Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chinese Chic's Film Picks...

Watched..

CJ 7 长江7号 (2008) China/HK:

I recommended this film before earlier this yr and watched it in Penang when i was bck for CNY...it truly blew me away and amazed me for being so political and serious in its underlying theme and message...I didn't expect a Stephen Chow movie to be so serious...i had expected something more light-hearted...but it was truly an amazing film and I would highly recommend it although many people were alittle dissapointed cos they were expecting an action-filled high CGI graphics movie like his previous film, Kungfu Hustle as well as Shaolin Soccer, which were really big on the CGI technology and action, but quite boring for me in terms of storyline...Cj7 was definitely more believable in its storyline and for most of the film, you are expecting the climax (or shall i say the 'big moment' of the story to occur..) cos nothing much seemed to be happening much but at the end, out of nowhere, a bomb is dropped, and you end up not believing it...I was so sad at the ending that I actually cried...in the cinema!!! I know!!!@@

I couldn't believe what happened...the scene of the teacher (omg, she is sooooo pretty and so sexy in her ever-so-tight cheongsam...tho it was a pity that she didn't have much of a solid role in the movie besides drifting in and out of scenes.) with the little boy when the 'incident' happens near the end was so sad that i cried then...the movie deals with the migrant problem in big cities in China and the ever widening rich-poor gap occuring in China at the moment, very political if u asked me..and Stephen Chow plays a migrant construction worker living in a run-down crumbling house with his son who attends an elite private school. Do watch it:)

The Love of Siam (2007) Thailand:

(UPDATED: I found an English subbed/English subtitles version of Love of Siam people....it was by pure luck that with most places still not having one in Eng Subbed, someone pointed to a link and low and behold, it worked!!! its here:

http://video.sarnworld.com/media/1007/Love_of_Siam_Part_1of_3_English_Subbed/

Do let me know how u found the film!!:) And I'm still annoyed by the ending (why can't two people who obviously care about each other be together??!) and still aching for Ying...)


I was highly anticipating this film as a blog which i frequently visit written by a Thai-speaking foreigner living in Bangkok had at one point been writing extensively about this film, causing me to become addicted to the film too! He introduced the film in his blog (which was how i got to know the film) and would write a post about it every few days...and i was not dissapointed...it is a very heartwarming family drama revolving around two boys and their relationship as well as feelings for each other. The film's trailer and promotional material such as posters and pictures released are all very deceiving, giving audiences the impression that its a standard boy-love-girl adolescent romance film when its really nothing like that at all...this was prob done to attract audiences into cinemas as the film deals with serious issues such as the loss of a family member and its effect on the rest of the family as well as has as its central love storyline, a love which dares not speak it name...still a kind of love which is taboo for some people...But i really liked it alot especially the sub plot on Tong's sister missing and the effects on the family, the part on Mew and his close relationship with his grandma, the hidden love of Ying for Mew (i really like Ying alot and it pained me to see her hiding her love for him and later finding out about Mew's 'secret' and who he loved), and of cos most of all, the love between Mew and.....:)

I just didn't understand though why Tong said he couldn't be with the person he loved at the end when he had already decided to break up with Donut (i know, what a silly name for a person right?!! And she's supposed to be his pretty girlfriend too.) and he rushed to the concert...i mean isn't that supposed to mean he has decided to face himself and be truthful to himself?? And the scene of him choosing the doll to put up on the Christmas tree i also took to mean his self-acceptance finally of 'that aspect' of him which he had denied for so long..so why can't he be with the person he loves?? I mean they should have made it so that he said he couldn't be with the person 'for now' cos he 'needed time' to accept the reality that he is .....and that his mother cannot accept their relationship at the moment...that would still have given a bittersweet ending and yet make sense to me....

I found one scene particularly powerful which drew me in completely, when Tong was with Ying and he confronted and pushed himself onto her to prove that he wasn't....and he ended up being so afraid of the truth and crying with Ying comforting him, i really felt for him:(

And also the scene which many audiences liked of Tong's mother comfronting Mew and Ying finding out then about his 'secret'....I really liked Ying and the final scene when she let Tong go and cried with the gang of friends whom were completely oblivious to the reason, i found that so sad.....:( I really ended up liking Ying alot.....

And I liked Mew also as his character was one filled with loneliness and sadness...of feeling alone but yet learning to cope with life as best as he could too...and the scene of him singing at the party and his sweet voice simply amazed me...omg...he has such a soft, tender voice, i mean i dun go for younger guys usually but i felt a moment of being captivated by him, or rather his tender innocent voice...omg, what a paedophile moment...haha...he's eighteen but still...i feel that way about liking guys younger than me..haha...

There was 'the scene' which got everyone talking...it would come as a big surprise if the viewer had no idea that the film would deal with this aspect as it was pretty subtle most of the way about this issue...as i knew way before that there was going to be this scene, it wasn't really a big thing for me although i thought the two young actors were very brave and professional in handling this scene...the ending was really really bittersweet with Mew looking at the present and crying and saying kopun na..(or was it kopun or kopun krup?? whatever...) gosh, i was so upset...wondering if the present Tong gave Mew would become like a small trend amongst the 'glass' community in thailand after this film to give your other half the red-nose wooden present...

