Sunday, April 29, 2007


This is a documentary about the most commonly used English swear word. It describes the origin of the word as well as its effects on society.

Liked the animation and the film clips shown to describe the usage of the word! Was quite impressed by the number of meanings that the word could take on depending on the context!

Internet Movie Database Link


This is a documentary that discusses about the different beliefs about whether there is a god in the world. Scientists, religious people, writers and professors of philosophy were interviewed.

Pretty interesting to hear about the opinions of people from different walks of life! Was not bored at all by this heavy topic and was particularly intrigued by the discussion on the effects that religion had on society.

German Animation

This is a collection of short German Animation compiled into a single programme.

Liked "The Rocks", "Hessi James" and "Terminal Paradise" the best for their storyline and the humour! Fell asleep during "Cherchez la Femme" as I had a heavy lunch. Thought "Rubicon" was cute" while "Hobo", "Ghost Train", "Recently 2", "The Modern Cyclops" and "The Raven" were pretty interesting! "Harara", "Escape", "The Message", "The Moment" and "The Patchwork Queen" were too abstract for me.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Side Effects Of Love

This is a love story of an Indian couple shown through the male perspective with lots of song and dance.

Liked the many comical moments and how the male lead was able to explain his situation so clearly!

Internet Movie Database Link

Don't Look Back

The film consists of three short segments. The first is about a father attempting to reconcile with his daughters. The second is about a telecoms engineer falling in love with a girl who is having an affair with a married guy. The last story is about a guy feeling lost about how things have changed after he got discharged from National Service.

All the three stories are about regret of some sort and how life must still go on despite of this. Liked the shots of the train and the railway tracks that appeared in all the film segments!

Internet Movie Database Link

The Choice

The story is about how a detective solved a murder mystery involving a pair of twin brothers who lead very different lifestyles.

Liked how the film unravelled the thought process of the police in solving the case! There was quite a bit of suspense where the audience had to decide who could be the real murderer! Very well written script with great dialogue!

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, April 27, 2007

Life in Loops (A Megacities RMX)

This is a documentary that describes the life of the underpriviledged people in the big cities. It is edited from a similar themed film "Megacities" made almost ten years ago with additional scenes in Tokyo.

Liked how the music complemented what is shown on the screen and the MTV feel! Interesting how the film is cut to show the parallels among the different cities!

Internet Movie Database Link

A Zen Life

This is a biography of D.T. Suzuki who brought Zen to United States.

The documentary interviewed many people who are influenced by him. Learnt quite a bit about the Zen philosophy through them and Suzuki's television interview.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Scream of the Ants

The story is about a newly wed couple's honeymoon trip in India. It also turned out to be a spiritual journey as the people that they met acted as their guide.

Liked the interesting imageries and the dialogue! It is also funny at times! Good that most of the dialogue is in English so that I spend less effort reading the subtitles.

Internet Movie Database Link

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ad Lib Night

The story is about what happens in a single night when a girl pretends to be the long lost granddaughter of a man who is dying of terminal disease.

Liked the script and the quiet moments of the film! The girl looks very pretty too! Especially liked the sock changing scene that symbolised the decision to step into the shoes of the other person and the dialogue in the car towards the end where the revelation made everything fall into place!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Other Half

The story is about the life in Sichuan, China where a young woman work as a secretary in a law firm. Clients would come to their firm and seek consultation on their cases and these are presented in a face-to-face interview style.

Liked how the different clients presented their cases at the law firm! The different problems that they faced helped me understand life in China better. Also liked how the digital camera captured the small town life so realistically!

Feet Unbound

The story is about a young woman retracing the steps of the Chinese Red Army during the Long March period more than 70 years ago. She interviewed six surviving female soldiers who recounted the living conditions then.

Liked the interesting personal stories told by the old soldiers! They looked smart in their uniforms and so animated when they recalled how they had to traverse the mountains, cross the rivers and fight the enemies all at the same time! Also liked the narration by the young woman that served to contrast between the past and present life!

