Thursday, November 02, 2006

Movies --

One of the downsides of being yayaless is not being able to go out to watch the new movies -- (we're still trying to make arrangements for a temporary yaya so we can watch "The Prestige" next week)

But I've been quite fortunate in being able to watch really good movies on DVD. Johann and I have quite a stack of movies that we purchased last year on our honeymoon, which (to this date) we have yet to watch. Now that we've run out of TV series to watch (it's my turn to choose, but I don't know what I want), we've started going through our stack.

1. Jean-Pierre Jeunet's (with Michael Caro) Delicatessen
This is the same guy who directed Amelie, which I loved. Johann warned me that Delicatessen would be very different and much more representative of Jeunet's world. It's a quirky take on a post-apocalyptic world where people have to resort to a rather unusual way of procuring food -- cannibalism!

My favorite part of the movie involves a squeaky bed, Louisson, Mme Plusse and really lively samba (?) music. ^_^

2. Welcome to Dongmakgol
I saw the trailer for this movie early this year and it made an impression on me. Our dear friends Simon and Lena (Koreans) decided to give us an education in Korean movies and gave us a stack of Korean DVDs for Halloween. When I saw that one of the movies was Dongmakgol, I got excited and watched it immediately.

Dongmakgol is Kwang Hyun-Park's answer to the question: "What would a world without wars look like?" A group of North Korean soldiers and a group of South Korean soldiers stumble into the quiet little village of Dongmakgol. At first, they are suspicious of one another and cause a stir among the villagers whose biggest concern is how to handle the wild boars that run through and ruin their vegetable patches.

Eventually they put aside their difference as they enjoy the peaceful and conflict-free life that Dongmakgol offers.

There's a part in the movie when the captain of the North Koreans talks to the Village Leader --

Captain: It is amazing how you are able to lead the village without ever having raise your voice. How do you command such loyalty and respect?
Village Leader: I just make sure that everyone is well-fed.

3. Stage Beauty
This is a look at the English Theater during the period of Restoration. One of the most interesting and problematic aspects of theater during this time is that only male actors were allowed to be on stage so they had to play both male and female roles. What made this more interesting is that in some plays, the male actor is playing a female character who is pretending to be male (Shakespeare's As You Like It and Twelfth Night). Louis Montrose's The Purpose of Playing has a very interesting discussion on this matter.

Anyhoo, Stage Beauty is about the period of transition when women were slowly allowed to be on stage and how this affected the theater of the time. The movie looks at Edward Kynaston whose resistance to "progress" caused his downfall as an actor.

I love how the film tackles the ambiguity of gender and what it means to be male or female. I remember C telling me about this movie last year and how she loved the dialogue between Claire Danes' and Billy Crudup's characters.

Maria: So, am I the man or the woman?
Ned Kynaston: You're the man.
Maria: And you're the woman.
Ned Kynaston: Yes.

Maria: So, who am I now?
Ned Kynaston: You're the man.
Ned Kynaston: Uh, you're the woman.

Maria: So, who are you now?
Ned Kynaston: I don't know.
Ned Kynaston: I don't know.

<-- from

4. Fun with Dick and Jane
I love this movie! It's quiet and unassuming but it really takes a jab at Corporate America and the American Way of Life.

I love how the end credits acknowledges infamous companies such as Enron, IMClone, etc. ^_^

We still have Girl with a Pearl Earring, A Touch of Spice and a shedload of Korean movies on our list. ^_^

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