watch



Tuesdays with Morrie

1999, based on Mitch Albom's book

18 September 2018

An Education

2009, Lone Scherfig

15 September 2018

........hrmrm..

Certain Women

2016, Kelly Reichardt

9 September 2018

so quiet, introspective, . I started this film last year but I finally got around to watching it fully, and I'm glad I did.

Adaptation.

2002, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman

5 September 2018

I finally have a decent projector / couch / wall / laptop / projector stand setup, so I've been watching more movies using my projector! It's really fun and nice, I look forward a lot now to free nights. My projector isn't great, and doesn't do justice to movies that rely on image quality, so I think I may consider an upgrade soon :- ].

Adaptation. was good!

Trainspotting

1996, Danny Boyle

3 September 2018

Ewan McGregor <3, Jonny Lee Miller !

TRON

1982, Steven Lisberger

29 August 2018

Disobedience

2017, Sebastian Lelio

28 August 2018

Ooh wow. This made me think about lives I've never lived / other potential routes for my life. I liked how intimately the story was portrayed.

Anomalisa

2015, Charlie Kaufman / Duke Johnson

26 August 2018

Blue Valentine

2010, Derek Cianfrance

24 August 2018

Aw ah. I loved Michelle William's performance in this!

Crazy Rich Asians

2018, Jon M. Chu

24 August 2018

Matriarchs! Michelle Yeoh! Awkwafina! I watched this with my mom :+]. There is more to discuss.

Cube

1997, Vincenzo Natali

3 August 2018

This movie is frightening as hell, but amazingly creative. Don't even read anything about it, just watch it, if you're into that.

Synecdoche, New York

2008, Charlie Kaufman

1 August 2018

"You have struggled into existence, and are now slipping silently out of it. This is everyone's experience. Everyone."

Always crying, not knowing what to do, so confused, so so lonely, sadness, depression, disappointment, fear of death

Life just happens, it flies by

This was the most nuanced (and somehow fresh? I mean it's weird, it's Charlie Kaufman) filmic representation of depression I've seen. I almost don't want to even use the word "depression" because that word is so misleading. Depression is so complex, so essential to the human experience, despite how ugly and pathetic and sad it can be. Hoffman really captured the feeling of being frustrated with life itself, that distinct feeling of time moving forward almost without you, leaving you behind -- lonely and exasperated. There was no romanticization of life's pathetic, and even humorous, realities. I was left with my heart hurting in the unmistakable way it does when it looks at parts of myself and my past with sad, empathetic pity.

Coincidentally, I also just read Franz Kafka's The Trial -- very fitting for this movie, which was pretty cynical and convoluted. I'm liking these accidental film / literatue pairings lately, it would be cool to explore.

This is a really beautiful song that was part of the score: youtube.com/watch?v=FXL8sbalC8In

And my heart still breaks for Philip Seymour Hoffman

Out of the Blue

1980, Dennis Hopper

30 July 2018

Doctor Who: Silence in the Library & Forest of the Dead

Series 4, Episodes 8 & 9
2008, Steven Moffat / Euros Lyn

29 July 2018

I got back into Doctor Who this summer, and this pair of episodes was really amazing, probably my favorite since watching The Empty Child back with Nine. I enjoy David Tennant a lot! And I love the series since it has the creative freedom to explore basically any sci-fi / fantasy concept -- the world seems to have very few rules, and one can travel anywhere in space and time.

The Fountain

2006, Darren Aronofsky

27 July 2018

The Fountain was a complex, introspective drama / sci-fi about death and creation.

I think I didn't like it as much as I could have because of the cultural insensitivity of Hugh Jackman being this sort of monk dude for no reason, and clearly doing a confusing mix of East Asian martial arts-influenced dance / meditation moves, and also how they portrayed the Mayans as utter savages with no humanity. It was sad that so many parts of the movie visually relied on blatant Western-centric stereotypes -- that just seems like lazy filmmaking to me.

It was especially frustrating because the idea of the movie was intriguing, with lots of potential. The story itself was profound, and the surreal way that the central theme of the movie -- coming to terms with death -- was portrayed was pretty epic.

Persona

1966, Ingmar Bergman

25 July 2018

x →

Being John Malkovich

1999, Spike Jonze / Charlie Kaufman

21 July 2018

Wooooooowwwsswwwww what a great and strange and unexpectedly dark yet perfectly weird movie. Catherine Keener was iconic as Maxine. It was so (hilariously) weird that it stopped being weird and there were a lot of feelings underneath like longing, desire, jealousy, and greed, and the destructive tendencies of those emotions. Twisty turny excitey quirky darkish movie, just My type :--]

Dazed and Confused

1993, Richard Linklater

17 July 2018

lol

Citizen Kane

1941, Orson Welles

15 July 2018

deeeep focus

Velvet Goldmine

1998, Todd Haynes

12 July 2018

Wow there were so many great stills I could've chosen from this fabulous movie. It was really artfully done, and the storytelling was both bold and nuanced. I wasn't alive during the height of glam-rock and David Bowie, etc., but I can definitely see that period's lingering influence in today's music and culture. The movie captured really well the appeal that glam rock had to outcasts and "weirdos," and the sort of release and freedom the movement provided, while also highlighting a lot of the emptiness behind the glamour.

