while Peter bingoed with SNORTER(65) and SUCTIONS(61). Held a ACEINO? rack on one turn but wasted it on a phoney with ACONISE*. Drew many high scoring tiles towards the end and counted that there were exactly 7 tiles left in the bag. Changed my tiles and left Peter stuck with them towards the end to give me the game.

New words learnt: ZINGY
My Bingos: INEARTH(87), TIRADES(78) Opp Bingos: SNORTER(65), SUCTIONS(61)
My Phoneys: ACONISE*, AWIDE*, YOR* Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: XI(39), HOED(35) Opp High Moves: ZINGY(53), QAT(32)
W 433-419, +14. 6W 5L (Accum spread -336).

Game 12: vs Low Bee Tiang
Second time playing with Bee Tiang. Once again, I got an ACEINO? rack on one turn. Luckily, Winston helped me check the anagrams for it with his PDA just before the game and I played ACONITE(70). Didn't have many high scoring moves after that but managed to maintain my lead towards the end.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: ACONITE(70) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: IE*
My High Moves: AX(33) Opp High Moves: ROC(35), BODY(33), ZOA(38)
W 353-300, +53. 7W 5L (Accum spread -287).

Managed to squeeze into top 10 with 7 wins and spread -287. Sad that I didn't have the chance to play with Marcus, JoBeth and Jason. Hope to have the chance to play with them sometime in the future!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Over the Hedge

The story is about the adventures of a group of forest animals who found themselves in an urban neighborhood after waking up from hibernation. An outsider raccoon became friends with them and taught them how to steal food from the humans.

Interesting to see the conflict between the raccoon and the existing leader of the forest animals who is a turtle. One is adventurous while the other is cautious by nature. The plan that they came up with towards the end is also very ingenious!

Internet Movie Database Link

9th Singapore Open (First Day)

This is my first time playing Scrabble in Teck Ghee CC. Didn't have much trouble locating it as I have a street directory with the bus stop information in my bag.

Saw many familiar faces as I reached there: Marcus, JoBeth, Valli and Peter Tay to name a few. Haven't seen Peter Tay for a long while since the last time I played him in the Millenium Cup, so was quite happy to be able to play with him again. Found out that I was playing with him for my first game after the organisers did the pairings.

Game 1: vs Peter Tay
Learnt many new words from Peter Tay. Spent a long time deciding whether to put FIBRE or FIBER across a TWS line and was still shuffling the tiles around after I put down the word until I decided that FIBRE looks more right. Catherine who was observing the game at the side told me that both words were valid after I pressed the clock. Lost as Peter bingoed with INTAKES(91) and made many high scoring moves.

New words learnt: OURANG, HIST, FISTY
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: INTAKES(91)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: FIBRE(33), XIS(35) Opp High Moves: HART(36), JADE(37), FISTY(40), MZEE(48)
L 296-450, -154. 0W 1L (Accum spread -154).

Game 2: vs Chua Zhong Jie
My favorite move in this game would be FLORA N9, back hooking the "O" to ROT. Was unsure of ROTO, so was glad that it turned out to be good when challenged! Felt great when I was able to score very well with JILT 15L across the TWS line back hooking the "L" to FLORA on my next turn! Was still able to keep the lead and win when my opponent bingoed late in the game with WEARIES(67). (Short quiz: There is a valid anagram for MANKIES*. Can you guess what that is?)

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: WEARIES(67)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: MANKIES*, VAWN*, NANE*
My High Moves: FLORA(41), JILT(66), SHEET(34), WIRY(38), AH(31) Opp High Moves: MAD(33), EX(31), QUA(41)
L 393-343, +50. 1W 1L (Accum spread -104).

Game 3: vs Victor Gwee
Was totally out of luck in this game! Had the "J" and the "Z", but Victor had both blanks, all four "S" and the "K", "Q" and "X". Made a very silly mistake when Victor put down HaX* M3 next to an existing CLAW L3 and PAN K5. I challenged it off but made no attempt to block it as I thought HeX would be safe as Le* would not be good. Victor promptly put HoX on his next move to score! He won with many high scoring moves and two bingos: TANNERS(66) and SENATES(89).

