Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Mirror

Iran 1997

Picture and details imdb

Seen 8 November 2006

Revealing film on the social mores of the Iranian society s seen through a girl’s perspective. A girl tries to find her way home on her own after school. Her mother who usually picks her up from her primary school did not turn up on that particular day. We see how the girl tries to go home with the help of elders she encounters along the way. We are able to get a glimpse of the social make-up of the Iranian society through the girl’s eyes and ears – women’s role in society, how the elders are treated, relationships between the sexes, how people cope with living in a city like Teheran. Midway through the film, the actor who plays the girls decides to stop acting. But the camera rolls on to capture her real life situation which is almost a mirror image to the story line of the film. The child actor is a gem. A natural as the whole film depends on her.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


USA 2005

Picture and details imdb

Seen 22 October 2006

Vengeance. Does it solve anything? As the protagonist in the film slowly realises the killings in the name of justice for the oppressed, in this case the Jews, is not a solution. Each killing is repaid in kind by the enemy. More are killed and most of them are innocents. The counter attacks continue and each side justifies their means in the name of religion and race. Troubling story but we can still see the same solution being used by everyone.

Boys' Choir

Japan 2000

Picture and details amazon

Seen 16 October 2006

Mishio, an orphan starts a new life in a Christian run orphanage. Mishio is befriended by Yasuo, the star falsetto in the school's choir. We also get a dedicated music teacher but he is hounded by his past as a revolutionary student. The mix of comradeship, love, ideals and their downturns populate the story. The end is not rosy but a new beginning for all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Road to Love

France 2003

Picture and details amazon

Seen 10th October 2006

This is a journey of discovery. A sexual awakening for Karim who has not acknowledged his other side until he meets Farid. Karim started with a project on the lives of Arab gays and his encounter with the self-assured Farid opens the door to new beginnings. The film does delve into the historical background of homosexuality in Arabian society and how the men cope with society and religion's treatment of their sexual orientation. The video camera approach works in this aspect because we get a documentary style of telling the story. The viewer feels much more intimate with the subject of the film. Karim manages to find himself in the end and in the process comes to terms with his sexual identity.

U-Carmen eKhayelitsha

South Africa 2005

Picture moviegoods
Details imdb

Seen 9th October 2006

Wow. Make that triple wow. A South African version of the opera Carmen and it is sung in Xhosa. The actor who played Carmen made her presence felt in every scene and the ensemble does not disappoint. Entertaining from all aspects - art direction, acting, the singers. My fortunate find for 2006.
The refrain from one of the scenes keeps haunting the psyche.

Love's a bird that no one tames No sooner caged than it flies away No one can control it I ignore all the rules Love's a stranger to me If you don't want me, then I'm yours But if I want you, then best beware Beware that love.

Friday, October 06, 2006

O Fantasma

Portugal 2000

Picture and details imdb/

Seen 5 October 2006

Obsession. Sexual gratification. Fetishes. Fantasy. Games people play to satisfy themselves. In this film, Sergio is obsessed by a man he meets on his rounds as a garbage collector. Sergio loves sex, with either a woman or man. He takes pleasure in physical domination, either he is the dominant partner or otherwise. He also finds gratification playing with himself while fantasising about the person he likes. The ultimate act for him came when he abducts his object of desire but he did not finish what he intended to do in the first place - satisfy his sexual needs. Instead he runs off to the city garbage dumps, just meandering as if the animal instinct in him prefers the hunt rather than the final catch.

