Monday, July 29, 2013

Academy Award Foreign Film: Amores Perros

Our week's academy award foreign film stars one of my favorite actors of all time, Gael Garcia Bernal. Amores Perros is 'Love Dogs' in English.

Synopsis 


There are three major stories running that are centered on three characters: Octavio y Susan, Daniel y Valeria and El Chivo y Maru. Their stories are all entwined with dogs.


Review


It's great storytelling and great story. That's what makes the movie gripping.

*Spoilers ahead.*


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Must See Asian Films: Eat Drink Man Woman

This week's must see Asian films is an old flick, Eat Drink Man Woman. It is one of the early gems of one of my favorite directors, Ang Lee.

Fresh out of the success of Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman is another movie that uses food and cooking as a major device. 


Click here to read about another food-themed movie, Like Water for Chocolates.

Synopsis



Mr. Chu (Sihung Lung), a great chef, has three children, each is independent and blatantly defies the tradition of what a Chinese woman should do and how a Chinese woman should behave. His children are:
  • Jia-Jen, is the eldest and has converted to Christianity after breaking up with a her long-time boyfriend
  • Jia-Chien is the middle child and the most independent of all. She works in an airline and is on her way to moving to another country
  • Jia Ning is the youngest and still in school. She started a relationship with a friend's ex-boyfriend. 
Majority of the movie happens during the Family's Sunday dinner. Mr. Chu's wife is deceased and he takes it upon himself to try and steer each of his children in the direction he wishes them to go. These dinners, however, turns out to be Sunday Sermon service.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

어디 갈래(Where Do You Wanna Go) English Lyrics- 태완, 개리(Gary), 크러쉬(Crush)

Where Do You Wanna Go by C-luv feat. Kang Gary (LeeSsang) & Crush

Hanggul, Romanized and English translation below




 
if you can't play it, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vlPSXO2reo

Contextual Translation (not the word for word translation)

Click here to check out "Loneliness in the Palm of My hand", one of the best rap lyrics I have ever encountered.



Where Do You Wanna Go English translation
 

Gary:
Everyday, I often run out of breath
Walking alone under this gloomy weather
I want to break away from this room and rush to Han River in Busan
I just want to forget about everything and have fun
I’d go to a club and drink a cocktail or two and dance
I used to play around like crazy with friends
Maybe tonight, I’ll be young and crazy again
It’s getting hot under these clothes, I could feel the heat from my neck down to my back

Monday, July 22, 2013

Oscar Winning Foreign Films: Tsotsi

Of the many Oscar Winning Foreign Films, Tsotsi remains one of my favorites. Watch it and you'll know exactly what hit me. It is one of the few films where every element in the movie worked together 


Synopsis

Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae) is a gang leader who gets entangled in a crime that will doom him to a lifetime of running, threats, pain and misery. Determined to rise to the top of gangster life, Tsotsi sets out a plan to beat everyone running after him. All those changed when he found a baby and realized that he just doesn't have the evil genes to ditch the baby. 

Click here to check out Oscar Winning Films DVDs for as low as $2.60.

Review

Narrative

The movie invites the audience to dig deeper into Tsotsi. He looks, acts and talks like a boy from the hood. With not education, no family and no ambition, he lives crime after crime until life threw him a curve ball, he found a baby in a car he stole. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Must See Foreign Films: Children of Heaven

The film follows the struggle of Ali (Amir Farrokh Hasemian) to win second place in a running competition so he could take home the prize, a pair of shoes. It may sound simple enough but it seems that winning second place is harder than winning first place.

Narrative

The whole movie happens from the point of view of a child. Thus, things seem simpler until you realize that the it only seems simple because it is honest.

Review

Narrative

The movie started with a quest to find the slippers that Ali lost. The slippers belong to her sister, Zahra (Bahare Seddiqi). Their family is so poor that they can't afford to buy a new new pair. They are then forced to look for ways on how they can go to school and do their individual activities while they look for a way on how to replace the lost slippers.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Song Meaning: "Those Obvious Words" by Jung In

I never thought I'd write about a meaning of a song because I believe that as much as the artist makes it his prerogative to what he wants to write, the listeners also keep it their prerogative to interpret what he wrote.

However, I received several messages asking me the meaning of the song "Those Obvious Words" performed by Jung In and written by Kang Gary of LeeSsang.

Here is the official music video:



Here is the English translation of the lyrics:


Under the faint lights, the music played and you and I were so shy
After some hesitation, you tightly held my hand and said
* I will be by your side until always, don’t worry
I will always think of only you and treat you well, I love you
** I wanted to believe those obvious words
Because I loved you a little more than you loved me
I wanted you so much
Because from the moment I first saw you, my heart was yours

Monday, July 15, 2013

Must See Asian Films: Hazard



Our Must See Asian Films for this week is Hazard, another film startting Jo Odagiri.

I had no background about this movie before watching it except that it starred one of my favorite Japanese actors, Jo Odagiri. Much like some of his best movies, I expected something cerebral. I was ready to jump into a vortex of subtly implied story twists.

Oh, I jumped into a vortex alright... but it was one that twisted me around a tornado of unfulfilled dreams and embarrassing failures I have been too ashamed to face.

Synopsis

Shin finds himself bored and unhappy in Tokyo. He has always wanted to go somewhere exciting. When he read about the hazards of New York, he left everything behind to begin his journey to experience New York.