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".