Eiffel I'm In Love

Indonesia 2003

Details imdb

Seen 4 October 2006

A simple teenager's love story. Boy has promised to take care of girl when they were still young friends. They meet up again when the boy comes back from abroad. He does not forget his promise and tries to woo back the girl. The girl was not impressed by the first encounter after the long separation. He tries his utmost to win the girl's heart during his two week stay but his gruff manners makes it difficult for the girl to accept him. Eventually, circumstances change and they meet up again in Paris for Valentine's day. The ultimate day for lovers, eh? In this instance, they still have to come to terms with their different temperaments. Success? Maybe.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Bigger Splash

UK 1974

Picture and details imdb

Seen 3 October 2006

Astounding. The creative journey of artist David Hockney who plays himself in this remarkable documentary. We get to see the artistic thought processes, the germination of an idea until it comes alive to be admired by all and sundry. It is eerie that those who are close to the artist, are depicted so succintly on canvas. The painstaking time spent to take countless photographs of his subject for a project reflects his thorough method besides the normal sketches. He is fastidious. I guess minute details does not escape his artist's eyes. An eye-opener.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Goodbye Boys

Malaysia 2006

Picture and details redfilms

Seen 2 October 2006

The title says it all. The end of boyhood and the beginning of a new phase in any teenager's life. A realisation that adulthood is beckoning and beguilling with its myriad of possibilities. The coming of age journey of eight boys while they hike through the countryside. Their aim to get the Scout's King's Badge. But they also discover their inner selves and have a keener sense of the world around them at the end of the journey. Most of the actors are amateurs and it shows in some scenes when if feels like they were delivering long soliloquys. The photography and art direction is commendable as we get to see the old towns and remnants of the glory days of the tin mining areas. Good effort but the voice over of each character sometimes feel too much like commandments along the lines of "we must do good unto thy neighbour".

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Kwan Riam

Thailand 2001

Picture and details hkflix

Seen 13 September 2006

A Thai love story. Village boy loves village head’s daughter. Many obstacles along the way – a far richer suitor, girl sold off to pay father’s debts, unsuccessful search for girl in the big city and the ultimate test at the end. The final scene was a bit melodramatic but sits in very well with the whole concept of the film. This is a story interspersed with scenes of the wind and water changing every time a major event happens to the main characters. There are also some songs in the background which highlights the feelings of the doomed couple especially whenever they are having the blues without the other. A sentimental story but entertaining if you just let yourself follow the flow.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Nico and Dani

Spain 2000

Picture and details imdb

Seen 5 September 2006

Coming of age movie. Two teenage boys who spent their summer holidays at the beach discover that their close friendship goes beyond mere companionship. They brag about their sexual conquests and delight in showing off their prowess to the girls. But Dani finds himself attracted to Nico not just as a friend and goes through an emotional discovery about his feelings. Nico himself may have denied that he has the same feelings at first but does acknowledge those thoughts in the end. The friendship remains but whether it will go beyond that stage in future is another question.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Goddess of Mercy

Hong Kong 2003

Picture and details hkflix

Seen 27th August 2006

Sad. True to life especially the sayings on love. For example one of the characters in the film said, “I do not understand love but I understand hope”. In this case hope may have been the catalyst for the survival of the main character, a policewoman caught up in a love triangle. She already has fiancee, but finds herself entangled with another man. Unfortunately, that man is a rogue, a criminal. In the line of duty, she had to follow the rules, and the criminal’s parents die as martyrs in the eyes of their children. That incident starts a revenge trail that follows her wherever she goes.

The goddess of mercy in this instance does her work in mysterious ways. The tale does not end on a happy note, with all loose ends tidied up, but there are glimmers of hope for the future. In that sense, that is how merciful fate can be. The characters may have a bleak and dark past but hope is eternal. That keeps humanity itself forging ahead.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Czech Republic 1997

Picture and details imdb

Seen 23 August 2006

Reality. Disturbing. The film focuses on Marek, one out of hundreds of the daily runaways found in the big cities of the Czech Republic. In this case the big bad but beautiful Prague. He is the typical adolescent growing up in a small town with no hopes of improving his position in life if he stays put. He will eventually in all likelihood be another factory worker like his father.

Marek encounters his first dose of reality when he steps off the railway station in Prague. No money, no friends. This is where the reality of being a runaway in a big city strikes homes. A pimp befriends Marek and immediately sets him up with his first customer. He goes through his rites of passage in the big city - a painful passage.

