Category: Cinema

Something about those European crime thrillers

I haven’t blogged in a while, and there are loads to say as to what I’ve been up to the past few weeks – they’ve been packed with meetings with people involved in organizing the Waterfront Night Market in July – but I won’t go too much into that today. Today, I am here to promote this amazing Belgian thriller that I just finished watching!

Korean food and the Academy Awards

Two things:

  1. I love Korean food. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also cheap and healthy. And it’s so difficult to get all three when eating out.
  2. I haven’t seen over half of the Academy Award nominated films – including Gravity and American Hustle – and I feel incredibly guilty about it.

‘About Time’: Treasure each moment as it passes

I got to attend a super advance screening of Richard Curtis’Β About TimeΒ last night thanks to Scene Creek! So top secret, there were even Universal Pictures Canada employees in the audience! As Rachel McAdams’ biggest fan in Toronto (hah), this was a huge treat, so I was incredibly excited about seeing this movie! ButΒ I’m rather exhausted after a long day of grad photos, group project meetings and classes, so this is a largely unedited review of what I thought about this film…

‘Prisoners’ is intense, dark, and one of the best movies this year

I finally took some time out of my hectic school/work schedule for some “Me Time” – some desperately needed work/life balance – to go watch Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners. Here’s what I wrote in my Rotten Tomatoes review (which generally are more blabbing than proper reviewing – forewarning):

This is one of those movies where you have to pay attention all the way through. The director – who’s Canadian! – makes it easy for you by slowly guiding you through the story.

The performances, of course, should be mentioned because you have never seen Hugh Jackman like you have seen Hugh Jackman in this movie. I was a little wary going into this movie that Hugh and Jake Gyllenhaal were a little too young for their roles, but they both did extremely well. Gyllenhaal, for one, does less of his “Zodiac” I-need-to-know performance, but does a more subtle performance. As for Jackman, he just goes off the charts in this role. There are some spectacular scenes he’s in that really impress you – I would say it’s his most emotionally intense role yet, but I haven’t seen all his movies, so I can’t say that for sure!

This year’s TIFF experience was exhausting

TIFF ended 15 days ago, and I am just writing my TIFF experience blog now. Sigh. I’ve had such a hectic schedule since the end of August, I’m not sure why I decided it would be a good idea to start a brand spankin’ new blog. Perhaps I underestimated the workload for the first month of school… Though actually, it’s less about the “first month of school” but more “first month of the last year of undergraduate school”. I have always been involved with extracurricular activities at school, but because I am in my last year, I’ve felt greater pressure to add more to my resume to ensure I can start my career as soon as I graduate. This meant trying to juggle positions at two part-time jobs, one student group, four school courses, and briefly, a two-week volunteer position all at the same time. Chaos.

Instagram

  • Did you even see it, if you didn't see it in a theatre during public release? 😏 That mahjong scene still made me tear up the second time around. And definitely appreciated Henry Golding even more the second time around too. Thank you, @warnerbrosuk, for bringing the UK release date forward two months. I can't imagine what the wait would've been like if #CrazyRichAsians was to be released in November like it was originally planned. πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Also, is my skin really that dark in real life?! Good grief, I tanned some several shades this summer. 😩
  • Storybook vibes. I want to go back. 🏞️ (Note to self: I think the poor photo quality is because I was on a motor boat that legit barrelled down the fjords at like record speed, so fast the camera couldn't stabilize fast enough. 😭)
  • It was a sunny Sunday in Brighton. But in just one week, summer is over. Back to miserable ol' English weather... πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§
  • Repsweating: "It's the idea of sweating it out over representation, that feeling of: 'I don't even need to like this thing, but I need it to win.'"⁣ πŸ’ͺ🏻
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That was me going into the movie. I've been positively obsessed with this movie for the past two months - reading all the spoilers, following all the critical reviews, checking box office numbers every day... I needed it to succeed in North America because I knew that if it succeeded in Canada and the United States, it meant that we could get more of these projects. More Asian actors in the Western hemisphere starring in Western film projects. ⁣
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What I didn't expect though, was how anxious I would actually end up feeling when I sat there in the cinema lobby watching all the audience members file in into the movie. Majority of them were white. There were Asians (East Asians), sure, but most of them were white. When I realized this, after having sat down in the theatre, I started feeling a bit nervous. Would this UK audience react to this movie the way the US audiences have? Would this UK audience react to this movie the way I wanted them to? Would they understand the references? Would they get the jokes?⁣
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If I was watching this movie in Toronto, I wouldn't have been as nervous. I knew that the movie would succeed. East Asians are everywhere in Toronto; we are the majority visible minority group. And having grown up in a multicultural Western city like Toronto, we were like Asian-Americans. We would come out to support this, no question about it... ⁣But I'm not in Toronto, I live in London UK now.⁣
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I've been through so many experiences here in the UK where I've been made to feel ashamed of my culture, that when I sat in the theatre, I realized that this film experience would be way more personal than I thought it would be. Now that it has succeeded in the States, and the sequel is a guarantee, I needed an almost all-white British audience, in a country vocally proud of its imperialist history, to really embrace and enjoy this movie. ⁣
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(continued below...)
#CrazyRichAsians
  • Squid and shellfish risotto. 🐚
  • When #London gives you free hamburgers, you go queue up and eat them. πŸ” #GeniusGlutenFree