Arts & Entertainment

Movie Madness

For the past week, I caught a couple of films that got me impressed, something which doesn’t happen that often.

De-Lovely


No words that I say (or write) can ever capture the beauty of this film. The peek into the era of jazz and Broadway and musicals is sweetly nostalgic and yet uncloyingly so. The film delves into the intricate relationship between Cole Porter, one of the greatest jazz composers ever, and his wife Linda. Director Irwin Winkler deftly steers through their immensely complex and yet selflessly simple love, showcasing how a gay Cole Porter could love Linda so much so that she becomes his muse, his reason for living. In return, she is able to accept his homosexuality and propel him forward in life.

I simply adore Ashley Judd in her portrayal of Linda Porter. She is so luminous, lighting up the screen whenever she appears, like a modern Audrey Hepburn. And her outfits! They are fabulous! Kevin Kline is not too bad either, he’s got a charisma that’s missing in many young actors nowadays.

The soundtrack is a gem to all jazz lovers. The cameos by singers like Robbie Williams and Alanis Morrisette are a hoot. It’s truly delightful, delicious, delectable, delirious!

2046

Absolutely worth the hype, although it was a tad too long. As the boyfriend said, it was terribly indulgent, almost as if director Wong Kar Wai couldn’t bear to throw out any footage and made the decision to include almost every scene.

I liked the way he reflected on the realities of life, that not everything has a happy ending. Tony Leung chose the debauchery route in order to forget Maggie Cheung and not even a sexy siren like Zhang Ziyi could change his mind. Thankfully, the relationship between Tony Leung and Faye Wong were kept to a friendly growing of affections because if there anything further developed, I would have emptied my popcorn onto the screen.

The movie is one breathtaking experience, due no less to the artistic eye of cinematographer Christopher Doyle. Some of my favourite tableau include Tony Leung leaning on the shoulders of Zhang Ziyi and Maggie Cheung in the cab, shots of Gong Li’s black cheongsam and glove while she was walking and the silhouette of Faye Wong smoking at the rooftop of the hotel.

“There are some things which I will never lend.”

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Alright, I am a little slow here but I finally caught this amazing film on my baby. And I am glad I did because it’s so…..mindblowing.

I loved how the director weaved the two meetings between Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, and how Jim Carrey tried to fight the deleting of his memories by hiding her in his deepest, darkest secrets. I also liked the exploration of the inexplicable notion that the powers of attraction and love are somehow beyond the will of Man. Very thought-provoking.

Upcoming – Before Sunset

Back in May this year, I was already anticipating the arrival of Before Sunset and finally, after five long months, it has hit our shores.

The Strait’s Times’ film correspondent On Sor Fern had given it a rating of four out of five stars so do catch it once it opens on Thursday.

Everything Else

The “little women” of Singapore

Ah, so it seems that the great big debate over Singaporean women (SW) being too “demanding” has started again.

If you have flipped through yesterday’s Straits Times, you would have undoubtedly read this letter, Time for Singapore girl to play the ‘little woman’ in the Forum (registration needed). What made it more interesting than your run-of-the-mill SW bashing is that it was written by a member of the fairer sex.

The news of the past two weeks confirmed the latter for me: Young 20-something men going to Bintan for cheap sex; 30-something men going to Vietnam for quick marriages. What is going on here?

What really is going here is that firstly, these men are horny and secondly, they are horny cheapskates. Because the SW are smart enough not to want to sleep with them, they have to resort to alternative sources of pleasure. And since they obviously do not wish to pay a premium on something that they crave but are not getting, they have to “outsource” their needs to foreigners. Which, tragically, proves that the SW are right in not wanting to sleep with them.

‘China girls are so pretty and have lower expectations,’ said one. Added the other: ‘Singapore girls are too demanding, they have a long list of expectations.’

Before the 22-year-old friends that the writer has go mouthing off the SW, they should take a good look at themselves. In fact, all men who complain and whine about the SW should examine themselves closely in the mirror before making such sweeping statements. With such self-righteous claims, aren’t these men being demanding themselves? I’d like to believe that being “demanding” is a sign that the SW are discerning and have impeccable taste. As with everything else, the key here is moderation – as much as we should not ask for the sky, we should not settle for anything that is less than palatable either.

Not for this girl are soft, barely audible replies. The Singapore girl debates and argues impassionedly. She wants to win at all costs and treats her love conquests like those fought in the office arena. She may be pretty, yes, smart, yes, but, oh, so demanding.

The Singaporean society is one that is supposedly based on meritocracy. Whoever performs, regardless of race, gender or religion, will get to move on ahead faster than his/her peers. Being born and bred Singaporean means that you have to work hard and fight tough in order to progress. Man or woman, we are trained to maximise our potential in as many ways as we can. In this society, everyone is more or less equal in terms of academic opportunities and intelligence. Hence, it’s not really that much of a surprise that women tend to be feisty fighters in life, rather than the “simple, gentle and hardworking” Vietnamese girls that the writer described.

I’d like to think that this is a modern society, where men and women both relish their independence and individuality. I also believe, and hope, that majority of the Singaporean men enjoy the fact that the SW are not a quiet and timid beings, who nod at their every command and pander to their every whim.

If I were not the sharp-tongued, sassy girl that I am, if I did not enjoy beautiful things in life, if I were merely a “docile, giggly girlfriend”, I do not think the boyfriend would have been so attracted to me in the first place. He shells my prawns for me (I’m lazy), goes shopping with and picks out clothes for me (he has good taste) and chauffeurs me around whenever he can (he’s considerate). Does that make me a demanding girlfriend? No, for I do not ask for all these to be done for me. The fact that he does all these and more on his own accord makes me cherish and love him more.

Come on, give the SW a break.
After years of oppression under the yoke of men, it’s time we finally stand up for ourselves.

What’s Playing on iTunes
Charm Attack from the album “Comatised” by Leona Naess

The organised chaos

The women don’t get it

Tired after a long day, attending a wedding dinner surrounded by strangers is not exactly a thrilling prospect. When the dinner is finally over, you look forward to going home and getting a good night’s rest to prepare you for another tiring day. What you don’t need is:

  • a driver who has forgotten where he packed his vehicle, causing you to walk around the carpark three times, before he spots the offending vehicle parked opposite the lift from which you came,
  • a driver who drives round in circles, complaining about a slip of paper which offers free parking but only allows him to exit at a certain location, when what the coupon really stated was to exchange it for a complimentary parking ticket,
  • a driver who does not listen to your directions and insists that he is right, causing you to get home fifteen minutes later than you should.

You: Turn right at the traffic junction in front.
He: (steers vehicle from lane two to extreme left lane)
You: Erm, please turn right in front.
He: (speeds up and drives past the traffic lights)
You: You should have turned right just now!
He: Right? Shouldn’t I turn left?

Then, after you direct him to an alternative route,

You: Okay, just turn right at the traffic lights.
He: Are you sure? It should be a left turn.
You: (thinking – are you the one living here?) No, turn right.
He: No, it’s a left.
You: It is a RIGHT turn.

Look, I may be a girl who does not drive but that does not mean that I do not know my directions. I have driven past this very same route a million and one times and I know my way. Stop being such a male chauvinistic pig.

What is it with men and instructions/directions?

Geek Girl, Silly things

An Apple a day…..

!(imgleft)http://static.flickr.com/31/49020333_10ee99ed0d_s.jpg!
You know what they say about how doctors are deprived of business by virtue of a mere fruit.

If you think about it, it’s true. Using an Apple really keeps you healthy. No longer will you face heartrending pain when the unsaved document you were working on disappeared into the unknown depths of your peecee because it decided to throw a tantrum and show you the blue screen. Your blood pressure will remain at a safe level because Macs are virtually free from viruses, unlike a certain OS I know. Last I heard, the company manufacturing the substandard OS was busy releasing service packs to patch up security loopholes.

Was at Raffles Place this afternoon (hi Ash!) when I came across this:

Thought it was just so cute, I couldn’t resist.
Kudos to the Applecentres for such a smart marketing campaign.

What are you waiting for? Do a switch today!

Oh, and do check out the fantastic new iPod ad, featuring the fantastic single by the fantastic U2, “Vertigo”.

What’s Playing on iTunes
When I Look To The Sky from the album “My Private Nation” by Train

Photography

Around the neighbourhood

I’ve been living in my current place for the past five years and what others term as “ulu” (hard to reach places) is where I call home.

I like it here because although it is far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, it still provides me with all my necessities within walking distance. Since my camera has not seen the light of day for a while now, I decided to explore my immediate neighbourhood together with it.