From that moment on, Marek goes through all the nitty gritty of surviving as a child prostitute, he is barely sixteen. The last parts of the film show how Marek'’s father tries to find him but Marek'’s life has gone through so much change that a happy ever after scene is not in the picture.

The actor who played Marek was very good. His facial expression just pleads for mercy when he was in the throes of danger. There is a blank look in his eyes when the beatings and torture at the hands of perverts ends. He faces another day with his body contorted in pain. He is just an empty shell, a vessel to be used by those who pay for his services. An existence, not a life.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The River

Taiwan 1997

Picture and details imdb

Seen 17 August 2006

A lyrical visually stunning film. The plot revolves around Xiao-kang who became an extra in a film. He was required to simulate a corpse floating in a river. After the filming, he starts getting pains in his neck and we see how this affects his parents and he himself. The family might be living together but each of them lead very separate lives. The son's malady brings forth forces previously kept secret. The director loves to take long shots which enhances the mood of the characters. The lighting technique is also another device to lure the audience further into the story. Shadows play a big role at the beginning of some scenes before everything turns pitch black for at least a few minutes where you can only see flickers of light. Not much dialogue as the focus is more on lingering scenes which tell the story better. A normal family drama it is not.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My Summer of Love

Britain 2004

Picture allposters
Details mysummeroflovemovie

Seen 16 August 2006

Two girls meet during the school summer holidays. Mona, an independent with ambitions to get a better life when she gets out of her own small town. Tamsyn, a rich kid with vivid imagination. Throw in as well into the plot, Mona's brother, a born again Christian. The two girls discover friendship, love and betrayal. Fortunately, the ending did not turn melodramatic. The actors are newcomers but manage to bring the plot to life. The director's style of an unhurried pace lets the audience get under the skin of the characters. A rite of passage for the girls in a way but will definitely leave a mark on their lives.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Japan 1999

Picture and details imdb

Seen 14th August 2006

The film is also known as "Taboo" in English. Taboo in this context is the love between men. The story centers on Kano, the object of desire among the samurais. His first lover was a fellow new recruit but others are also besotted by his androgynous beauty. The commander of the unit turns a blind eye to the goings-on but had to take a more constructive action when one of the men died in mysterious circumstances. The leader felt that Kano might be the cause of that death. He tries to turn Kano into a "real" man but failed miserably. In the end, Kano himself is given the mission to kill his first lover who is suspected of being the man behind the murder. The final scene is very surreal, taking the audience beat by heart beat to the climax. Sensitivity, beauty and pathos come together. The Ryuichi Sakamoto score is very apt enhancing the overall mood of the story.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Garcon Stupide

France 2004

Picture and details imdb

Seen 9 August 2006

Also known as "Stupid Boy" in English. Is Loic (the main character) really a stupid boy? He has sexual escapades almost every other day. The meet, bang, thanks, good bye variety. He also has a platonic relationship with a girl who understands and even tolerates his behaviour. A buddy. His outlook towards life began to change when he meets an older man who does not get physical on the first encounter. His thought processes changes and the happy equilibrium of bygone days disappears. A new Loic emerges at the end who knows with conviction what he wants out of life. The old wandering Loic is history.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The King and the Clown

South Korea 2005

Picture and details hancinema

Seen 7 August 2006

Engrossing. Enthralling. The first strains of the soundtrack itself has already pulled me into the story. The story revolves around two jesters who find their way into the palace. Unbeknownst to them, there is intrigue and plots aplenty in those magnificent surroundings. These are part and parcel of the shenanigans and devious back stabbing that seems to be a normal occurrence in the palace. The jesters find themselves a part of this palace play with no means of escape as the king has taken a fancy to one of the jesters. Unfortunately, others are scheming and using any means at their disposal to get rid of these country bumpkins. The love between the two is put to the test on numerous occasions. In the end, one of them did make the ultimate sacrifice to save the other from the king's wrath. The king himself is at the end of his reign by the end of the story. His downfall comes after so much blood has been spilt needlessly.

