Saturday, July 28, 2007
特別喜歡陳容的《墨龍》，其潑、塗等技巧不正正是abstract expressionism 那一套嗎？但比人家足足早了七百年。米友仁的《瀟湘奇觀圖卷》用的點墨，也比pointilism早了九百年，而且沒Seurat那麼 gimmicky，意境也高幾皮。李嵩的《骷髏幻戲圖頁》，簡直是Hogarth再加荷蘭十七世紀流行的vanitas，畫中賣藝人與傀儡、姊姊與弟弟、藝人與妻子等幾組人物互相對比輝影，既表達生活的無奈又不失幽默，實在是難得的傑作。
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I walked into the small room in the annex of St John's Cathedral. There were chairs arranged in a circle, with two other people sitting on them. I took a seat and closed my eyes. More people drifted in. One of them placed a bench in the middle of the circle, on which he placed some books, a fewBibles and a lit candle. During the next hour the silence was broken only once, when someone asked us to pray for a fellow 'Friend' who had somehow chosen to sleep on the streets. The hour passed surpringly swiftly, thus ended my first Quaker meeting.
During this hour of silent worship, random thoughts drifted in and out of my head. I chased them away and tried to focus on God. At times I prayed. For the last ten minutes I picked up a book on Quakers and started reading. Then someone stood up and thanked everyone for coming.
With the worship over everyone stayed on to chat. Looking around the room, I noticed that I was the youngest person in the group--which made for a nice change! I was one of two Chinese. They asked me why I wanted to come to a Quaker meeting. I mentioned Six Feet Under and my being bored with sermons. Another woman concurred, and talked about how uneasy she felt at a service when the pastor asked people to come up and be blessed. "I don't need you to bless me!" she thought at the time. I wondered if Quakerism attracts a certain type of people--individualistic, anti-establisment type. When I leant that Quakerism started in the 17th Century, it amazed me that people back then already thought that way.
One person asked me what church I attended before. It turned out that he also knew Jackie Pullinger, and attended the Vineyard Church back in the Hangfuk Camp days. What a small world!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Now that I am in full-on thesis writing mode, Ugly Betty is my only source of entertainment. This is simply the best show ever--smart, funny, heart warming and so fast moving I have to watch every episode twice to get all the jokes and references. Today I saw the pilot, which I missed when it first aired. The writing is just incredible, it tugs at the heartstrings without being manipulative. The part where they made Betty stand-in on the photo shoot just made me cry! Plus Justin looks so young and adorable! Shows like this make me wonder why people like me should bother making crappy indie films, when there are entertaining, thought provoking shows onTV every week.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Saturday, July 7, 2007
很喜歡任達華在《跟蹤》裡的角色，做一個低調沉實但盡忠職守的警察，增了磅的他肥肥腫腫，穿上毫不起眼的衣服，演得不showy但卻是每一場的焦點所在，而他在戲中的角色彷彿就是他作為一個演員的寫照。一向都覺得任達華是個很被under appreciated 的演員，比起同期出道的周潤發，他沒有走上國際巨星之路，拿獎也沒有梁家輝多，又沒有像另一個華仔那樣動不動振臂高呼支持電影界，但多年來以行動表態。有一段時間電影業走下坡，但他還是片約不斷，B movies,三級片，什麼戲都接、什麼角色都演，令到很多人有工開 (當然他也得到豐厚回報)，他的professionalism我覺得是最可敬的。
Monday, July 2, 2007
Sunday, July 1, 2007
First of all I love the period details in this film--the brown coloured sets, the newsroom filled with rows of desks with typewriters, Chloe Sevigny's flower-girl hairstyle, the chance to see Jake Gyllenhaal in a Brokeback style checkered shirt, but Zodiac's whole is less than the sum of its parts. It's basically about a guy who's obsessed with a serial killer, plays amateur sleuth and digs up so-called evidence about the case, then writes a book about it. That's it. He's never in any kind of danger (unless you count heavy-breathing prank calls), he doesn't under go any changes throughout the film, nor do we understand why he's so interested in the case. It's almost as if David Fincher, after making his name with the ground-breaking Seven, decides to do an anti-serial killer film twelve years later.
It's not that the film is boring or unwatchable--far from it. Every scene is meticulously crafted and full of suspense. Yet none of it adds up to much, for the film doesn't go anywhere. We already know who the alleged killer is half way through the film. The rest of the film consists of various false leads and red herrings as the Gyllenhaal character tries to prove his case.
The irony is after seeing him go through all that trouble, the case doesn't seem all that convincing. If the killer really was Leigh, then why did the police fail to uncover a single piece of evidence after searching through his trailer? In real life the police actually subject Leigh to a 10 hour polygraph test, and he passed it. So no handwriting match, no fingerprint match, passed polygraph--yet the film still insists he's the killer! Before the final credits, there's also a title that says a DNA test performed shortly before his death failed to implicate Leigh!
To make up for the lack of story, Fincher had to resort to hackneyed suspense movie tricks to keep us interested, like the scene where Gyllenhaal goes to a suspect's house and hears creaking noises above, but it turns out to be nothing, or he is alone in the house and a shadow passes by the door--cue scary music, and--his wife enters. In real life the Gyllenhaal character spent years digging up 'evidence' and got two bestsellers out of it, but the audience has to spend 153 minutes on this film and all we get are cheap thrills.