05 February, 2008

Sweeney Todd 魔街理髮師

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


Watched on the 3rd Feb 2008 at UA Citigate, with Eric, Freeman & his wife.

Bloody, bloody, bloodily good. I got the chance of watching this film most unexpectedly on Sunday, and didn't have time to do any research beforehand. That's why my eyebrow was raised when I saw the Category III warning note that came with the tickets. The usher asked for my id card but was given a harsh talking to by Eric. In the rush, I said, 'Thank you for asking!' Of course I mean it :) Then when the film started with the characters singing, it's quite bizzare because, excuse my ignorance, I didn't know that it's an adaptation from a musical. So, I prepared myself for more shocks to come and was not dissapointed. Too much blood -- as expected in the numerous throat-slitting acts. However, the simple black, white and grey backdrop makes that bloody red standout and sends a chill down one's spine, as if the blood in one's body is also dripping away. This film is too gracefully set to be called a horror. When I saw the character of the mad woman first appear on the screen, there's a little question mark in my mind. Too bad I didn't pick it up as the story unfolded. In short, it is a film about revenge and the ultimate truth that revenge will get one no where. With dramatic twists & turns plus the overwhelming visual images, this message is surely hammered into audience's minds, who (myself at least) walk out of the cinema with their hearts pounding, and are thankful to notice that they're still alive and breathing.
As a musical, the songs are capturing, just that I miss Sir Tim Rice's lyrics. (Ok, that's an unfair comparison...)

04 February, 2008

宮崎 駿 Hayao Miyazaki


Kiki's Delivery Service

Majo no Takkyubin

Watched in late Jan 08 at home with David, mother & lucille.

這是我第一次看這部作品。當琦琦從遠處看見了她將要定居的城市時,我的雙眼不禁亮了起來:那美麗的海島和熟悉的小鎮風光,不正是我去年在歐洲留下的足跡嗎?宮崎 駿 把最迷人的歐陸風情都盡收畫中,每一幕都是賞心樂事。當然,故事帶出了傳統與科技的無型角力,雖然並沒有否定科技發展,但是在時代的洪流下,無論是老奶奶的心意或小女巫的法力,似乎都随着人情日漸轉淡,還好能靠大自然洗涤心靈,在看以萬能的科技發生意外時,那個破舊的烤爐和那不可思議的魔法,還是能助世人一把。 但願更多的人能繼承傳統的薪火,一起修行吧!


My Neighbour Totoro

Tonari no Totoro

Watched: many times since Jan 08 at home upon the request of lucille.

在上海書城以超值的價格買了一套收錄了六部宮崎 駿作品的DVD。本來以為有普通話配音,一播放才知道是原裝日語配音,加上中文字幕;結果第一次和女兒看的時侯,便充當了現場配音員。誰知道她十分喜歡看,隨後的一個星期,每天都要看一遍。其中一幕說姊姊駡妹妹不懂事,妹妹哭了,女兒便轉過頭來認真地對我說:「妹妹是對的!」平常不喜歡看日本動畫的婆婆,雖然覺得片子吵耳,也忍不住說:「寶寶簡直就是那個妹妹的化身!」電視台經常重播這一部電影,我卻不曾從頭到尾地看過一遍,引以為憾,如今卻因為女兒的固執,看了好幾遍,說明了人、事、物的緣聚緣散自有其一套,凡人能做的就是惜緣。


Neko no ongaeshi

The Cat Returns

Watched in either Dec 07 or Jan 08, on TV, at home, with David, mother and lucille.

雖然宮崎 駿只是監製,也是相當親切的一部作品。男爵猫的優雅和故事中少女的天真,正好說明了成長的難關要靠師友的啓蒙、鼓勵,也要靠自身的努力,坦然面對自己真實的本性,才能保得住一顆赤子之心。少女年幼時的魚餅之恩,少年時的奮身相救,種下的善因,無意中換來了一段奇遇,助其突破成長困惑,肯定了真我的可貴:當天的施恩人,成了今天的受恩者,既巧且妙也!看着身旁不懂裝懂的小女兒,和已不再是兒童的弟弟,但願他們日後也留得住絲絲純真,面對像故事中那老國王貓般自以為是的惡人,也能看穿對方可悲之處,一笑置之。

06 January, 2008


Night. Lent by a well-read colleague.