Jan Dara

Thailand 2001

Picture and details imdb

Seen 28 July 2006

A man brought up by a surrogate father and a benevolent aunt grows up bitter with all the negative traits of the father multiplied a few times over. His only true love died while he was away. He himself was brought up in a household where sexual encounters are just acts to satisfy a physical need. This is Jan's background and his present life is just a continuation of that past.

Paragraph 175

Germany 2000

Picture and details imdb

Seen 22 July 2006

The paragraph refers to the section of the German law that details the punishment for same sex offences. This piece of law was used extensively during the Nazi era. This documentary highlights the few survivors from that period. Some of them were homosexuals but there was a Frenchman who was not gay but was imprisoned and tortured under that paragraph. He could not forget the abuses he suffered at the hands of the Nazis. He even carried this hatred of the Nazis to encompass all Germans but managed to open up and tell his side of the story during the interview. The others also had their share of horrors. All of them survived through sheer determination and maybe even a bit of luck. A damning episode for humanity.

Three Dancing Slaves

France 2004

Picture and details imdb

Seen 2 July 2006

Three brothers with three different personalities. What's new? The eldest is in prison but finds out how much the family has change when he is released. The second brother is the hot headed coming of age teenager/adult. His escapades lead to an almost disastrous end. The youngest looks up to the elders and has his own demons to take into account. The three actors who played the brothers managed to show a depth of understanding of their characters' psyche until the audience can emphatise with their predicament in situations beyond their control.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Hong Kong 2005

Picture and details: ying e chi

Seen 1 July 2006

A teenager finds himself transplanted in Canada. At first he has misgivings about his new country until he meets an older man. This new found friend opened another world for him. He begins to acknowledge and comes to terms with his other side - the previously dormant side which prefers man. From this moment onwards, the audience sees how he matures to face reality, the way he copes with family and school, as well as the emotional upheavals that accompanies any major realisation of where you stand in the scheme of things.

I Like You...I Like You Very Much

Country: Japan 1995

Picture and details: nextag

Seen 30 June 2006

What do you do when you fall for a stranger even though you're already in a relationship. That is the premise of the film. The look is very sparse. The director concentrates on the three main characters. There is not much dialogue but more of scenes showing each phase of the relationship, the impact of the third person and how the relationship evolves and changes.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Beau Travail

France 1998

Picture and details amazon

Seen 18 June 2006

Travails. That is an apt title for the film. A French Legionnaire sergeant, Galoup, reminisces his past. Galoup seems to have a growing hatred for a new recruit from Russia, Sentain, whereas his commandant, Forestier, has a more ambivalent attitude towards the boy. Sentien himself is genial to his fellow legionnaires and his likeability rating grows when he becomes a hero of sorts during an accident.
The film does not show exactly what angers and irritates the sergeant about Sentien. There are undercurrents of longing and attraction but nothing explicit is shown. The scenes with the sergeant's girlfriend just shows a blissfully happy contented couple. The film soundtrack which is based on an opera might give some indication of the sergeant's travails. Intriguing watch.


Indonesia 2003

Picture and details imdb

Seen 17 June 2006

A look at the social happenings among the middle and upper middle class Indonesians. The story revolves around Sakti, a successful architect who is still in two minds about his sexual orientation. The story picks up pace when we see him sending his best friend, Mei to an arisan, a meeting of ladies with similar interests. An arisan can be construed as soirees but basically they are meet-ups between like minded individuals and supposedly with a particular theme at each meeting. In this case, the women are ladies of leisure and the topic of conversation almost always revolves around the latest fashion and who is the most successful among them. Mei herself has problems with her husband and is not too keen to join the arisan.
But Mei's friend in this particular arisan, Andien, persuades her to give it a try. Sakti who comes along to fetch Mei later, is also persuaded to join. All these people seem successful but each have their own problem. We see how the director touches the subject involving the three main characters, Sakti, Mei and Andien. The film does not try to delve too deeply into the problems but gives a light touch to each of them.
Good editing, and the fast paced dialogue sometimes necessitates reading the English subtitles. The Indonesian language has evolved into a different direction since those days when the basis was still Bahasa Melayu that nuances are lost to me.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Un Chant d'amour

