Monday, December 28, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

MY SISTER'S KEEPER [Lido 3:00pm]

my sister's keeper
I had originally planned an enjoyable afternoon with my youngest, Tessa, who in her haste, got tickets to this tear-jerker. I was at first crying because I needed comedy more than tragedy this day!

This touching movie is based on the real-life account of a youngest child, Anna [played by Abigail Breslin of 'Little Miss Sunshine'] who was conceived to safe her oldest sister suffering from leukemia. Every moment of her life, Anna is made aware that she is a donor to her suffering sister, Kate, whose life takes centrestage in the family. Everything Kate needed, the doctors would find in Anna's body to supply and keep her alive. Everyone else also had to tailor their lives around Kate. Cameron Diaz plays the distressed mum who would not allow any vulnerability in herself or anyone in the family, and so it came to Kate to contrive a plan to have her little sister find a lawyer [played by Alec Baldwin] to pit her against her parents for 'medical emancipation'.

Strong roles carried out by strong acting makes this a heart-wrenching story as grief is gradually allowed into the experiences, joy and emotional emancipation follows.

Watch it with loads of tissue!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE [Golden Village Vivocity]

the September Issue
A documentary on the making of US Vogue September 2007 issue. I marvel at the rate and degree of creativity that explodes to reach invisible standards mercilessly set by the editor-in-chief. There seems to be an invisible and compelling interplay of forces between one woman and the entire crew. On the one side is the editor's raw power to say 'yes' or 'no'; and on the other, the power of creativity to produce, reproduce and create new creative boundaries to fight back from being cut out - yet again. The rest of the world just benefit from the work of this contest.

I equally marvel at the firm direction given by Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour, and the creative mind of Grace Coddington, the creative director. Both are inarguably incredibly creative beings - one with form, the other with feel. The form without the right feel is cold and hard. The feel without the right form is invariably lost and forgettable.

But as soon as I stepped out of the theatre to my world, I'm glad my reality is much better than the world of US Vogue.

HIGH SOCIETY [Screened at the Botanic Gardens]

High Society (1956)
Apart from Ocean 13 about 13 men [no Julia Roberts or Catherine Zeta Jones here] digging dirt right under a casino to rob it, I have not enjoyed another movie with a full line-up of men until this musical, comical and romantic classic. Listen to this: Bing Cosby, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and his band, and the picture-perfect Grace Kelly. And then, listen to this: it's free at the Botanic Gardens on a lovely Friday evening! I almost felt guilty that life can be so good when so much is happening around the world.

Therefore, freely receive, freely then give.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PERSEPOLIS [Cine Club @ The Alliance/FRENCH]

Jumping at a free Tuesday night with no cell with a determination greater than an annoying cough, I secured tickets to watch a black and white French cartoon (or so I thought!) with Tessa. As it turned out, the entire dialogue was in English which delighted Tessa and disappointed me. Based on Marjane Sartrapi's graphic novels and directed by herself, PERSEPOLIS (the name of an old Persian ceremonial capital) depicts the life of a young Iranian girl growing up in strife-stricken Iran. Two things worked against her - her precociousness and unconventionality. I enjoyed the  paradoxical love/hate America that pervaded in the dichotomy between public and private agendas. Amidst public sanctions against all Western influences was a thriving black market for all things Western. What is obvious and not obvious, what is freedom and not freedom, what is true and not true hangs on how one performs to different audiences; ie your level of hyprocrisy.

What I thought: freedom though desirable by many, is of no use if you don't know how to handle it.

I was clearing my throat throughout the movie! Interestingly, that same Friday, an American pastor of Germanian heritage (German/Iranian) spoke at the Vision Rally! Realized that perhaps that makes my nephew a Chinarian (Chinese/Iranian)!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

THE PROPOSAL [Lido 21st August 2009]

Finally, found a movie that pleased both my cousin, Chin Mei and myself at the same time. Who else but Sandra Bullock can create that bonding! Bullock is always strong, always funny, always real - isn't it what all women want to be? A beautiful woman comfortable under her own skin... and on stilettos, no less!

I loved the movie from end to end. Plot is shallow but who cares. Frivolity is good for over-confident women; including time out to just watch movie!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

MANAGEMENT [Orchard Lido]

MANAGEMENT starring Jennifer Aniston
What I like - a woman who knows her feminity without being competitive or power hungry. Jennifer always plays a woman who does not intimidate others and I like that. After all, fable-land's Snow White and Cinderella are too needy, and Miss Piggy is too controlling.

Sadly, plot seems stupid, but point taken that sometimes you can be sooo driven and yet perennially lost in direction or some say... 'lost the plot'. Highly enjoyable movie. Thought sex scenes was included more for mass appeal than plot enhancement.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


2006 'Comme tous le monde'
(translation: Like Everyone Else) French with English subtitles
Director : Pierre-Paul Renders
It's my first time back to the Alliance Francaise since 1982 at Draycott Drive. No deja vu at all in this ultra modern building compared with the older colonial building reminiscent of Raffles Hotel. Well, there's the usual small cafe now on level 2 but with no French materials for browsing! No popcorns or chips. But the pasta smelled pretty good.

Okay... the movie started with this regular Jo winning a TV game show of some kind where whatever he chose, was the right answer. The producers thought he represented the majority of consumers and plotted to fit out his entire apartment with CCTV to monitor his presences and product choices 24/7. Of course, they had to send in an attractive accomplice. She later felt stricken by good conscience and wanted out of the plot. Once exposed, he was furious with her though she fled. However, he turned himself into a national icon and built a successful business empire based on the original plot and worked with huge consumer goods companies. Everything he touched became gold (or FMCG! - fast-moving consumer goods). Then, he started to look up the girl and they patched up. Something like that...

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Seventeen again
Naturally, Zack Ekfron is not an age-appropriate draw for me but Matthew Perry is. As it turned out, Ekfron acted beyond pubescent dimness as a mature and moral advocate. I like that very much - the voice of a handsome young man speaking on sexual purity and the preservation of dignity that is so un-Hollywood. Obviously, I'm over-aged for this genre... but Matthew Perry saved the day for me!