27 July 2005

The Hole (Dong, Taiwan, 1998)

In this rather depressing film, two neighbours (let’s call them the guy and the girl, since their names are never mentioned) live in a shabby, old apartment building in downtown Taipei. The government authorities have urged them to leave the building before the year 2000. The story takes place one week before New Year’s Eve. Additionally, there is also a strange virus in the city that starts with a flu and makes people act like cockroaches, crawling around searching for moist and shallow corners. If this is not depressing enough, it is always raining in the movie, non-stop. Water leaks appear everywhere in the apartments, and the girl gets tired of calling the plumber to no avail. Her upstairs neighbour, the guy, discovers a hole in the living room. He starts spying her neighbour without her noticing. In between the scenes, there are five musicals. The girl and the guy sing and dance together in their apartments, in the building lobby and all around the building. This is a sharp contrast to the overall sad circumstances in which they are living. There is an absence of background explanation as to why these two persons are living there and why are their apartments in such a bad state. Nevertheless, director Ming Ling-Tsai comes up with an unconventional story, a mix of minimalism and musical film.

24 July 2005

Euro English

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as Euro-English.

In the first year, s will replace the soft c. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard c will be dropped in favour of k. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome ph will be replaced with f. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expected to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent e in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing th with z and w with v. During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary o kan be dropd from vords kontaining ou and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas. If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.

Source: unknown

20 July 2005

A hurricane is approaching...

Today's events were marked by the hurricane Emily, which brought the much needed rain to my city. And the best of all, all activites were cancelled!!

17 July 2005

My Top 30 (week of 16 July)

1. Black Eyed Peas – Don’t Phunk With My Heart
2. The Game feat. 50 Cent – Hate It Or Love It
3. 50 Cent – Just A Lil Bit
4. Nivea – Okay
5. Miri Ben-Ari – Jump & Spread Out
6. Fat Joe feat. Nelly – Get It Poppin
7. Rihanna – Pon De Replay
8. Akon – Lonely
9. Kelly Clarkson – Behind These Hazel Eyes
10. Rachel Stevens – So Good

11. Beverly Knight – Keep The Fire Burning (Remix)
12. Lemar – Time To Grow
13. Basement Jaxx – Oh My Gosh
14. Rob Thomas – Lonely No More
15. Mariah Carey – It’s Like That
16. Akon – Bananza (Belly Dancer)
17. Amerie feat. Eve – 1 Thing
18. Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl
19. Selma – If I Had Your Love
20. Anastacia – Heavy On My Heart

21. Mario – Let Me Love You
22. Ashanti – Only U
23. Good Charlotte – I Just Wanna Live
24. The Chemical Brothers – Galvanize
25. Usher – Caught Up
26. Lisa Stanfield – Treat Me Like a Woman
27. Snoop Dogg – Signs
28. Nelly – Flap Your Wings
29. Daddy Yankee – Gasolina
30. Rupee – Tempted To Touch

13 July 2005

2046 (Hong Kong, 2004)

This is the second part of “In The Mood For Love”. Director Wong Kar Wai actually shot both movies simultaneously. Why this one comes out four years later is a mystery to me, but this second part, 2046, has not been released yet. It was only shown at the Cannes Festival in 2004, where it received very good critics. Much expectation had also been created around this movie, especially since Wong Kar Wai barely finished the editing of the film to show it in Cannes, almost missing the festival.

Again, Mr. Chow comes back from Singapur after working as a journalist. He meets several prostitutes who also live in his apartment. The interesting twist here is, Mr. Chow is writing a novel about a train leaving now and then for 2046. Everyone thinks he is writing about the future, when in fact he is writing about his own past. We have scenes of Mr. Chow’s past life, combined with scenes from his novel. He soon falls in love with her apartment neighbours and with beautiful female androids that come out of his novel. What is real and what is fiction? That is for the audience to figure out. The music and strong vibrant colors used in most scenes is impressive. It sets the right mood for an original romantic drama.

12 July 2005

In the Mood for Love (Hong Kong, 2000)

For director Wong Kar Wai the only important thing is the present. In his films, he strives for spontaneity (there is no script with dialogue) and tries to capture a particular atmosphere, with the help of music, during the most important scenes. There are no hidden symbols or messages, no narrative background. Following these guidelines, Wong Kar Wai finished his romantic fiction, In The Mood for Love, after one year dedicated exclusively to shooting. It is the story of two neighbours, Mr. Chow and Ms. Shaw, who inadvertently and slowly fall in love. They also collaborate together in the writing of martial arts novels, which are published in a local magazine. At the end, Mr. Chow must leave her and go to work in Singapur. The setting is 1962 in Hong Kong, the days are cloudy and rainy and the instrumental music played in certain scenes makes for an excellent story that creates “moods” for the audience to enjoy.