France 1950

Picture and details imdb

Seen 15 June 2006

Enthralling. This short film - 25 minutes - is a gem of a film. It is a love story between two prisoners who are in different cells. The longing for each other is captured marvelously by the camera. Interspersed are the fantasy sequences which give weightage to their feelings. The jazzy music in the new film edition enhances the overall sexual tension.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Happy Birthday

Country USA 2002

Picture and details amazon

Seen 9 June 2006

A story about five people with the same birthday.
First, there is a reformed gay man who turns to religion and tries to persuade other gays that this path will help them change their ways. He himself faces challenges and temptations trying to live up to his beliefs.
The film also shows a lesbian woman who just broke off with her live-in partner. She tries very hard to lead her own life without the intrusions from the ex-partner. An old friend who moves to her town rekindles old feelings. An invitation for dinner brings back memories and she ponders the many what-ifs that could have happened if she took the right step many years ago.
A Chinese American lesbian gets a visit from her mother who nags about her still single status. The mother finds out the truth accidentally and confronts her about her sexual preference.
An Indian man maybe deported over his immigration status. His lover is a porno movie star who is willing to sacrifice and work his butt off literally to save his lover.
The last case was a telemarketer for slimming products who is representative of the product itself. He won the chance of meeting the product spokesperson due to his commendable effort of being the best telemarketer in his district. He goes through the motion of trying to build up the courage to meet up with the main man but flounders. This is despite the encouragement of a supportive colleague.
All the five persons’ stories are interspersed between each other and the audience could see the highlights of their peaks and lows. The film follows a semi-documentary style which jars at certain moments but magnifies the problems faced by the protagonists at other moments.
The conclusion is not the usual happy ever after finale but more a mixed bag of reality plus some hope for a better outcome in the future.

Slight fever of a 20-year old

Country Japan 1993

Picture and details rottentomatoes

Seen 11 June 2006

An illuminating story in some ways but does not go too deep into the issues behind the protagonists’ actions. The film revolves around two Japanese rent boys. A college student who is in the profession just for the money and a high school boy who prefers to take only customers that he likes.
The two work part time in a bar that provides boys for rent. There are ups and downs in their line of business. Both have girlfriends who are concerned for their welfare but the boys tend to have mixed feelings about their relationships with the girls.
At the end of the film, the two boys are in the same room with a customer. We will be able to see the lamentations of the customer and the boys’ reactions. The focus is on the customer’s feelings and the whole business of rent boys. There is no conclusive ending but more questions come into mind at the last frame.

Friday, May 26, 2006

His Secret Life

Country Italy 2001

Picture and details imdb

Seen 26 May 2006

Antonio, suddenly discovers that her late husband has a lover. It so happens that the lover is another man and the affair had been going on for the past seven years. The film shows how she comes to terms with her husband's past. At first she was confused, angry and dissappointed but she began to see the other qualities that were found in the other family. The husband's lover, Michael comes to realise too that Antonio is a very special woman. The rest of the film shows how they forge a friendship despite past circumstances. A low key production that highlights the dilemmas we have to face when reality comes knocking at the door.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

From the edge of the city

Country Greece 2001

Picture and details rottentomatoes
Seen 6 May 2006

The film revolves around a teenager's coming of age adventures in the fringes of society. Sasha, originally from Russia, is unable to hold a job for long and is always bickering with the father. His circle of friends includes those who do heavy drugs whereas he just smokes grass. His friend offered him some money to look after his Russian girlfriend while the friend is away on a business trip. The time spent together brings forth another side of him. Sasha decided to betray his friend but the final consequence is not rosy for everyone.

