"There is a whitewashed, idealised version of childhood that is popular in movies. It has the kids sitting neatly in their chairs, talking with some adult, in a sarcastic, overly sophisticated but polite way – a concoction that bears no resemblance to an actual kid."
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Posted by GUO SHAO-HUA 郭少樺 at 2:05 PM
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
This is the Age Of Lazy. We want our information quick and easy. It used to be that we go to the library if we want to look up something. But thanks to the Internet, the purveyor of laziness, everything's just a click away. No, mailing a handwritten letter takes just too much time. An email takes just seconds. An encyclopaedia is just too bulky, and we'd have to get up off our asses to get it off the shelf. No, Wikipedia is so much more convenient, no matter that the information there may not be 100% accurate.
Posted by GUO SHAO-HUA 郭少樺 at 12:00 PM
Thursday, September 17, 2009
A string of diappointments, after the excellent Toy Story 1 and 2. American animated films, in general, are overly talky, eschewing the importance and beauty of silence. When animated films in other languages - My Neighbour Totoro, for instance - are dubbed for Stateside, extra dialogue is added into scenes originally silent. Wall-E came close to finally silencing the noise, at least in its first half. The terribly overrated Ratatouille was unbearable in its sonic assault.
This time, Pixar has displayed incredible restraint, letting crucial scenes play out in silence, allowing gestures to do the talking. A critical plot point happens with the protagonist silently flipping through the pages of a scrapbook. A revelatory page, and a familiar gesture, and we understand the implications of it all.
But the most interesting thing about Up, is its striking irony. This is a kids' movie about what it means to be a kid, yet the lead character is a 78-year-old man. Many have taken the story to be about growing old. In part, it is, but more pertinent is that it's about staying young. It's about not losing the child in us, the child who dares to dream the impossible, like flying a house using thousands of helium-filled balloons. The child who sits on the kerb enjoying an ice-cream with his friend and playing childish games like "red and blue cars." Life is one big adventure, because that's the only way we will survive it.
With its wildly imaginative collection of a flying house, talking dogs, technicolour birds and such, it's as if Pixar has made a movie about itself.
Posted by GUO SHAO-HUA 郭少樺 at 8:43 PM
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This piece of news came earlier this week. The Host 2, the sequel to Bong Joon-ho's family drama/actioner, is now a Korea-Singapore co-production. And somewhere in there is the name Kelvin Tong; he's the joint producer.
Now, name a film that Tong has directed that is of unquestionable quality. Difficult, isn't it? Perhaps he will do better as producer this time. Who knows?
Now, if you noticed, I called The Host a "family drama." Because that's really what it is. Compared to the entire runtime of the movie, the appearance of the monster is brief. But judging from this quote:
... someone obviously thinks it's a monster movie in all conventional sense. And that's pretty troubling.
Producer and Chungeorahm Film's chief executive, Mr Choi Yong-Bae, said he is confident that Host 2 will become "the best Asian creature movie ever."
Posted by GUO SHAO-HUA 郭少樺 at 3:51 PM
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
If we currently have the Malaysian tag team of Woo Ming Jin and Edmund Yeo competing in Venice, then it's a triple threat at the Toronto International Film Festival - Tsai Ming-liang, Chris Chong and Ho Yuhang.
“I think of the film as a moving painting imprinted on celluloid,” said the director, who spent three years studying the paintings at the Louvre. “It is Tsai trying to find a new expression for the art in his head.”
Posted by GUO SHAO-HUA 郭少樺 at 12:23 PM
Monday, September 7, 2009
Posted by GUO SHAO-HUA 郭少樺 at 1:25 PM