Tuesday, May 31, 2011

So Wrong, They're Right

This is a documentary about fans of the 8-track format which is the predecessor of the cassette tape.

Liked the interesting interviews and the whole user experience of using the format, from listening to the sound made when the 8-track was put into the machine to visualising how the 8-track operates through its transparent cover!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, May 28, 2011


The story is about the dreams and aspirations of a young man from Kazhakstan called Kairat who was waiting to retake his University exams while working as a tram driver.

Liked the interesting dream sequences that showed the inner thoughts of Kairat!

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, May 27, 2011

Street Without End

The story is about how two waitresses who were good friends achieved work and family life balance.

Liked how the director illustrated the pros and cons of both the housewife and the actress path! Thought the sister-in-law would look fiercer without her dimples.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story

This is about the life of Karen Carpenter who was the lead singer of the Carpenters pop group during the seventies.

Liked the innovative use of barbie dolls and documentary clips as well as the nice songs! The film is pretty eerie at times though.

Internet Movie Database Link

Dancing Dreams

This is a documentary about a group of teenagers rehearsing for a dance piece called "Kontakthof" choreographed by Pina Bausch.

Liked how the guys and the girls interacted during the dance and how hard they practiced! Realized that facial expression was just as important in dancing as the physical movement of the body!

Internet Movie Database Link

Taipei 24H

This is an anthology of eight short films about the city of Taipei depicting different times of a day: "Share The Morning", "Just A Little Run", "Summer Heat", "Save The Lover", "Smoke", "Dream Walker", "Owl Service" and "Remembrance".

Didn't feel too much for ""Share The Morning" and "Just A Little Run". Liked "Summer Heat" and "Save The Lover" the best for their humor and interesting plot! "Smoke" and "Owl Service" celebrated the father-daughter relationship pretty well. "Dream Walker" was the most abstract and the dance sequence in "Remembrance" was beautiful!

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Throw Of Dice

The story is about the evils of gambling illustrated by how a king lost his kingdom and bride-to-be on the day of his marriage.

Liked the beautiful Indian scenery and the live soundtrack specially created for this silent film! The vocals sounded beautiful! Not sure how the dice worked though as they were not shaped like the usual cube.

Internet Movie Database Link

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pale Flower

The story is about how a gangster became friends with a beautiful female gambling addict after he came out of prison for killing a man.

Liked the interesting study into the yakuza and gambling culture! The actress looked quite pretty!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, May 14, 2011

PSTAR Scrabble Games 2011

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 14th May 2011 from 10am to 5pm. A total of 34 teams took part. MINDEF had three teams taking part this year.

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

Game 1: MOE 2
My first game was against Valli who was an experienced intermediate player and was probably the strongest in this all female team. Fell far behind at the start when she bingoed twice in a row with CASHIER(77) and ATTENDER(70). She phonied twice with PIASING* and PALSING* but both were challenged off. She missed the three valid anagrams of PALSING*.[1] She had another bingo later with LEAPING(75) while I had DIARIES(66). I knew both DIARIES and DAIRIES were good but have forgotten about the other two anagrams that could have scored more.[2]

Lost 322-470. Our team lost 1-2.

Game 2: MHA 5
My second opponent was Cho Chi Huen whom I played before at the 2009 PSTAR Scrabble games. He had REAPING(71) while I had RELATES(65). His phonies of TWENT* and PEFTERS* as well as a
five minutes overtime gave me the win.

Won 393-293. Our team won 3-0.

Game 3: MHA 6
Had a walkover in my third game against MHA 6. Played with a small boy called Chong Yong who was one of the helpers instead. Had many chances to bingo out with the first letter front hooking to a T but just could not find the word. I had AEERRT? and later AELRST? but I tried EARThER* and ELASTeR* unsuccessfully. There were four words that I could fit in the first case[3] and two anagrams for ELASTER* could have fit too.[4]

Won 150-100. Our team won 3-0.

Game 4: CPF 2
My last opponent was Zul. I had BASINET(72) and scored well with JIFF(44) and SUQ(33) while he scored well with SEZ(41), WINY(40), GAVE(33) and QI(33) but phonied once with DET*. Scored a comfortable win.

Won 375-304. Our team won 2-1.

MOE, LTA, HDB and Ngee Ann Poly were the top 4 teams. CPF and Spring received consolation prizes for coming in first in the second and third tier respectively. The MINDEF teams did not win any prizes but we had a really fun time! Hope we could do better next year!

Quiz answers (highlight to see clearly)


Friday, May 13, 2011

Apart From You

The story is about how the son of an ageing geisha came to terms with his mother's work with the help of her young colleague.

Thought this film was like a precursor to "A Woman Ascends the Stairs". Liked how the director contrasted the family life with the decadent life at the geisha house! The mother's young colleague looked quite pretty!

Internet Movie Database Link

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Small Change

The story is about the lives of children in France during the mid seventies.

Liked how natural the children were in front of the camera! The episode with the police inspector's daughter was pretty funny! The long speech by Mr Richet towards the end gave me an insight into the thoughts of the director.

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, May 08, 2011

No Blood Relation

The story is about how a rich and famous Hollywood actress came back to Japan to claim custody for her daughter who grew up with her step mother since young for seven years.

Liked how the genuine affection of the step mother towards her step daughter slowly overcame the stubborn actress who thought that money and material comfort could compensate for everything! Great film to watch during Mother's Day!

Internet Movie Database Link

Flunky, Work Hard

The story is about how a struggling insurance agent tries to provide for his wife and his mischievous son.

Liked the comedic moments and the interesting visual montage of flashbacks!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, May 07, 2011


The story is about a man coming to terms with his life as he is about to die. He is separated from his wife and profits from illegal immigrants but he loves his kids and helps the family of the deceased through his ability to communicate with the dead.

Great performance by the actor and I liked the jigsaw puzzle way of story telling! The pace is a bit too slow moving though.

Internet Movie Database Link

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Golden Thread

The story is about how the people from India were affected by the 1947 partition of Bengal seen through the eyes from an ordinary family.

Liked the nice songs and the excellent story telling! Felt quite sad for the family though. The film reminds me of "Sopyonje" by Im Kwon Taek that also has great vocal performances and a brother-sister reunion scene.

Internet Movie Database Link