Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I have this fascination with foreign films and for the past few days since I’ve been battling a nasty bronchial infection I’ve been lying around “reading” the television set. It’s very much my alone time because I can’t get anyone in my family to watch them with me. My son has proclaimed that if he wanted to “read” he would buy a book; that movies are supposed to be “watched” and that’s why they’re “movies”. Kid doesn’t have a clue what he’s missing. I know that my fascination comes from my love for other cultures. They are like really good books and I can be taken away to an exotic local with a push of the remote for the DVD player.

I watched three today. The first was a movie titled Three Times, a Chinese film directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou. Don’t ask me how to pronounce that because I don’t have a clue. I do know that it was a beautiful story. It was a romance, and exceptionally sensual. It was actually three stories set in three times, 1911, 1966 and 2005. Two actors played the two main characters in each story. The lead actress, a woman named Shu Qi was brilliant. Her performances were so convincing that a few times she moved me to tears.

The second, a Vietnamese film, was titled Lady Vengeance, a kick-ass mystery thriller about a young woman falsely imprisoned for thirteen years. When she’s released, with the help of a few former prison pals, she sets out to get revenge on the man who got her locked up. Girlfriend was vicious! It was truly brilliant if I say so myself. The acting was impeccable, the photography was great and a very nice musical score kept me glued to the set.

But my absolute favorite was the movie Water by acclaimed director Deepa Mehta. This film is set in 1938 India when the country was ruled by the British and Gandhi was doing his thing. It’s the story of a ten-year old girl named Chuyia who’s in an arranged marriage to this really old man. Shortly after the wedding, hubby kicks the bucket. As was the tradition, widows are shunned by the community and little Chuyia is taken to “the widows house” where she is expected to live a life of celibacy and solitude with the other widows. Chuyia is the youngest widow there and most of the women in this home are elderly. There’s an amazing love story between one of the other widows and a young man who falls in love with her. The little girl is just a spitball of fire and energy and she wrecks sheer havoc on the house and you spend the entire movie cheering on her and the two women she becomes attached to. This movie is just visually stunning and the young actress who played the part of Chuyia, a little girl named Sarala, clearly has a promising career ahead of her. I highly recommend it!

If I still feel crummy tomorrow I’m going to watch brain dead films. My son is good at selecting brain dead cinema. It would seem that teenage boys have a knack for them.

No comments: