Tuesday, August 24, 2004

movie week

i didn't realise just how many movies i saw last week until sherise kindly pointed it out.
In one week.
A new record for me i believe.
It started with Tuesday and The Bourne Supremacy (which i am giving 3 out of 5 stars)
Then Wednesday and Maqbool at the Indigo Film Festival (i had written a pre-event story for them, interviewing Indian directors Vishal Bhardwaj, who directed Maqbool, Santosh Sivan and Asif Kapadia). Maqbool is a Bollywood version of Macbeth. Very entertaining and a definite recommendation. If i had to review this I'd give it 4 stars
On Thursday, I was assigned to go review French film Les Choristes, The ChoirBoys. Very Mr Holland's Opus. Quite heartwarming, with a few gorgeous looking French boys. Am still deciding on the number of stars but should do pretty well.
On Friday, hmm... didnt see anything on this day. Instead had dinner at the singapore swimming club.
On Saturday, Fergus wants to go see Open Water. So we do. It wasn't as bad as I thought. Quite entertaining once they were in the water and after all the bits in the beginning was done with. (the first 1/2 hr or so was like watching someone's boring holiday homevideos. nothing much happens). It opens this Thursday, so I might as well just give my rating. 3 1/2 stars. It is, by the way, rated NC16 because of a bit of nudity.
On Sunday, the Tan family decides to go catch The Village. I'd been wanting to see it for a while, but my enthusiasm sorta died out when i read Newsweek's review. Mistake. I shouldn't have read any review, as is my usual policy. I hate someone's thoughts and opinions echoing in my head before I see the movie for myself. Anyway it was quite negative. Actually very negative. And the movie turned out to be better than expected. Some bits were still pretty damn silly when you think about it but it was generally ok. I think he had an interesting idea about isolation and innocence but he just wasnt able to carry it out thoroughly. I guess having made such a brilliant film in Sixth Sense, all his movies get ranked alongside that.

Unfortunately am these two weeks' night rep, so will be missing out on the previews for The Terminal and Saved! and luckily, Cinderella Story.

oh and he leaves Sunday morning. damnit.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

red and whites

i've been lazy about updating my blog. I've also been busy at work, so that's my excuse!

but its been an interesting weekend. The first weekend that Sherise is back in Singapore, nice to have her back for a while. Although that means I can no longer blast my music in the morning while I'm getting ready for work....

Anyway, I interviewed author Anchee Min on Thursday. She was in town at the invitation of the Sg Tourism Board (also known as the pp who try to work in the 'Uniquely Singapore' catchphrase into everything they say - sorry to those nice pp i do know at STB. just that at the promotion event for the Asean Tourism Forum, a certain asst ceo kept using the two phrases 'U. S' and "Truly Asia'. could he be any more blatant?)

Diversions about catchphrases aside, Ms Min was a delight to talk to. She looked real fierce when she came in but she had such thoughts and emotions, it was amazing.

I wrote something on the bus when I was leaving the Book Cafe (it was btw, part of a monthyl reading that Subtext does at the B Cafe every first Thursday of the month. I plan to add that to my meagre staple of arts events, provided I can make it there by 730 each time!)

Here goes:

She strikes you as a fierce, determined, staunch woman but when she speaks, her icy demeanour breaks into a woman filled with passion, who despite having lived a life of hardship and despair, is at ease in this world.
Her attention to the slightest of details amazes you.
The way her tanned face breaks into a smile as she talks about some ceramics that had caught her eye in a museum.
She is bowled over by that little detail that hardly anyone else would notice. And she speaks about it with such fervour and amazement that you feel you ought to go have a look for yourself.
As she speaks of your life, you are reminded that your own life has been an easy, unblemished one. And that hers was fraught with difficulties. You wonder to yourself, what have I done with my life?

Ah, dunno why i wrote that now, but that was what i was thinking as i watched the world go by frm the seat in the bus.

Friday - spent the whole day out with Sherise. shopping and eating, shopping and eating. and checked out Aaghir's fashion show at the heeren.
went to the wine network after dinner for a drink with Fergus. the owner, henceforth known as The Wheeler-Dealer, really is a wheeler-dealer. while i like the place i didnt really like talking to him lah. he was very pretentious but not in a snooty way. but rather in a very singaporean way. i dont know how else to describe it.

Saturday - made vietnamese rice paper rolls for lunch w mum. chilled out at home. and then got ready for my belated (very) birthday dinner at Whitebait & Kale. Food was decent. just dont ever get the Lavendar tiramisu. had a kitkat martini which i actually quite liked. we shared a whitebait, i had some pretty damn fatty lambchops and then shared the desserts like chocolate mousse (also a mistake) and passionfruit creme brulee (q good altho why was it cold?)
fergus, who was part of the dining party (!), took me to newsroom bar, where (gasp!) it was an NTU bash. crap, felt so old. but i got to meet a couple of his friends. and i have to say i definitely was with the best looking guys in that place! all the other guys were so beng, so sad.

Sunday - did nothing much as usual. met sujin for ice-cream (supposed to be coffee but too bloody hot for spinz at the heeren). he's starting work tomoro at life! also checked out kino's sale and got 3 books - WH Auden's poetry, Raymond Carver's Fires and Haruki Murakami's The Elephant Vanishes (which i've already read but have fallen in love with one of his stories)
after a quick dinner, went with the family to see House of Flying Daggers starring the very delicious Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau (not so cute but not too bad either). not my choice of films but some parts of it were quite beautifully shot, especially the first 1/2 hr of the film, in the peony pavilion. swordfights were decent. acting was eh. and i fell asleep a few times in the movie! second movie i've ever fallen asleep in. the first was 50 First Dates but i dont think that counts because i had had about a jug of magarita before the movie. and i dont do tequila very well! so i was either really tired (ok i was kinda tired, after two late nights in a row - i'm getting old. quarter of a century you know!) or the movie was really boring.

you'd have to pay me to watch that movie again.

meanwhile it is a monday, it is a public holiday and i'm sitting in a quiet office. supposed to be doing my anchee min story but not really in the mood. because i'm not in a good mood. i have to get my ass down to the stadium later and i am just sitting here going EXPLETIVE! EXPLETIVE! EXPLETIVE! if they are going to make me do another NDP next year, i'm afraid I"ll just have to quit (er that is provided i'm actually still here next year, since i am still on probation!)

HAPPY NATIONAL DAY to one and all. Think of me in non-red as i swelter amongst the flag-waving, can-shaking, nokia torchlight-shining sea of Singaporeans all decked out in red. i will be stifling my yawns, clutching my useless goodie bag (which i will be selling to the highest bidder) and interviewing any seemingly enthusiastic, unfortunates around me.