New words learnt: CHIV
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: TANNERS(66), SENATES(89)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: HAX*, COSTY*
My High Moves: VANE(33), WITE(32), ATE(34) Opp High Moves: PEEKS(61), HOX(45), DIV(35), QUA(35)
L 311-502, -191. 1W 2L (Accum spread -295).

Game 4: vs Ong Wen Hong
Fell behind when my opponent put down ENZYME(44) for his first move but caught up as I made two bingos PRINTERS(74) and TINIEST(71). My opponent replied with DRAINED(76) and with all the remaining "O"s on his rack, he did a pretty good setup with JUT N1. I attempted to block with UG 2N but realised later that he could also have the "G" and the "U" on his rack to form a 3-letter J word. Luckily he didn't see that word and I got away with a comfortable win!

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: PRINTERS(74), TINIEST(71) Opp Bingos: DRAINED(76)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: ABLY(32) Opp High Moves: ENZYME(44)
W 410-302, +108. 2W 2L (Accum spread -187).

Game 5: vs Winston Gwee
I started very well with QUAIR(48) but Winston was able to catch up when he bingoed with STRAINS(74). He could have overtook me if he had not wasted a few moves playing phoneys that were challenged off. A nail biting finish and I was just able to edge him out for a win! Probably worth analysing the end game to see if there were more optimal scoring moves.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: STRAINS(74)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: IKE*, TREP*, AF*
My High Moves: QUAIR(48), EX(36) Opp High Moves: RAJ(39), ZOO(34), WHO(30)
L 398-382, +16. 3W 2L (Accum spread -171).

Ended the first day pretty well with 3 wins out of 5 although my spread is terrible. Hope to do better the next day!

Just a small quiz on players in the Scrabble scene:
Guess which player has the favorite phrase: "I am one hundred percent sure!".

I hear him say that so often that I could subconciously hear him shouting out that phrase whenever I think about Scrabble. If you have no idea who he is, just ask any active intermediate player and they'll know straight away!

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

The story is about Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou stumbling upon an encoded dark secret and going on a treasure hunt to solve it. Tom Hanks is a renowned author on interpreting symbols while Audrey Tautou is a cryptology expert from the police whose grandfather was murdered.

The puzzles are interesting but it is almost impossible for the audience to solve without any background knowledge so didn't have the opportunity to try to beat the characters in solving them. A lot of screen time is devoted to explain this background knowledge and resulted in too much information overload. Not as exciting as "National Treasure" in terms of the clue solving or "M:I:III" in terms of action sequences. Nice indoor scenery of the churches and the museum though!

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mission: Impossible III

The story is about the adventures of a group of special agents working in the IMF, the Impossible Mission Force. Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise, is a veteran planning to retire and have a peaceful life with his girlfriend but decides to take part in a mission when he is asked to.

Great action and very nice teamwork displayed! Especially liked the sequence in the Vatican where the plan is superbly executed! Also like the nice scenery shots in Shanghai.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Bewitching Attraction

The story is about the life of a group of professors in a small college. One of the female professors, Eun Suk, played by Moon So Ri, has a dark secret with a new professor played by Ji Jin Hee who just joined them.

Moon So Ri looked prettier in Nine Lives of Korean Cinema which is a documentary about Korean cinema shown during this year's SIFF! She looked like Cora Miao in this film. Was expecting a mindless sex comedy, so was surprised by the long dialogues among the professors and how cold the sex scenes felt. I would give a rating of two out of five stars for its erotic index.

Understood the film better when I realised that the original Korean title is "The Discreet Charm of a Female Professor" from Variety's Review, similar to Bunuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeosie. Just like TDCB, there are lots of black humour, flashbacks and scenes that doesn't make sense at all!

Internet Movie Database Link

The Child

The story is about the life of a teenage couple, Sonia and Bruno, who are very poor. Sonia just got a baby and Bruno lies and steals to survive.

Sonia's leopard spot dress and black boots combination looks quite nice!

Felt that Bruno is not as evil as I originally imagined. Although he steals and lies, he still cares very much for his girlfriend and his little buddy. Interesting to see him busy pushing the pram around, crossing the busy highway and bargaining deals with people. Was very surprised at the lack of face to face interaction during some of the transactions!

Incidentally, the girlfriend in "Crime and Punishment" is also called Sonia. The director may be paying tribute to this novel with this film.