One of the places that I like to go to is the topmost floor of my multi-storey carpark. It’s always quiet and breezy there and on days when the weather is good, you could just look up to the clear blue skies and forget that you are huddled amongst high-rise blocks of flats.

I decided to take a walk to a field nearby, where I had seen families with small children picnic and fly kites on Sunday evenings before. The field is almost like an insulated area, and it felt really peaceful and removed from noises and nuisances. I had wanted to take a panorama picture of the good ‘ol neighbourhood but once I had finished setting up my tripod, I looked up and realised that today was one of those days where the sunset would be elegantly beautiful. I packed up my tripod hastily and rushed up to the top floor of my block but sadly, it was no longer the same.

It’s literally carpe diem, huh.

Sunset @ Sengkang

Other pictures have been added on to this imagestation album.

Arts & Entertainment, Geek Girl

In a nutshell

!(imgleft)http://static.flickr.com/31/49020333_10ee99ed0d_s.jpg!
Given the fact that I have not voiced my opinions for almost a week, you have to forgive me for the following lengthy entry.

Actually, it’s because I am narcissistic. There, I have admitted it.

The Sims 2

I am a rabid fan of The Sims. I have all the expansion packs and I find it oddly therapeutic to manipulate and order the Sims around. Armed with the money cheat (rosebud), I build the biggest houses and buy all sorts of fancy gadgets to keep my Sims happy. To reflect my support of the homosexual community and the real world, I have gay and lesbian characters.

And now, The Sims 2 is out and it looks way cooler than The Sims. The graphics are impressive and the AI seems more intricate. It’s so popular that there are even blogs set up by fans to detail the progress of their Sims.

Unfortunately, the Mac version is not out yet and it’s making me tear my hair out. It’s annoying me so much so that I am tempted to retrieve my old HP PC, with its pathetic 6GB hard disk and 32MB RAM, back from my cousin just to play it. EA GAmes/Maxis/Aspyr, are you hearing this? Start shipping the Mac version NOW NOW NOW!

Wimbledon

Caught it on Friday and although I enjoyed it, I didn’t think it was one of Working Title’s better offerings.

The plot was rather sketchy and the lines were not exactly witty at times. The best thing about the film is actually its cast. Paul Bettany, who really intrigued me as the naked Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale, is completely enjoyable as the loser turned champion Peter Colt. He might not have the wicked gleam of Hugh Grant, a familiar sight in Working Title films, but he certainly held his own and proved that he is not just Mr. Jennifer Connelly. And Kirsten Dunst….well, who can quibble with her?

Anyway, this is a movie that is worth catching on weekdays or on DVD. Seriously.

Other oddities

In view of the fact that there seems to be an increase in cringeworthy blogs out there in the world wide web, I have decided to try a little experiment.

You see, it may be a mere coincidence but I seem to be reading a lot of blogs whose authors take pride in proclaiming their love for their partners. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against public displays of affection. But really, when the entries start going in the vein of “Darling and I cuddled on the couch today”, it’s time to hit the panic button.

While in the car with the boyfriend, I reflected on this trend and came to the conclusion – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I proposed calling him “baby” on my blog (sounds familiar, Seppie?). He objected to it immediately and came up with an alternative, which he said reflects reality: “Hunk”. I decided that “Chunky” was more appropriate than “Hunk”. Hence, you will get to see more of this moniker in future.

Example: “Chunky and I went for a romantic dinner at Simpang Bedok today, over neon signboards and cigarette smoke.” Or,
“Chunky was so sweet and loving today. He gave me a massage when I complained of a bad back.”

Let me just go to the toilet and puke.

What’s Playing on iTunes
Running from the album “Rock Steady” by No Doubt

The organised chaos

Heavy-lidded eyes

I am tired.

Had a wonderfully sensual dream this morning, where I was surrounded by iPod minis of different colours. They were dancing around me and begging me to pick them. I was just relishing in the joy of the situation when I got woken up by my sister’s shouts at 7.30am.

“Come on! 30 seconds more! Give me more!”

For a wild moment, I wondered what she was doing.
And then, it dawned onto me that the gym-instructor-wannabe was practising her moves for body combat/kickboxing/whatever.
I laid in my bed and willed myself to fall back asleep again, so that I would be fresh and ready to get out of bed by the time the alarm rang. But my rebellious body simply refused to shut off and then just as I was finally nodding off, the alarm I had set on my iMac burst into life and Avril Lavigne’s voice filled the room.

Life’s like that.