In a Year of 13 Moons

The story is about a man with an identity crisis. He had a sex change operation to turn from Erwin to Elvira so that he could be with a man (Anton) he loved and left his wife (Irene) and daughter (Marie Ann) but things didn't work out as planned and he became depressed in the process.

Liked the extensive use of voice narration and the scenes where Elvira had to talk to strangers in the street! Also liked how the nun weaved her way across the different characters as she walked and the interesting dance that was performed in Anton's office!

Internet Movie Database Link

The Woven Lives of Others

This is about the life of a tribal village in Philippines. The priestess laments about her diminishing role in the village while soldiers and communist rebels fight in the jungle.

Liked the leisurely pace, the songs and the music in the film! Not much of a plot though as it just shows the daily life of the different types of people in the tribe.


A strange film about life in an Indonesian village where people rear cows. A girl tries to find her father who seems to be working in a cemetry and using black magic on widows who just lost their husbands.

One particular cow seems to be a witness to what goes on in the village as people interact with it. The girl milks her and lies together with it in the barn while her colleague is jealous of the cow and abuses it. Reminds me a bit of "Au Hasard Balthazar" about the life of a donkey which I am watching halfway.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Unfolding Florence: The Many Lives of Florence Broadhurst

The story is a biography of a famous Australian, Florence Broadhurst. She is a socialite who started a company doing colorful wall papers when she became a grandmother and got murdered mysteriously one day.

Interesting use of animation to tell her story! Also liked the interviews with her staff who clearly loved her and feared her at the same time! Didn't like the part where they simulated a day in the life of Florence showing her walking around as I thought it was quite pointless.

Internet Movie Database Link

The Last Chip

A cute short film about a trip to the casino by three asian women in Australia where one gambler passed them her last chip which is supposed to bring them good luck.

Interesting look at how the casino works in the eyes of both the staff and the client! Quite educational since the Integrated Resorts will be opening in Singapore soon!

Internet Movie Database Link


The story is about how a man travelled with his wife to Prague to collect his dad's dead body and finding more about himself in the process.

Was quite surprised to see the bad guy in "Casino Royale" act in this film! Great acting and nice scenery! Liked how the male lead tried hard to communicate his feelings even though he is clearly not very good at it!

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, April 20, 2007


The story is about the Japanese society's perception of the female sexuality shown through a young housewife who is being pimped by a gang member.

The film described the different roles of the female gender pretty well! As an adult, she has to fulfil her role as a wife to her husband and as a mother to her child, yet she longs to be just a daughter of a father figure. At other times, she is just a sexual image in the head of her husband and other men. Had a better understanding of this through the young housewife's dealings with her husband, her son, her pimp and a young man who befriended her son at the baseball field.


The story is about the life of a Bosnian family that consists of a single mother and her daughter. The mother works in a factory in the day and a bar in the night. The daughter studies in school and she has an upcoming class trip that costs US$ 200. The cost can be waived if she proves that her father died in the war as a soldier, so she keeps bugging her mother about it.

Liked how the film showed the group of single mothers quietly sitting down and staring at different directions! The songs and poems are beautifully written too! Also liked how the individual parts combined nicely together towards the end!

Internet Movie Database Link

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen

The story is based on the journals of a Danish ethnographer named Knud Rasmussen in the 1920s. He and his friend stayed with an Inuit family in an igloo and he recorded their way of life which is slowly being eroded away by Western culture.

Liked the opening that showed the family preparing for a group photo and how the director showed their everyday life! Compared to "Nanook of the North", which is another documentary about Eskimos, this films describes more on the family relationship and the spiritual aspect rather than how they catch fish or canoe around on the icy waters. One girl who sat in the corner quietly in her thick bearskin fur coat reminded me of one particular character in "South Park"!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Marriage of Maria Braun

The story is about how a German woman, Maria, survive post World War II Germany through her wits and charm!