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Election 2

The story is about the events leading to the election of a new Triad chief in Hong Kong. The current Triad chief's godson, Jimmy, had wanted to do business in China and not take part in the election, but he found that he could enjoy special privileges if he became the Triad chief and changed his mind.

Interesting to see the power struggle between Lok, the current Triad chief, and Jimmy. They talked to influential people to garner support, eliminated people in their way and used money and violence to get things done. Very ruthless people who would do anything to get elected! Nice ending that showed that winning the election is not everything and there are consequences attached to it!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Noriko's Dinner Table

The story is about what happens to a Japanese family when one of the daughters, Noriko, ran away from home to Tokyo and got involved in a "family rental" business headed by her online friend, Kumiko.

Noriko felt disconnected with her family and wanted to go to different places and see new things. When she reached Tokyo, she sells her service to lonely people by pretending to be their family members. The film questions what it means to be a family by comparing the real family before Noriko ran away and the virtual families with Noriko as a member.

The situation in the family is seen from several perspectives: Noriko, her younger sister Yuka and the father. In each perspective, a different voice is used to narrate what happened to them. Yuka had the nicest voice in my opinion! She quickly understood why her elder sister left but her father was clueless for a long time. I felt very sad for the father when he desperately tried to find out the reason for her daughters' disapperance.

I think the use of flashbacks, dream sequences and telling the story in multiple perspectives very much enhanced the experience of watching this film. Very nice ending! Tension is built up to keep the audience guessing what would happen next but when the tension ends, a very good closure is provided.

Highly recommended!

Internet Movie Database Link

In Search of a Road

This is a docudrama about the past 100 years of history in Sri Lanka with a big focus on the railway line.

Not too used to watching docudramas as I find it strange to see bits of drama interspersed with the documentary. Didn't quite follow the story of the drama, so I didn't feel much for the characters. For the documentary part, the narrator spoke in a very monotonous tone and I fell asleep at some parts partly because of the heavy lunch that I took. The ending is quite nicely done though.

Chinese Restaurants: Beyond Frontiers

The story is about the life of overseas Chinese who survive by running Chinese restaurants. Two families are interviewed from India and one from Brazil.

Interesting to see how the families blend in to the local community and yet maintain their Chinese culture. They train local people to help in the kitchen and serve food but their homes are decorated in a very Chinese style. The families in India also talk about hard times during the Sino-India conflict in 1962 when the foreigners are sent to live in camps.

Internet Movie Database Link

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Short Film About Indio Nacional

This is a black and white silent movie about life in Phillipines during the 1890s. Events that happened during that era were shown in a very indirect manner.

Liked the nice music but the pacing is very slow! Preceding the silent segment, there is a very long take on someone trying to sleep but could not. Quite ironic as I was trying very hard not to sleep when watching this part.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Magdalena The Unholy Saint

The story is about the transformation of a girl called Magdalena after experiencing several major incidents in her life.

Very nice storyline! Was touched by how the characters managed to cope in a crisis situation! Great acting by the actress who played Magdalena!

The Sentinel

An inside look at how the president of United States is kept safe by a group of security professionals and what happened when they found a security breach!

Had fun guessing who is the one that caused the security breach! Shortlisted to a few possibilities but all of them were wrong! Pity that Kim Basinger and Eva Longoria didn't have a bigger role as they were just like "flower vases".

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, April 22, 2006

It's Only Talk

The story is about the life of a woman in her mid thirties who is suffering from manic depression since the death of her parents. She lives off her savings, spends her time taking pictures on her digital camera to post on her blog, goes out with friends and visits the bath house once in a while.

Liked how well the director captures the emotions of the characters as they interact with each other! I think the different men that the woman goes out with represents her different needs. They include a pervert, a university friend who is a budding politician, a cousin and a fellow manic depression sufferer who is a yakuza. The bath house is a good quiet place for her to relax when she feels tense.

KAFA Animations

A series of animation by the Korean Academy of Fine Arts:

The Woman with Busy Hands
Gas City
Who are You?
Swimming Days
The Wall
Soul's Milk Spring Outing

Liked "Who are You?" the best! It involves a papa bear, a mama bear and a baby bear. The papa bear has deserted his family but he felt lonely and decides to visit them one day. Baby bear refuses to acknowledge her dad unless he can answer some simple personal questions about her. He fails to answer any of them and is kept out of the door. Liked the bears who are cutely drawn and the interesting questions asked by the baby bear!