ISBN: 0374500010

As printed on the cover, 'a small book with terrifying power'. And as another reader at aNobii.com put it, 'everyone should read it'.

The only consolation of reading about the Jewish experience in WWII is that there are survivors who live to tell us the truth -- every human being has the duty to vow not to let similar event happen again, ever. However, read the current news: in the tribal killing in Kenya, a mother of two managed to escape from the window of the locked church when it's being burned down, only to witness her little daughter being hurled back into the flame by someone. It happened only last week. Shame on us, the so called human race who tried to present ourselves to be any better than the wild beasts who kill only for survival. We're all capable of doing the most abhorrent or the most noble acts. But when the occasion calls for, it is often too easy to slip to the wrong side. When will we ever learn? Oh when?

The Black Book

Watched from 23.30hrs on 31 Dec 2007 to 03.00hrs on 1 Jan 2008, on DVD at mother's place.
A beautiful film that brings out the bright and dark sides of human nature. While I was watching this film, I was also halfway through the book, 'Night'. At first sight, it seems that the rich Jews in the film were doing o.k., comparing to the poor ones in the book. Soon the lie is broken. Cruel fate had no mercy, and all were sharing the same burden for no reasons. In a way, the poor had less treachery to deal with because they're abandoned by the world. We must open our eye to this not so distant period of human race, and pray that history does not repeat itself.


Watched on 1st Jan 2008 at 14:30 on VCD at mother's place.

Air Buddies

Watched from 22.30hrs on 31 Dec 2007 to 00.10hrs on 1 Jan 2008, on VCD, at mother's place.
Well, a variation of the 101 Dalmatians, but very thoughtfully casted team of golden-retriever buddies. Really very cute and we watched it twice because our baby loves it very much. Beware, owners of intelligent four-leg friends: you don't want your pal to pick up any of the naughty tricks there, so it should have printed on the cover: 'hide it away from your clever pup.'


Watched on 25th Dec 2007 at 22:00 at Home on DVD.

Charlotte's Web

Watched on 24th Dec 2007, on VDC at 20:00 at home.

The magic and power of friendship: glade to have something heartwarming for this X'mas. (But I still like hams, sorry :p )

Golden Compass

Watched on 23rd Dec 2007 at 17:20 at UA CityGate, HK.

I haven't read the original fiction but I would say that watching it in movie form is fascinating thanks to perfect blend of computer generated animation and human performance. I can imagine that a decade later, my girl will talk back in just the same cheeky way the silver tongue does in the adventure.
Being a lazy 'let-hollywood-guide-my-next-reading' type of audience, I'm very much indebt to Wikipaedia for never failing me in providing a detailed plot of classics or popular fictions, and in this case, that of the entire trilogy, plus the controversies. I'll just say that Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury is a real wise man in his sensible response to the literary work. After clicking to view about his info on wiki which has his photo on it, I've voted him as the living Dumbledore of our time.

The film:
The Trilogy:
Dr Rowan Williams:
Harry's Dumbledore:

