2014年8月21日 星期四

Sostiene Pereira (老馬有種)

It's often said that there's nothing in this world which feels better than a good meal, where the various ingredients of the meal are perfectly marinated, cooked at the right temperature, presented with the right but not excessively ornate crockery and matching serving utensils and served unhurriedly at the right moment and enjoyed at leisure and whose taste is complimented by the just the right kind of wine. That's how I felt when I left the Agnes B studio of Arts Centre last night after seeing a film. It's a 1995 Italian film called "Sostiene Pereira" which is co-adapted for the cinema by the Italian director Roberto Faena and Antonio Tabucchi for the latter's novel same name.

2014年8月18日 星期一

Field of Dogs (一個人的神曲)

If it's a film by Lech Majewski, Polish writer, poet, painter, and film director and producer, you can be pretty sure that you'll be stunned by some visually spectacular yet painterly (Rembrandt-like) cinematic images, a bit like those one finds in Bertolucci's films, yet unlike Bertolucci's, completely surrealistic, more like those one finds in Bunuel's. I know because I saw "The Mill and the Cross" (2011), in which Majewski  literally "brought to life" the characters portrayed in Pieter Breugel's panoramic 16th century painting, "The Way to Calvary" in occupied Flanders: the purity of an often ineffectual innocence amidst the poverty, the destitution, the cruelty, the violence, the injustices, the superstition, the belief in fate and the stubborn will of dumb and numbed humanity in its struggle to survive in a universe supposedly ruled by divine providence, a dark and difficult world in which we still somehow can manage to find in some obscure corners the feeble light of human goodness shimmering from some miniscule acts of kindness shown by one fellow victim to another in that indifferent universe. (See http://elzorro927.blogspot.hk/2012/03/the-mill-and-cross.html# on 31.03. 2012) The images of that film still seem so vivid in my memory after so many months.  Last night, I saw his newest work, "Field of Dogs".

2014年8月17日 星期日

Ballet Boys (芭蕾舞美少年)

It's always a wonderful experience to watch the powerful, precise and graceful movement of ballet dancers and the flow and sometimes abrupt changes of their bodily postures and the elegant variation in the rhythm of their motions. Such visual enjoyment is not necessarily confined only to the pieces ballet dancers perform on the stage. When one gets the chance to see what the dancers are doing during their training and rehearsals, when some of their movements are not yet perfect, one gets another kind of enjoyment: we see how difficult it is to get it right. We see the kind of physical and psychological hardships and sometimes literal tortures that dancers have to endure before they become those glittering stars we see in their gala performances as they dash, flit or turn about on the stage with apparent effortless elegance and grace.

2014年8月16日 星期六

Three Charmed Lives (三生)

I had a late night affair last night at the cosy new Cine Grand now relocated to the Grand Century Place in Mongkok and there encountered "Three Charmed lives", whose sole link appears to be different forms of psychological isolation. They also share another feature in common: all were done by East Asia's top actors turned directors. In chronological order, they are: Hong Kong's Francis Ng 吳鎮宇"s  "The Tangerine" (《橘子》; Korea's Jung Woo-sung( 鄭雨盛 ) 's “The Killer Behind The Old Man.”《殺手與老人》 and Chang Chen’s (張震 )'s “Inchworm,” 《尺蠖》.

2014年8月15日 星期五

Much Ado about An Absence : Aimer, Boire et chanter ("愛吧醉吧唱吧) (Life of Riley)

More than 60 years ago, a play was premiered in London in which two bums Vladimir and Estragon were waiting in some nondescript public park for another person called Godot. Nothing much happened. They passed their time on stage, chatting, resting, munching their radish, discussing the possible arrival of someone they called "Godot". At the end of the drama, they were still waiting. Godot never arrived. The play was Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot".  I saw a French film last night which has a lot in common with this 1950's "existentialist" drama. It's Alain Resnais, the veteran French director's very last film. Resnais died shortly after the film won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin Film Festival 2014 and the Fipresci International Critics Prize for Best Film. This French drama on celluloid is called "Aimer, Boire et Chanter" (愛吧醉吧唱吧 ) and in English "Life of Riley". The drama was based on a play by English playwright Alan Ayckbourn, adapted into French with the help of Laurent Herbiet  and for the dialogue, of Jean-Marie Besse.

2014年8月14日 星期四

The Seventh Lie (第 七謊言)

When the film opens, I find lots of images, light, fuzzy circles with a nice blend of different shades of blue and white which contrast with the piercingly strong straight lines of rectangular forms moving in rhythm with almost earth-shaking bass electronic sound. It's an all-Hong Kong film. I know this one is different.  It's got style.  I know that the film is called intriquingly, "The 7th Lie" What is that? Then I got some hints: images moving from one part of the screen to another in no particular order with words in Chinese describing various kinds of lies that people tell. The 7th is the lie that one tells oneself.

2014年8月10日 星期日

The Finishers (De Toutes Nos Forces) (鐵人父子)

It's been quite a while since I saw a film. Last night, I did. I wasn't disappointed. It was The Finishers ("De toutes nos forces", literally, with all our stength), by the French director Nils Tavernier (son of Bertrand Tavernier, film actor, director, producer). It's a simple story, based on a real-life tale of incredible courage and persistence of a father-and-handicapped-son team of the Hoyt family  of Holland, Massachusetts, USA in which the pair entered and successfully completed a triathlon of running, biking and swimming.

2014年8月9日 星期六

5 Facts about Woman & Man

Although many women fancy that they know their men. Sometimes I wonder if they do so at all. Recently I got some 5 "unshakeable facts" about man and woman from a friend. I thought it might not be a bad idea to lay them out, with neither enhancement nor reduction, in the interest of the harmony of this world so neatly divided into two halves respectively called "male" and "female" for the benefit both of those starry-eyed women who still dream of being carried off to some fairy tale "castles" by their prince charming and some members of their counterparts who still somehow manage to close their eyes to what they're really after. 

Five Unshakeable Facts

1. A girl is said to be grown up when she starts wearing a bra. 
    A boy is grown up when he starts removing it.

2. Ladies love to spend lots of money buying new clothes BUT will realize
   too late that the best moments in life are enjoyed without clothes.

3. Having a cold drink on hot day with a few friends is nice, but having a
    hot friend on a cold night after a few drinks is ... PRICELESS.

4. Breaking News: Condoms don't always guarantee safe sex anymore: a man
     was wearing one when he was shot dead by the woman's husband.

5. Arguing over a girl's bust size is like choosing between Coors, Fosters,
    Carlsberg & Budweiser. 
    Men may state their preferences, but will grab whatever is available.

Have a nice weekend with your Coors, Forsters, Carlberg or Budweiser.

2014年8月5日 星期二

Black Light Theatre Srnec

Have been working pretty hard these days on trying to further people's perception and understanding of how ideas about this world work on a rather abstract and fundamental level. So it's a most delightful experience to find myself captivated by how our ability to perceive may cause us to not to see some things as they are and to see other things as they are not. I went to the Gala Show by a group of artists from a country which was home to one of my favourite novelists, Kafka. It's the Black Light Theatre Srnec from the Republic of Czech.