Sunday, June 28, 2009


This is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen's "Emma" with the setting changed to the Beverly High School in America during the mid 90s.

Liked the voice over narration, the witty sense of humor and how the film encouraged people to do good deeds! Excellent performance by Alicia Silverstone! She acted really well especially the scenes when she felt discouraged after failing her driving test!

Internet Movie Database Link

The Weeping Meadow

This is the first part of a trilogy about the history of modern Greece that covers the period of 1919 to 1949 seen through the eyes of an orphan girl who fell in love with her foster brother.

Liked the beautiful scenery by the river and the lively Greek music! Very slow paced but the pace picked up towards the end after the guy went to America.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, June 27, 2009


The story is about the life of a mental patient in a hospital that has very innovative ways of treating the patients.

I wondered how a documentary about real mental patients would differ from this film? Did they also go trekking, fold plastic bags and have nurses personally check if they had taken their prescriptions like in the film? Felt that the director might have been influenced by the Japanese film "After Life". I also thought that the protagonist had pretty good handwriting!

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, June 26, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

The story is about how two groups of robots fought against each other on earth. One group wanted to take over earth while the other group were friends with the humans.

Preferred the first episode as it described the background story better. It also showed how Sam and Bumblebee developed their friendship. The humor in this episode didn't work very well and I found it hard to differentiate the two groups of robots. Thought the part where Sam and his girlfriend had to run a very long distance to Optimus Prime was a little bit too long winded.

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Housemaid

Watched this online for free at the auteurs website! The story is about how a housemaid in Korea during the sixties gradually caused a family to break up after the husband had an affair with her.

A scary domestic thriller! It was interesting to see the reactions of both the housemaid and the wife to the rat in the cupboard! I was undecided whether to pity the housemaid or to fear her throughout the film. Her actions could be partly due to her social status but she was also psychotic at the same time. Nice social critique of Korean society at that time!

Internet Movie Database Link
Auteurs Online Movie Link

Saturday, June 20, 2009

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

The story is about how a girl, Otilia, helped her room mate, Gabita, to get an abortion illegally in 1987 Romania. This film won the Palme D'Or in the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

Interesting look at life in Romania during the Communist era under dictator Ceausescu's rule where there is little trust among people! Liked the negotiation scene with the abortionist and the dinner scene with Otilia's boyfriend's family as they explained the situation in Romania pretty well!

Internet Movie Database Link

Haikara Girl

The story is about how a rich man's daughter fell in love with her driver whom they knew each other since young. The setting is in the Taisho era (early 18th century) when Japanese society is rapidly modernizing.

Liked how the film explained how the daughter and the driver bonded with each other! They spent time chatting under a giant tree and experimented with her father's latest gadgets together. Felt quite sad for the driver when he had to drive the daughter and her rich snobbish suitor around. Thought the scene where the three people confronted each other in the forbidden room was very nicely executed!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pigs and Battleships

Quite happy that Criterion is coming up with more and more Japanese titles! This DVD is the first part of the "Pigs, Pimps and Prostitutes" boxset by Shohei Imamura. The story is about a Japanese couple living near the port. The guy is a gangster who is in charged of raising pigs while American battleships were docked nearby.

Learnt about the structure of the yakuza and the living conditions in postwar Japan. A little bit confused with the many characters but I liked the interesting plot, the black and white cinematography and the fluid movement of the camera!

Internet Movie Database Link

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Long Live the Wife

The story is about how a wife manages her relationship with her family. Her husband borrowed money from her dad to start a business and had an affair. Her brother fell in love with her sister-in-law and her mother-in-law likes to nag at the servant.

There were several funny moments and I was impressed by how capable the wife was! Didn't realize that the writer, Eileen Chang, got divorced the same year that she wrote the script for the film until much later. I think it helped to explain how she chose to end the film.

Internet Movie Database Link