Sunday, April 27, 2008

Two or Three Things I Know About Her

The story is about life in Paris during the late sixties seen through the eyes of a housewife.

The "concrete jungle" aspect of Paris is shown quite nicely! The narration is a little bit soft as if the narrator is trying to whisper some secret to the audience but the ideas presented are quite interesting!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Manufactured Landscapes

This is a documentary about the works of a Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky. He likes to film gigantic man-made structures such as factories, quarries, harbors, dams and industrial waste.

Liked the part on the life of the factory workers! Pretty amazed by the skills of one of the workers! She assembled an electronic gadget very quickly and seemingly without any effort at all!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sex is Zero 2

This is a comedy about college student life in Korea that describes the students' attitudes towards sexuality. It is also a sequel to "Sex is Zero" which is widely considered to be the Korean version of "American Pie". The first movie concentrated on how the lead actor who was in the martial arts club tried ways and means to get acquainted with the girls in the aerobics club. This time round, he is shown to have a top swimmer as a girlfriend at the very start.

The ridiculous tricks that college students played on each other were just as funny and gross as in the original movie but there was less emphasis on the aesthetics of sexuality this time round. Guess what makes a difference in this sequel is the depiction of the relationship between the lead actor and his girlfriend. The ups and downs in the relationship made me feel happy and sad accordingly and I thought some scenes were particularly touching!


Friday, April 18, 2008

The Travelling Players

The story describes the history of Greece from 1939 to 1952 through a group of theatre actors who travels to different towns to showcase their performance.

Liked the songs and dances in the film! The announcements in the streets and the three narrators did a good job providing the background knowledge on the rest of the film! The unhurried pace, long shots and circular camera movements also gave a sense of the gradual flow of history.

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, April 13, 2008


The story is about how the poor in the Philippines had to beg, borrow or steal to survive and how religion and politics influenced their lives.

The opening scene of the police raid was nicely executed! I gained a better understanding of how the poor people in the Philippines operated but didn't like how the film was fragmented with no main storyline.

Flower in the Pocket

The story is about how two Malaysian brothers with a workaholic father spent their time in school, outside school and at home. They didn't have a mother and the title refers to a Malaysian tradition of putting a flower in the pocket during Mother's Day.

Liked how the film showed the Malaysian way of life through the eyes of the two brothers! The director seemed to be quietly observing how things would turn out and adding a little bit of humour in certain scenes.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Little Girl of Hanoi

The story is about the encounters of a little girl after her home got bombed by the Americans towards the end of 1972. Filmed in 1973, the scenes of destruction were all shot on location and they were very realistic.

The little girl looked quite cute! Liked how the director contrasted her peaceful life before the war with how everything fell apart when the bombing started! I also liked how it inspired patriotism in its people!

Mrs Nam

The story is about how a war veteran spent her free time looking for the bodies of her fellow comrades which were hastily buried in different places and giving them a proper burial.

Wasn't able to understand the film fully as it was not subtitled but I liked the documentaries interspersed with it as well as how they showed Mrs Nam at work digging up bones and cleaning them up properly!

Path of Justice

The story is about the long term effects of a chemical weapon called "Agent Orange" which was used during the Vietnam War and how the victims were taking legal actions to get compensation from the United States.

Interesting to see this film double billed with "The Enemy Within" that had a similar theme! I thought the effects of "Agent Orange" was even worse than that land mines as they were passed on to the next generation. Most victims were also mentally challenged and could not be interviewed personally.

The Enemy Within

This is a documentary about how land mine survivors fend for themselves in Cambodia. Their problems do not end after getting an artificial limb but also include learning a skill and finding a job.

Liked the interesting characters interviewed by the director! They included a bike mechanic who continued to work despite losing both legs, a couple who married after losing their limbs through land mines and three girls who were learning to repair radios and televisions.

Landmine Survivors
International Campaign to Ban Landmines

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mrs To Hau

The story is about how a Vietnamese woman overcame many personal tragedies and helped the nation fight against the French imperialists.

Liked the close ups on the characters, the interesting storyline and the fluid camera movement! I think it lived up to its reputation as "one of two masterpieces in early Vietnamese cinema" very well!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Boomtown Beijing

The story is about how the upcoming 2008 Olympics affected people living in Beijing, focusing on three characters: a disabled athlete trying for the paralympics, a small boy aspiring to be a torch bearer and an old man getting his community to learn a new olympic ribbon routine that he invented.

Nice documentary which was informative and had very interesting characters! Liked the quirky old man the best! Was happy to have the opportunity to listen to the Q&A session conducted by the director after the show!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

The story is about a father visiting his daughter in America. It is based on a short story with the same title.

Liked how the director, Wayne Wang, showed how difficult it was for the father to communicate with his own daughter and yet how easy it was for him to talk to an Iranian woman in the park despite the need to use gestures! Also liked the shot of father and daughter sitting on the same bench! Reminded me of Ozu which happened to be Wayne's favorite director.

Internet Movie Database Link

If You Were Me: Anima VIsion 2

This is a collection of six Korean short animation with a common theme on human rights. "The Third Wish" is about a visually challenged girl who was given three wishes. "Peeling" is about a father persuading his son to circumcise like the rest of his friends. "Baby" is about a working pregnant woman trying to make arrangements for her unborn child. "Shine Shine Shining" is about migrants in society. "Merry Golasmas" is about how a group of people got discriminated when they applied for the job of Santa Claus. "Lies" is about the plight of one homosexual who is forced into marriage.

Liked "Shine Shine Shining" the best as the story was very well told with a clear message! The characters were quite cute too! This would be followed by "The Third Wish", "Baby" and "Peeling". Didn't really like "Merry Golasmas" and "Lies".

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Philippine Science

The film describes the student life in the Philippine Science High School in Philippines that takes in the top Science students in the country. The director was an alumni since 1986.

Liked the stories on student life which were based on real life experiences! Learnt a bit about Philippines history too! Thought the director gave a very nice tribute to his former school!

Internet Movie Database Link

Paper Cannot Wrap Up the Embers

This is a documentary about women who are forced to become prostitutes due to their economic circumstances in Cambodia.

A little bit boring at times as there was not much organisation in the subject matter and the audience was left to be immersed in the prostitute's living environment, somewhat similar to the reality TV format.

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Princess of Nebraska

The film is adapted from a short story and it is about what happened when a young Chinese woman came to the United States. She was pregnant and stayed at her boyfriend's gay lover's place. She also explored the city and got to know a new friend at a karaoke bar.

Liked the realistic close up shots provided by the handheld camera! Story is interesting and the lead actress Ling Li acted very well! Nice ending too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


The story is about a couple on a journey to visit their parents during the weekend. Many strange encounters happpened along the way.

Thought it would be a relaxing film to watch based on the title but it was far more complex and chaotic than I imagined! I made the same mistake once before when I borrowed "Rite of Spring" from the library to listen to. Interesting to see how the director indirectly criticised the bourgeois way of life through the couple's actions and his innovative style!

Internet Movie Database Link