Monday, August 3, 2009

An Incongrous Mix

Yin Shi Nan Nu (Eat Man Drink Woman)

Another one of Ang Lee's earlier movies. Although they're a lot of great Chinese quotes from the movie, I don't think I can quote any of them b/c I only have access to the English translations and my Chinese isn't really good enough for me to search for the quotes and be able to read them. While the subtitles for this movie are decent (they get the point across), there's oftentimes something slightly off w/ the original meaning and connotation.

I love the (almost) excessive use of food in this movie. All of it looks very very delectable. The first three minutes of the film are to die for w/ the gorgeous food pron or rather images :). I would say that this is definitely a movie worth watching multiple times. There's almost too much to absorb at once. It's funny what you notice each time and how different your perceptions are.

This time around, I found it a rather sad story and kind of especially poignant for where I am in my life right now (where a lot and seemingly everything around me is changing dramatically). It's a sad story b/c everything's changing and everyone's moving on with their lives without you- even the people you'd thought would have always been there. There are a lot of story lines, a lot of characters, a lot of different personalities, motivations and wants to keep track of and it can be hard the first time around to keep them all straight. Particular moments I really liked: the father and his old friend talking- felt very genuine, the two elder sisters coming to an understanding, the chaotic dinner, and the very last dinner.

A Clockwork Orange

Prison Chaplain: Choice! The boy has not a real choice, has he? Self-interest, the fear of physical pain drove him to that grotesque act of self-abasement. The insincerity was clear to be seen. He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature capable of moral choice.

Minister: Padre, there are subtleties! We are not concerned with motives, with the higher ethics. We are concerned only with cutting down crime and with relieving the ghastly congestion in our prisons. He will be your true Christian, ready to turn the other cheek, ready to be crucified rather than crucify, sick to the heart at the thought of killing a fly. Reclamation! Joy before the angels of God! The point is that it works.
Another fabulous film by Stanley Kubrick. What I love about his films is that despite all of their vastly different topics (so far I've seen 2001, the Shining, Dr. Strangelove, and this), they always stick with you after you've seen them and make you think and question.

The first 40 mintues or so of this movie are perhaps the very definition of subversive. Lots of phalic imagery, "ultraviolence," sex, and incongrous elements placed together. eg. soothing, classical music coupled with fierce fighting, the infamous "Singing in the Rain" scene, and a nearly unbelievable fight scene featuring a giant dildo and Beethoven bust. It's surprising how after Alex "becomes good," despite all the terrible things he does in the beginning, you still feel sympathic towards him when he's released back into society and treated terribly.

Midnight Cowboy

Joe Buck: Uh, well, sir, I ain't a f'real cowboy. But I am one helluva stud!

The movie has really great performances by Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman. Loved Joe Buck's endless optimism and found the last man, the man struggling with his religion and temptations, very fascinating. Definitely a solid, good movie, but not really my "cup of tea" so to speak.

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