I really like what one article says about the film: "Glitter-filled, chaotic, and often bizarre (one key emotional scene is acted out by two young girls playing with Barbie dolls, a nod to Haynes earlier Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story), Velvet Goldmine nevertheless possesses a wonderfully observed humanity to go with its aggressive experimentalism."

Also, Ewan McGregor AND Christian Bale were both in this and amazing, and I didn't realize Todd Haynes also directed Carol, which is one my favorite movies. I hope to watch more of his movies!

Taxi Driver

1976, Martin Scorsese

29 June 2018

Incredibles 2

2018, Brad Bird

27 June 2018

watch it! I really liked the Pixar short, Bao, and the movie itself was very satisfying and funny :). The Incredibles was my favorite Pixar movie growing up because of the style and the characters and the music, and they did a good job on the sequel!! hehe

Days of Being Wild

1990, Wong Kar-wai

15 June 2018

The Big Lebowski

1998, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

June 2018

Great movie

Black Panther

2018, Ryan Coogler

June 2018

Boyhood

2014, Richard Linklater

May 2018

I recommend!

Silence

2016, Martin Scorsese

May 2018

The Good Place (TV Series)

2016- , Michael Shur

May 2018

I just want to say: I recently watched Seasons 1 and 2 and this show is hilarious, and also thought-provoking. It manages to be original and balanced -- not too light or heavy, and very fun. It also has a pretty diverse cast and upholds diverse narratives, so +1! I recommend!!

Changeling

2008, Clint Eastwood

25 May 2018

I watched this at the same time that I was reading The Bell Jar -- very fitting

Thelma & Louise

1991, Ridley Scott

17 May 2018

I finally watched it!!! Wow, what an iconic movie!! Amazing. I love Susan Sarandon. This movie was incredibly satisfying

Ikiru

1952, Akira Kurosawa

14 May 2018

Dunkirk

2017, Christopher Nolan

12 May 2018

The Shape of Water

2017, Guillermo del Toro

11 May 2018

Visually a very green, hazy, beautiful movie. Also a beautiful story, but I'm not sure that I liked seeing it live action haha (as opposed to animated). But repressed sexuality was definitely a theme in the story so maybe it had to be live action. The music and score were also really nice. I loved the poem at the end:

"But when I think of her, the only thing that comes to mind is a poem, whispered by someone in love hundreds of years ago:
Unable to perceive the shape of you, I find you all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with love. It humbles my heart, for you are everywhere."

Apparently the poem was originally a love letter to God, in some section of Islamic poetry that Guillermo del Toro stumbled upon!

Blade Runner 2049

2017, Denis Villeneuve

4 May 2018

Wow, very intriguing story, and raises many questions about humanity and life. Beautiful cinematography - this film definitely maintained the slow, cinematic, philosophical tone of the original Blade Runner, though keeping a lot of the original's problematic depiction of an Asian / "exotic" future where only white people live in.

I, Tonya

2017, Craig Gillespie

3 May 2018

This film broke my heart as much as it touched it. Tonya Harding's story is tragic because so many of the decisive events of her life were not done by her own decision, and she has been forced to give up the possibility of ever being fully understood. Time and time again she has attempted to tell her own story, but the cruelty of the media and the public's thirst for drama has robbed her of that. Everything has been taken from her. Yet from what I know of her story, it is also beautiful because of how she keeps fighting to find love and happiness on her own terms. To this day she is a woman of raw drive, talent, emotion, and power -- in a world that tells her from every angle that she shouldn't be. From what I know, she has prevailed. Justice doesn't always work the way we think it does.

Pinocchio

1940, Walt Disney

April 2018

"Little puppet made of pine, wake, the gift of life is thine" - The Blue Fairy

I rewatched this recently because I was reading Jonah and was reminded of the whale scene in Pinocchio, and wow it is such a good moral tale!! I have so many thoughts.

Lessons from Pinocchio
The first thing I noticed is that our conscience is represented by a literal tiny, unreliable, selfish / egoistic CRICKET who is easily fooled and tempted itself (Jiminy Cricket). Even worse is that in the crucial moment when Jiminy Cricket is giving sound advice to Pinocchio, Pinocchio doesn't even listen. (In the crucial moment, we don't even listen to our conscience.)

Pinocchio starts off as extremely naive and ungrounded, much like us when we are first born. He is freed from the imprisonment of being a puppet because of the love of his creator (Geppetto), yet the irony of the plot is that because of temptation, Pinocchio ends up exactly in the condition he was freed from (in a puppet show, controlled and imprisoned by a greedy puppet master), maybe even much worse. He doesn't understand his freedom, which is heartbreaking yet rings so true for our life, and it's why I chose the still from the movie above.