投名狀 Warlords

Watched on 21st Dec 2007 at 17:30

at UA TimeSquare, HK, with Eric





Shopaholic and Baby

ISBN: 0385338708
Location: TSW Library
Well, thanks to my cousin Crystal, being a shopaholic herself, who has recommended the shopaholic series to me couple years ago, I got the chance of getting in touch with the shopaholic side of myself. And I'm very proud that on this occasion, I really manage to 'control' the shopping spree while reading it the first time at Heathrow Airport in Oct 07. With a heavy backpack and standing in the bookshop there, I just couldn't put down the book at all. After the sonar episode which reminded me about my messy experience, I suddenly realized that I'd probably miss the transit flight if I didn't put it back or buy it. I really couldn't afford to be overloaded at the beginning of my journey, especially I've already had two heavy guidebooks in my backpack which I needed to study on the plane for survival. Moreover, the shop only accepted the Pound and I only got Euros on me...(ok, on the return journey, I used credit card to overcome the problem, but that's different.) Well, even upon the long hours of waiting for transit on my return journey, with a lot of effort, I suppressed the desire of flipping through this very book because I had the hunch that I'd be able to track it down in the library. It's really expensive, esp. because of the exchange rate. So, I diverted my attention to search for other interesting and more difficult to get in HK titles. I bought 5 books, even buying a sixth one may mean more discount. Not bad, right?
The number one reason for me to enjoy this series is because of the way the protagonist 'speaks', which is exactly like my cousins. And to be frank, there are occasions, not a few, where I can actually see myself doing or thinking exactly the same things, especially about picturing effortlessly all the benefits that a certain commodity will bring after buying it. It's a nice pick-me-up series on rainy days. Fab.

05 January, 2008

Gala Flamenca Dance 星滙費蘭明高

Watched on 17th Nov 2007 at 17:30 at the Cultural Centre, HK, with mother.
This is the first time I've experienced the full power of Flamenco in it's purest form. The lighting, the tempo, the tapping & clapping, the gesture and posture, the guiter and the voice -- all work their magic together and bring the audience to the kingdom where this special art form has taken shape, drowing on the different lifestyles of the Andalusian, Islamic, Sephardic, Gitano, Mozarabic, Moorish, Byzantine, Italian and the gypsy, plus blues and jazz, drawing in the imagination of the audience who cannot refuse the invitation of moving to the rhythm while forgetting the confinement of the seat. A splendid Gala.

Aeschulus' Prometheus Bound 《普羅米修斯之縛》

World Première of new adaptation

by The National Theatre of Greece


Watched on 3rd Nov 2007 at City Hall, Hong Kong.

Greek Tragedy is a myth in itself: we've heard about it or even were taught a few things about it as part of our education. However, I dare say not many people have ever watched it performed, by the Greeks. So, how could I let go of this golden opportunity of experiencing the great art form performed by it's own people! My journey started by the last minute search of a summary of the play's plot on the internet, followed by a rush to the nearest library in the hope of doing some last minute reading. Then, having arrived early at the City Hall, I helped myself with the bonus of wandering into the showcase of the costumes of the National Theatre of Greece. They're fascinating: the design may seem modest for the stage at the first sight, but the mixture of fabrics are so interesting, which carries an organic touch -- you can almost smell the Greek soil from which the materials have grown. They also have a most convincing message about the human condition a few thousands years ago when the great Greek tragedies were written, that the human beings had tamed nature not long ago and the connection between the two was still strong. Natural materials were made use of, but still largely retaining their forms. Human ranks were established, but the differences of the dress of a queen or a maid may only be in their colour or subtle details, and surely sharing the same origin: mother earth. The king's crown may be just a piece of beautifully embroidered head wear made of the same linen as the rob, instead of hard metallic one forced artificially by the human will. And finally, the play. From the poster, one can already be prepared for a clean, minimal style of stage presentation. With good reasons, of course. Minimalism is very effective in removing unnecessary distraction, so that an event which allegedly has happened thousands of years ago really 'talk' to us now, transcending time. The bound is cleverly handled and the chorus are very specially arranged: chilling and touching. As I couldn't get hold of an English or even Chinese translation of the play, I was depending on the subtitles at the two sides of the stage. The Chinese version is elegant and to the point. It's the product of the Translation Centre of the Baptist University. The audience was very lucky because there were long monologues in the play with not much movement on the stage. (Well, our hero is bound up there, what does one expect? :p ) I'm pleased with this late first encounter of performance of Greek tragedy by the Greeks and I think that all students should get sponsored for seeing a Greek play on stage, instead of just reading about it in books.

作者:崔宝衡 主编
出版社:天津 : 天津人民出版社
页数和开本:427页 ; 20cm

Location: TSW Public Library