As usual the subtitles might not be up to par to convey the nuances of the dialogue. One of the disadvantages of seeing a non-English speaking film is the difficulty in finding the right words to carry the message. Some translators manage to do it brilliantly and the audience is swept along by the beauty of the script.

This is not the case here. I feel detached from the whole proceedings. The story line is there but the pathos of the characters does not illuminate the screen and we are left with the unsatisfactory feeling of an unfinished work.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Country Hongkong 1998

Picture and details lovehkfilm

Seen 28 April 2006

A gentle love story. Sam, a mother's dream of a son has secrets that only came to the fore when the father discovers that the son has an alternative lifestyle.

Sam, has always looked up to the father and done his utmost best to be what the family wants of him. The mother even laments that she wishes that Sam has some fault that would make him more normal. It does seem abnormal that Sam does not show any wild streaks or teenager angst while growing up.

But actually beneath that cool surface are deep feelings for others of the same gender. It just happens that Sam has never been the wild type. He takes what happens to him sexually as part of the growing up process and is cool about the attention given to him.

He does feel for those close to him, an office colleague, a star in the making and finally a street hustler. But he is duty bound to his family. Those nearest and dearest to him in his love encounters has to be set aside. He makes the decision that the family has to come first. Those touched by his presence have to go on with their lives and live with just memories of Sam.

Steam: The Turkish Bath

Country: Italy/Turkey 1997

Picture and details imdb

Seen 26 April 2006

Do not expect explicit erotic scenes or romps in the steam bath. What you get is a sensitive potrayal of one man’s discovery of himself. The discovery does not cover only his sexual side but also what makes him tick and what makes life worth living. His aunt who left him the steam bath or hamam in Turkish was discovering herself too a long time ago. The story is interspersed with readings from the aunt’s letter to her sister, Francesco’s mother (the hero).

At first, he wants to sell the place as soon as possible and continue with his career as an architect in Italy. His first encounter of a hamam and the aunt’s letters changed the course of his life and those around him. The ending is a slight departure from what the audience would expect.

The acting was low key as the story takes its time to unfold. There are moments when the nuances might be lost in the translation as the dialogue is in Turkish. Be patient when watching the movie.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Map Of Sex And Love

Country Hong Kong 2001

Picture and details dighkmovies

Seen 22 April 2006

Two guys and a girl. Each have their own past to conquer. The film shows the journey they take in discovering the inner demons that has to be exorcised. The director does not show outbursts of emotions. The whole story seems to be understated but there are strong undercurrents of feelings. The story is centred on Lamma Island, an almost opposite of the bustling Hong Kong that has always been depicted in films. That location itself brings an added dimension to the intense feelings of the three friends towards each other.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Saving face

Country: USA 2004

Picture imdb
Details savingface

Seen 23 March 2006
Joan Chen is the 48 year old widow who finds herself pregnant. Father of the child is unknown. Wil (Michelle Krusiec) is the gay daughter who falls in love with Vivian (Lynn Chen) who happens to be the daughter of Wil's boss. Add to this, the patriach of the family who holds true to traditional ways and you get a delightful little story. Entertaining. There is even a sly take on Joan Chen's previous films in one of the scenes. Joan Chen herself is marvelous to watch. Fine acting, subtle mood changes from the perspective of a concerned mother, dutiful daughter and bewildered single expecting mother. The supporting cast and good script gave credence to the whole plot. Recommended.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tropical Malady

Country Thailand 2004

Picture and details imdb

Seen 15 March 2006

The title is very apt. Even though the story line focuses on love between two man, there seems to be something amiss in the background. The director tells the story in two parts. The first half depicts the growing bond between the two lovers. The second gives us another perspective to the story - the darker side. There is an element of folklore mixed with an idealistic version of love. It is a slow moving story. The director acknowledges that if he had his way, the film would have lasted longer. He likes to show details and lets the picture tell the story.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Country: Iran 2000

