Monday, May 31, 2010

Peppermint Candy

The story is about a Korean man's life told in reverse from the late nineties to the late seventies. It explains the impact of the Kwangju massacre in May 1980 on his life.

Liked how the story was broken down into episodes and told in reverse chronological order! This made me want to find out more the reason why the man wanted to go back to the past so badly. Quite sad to see how he became such an unlikable character. The female protagonists that appeared in the film all looked not bad though!

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Tale of the Wind

The story is about an old film director trying to film the wind in China.

Thought it was a little bit abstract but I liked the scene on the moon and the finale that showed an old lady summoning the wind in the desert!

Internet Movie Database Link

Bigger Than Life

The story is about a teacher who became more conceited and full of himself when he got addicted to his prescribed drugs to solve a chronic pain. His behavior changed in school and at home with his wife and son.

Liked the nice fifties style costumes worn by the wife and the suspenseful mood! The monologue speeches were interesting and the use of shadows was great!

Internet Movie Database Link

Thursday, May 27, 2010

No Day Off

The story is about how an Indonesian girl started training to be a maid in Batam and worked with three Singapore families for a few years before returning home to her child.

Liked how the story was told through the point of view of the maid! Thought it should be more balanced though as it showed mostly of how mean the employers were except for the last family. Great acting by the lead actress!

Io Island

The story is about life on an island that was inhabited by many women divers seen through a series of flashbacks.

Liked the nice scenery on the island, the hypnotic drum beat and the strange customs of the people! The flashbacks were particularly effective in fleshing out the character of the protagonist!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Distant Thunder

The film describes the 1943 famine in Bengal India through a Brahmin family living in a village.

Liked the interesting storyline and the psychological study into human behavior under extreme circumstances! Great acting by the actresses!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Peter and the Wolf

The story is about a young boy called Peter who lived with his grandfather and had a cat, a bird and a duck as pets. A wolf tried to eat his duck and was caught by him. He released the wolf later when he saw how the local hunters made fun of it.

Liked the nice animation film that was without any dialogue and the live music accompaniment! The cat looked really fat and furry!

Internet Movie Database Link

PSTAR Scrabble Games 2010

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 (Bukit Batok) on 22nd May 2010 from 10am to 5pm. A total of 30 teams took part. MINDEF had one team taking part this year.

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

Our first pairing was against Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) team 1.

Game 1: MEWR 1
My first game was against a friendly Malay guy called Samsul. Had pretty good tiles and I led comfortably after I bingoed twice with LOADErS(73) and dRAINED(81). Learnt a new word "COMP" from my opponent. He invited me to challenge the word as he said he was not sure of it too.

Won 455-230. Our team won 3-0.

Next game was against Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) team 1.

Game 2: CAAS 1
My second game was against a petite lady called Karen. I scored well with QAT(31) and JEAN(42). I also bingoed with a ERSSTV? rack while she scored with ZA(34), XI(38) and TREKS(30). There are 5 anagrams with the ERSSTV? rack that begins with "S", two of which are common words.[1]

Won 416-314. Our team won 3-0.

Had free lunch catered for us after our second game. The dishes were not too bad!.

Our third game was against Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) 1.

Game 3: MAS 1
I was paired against Ben who had played in national Scrabble tournaments before. He bingoed twice with RETRACT(78) and OUSTERS(87) while I had one bingo with RETAiNs(68). I had too many vowels in this game and I scored very low points trying to play them off. Lost badly and only reduced a bit of spread difference by my opponent's overtiming by 5 minutes.

Lost 328-458. Our team won 2-1.

Our final game is against Ministry of Education (MOE) 1.

Game 4: MOE 1
I played against Elizabeth who contrasted with Karen from CAAS in terms of size. She looked like she could be a Judo teacher! She had an opening bingo with a EEEPRSW rack[2] while I made many mistakes in this game! I spelled LARVAE as LAVAE* and it was challenged off. I had a DENOR?? rack and I played a phoney REbONDs*(69) which was fortunately not challenged off. I also opened up the triple word score lane late in the game thinking that my opponent may not have the "S" even though there were still two left in the bag. She scored promptly with DISRATE(88) and widened the spread!

Lost 287-499. Our team lost narrowly with 1-2.

In the end, MINDEF 1 came in 4th placing. MOE 1, MOE 2 and NP 1 were the top 3 teams. Had fun seeing so many familiar faces! Hope we could do even better next year!

Quiz answers (highlight to see clearly)


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Only Yesterday

The story is about a girl reminiscing about the past while going to the countryside for a farming holiday.

Liked the interesting childhood anecdotes and the story shown during the ending credits! The illustrations of the background scenery and the references to Haiku reminded me of his later work, "My Neighbors the Yamadas", which I saw a few years back.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Very Short International Film Festival

Saw "International Selection 1", "International Selection 2", "International Selection 3" and "Local Selection" at the "Very Short International Film Festival". Most of the short films were pretty interesting despite their short length of less than 3 minutes!

I voted for the following films:
International Selection 1: "Bob" and "Great expectations".
International Selection 2: "Stromsparen".
International Selection 3: "The sick boy and the tree", "Telefono" and "Sutphin blvd".
Local Selection favorites: "Emma".

Saturday, May 08, 2010

La Strada

The story is about how a young girl, Gelsomina, trained to be the assistant to a performer, Zampano, and they traveled to many different places in his motorcycle van.

Great acting by Giuletta Masina! Liked the surprising twist towards the end as I thought it was particularly touching!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, May 01, 2010


The story is about the daily life at the Italian cinema studio that Fellini worked in. The film title means "Interview" in English and the whole film is conducted in an interview format. Japanese reporters interviewed Fellini and his crew, the actor who acted as a young Fellini interviewed a beautiful actress.

Liked the beautiful sets and the pretty costumes worn by the actresses! The screening of "La Dolce Vita" in Anita Ekberg's home was interesting as the actors and actresses reminisced about their past!

Internet Movie Database Link

The Steel Helmet

The story is about a group of American soldiers fighting in the Korean war.

Liked the innovative opening scene and the friendship between the little Korean boy and the veteran Sergeant! It was also interesting to watch how the various personalities among the soldiers interacted!

Internet Movie Database Link