If You Were Me 2

This is a series of shorts produced for the National Human Rights Commision of Korea.

Seaside Flower is about the life of a child with Down's Syndrome. She studies in a normal school where she gets teased once in a while and she has fun telling ghost stories at home. Liked the realistic account of her day which shows that she is as normal as any other kid!

Hey Man is about what happens when a group of friends gather for a drink and one of them starts to criticise people around him: foreign workers, the unemployed, high school grads and homosexuals. His friends left him one by one and he himself felt ostracised for being so successful in life! Liked the clever setup and the interesting dialogue!

A Boy with the Knapsack is about the unfair treatment of North Koreans living in South Korea. A North Korean girl works at a Karaoke bar and her boss short changed her pay. She asked a North Korean guy who is a great motorbike rider for help. They stole almost 50 cans of coke from the bar, put them in a knapsack and rode off together! Liked the depiction of the friendship between the guy and the girl!

Someone Grateful is about the relationship between an interrogator and his case who is a student activist. Chief Kim had given up trying to extract information from his case through torture and ended up confiding his troubles to him as he is supposed to hand him over to his colleague. Liked how the two guys bonded during the last few hours!

Jongno Winter is about how employers cheated Chinese Koreans working in South Korea of their pay and that many of them froze to death and died of unnatural causes each year. Liked the documentary like story telling that recounted how one particular Chinese Korean froze to death and the events that led to it!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Dictator's Cut / Nine Lives of Korean Cinema

DC is about the history of film making in North Korea while NLKC is about the history of film making in South Korea.

North Korea is a closed society and its leader has a lot of say on what is shown in films. They encourage people to be nationalistic and is very pro-military. South Korea had very strict censorship too at one time but things changed after Seoul held the Olympics in 1988. The artistic freedom given to the filmmakers coupled with the screen quota system that forces cinemas to screen a certain number of Korean films per year has led to the huge commercial success of Korean films today.

Liked the large number of film clips shown in the two documentaries and the interviews with the directors, actors and actresses! Some of the directors featured like Im Kwon Taek, Kim Ki Duk and Hong Sang Soo are my favorite directors and I gained a better understanding towards their films when they explained their rationale of doing certain things.

Gone To a Good Home / Operation Babylift

Decided last minute to catch the 7pm screening at the National Museum as I thought I may not be able to make it on time. This is my first screening at the National Museum which has been newly renovated.

GTGH is about how unmarried mothers were forced to give up their babies for adoption from the 50s to 70s in Australia and the impact on these people many years down the road.

Liked the interviews where many personal stories were told and the re-enactment of what happened almost forty years ago!

OB is about how abandoned babies and children were airlifted from Vietnam to the Western countries for adoption during the Vietnam War.

The theme is somewhat similar to GTGH but the situation is slightly different as it is during an emergency where lives could be lost when nothing is done. Liked the interviews with the Vietnamese children who had grown up now and the news clips of that era which was incorporated in the film.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Perpetual Motion

The story is about how four friends spent their Lunar New Year together. They are successful middle aged women and each of them has been closely connected to the host's husband at one time.

Has always been fascinated by the beauty of the Chinese language in describing intimacy and it is reflected in this show. Liked the stories recounted by the women as they reflected back on their youth! The Lunar New Year special shown on TV is interesting too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, April 16, 2006


This is the second part of a trilogy directed by Danish director, Lars Von Trier. The first part was "Dogville" starring Nicole Kidman which was shown here commercially about a year ago. The story is about how a gangster's daughter discovered that there were slaves in a town called Manderlay and tried to use her powers to liberate them.

Very interesting study into human nature as the film shows how people of different characters react to different situations! Liked the narration, the music and the minimalist style for the set! Many things are just drawn and labelled on the ground and there are no roofs or doors for the buildings! This allows the audience to have full view of what all the chracters are doing at the same time and be less distracted by unnecessary details.