One interesting thing to note, I wonder if people whom have watched the film realised something?? The characters in the film were all with Chinese ethnicity, with the girls looking completely Chinese and Tong being played by Mario who is half-Chinese half-German in real-life and also Mew whom has Chinese looking features as well...and in the film it was clearly shown ( i dun know why the dir. wanted to emphazise the Chinese ethnic roots of Ying and Mew but he did so VERY obviously!!!!) Ying was a Thai-Chinese cos her mother kept speaking Teochew and their family had Chinese New Year decorations on the fridge in one scene and a Chinese Old Calendar Poster Girl on their wall...and if that wasn't obvious enough, there's the scene of old Chinese songstress Huang Ying Ying song being played and Mew going to Ying's place to listen and ask about the meaning and how Ying says her Chinese isn't that good....

And Mew is Thai-Chinese too cos in the very first scene i noticed already that as his house wall had some Chinese old calendar girl poster decoration too, AND his grandma wears a jade bracelet which is something only worn by Chinese women whereever they are in the world (this is actually one of the defining things about being a Chinese woman, wearing a jade bracelet) AND they referred to grandma and grandpa as Ah Ma and Ah Kong which seriously surprised me as it MUST be Teochew again cos Teochew is extremely similar to Hokkien (which i know) and WE call our grandparents, like i did in the past, Ah Ma and Ah Kong, which couldn't possibly be Thai ( or could it?? anyone know?) and so Mew must be Thai-Chinese as well, oh yeah, the funeral scene where they did the traditional Chinese mourning ceremony also confirms Mew is Chinese ethnically!! So its pretty interesting, all four characters in the movie being Thai-Chinese...

Anyways watch it if u can...cos its hard to find one with Eng subs...i watched it in Chinese-subbed...u just gotta love mainland Chinese and their ingenuity...they manage to get all the latest movies from around the world and sub it in Mandarin on tudou.com or the other mainland chinese online streaming sites for people to watch instantly...

The 'Love of Siam' Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjPRZ2hMKWQ

Storyline and more on Kwai's thai film page: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/journal_view.php?journalid=100000335&entryid=460652&view=public

The 'Love of Siam' Theme Song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEmn3caSGvs
English version by a Thai fan (really hilarious..!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3kUqKM8dSM&feature=related

Watching...

The Children of Huangshi (2008) Australia/China:




An Australian-Chinese coproduction centred on the true life of George Hoggs, who saved around 60 orphans from the rampaging invading Imperial Japanese Army during WW2 as they advanced further and further into China. Some interracial romance occurs here between Chow Yun Fatt and Radha Mitchell as well as Michelle Yeoh and Jonathan Rhys which is gonna be interesting...and its one of the first Western films to include scenes of the Nanking Massacre of 1937...

Opening in US in May and in Australia later this year.

Trailer:http://www.childrenofhuangshi.com/content/view/69/212/lang,en/

Official Site:http://www.childrenofhuangshi.com/

Batanes (2008) Philippines:



Given that it must be pretty clear by now for anyone who's been reading my blog recently, that I'm still on my 'pinoy addiction', this is one movie I cannot miss...what a better movie than a love story between a Filipino and a Taiwanese?? (i' m half, remember?) What's more, its got one of my favourite Filipino actresses, Iza Calzado..I had a look at the trailer, looks pretty good...uummm,maybe i should visit Batanes next time I'm back in Taiwan given its so close to Taiwan....

Batanes Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3oGQN29FNI

Batanes, The Making: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IbNuMOMH-A

Kaabee 母べえ(2008) Japan:



A Japanese anti-war film dealing with the supression of dissent and opposing viewpoints which holds a striking significance for Japanese society today in light of recent events of supression of freedom of expression in Japan, most notably the political pressure put on preventing the screening of the documentary 'Yasukuni' by Chinese director Li Ying, whom is a long term resident of Japan.

Official website: http://www.kaabee.jp/

Kaabee Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAUAHFfCTw4

Two Weeks (2007) USA:

A Sally Field film ,and since i love Sally Field, and the premise seems really heart-warming and warm, (i'm a big-time sucker for family dramas)really wanna watch it sometime:)

Trailer: http://www.twoweeksmovie.com/movie/trailer.html

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2008) France:

Heard apparently its really good and so although i usually don't watch European films (in fact i seldom watch American films for that matter) i wanna give this a try...

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4Ek4ZBpshs

other films looking forward to but still in production include: Nanking! Nanking! (Liu Ye,Gao Yuan Yuan) , Shanghai (Gong Li, John Cusack), Australia (Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackson), The Flower Shop (Cho In-Sung, Joo Jin Moo)...has anyone realised how popular it is to name films nowadays with place names????

8 comments:

deajohnize said...

hcpen, Just watched 'Love Of Siam.' My Thai friend sent it to me as a present. Like you as well I was moved by the end.
Have put a few words and pictures up on my blog 'WESTASIAN.'

http://westasian.blogspot.com/

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

deajohnize: Yeah, It was a really touching film, very subtle, but still moving...i was abit surprised that in Thailand, a gay themed movie had to still be promoted so subtly...cos in places like HK and Taiwan, gay movies are open about their gay themes and enjoy enormous popularity in recent yrs..and u'd think thai society would be more accepting as compared to Chinese society.

Stephen said...

Hi hcpen, thanks for stopping by. You have an interesting, if somewhat esoteric, blog.

I noticed you reproduced my post "What's a modern boy to do", which I wrote some time ago now. Glad you enjoyed it.

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

stephen: Yes, i hope u dun mind cos i found the response article u wrote really well written as a balance to the earlier one for a 'modern girl' and i acknowledged it came from ur blog...blog more often!!:)

Stephen said...

No worries. By the way, how did you come across it?

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

stephen: Actually I was searching for Kevin Rudd and some info about him but I think your blog came up so I took a look and read thru ur archives cos u happened to be in Sydney and of Chinese descent as well.

Stephen said...

How serendipitous! Well, enjoy.

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

stephen: Thanks:)