As the plot progresses, Pinocchio's mistakes become less and less innocent, and the bad people he encounters become more and more evil. What I got from that is that the deeper and more prolonged we give into temptation, the stronger and more malevolent it gets, and the more it controls us / the less free will we actually have. When Pinocchio gets physically imprisoned (put into a bird cage) by the puppet master, Jiminy Cricket nearly abandons him, discouraged and unlistened to. Even our conscience fails us and leaves us alone if we go deep enough into the darkness.

Every time Pinocchio finds himself in a sticky situation, divine intervention is needed to save him (The Blue Fairy). The Lock is too strong for us to break out of it alone - it feels hopeless - and it encourages self-condemnation because of the failure of both the conscience (Jiminy) and the self (Pino), who fell into temptation. But eventually the Blue Fairy comes and breaks the Lock!!! (but not without lessons and consequences!)

I've read takes on this story that relate it to the immorality of the working class in an increasingly industrial, capitalist society. Some of the moral imperatives of the story are to work, "be good," and go to school. I think this story is also about temptation and the failure of human morality. Humans do not seem to have an intrinsic or reliable moral compass, and we may sometimes do good but it's only after doing a lot of bad. The story is sympathetic to this human condition though, because Pinocchio is literally just a boy puppet, who doesn't know anything, just like we sometimes feel so lost and unsure how to do good, yet want to do and be good. The generosity of the Blue Fairy and her reward for love, selflessness, and sacrifice (of both Geppetto and Pinocchio) ultimately make this a hopeful tale of redemption and forgiveness from a higher power. :)

Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King

2017

March 2018

standup!! asian-american stories!! I cried (and laughed) with A and J

Your Name

Makoto Shinkai, 2016

Really beautiful realist animation and interesting story concept. I especially loved the way natural and artificial light was rendered ! The skies were all really beautiful, and even light from phones and technology was given a lot of attention, which made it feel very contemporary and real.

La belle saison

Catherine Corsini, 2015

March 2018

I could relate sometimes too much to this movie. I was really excited but as the plot progressed i just started to feel shameful (of myself) and anxious for the characters. It was fun to see paris during second (?) wave feminism though!

Atonement

2007

March 2018

really loved this still of the movie. I have a crush on keira and saoirse is so talented. some type of camera or filter was used so that everything white seemed to be glowing, and everything was dreamy

The Shining

Stanley Kubrick, 1980

March 2018

Wow this lived up to my expectations. I watched it with my dad over break. Stanley Kubrick is amazing. Afterwards, I went into a wikipedia dive and read about a lot of Stephen King's stories. Apparently, the idea for The Shining came from King's fear of hurting his family, and the eeriness of a huge, empty hotel he once stayed in much like the one in the movie. Really great and terrifying movie. I didn't take any pictures while watching but I linked the trailer, which is one of my all time favorites. As my dad said during this scene, "Remember: no CGI"

Mudbound

Dee Rees, 2017

March 2018

watched this on oscars night. love dee rees

Akira

Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988

March 2018

really amazing!!! recommend

Call Me By Your Name

Luca Guadagnino, 2017

good for your eyes and ears ! first love !

Dead Poet's Society

1989

made me sad about robin williams and kind of anxious about needing to contribute my 'verse' to the 'great play'

Fallen Angels

Wong Kar-wai, 1985

longing, longing, longing for love. loved this movie emotionally, visually, everything

2046

Wong Kar-wai, 2004

October 2017

Watched this on Friday with AF. It hit us (destroyed us) both toward the end — what a beautiful, complex, and emotional film. It’s about love, timing, the parts of ourselves we give to others (in exchange for what?), and carrying pain with us while trying to leave a pained section of life (but being unable to let go). 2046 is a slow burner, with a few different story arcs that don’t start to seem that connected until we get some explanation from the sci-fi arc (which I LOVED and was very unsettling).

The significance of the number 2046 in this movie is also super interesting — it is the hotel number of the main character's true love, it is the distant future that the fictional sci-fi protagonist is stuck in, it is missed timing and lost love, and it is also perhaps just a number. As time passes, so does love.

Delayed reaction time is also an important theme — expressed quite literally through the robots’ delayed processing time. Time is just so important in this film, it makes me think about how it plays a role in my life. Time hurts, helps, heals. Time is mysterious, and as the film points out, we may not always know the reasons behind waiting, and delayed answers / answers that never come.

Ultimately, pain, love, and time are all interconnected. Each narrative arc is quite beautiful and painful. As always, the actors and actresses are amazing, my favorite here is Gong Li!! (pictured above)

Worth noting also that this film is a “loose sequel” to In the Mood for Love (2000) and Days of Being Wild (1990), which were both directed by Wong Kar-Wai. I think the movie is good as standalone, but I watched In the Mood for Love some time beforehand and it did make 2046 a bit less confusing.