Internet Movie Database Link

Tale of the Three Jewels

Interesting tale about the life of a Palestinian boy living in the Gaza Strip. The place that he lives in is not peaceful and fully armed soldiers can be seen everywhere. Despite all this, he lives a happy life and became friends with a Gypsy girl who asked him to search for three jewels that were lost from her Grandmother's necklace.

Liked the enthusiasm showed by the boy in the things that he does and how well fantasy and reality are blended together! Was pleasantly surprised by the ending that had a nice religious and philosophical touch to it.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Glamorous Life Of Sachiko Hanai

The story is about how the life of a woman called Sachiko Hanai has changed after being hit by a bullet in the head. She becomes super-smart and gets involved with something that affects the whole world.

There is quite a bit of deadpan humour in this film! It even features president George Bush as a man in a mask! Animation and puppet figures are used effectively to depict how absurdly powerful the US forces have become and how they like to show off their strength to other countries. Many scenes are also exaggerated to look unrealistic to highlight how chaotic the world has become.

After being shot by the bullet, Sachiko is unable to synchronise her actions with her feelings. I think it signifies the apathy that young people have with this world and the grave consequences that could follow. People can also look inside her bullet-hole head to see the ideal world that they like to live in.

Sachiko was a call-girl who play-acted as a home tutor before the bullet incident happened. After the incident, she became very knowledgeable and was much more qualified in her role. There are many sex scenes in the film which seem redundant but they are important to show how boring life has become and the men are looking towards Sachiko as a figure of authority and someone whom they can cuddle with, like a baby in a mother's arms.

The ending is very interesting with Sachiko swallowing up the world, perhaps in a dream sequence. I interpret it to mean that she has become mother nature herself and the cycle of life and death has finally completed.

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, April 14, 2006

I Did Not Kill Gandhi

The story is about how a family cope when their father, a retired professor, shows symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and suffers from a childhood trauma. He was accused of murdering Gandhi, who is the Father of India.

Was touched by the sacrifices made by the daughter to look after her father. She broke up with her finace, quit her job and hunted for the best doctors. Great acting by the actor who played the father! There is also nice documentary footage of Gandhi towards the end!

We Feed the World

This is a documentary on how the agriculture industry and food industry is affected by globalisation.

There are many unusual practices:
1. Truck loads of bread are being thrown away although they are just a few days old.
2. Maize is grown to be burnt as fuel.
3. Large areas of rainforests in Brazil are being cleared to plant soya that is used for chicken feed in European countries.

From the interviews of poor starving people, one can tell how bad conditions are by looking at their dog which is really very skinny! There is also quite a lengthy footage on how chickens are factory farmed.

Very surprised that the little chickens are transported along the factory line like commodities! I also felt sad when one of the workers described how they are slaughtered. The chickens are hung upside down, dipped in water to be electric-shocked and had their throats slit by a sharp rotating blade.

Internet Movie Database Link

If You Were Me: Anima Vision

Six animated films are made for the Human Rights Commission of Korea and each film has a different director and deals with different issues.

Day Dream is about discrimination against handicapped children. It shows a father and a handicapped daughter having an afternoon nap and the day dreams that they are having. Very nicely drawn with a water color painting feel and the stories are well narrated!

Animal Farm is about accepting diversity and not ostracising the odd-one-out. It shows a goat trying very hard to join a flock of sheep in the things that they do but is prevented by the chief sheep. Quite cute to see how the goat comes up with very innovative ideas!

At Her House is about the stresses faced by women doing the housework and looking after the child. It depicts how the wife gets drowned in all the chores that she has to do while the husband just relaxes and watches TV. Liked how the emotional states of the couple are depicted figuratively!

The Flesh and Bone is about discrimination against ugly people. It describes how an ugly family came about through the genes inherited from their great grandfather generation. Very interesting narration on the family history!

Bicycle Trip is about discrimination against illegal immigrants as employers exploit them because of their status. A driverless bicycle rides through the streets and flashbacks are shown at the locations that it stops. Very effective use of flashbacks!

Be A Human Being is about discrimination against people with low academic qualifications. A bunch of animals attend cram school with a human as a teacher and they are told that they can only become human beings when they complete university. The main character is a gorilla who liked collecting insects and discovers one day that he could transform to a human being when he pursues his interest in the forest! There is a twist in the end which I won't reveal here but I felt that it is very touching!