Picture imdb
Details rottentomatoes

Seen 9 February 2006
The film begins with a group of teachers looking for students. The story highlights two of them. One encounters a group of children who are go-betweens across the border carrying contraband goods, whereas the other teacher meets up with refugees who were going back to their village. Throughout their adventure, the two teachers try to entice their respective flock into learning how to read and write. The two were doggedly persistent in their pursuit to spread knowledge in whatever situation they found themselves. Certain scenes involving this fool hardiness borders on the absurd and comical, darkly comical. The struggles of the boys and refugees juxtaposed against the teachers' persistence was filmed on a "as is" basis. I guess it is a story told in a documentary style. The viewer gets images of the lives of these people, struggling to go on with their lives despite the obstacles they face. Some succeed but some succumb to the hardship.

Macho Dancer

Country: Phillippines 1988

Picture Macho-Dancer
Details imdb

Seen 7 February 2006
The macho dancers are the male equivalent of the go-go bar girls. They put up a show which might be a simple dance or more explicit routines. Customers will be picking the dancer of their choice for further activities. This particular story highlights the life of a boy from a village who seeks his fortune in Manila. His only experience with men was his American friend who has gone back to the States. Manila opened many opportunities for a young man with good looks. His friendship with another macho dancer who is trying to find his sister led the two into the subteranean world of the marginalised urbanite. He also falls in love with a prostitute. As an added ingredient to this volatile mixture, we have the corrupt policeman who controls almost everything illegitimate in their area. The story line is good and the actors manage to convey the anguish of the downtrodden who do not seem to have any hope at the end of the day. The dialogue was effective during the serious parts but the love scenes were done mechanically and the macho dancers themselves seem to do their routines perfunctorily.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Daun di atas bantal

Country: Indonesia 1998
VCD Version

Picture Cannes FF
Details Cannes FF

Seen 4 March 2006
Leaves on a pillow. This Indonesian tear jerker is too true to life. Depressing. I doubt circumstances have changed a lot for the street urchins in Indonesia or anywhere else in the world. I guess the title is very apt as the children are just like leaves on a pillow, too insignificant to make an impact on our conscience. Leaves on a pillow are just brushed aside....

Monday, February 13, 2006

The motorcycle diaries

Country: Mexico 2004
Language: Spanish

Picture from imdb
Details motorcyclediaries

Seen 30 Jan 2006
Coming of age travel adventure of two friends. The major difference is that one of them is Che Guevara, the man who has made such an impact to the revolutionary ideals of so many South Americans. Both friends started the journey with the intention of getting to know their continent a little bit better. The famous sights was of course in the plan and maybe get to know more people as well especially the girls. Along the way they encounter many facets of Latin America. They find that all is not well with the majority of the population. The capitalist system has made a clear demarcation between the rich and poor. The chances of someone from the lower strata of society to uplift himself to a better position in life is almost nil.
Che Guevara kept a journal throughout the journey as a record of what he saw and experienced during the journey. These writings became the basis of his plans for the betterment of the people. At the end of the journey we find a different man from the one that started the trip. He now looks at events that occur around him from a different perspective. He now has plans to make his ideals come true.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Brokeback Mountain

Country: USA 2005

Picture from imdb
Details brokeback mountain

Seen 28 Jan 2006
I don't see anything particularly special about this film after all the hoopla about the story line being gay. A romantic gay cowboy movie. That seems to be the crux of all the negative talk from those who do not approve of the gay theme. They can't accept that people with other life styles do fall in love and have relationships. It is a love story.
The story started innocently with two young man looking for a job. The working environment threw them into each others' arms and that started the whole ball rolling. Even though both got married later, they met up again after a few years. The whole story depicts their ups and downs and ends on a convenient premise.
Overall good ensemble effort.