星期六, 10月 28, 2006


I just watched a documentary a couple weeks ago called Promises. It is quite meaningful for people to watch, especially people in the Middle East. The movie saw through a kid’s world, thinking, and mind to explain how they feel.

There was lots of strife taking place in Palestine and Israel. It went on and on because of history, religion, race, politics and territory. Adults always have their way to explain the conflicts with other countries, even to brainwash their kids to hate their neighbor. Actually, there is neither hatred nor hostility for different races in kids’ world.

The director spent four years making this documentary, Promises, and established the relationship with some kids in these two countries. It was so poignant to hear these kids giving their voices to the environment around them while he was interviewing them. Besides, it was so ironic – Palestine and Israel are close in most ways, but people still need bear with border guards as they take a long time to check them as they pass over the border. They seem to live in different world. People are afraid to take the bus because of the aggressive hatred of terrorists who put bombs on buses, even on school buses or in schools or public places.

People should put their supposedly different religions and races aside. If hatred, war, violence between Palestine and Israel carry on from generation to generation, the victims will be these innocent inhabitants. People will live in turmoil with no peaceful and tranquil life in sight. The title is Promises. I think it should be Hope or maybe No Hope.

星期二, 10月 24, 2006

Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) & The City of Sadness

"The City of Sadness" covers Taiwan during the 2-28 Massacre, when KMT soldiers murdered some 30,000 Taiwanese (a lot of local elites) in a power grab. It is one of Taiwan's most famous films. It was released shortly after the Tianamen Massacre. More on this later.

Jiufen 九份

Me, Mom and Grandma (left to right). This picture was taken in Jiufen, in the mountains near Taipei. The town is the site of one of Taiwan's most famous movies, the "City of Sadness", directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢). We drank a lot of tea that afternoon at a Japanese teahouse, except for Grandma, who went directly to drinking whiskey!

The Island

I was so impressed by the movie called “The Island”. There are many organizations and religious groups which do not agree with producing human clones because they think it is not moral. This topic also caused quite controversy a few years ago, and was even represented on the Hollywood movie “AI”. Actually, cloning may become a reality in the near future because scientists have already created animals. I think it gives people some clues, and also might affect the value of humans.

In “The Island” people spend money, donate their DNA to form people identical in appearance and physical structure. In order to prolong their lives or become immortal, these sponsors have authority to take away clone’s organs they get sick and need new organs to survive. Actually, these clones are not vegetable. They have blood, thought, feeling, passion and discretion. They are not puppies to be manipulated by another human’s hand.

After watching this movie, I had the strong same opinion and stood by with these people who do not agree with cloning. However, there is a little bit of a dilemma. We could not completely stop and deny the development of science for this society when we only see a black smudge because every invention or discovery must has its positive and negative side effects. For example, the Internet makes everything easy, such as searching for information, buying stuff, making friends and shortening the distance from one place to another through video conferencing. However, some people use this invention to do something bad, such as spreading viruses, fishing for other peoples’ credit numbers and so on. It depends on how human look at and use these benefits – and if they do it with a moral heart.

星期一, 10月 16, 2006

Next Movie Review Coming Soon

I'm still pondering the subject of my next movie review. I'm leaning toward either Like Water for Chocolate or Short Cuts. The part about baking the cake in the latter is particularly touching.

星期二, 10月 10, 2006

Little Mermaid Statue

Little Mermaid

I was reading a story called the "Little Mermaid". The original of the story was quite a different from today. She didn't lose her pleasant sound. On the other hand, she can sing the most melodious tune in the world. Despite opposition to her relationship, she chose to be a mortal and lived in man's world. Therefore, she had a deal with devil. She drank a bottle of medicine that a wizard made, and then her fins were turned into human legs. However, every time she walked she had to endure a pain that felt like knives under her feet. In addition, the wizard told to her if the prince betrayed her in the future, he would be died instead. Without a second thought, she agreed with her request. Because she thought it was an idealistic world, and she didn't know what betrayal, greed, and indifference meant in her little aqua-world.
People should use a sincere heart to treat everyone, she believed, so she still kept a pure heart with spiritual soul. She used her way and faithful heart to love him, because she did not care status, fortune, wealth and etiquette as humans did. However, she died in the end; she used her life to save the prince's life, even though he betrayed her. I think it is a pretty sad story. Why do people become so complicated as the society changes? The human heart seems not to have purity. Is it the world full of traps that should be seen as something to fear?
Maybe, the environment forces us to be strong to protect ourselves.

星期二, 9月 26, 2006

Woody Allen's Match Point

Scarlett Johansson: I will review this movie in an upcoming blog.

Match Point

This is one of my favorite 2006 films. The actress is quite charming and the story line intriguing.

星期日, 9月 17, 2006

Wicker - Not so Great

We went to see Wicker, starring Nicholas Cage, last night at the Miramar Theater. My husband's friend gave us free tickets. We had a good dinner at Friday's. The movie was a bit disappointing: Patrick fell asleep and was even snoring for most of the time.