Liked how the strong minded Maria manage to survive the tumultous times! She figures out other people's mind easily but has people guessing what she'll do. Very nicely written dialogue that cuts straight to the point! Liked the explosive start and finish too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Simon the Stylite

I thought the story would be about an actual filming of a guy named Simon who had great balancing skills on top of a few tall columns but realised that I was mistaken shortly after the film started. The balancing act happened many years ago and all that was left was building ruins and incomplete columns.

Learnt a bit about history from the film even though it was not quite what I expected!

Match Made

This is a documentary about how one Singaporean marries a Vietnamese bride through a marriage agency. There are interviews with the bride, the groom as well as the agents from both countries.

Interesting to see the entire work process from the arrival at Saigon to the interviewing process, and then to the actual marriage cermony. The interviews gave a peek to the thoughts and feelings of various parties. Also liked the filming of the bride's peaceful village home town! The ending really caught me by surprise though!

More insights into Vietnamese brides in here

Best Foods

The film is about life in the slum area of the Philippines. The people have not much to eat and drink but they live their life as best as they can.

Liked the nice black and white documentary and the close up shots on the characters!

Be Quiet, Exam is in Progress!

A light hearted look at the earthquake that occured in Indonesia on May 27, 2006. A student who was learning about World War II history for his elementary school exams, runs after a few Japanese volunteers who are trying to help the victims!

Pretty fun movie to watch on such a serious topic! I also liked the documentary shots interspersed in the film!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

KAFA Animation

This is a collection of nine animation works from the graduating students of the Korean Academy of Fine Arts (KAFA).

Didn't catch the titles for most of the works but they are pretty nicely drawn! There is a plant that turns into an umbrella, a realistic doll house, a visit to the zoo, a visit to a sister's place, two big eyed children who rears fish, role reversal between dog and master, a cool detective type of story involving mermaids and the fight for survival between the rabbit clan and the wolves. There is one more shorts but I have forgotten what is it about. My favorite would be the detective story!

Effi Briest

The story is about how a young girl got married to a high ranking civil servant and how her marriage life changed as time went by.

Liked the black and white cinematography, the third person narration and the intertitles shown on the screen. These contribute to a theatrical feel to the film. The storyline reminded me very much of "Anna Karenina" that I read recently! Both stories had a cold rational high ranking civil servant as the husband, a wife who had an affair and a heartbreaking mother and child reunion.

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

The story is about how a 60 year old German cleaner, Emmi, fell in love with a Moroccan garage mechanic, Ali, who is 20 years her junior. It also describes their friends', neighbors' and relatives' reaction to it.

The director gave a very in-depth character study with a simple storyline! I especially liked how Ali summed up his situation in just a few Haiku-like German phrases! There is not much dialogue but the looks on Emmi and Ali's faces said everything! I also enjoyed how the director was able to highlight social issues very clearly and concisely!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, April 07, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

This is a documentary about the effects of global warming presented by Al Gore who is the former vice president of the United States. It also describes what motivates Al Gore to become an environmental activist.

Al Gore is a very good presenter! He explains complex scientific concepts very simply through all sorts of graphs, charts, photographs and video clips so that even a layman like me can understand them. I also liked how he begins the lecture with various photographs of the earth to appeal to the audience's heart and how he ends it by breaking the top three misconceptions on global warming to convince the audience's mind!

Ten things to do to stop global warming
Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, April 06, 2007

I Don't Want to Sleep Alone

The story is about how a few Malaysians found company in each other when they happened to meet in the streets. They include a poor unemployed guy, a foreign worker and a coffee shop owner's family.

The director's style of having very long takes and little dialogue gives a relaxing feeling as one watches some scenes run real time. Some other scenes are pretty abstract though and I didn't like those. Liked how songs sung in different languages are interspersed throughout the film!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, April 01, 2007


The story is about the life of a Chinese family consisting of three siblings from the late 70s to the early 80s. The eldest son is fat and mentally challenged, the sister works in a factory washing glass bottles and the youngest son is a shy student.

Liked how the film goes through the life of each sibling in turn with voice narration in the background! The storyline is interesting and the slow pace of the film gives it a poetic mood!

Internet Movie Database Link