星期五, 9月 15, 2006

Mother of Mine

Mother of Mine was about 70 thousand war children sent to Sweden, a neutral country, for protection during World War Two. This is a story about the fate of a nine year old little boy, Eero, who was sent to Sweden for refuge with a foster family. His father was dispatched for a cruel war in Finland and got killed on the front. The bad news had a great impact on Eero's mother, and almost fell apart. In order to not lose the only hope, she made a devastating decision and sent her own kid to a safe country. It is hard to bear the feeling of losing someone you love and separating with your child. It was kind of a double hurting for this poor mom, but other families dealt with similar situations at that era. It will take a long time to adjust themselves to face the reality or even worse live in a bottomless pit for the rest of their lives. His mom promised him that the war would finish very soon, and they could get together again. "It is just a short journey for you to stay in Sweden," she said.
Eero took the boat with other kids suffering a similar fate to another country with different language. Everything is new for him, but keeping away with his mom and losing his dad made him even more sentimental and want to go back his own country. You could see the facial expression on each kid filled with sorrow on the way to their own foster family. It is cruel for these kids to suffer separation from loved ones in life or death. How could this war take away these kids' right growing naturally, and force them to face the heartless war and be adults even though they are still so naive? The foster family Eero was going to stay with wanted like a girl, not a boy because their daughter died by drowning. The mother hopes a girl can replace her lost child but was disappointed. Even though the foster mom could supply the daily life needs for Eero and let him learn at school in a safe environment, she still couldn't open her heart to accept him. Eero could feel the foster mom doesn't welcome him plus he couldn't say any Swedish to communicate with them. He doesn't know what happened to their daughter at that time. He tried to escape, but there is no place for him to go. However, the only person he could trust and talk with is his foster father because he is nice to him and quite sympathetic. The foster mom got the several letters from Eero's mom, and she know more or less about her personal situation, suffering and missing her own kid. It seemed to soften her and try to open her heart to accept him and look him as her own kid. After the war finished and everything had returned to calm, many kids went back to their own country from Sweden (via Poland). Eero had established the subtle relationship with his foster family in the end however. It is a very touching movie which could make you cry and laugh at some parts.

Facing Window

Facing Window is an emotionally complex story about a young wife who has two kids with 9-year marriage. She worked in the company which packed chickens as a bookkeeper. Actually, it is not what she would like to be for the mutual life. She would like to be a pastry chief, own her business, but pressure and bondage in the reality make her no chance to fulfill her dreams, because the man she married has a precarious job with irresolute personality. As time goes by, all of these trivial reasons accumulating caused her out of breath, and more and more frustrated and impatient for her graying marriage. She projected her ordinary lives onto another world which could lead her to find a way out of her boring and simple life.

She turned to a mysterious young man who lived across from her window. When the night is falling, she stayed in the kitchen alone, stared out of her window, and then wondered about her lives and the mysterious guy. The strange guy living in a block opposite her was peeping through the window to see and wonder about her as well. However, they didn't know they have feeling for each other until her husband brought an elderly guy who lost his memory with unknown past into their house as a catalyst.

At first, she couldn't understand why her husband did not send the old guy in the police station. They had big fights for this issue, but later she changed her mind and even tried to help the old guy evoke his memory while she had some interaction with him. From my viewpoint, her husband is full of sympathy with nice heart. He thought it is cruel to put an old, poor guy in the police station without any relatives. On the other hand, his wife wasn't wrong, because it is dangerous to take some strangers home. It is understandable because they have two young kids.

Anyway, the director used very skillful ways to link the fate of the old man, couples, and neighbor together. Besides, he mixed with humane weakness, fear, struggle, decision, and emotional confusion which normal people are afraid to touch in reality into the plot. Some audience will feel pity for the women what the decision she made in the end of movie, because she chose the family and to betray her true feeling. Others will think she did the right choice to keep her family.

Earth and Soil

I went to watch a movie called Earth and Soil which took place in Afghanistan.

This film depicted an old man bringing his five-year deaf grandson to look for his son working in far away mining area. To tell the bad news which his village and several others had burned down, and even his wife and mother died in this tragedy. The old man watched people burying the dead, carrying their belongings, and leaving ruin villages on his strenuous journey. All of the sadness happening in these people was the heartless wars. For these survivors and refugees not only suffered the physical hurt, but also mentally, because they need to carry the burden of losing relatives, friends, and even strangers. Moreover, they need to repair their broken hearts piece by piece, and learn how to continue living. However, the only hope and comfort for this old man was his deaf grandson, caused by bomb, and to seek his son. It is quite desponded to watch, but it is a good movie.

The director faced Russia invading Afghanistan in 1981 when he was 20 years old. He saw the ruthless war causing people without home to go back. One day, he bumped into an old man carrying a kid with sorrow, fear in their eyes. All of the scenario and inspiration were come from what he saw at that time. In order to survival, the director escaped from Afghanistan to Pakistan for searching political asylum. He wrote down the unforgettable memory into words and represented into the big screen after 22 years.

History is just like a mirror which reflects previous and nowadays. However, people seem not to get the lesson from history. Similar stories, fighting for power, religion struggling, conquering territory, involving in other countries’ business, financial issue, and so forth happen again and again. I am not a person who is completely anti war, but if people fight for right, fight for truth that is correct. However, some wars seem not like that, it involves in personal greed, or to hypocrite religious, political name to get what they want. In the end, who encounter the catastrophe the most?

星期三, 9月 13, 2006

My husband Patrick

We are outside Angkor Thon at the main entrance in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Tenants v. Mrs. Henderson

The movie Tenants is much more interesting than Mrs. Henderson Presents. More on this later.