Archives For Films

After watching Fanaa a few weeks ago, I thought I might continue the Indian adventure with Tabu. Then, I watched Devdas — still unimpressed with Aishwarya Rai’s acting prowess and totally committed to watching Indian films because I can write hers and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s names without googling now HUZZAH! — and was struck by Madhuri Dixit (no googling!) and her amazing “hooker with a heart of gold.” In fact, my favorite scene in Devdas is probably her dance duo with Aishwarya. And Bhansali’s films are still such a beauty to see. Sighs.

Then, when I thought I might head the Madhuri Dixit road, I watch English Vinglish and get struck by Sridevi (no google!). My first shock, of course, was realizing that I had knocked off ten years of her age right off the bat. Then while reading her wiki page (this is why it’s important to have a good Wiki page, fans), it hit me like a bucket full of cold water~

Sridevi was a successful child star, a sex symbol… and is possibly positioning herself as a MILF — my own observation here. Apparently English Vinglish was quite a hit, marking her comeback after 15 years off the screen.

I don’t think there’s ANYONE in the world of movies (or entertainment) that has been able to achieved this. I can’t think of a single actress (or maybe actor) who started out as a child, grew to be the actress made of dreams, moved on to becoming a sensible adult, apparently a great mother, and make a comeback to take all that’s “cinematically” hers.

The performance is okay (by Kpop standards, anyway), but Sridevi is totally charming in this show for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA). I think the IIFA cameras shoot a quick reaction from Madhuri during the number, just as they showed Sridevi on Madhuri’s own performance (which rocked my socks) [1]. I could do with less Deepika reaction shots, though.

So… I am at a conundrum. Who should I go for first? Sridevi or Madhuri? And since both have sooooo many films, where do I start?

I remember the first time I got to watch Swallowtail Butterfly and found it interesting that Ayumi Ito spoke a couple of lines in Mandarin. Later I was surprised she was in the cast of The Go Master; it just seemed like Ayumi Ito had maybe some interest in working outside Japan. Interestingly, she’s also the one Japanese actress working in Kpop music videos [1], and I know for certain she speaks pretty good English.

Then again, Japan doesn’t seem to like its actresses trying to work in other markets [eg. Rinko Kikuchi, Koyuki xD]. I wonder if she hasn’t considered working in the US or Europe, or maybe they don’t consider her Japanese enough or hot enough. After all, US and European casting seems to be so random at times.

Anyway, while googling a photo of Ito for the previous post, I ended up running into this short film she did back in 2005 directed by someone called Nomura Yasuo (野村泰夫) titled Shanghai Lian Xiang (上海恋香) or translated to Shanghai Love Fragrance… or possibly referring to the smell of incense. The short that lasts 50ish minutes sees a Japanese young woman (I don’t think they mention her name) that arrives to Shanghai to deliver her grandmother’s ashes to the bay because she had spent the 1930s in the Japanese concession of the city. In there she met a young Chinese man and fell in love… and it’s all melancholy and sadness due to the events of the time.

There’s no much info except for this page.

Ito plays both characters of the woman and the young version of her grandmother, with dialog in different levels of Mandarin and Japanese. It gets a little confusing when you have to read Japanese for big chunks of Mandarin, and Chinese characters for most chunks of Japanese dialog xD But I think you get the point across.

You gotta get your Ayumi Ito fix any way you can.

There’s also a song that plays throughout~

春天来了树发芽
冬天来了飘雪花
你等的人等来了吗
我还在等我还在等
我还在等他
千山越过到你家
万水越过到我的家
你找的人找到了吗
我在寻找我在寻找
我在寻找他
夏天来了花儿美
秋天到了云追月
你等的人等来了吗
我还在等我还在等
我还在等他

I finally re-watched my BR copy of Kuch Kuch Hota HaiKajol’s eye makeup close-up in THAT scene on a big screen is stunning — my third time overall since I began watching Bollywood films and the best 9 hours of my life.

While watching KKHH last night, right after catching the trailer for Japan’s remake of Love Actually, it made me think what the world of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai would be like through the eyes of Shunji Iwai. Of course that would mean several cultural changes and cuts for length. I’m uncertain on whether I would place the main characters as college students or last years of high school… or even whether the school years should be taking place in the late 90s.

ayumi-ito-shugo-oshinari

What I was more focused on is the characteristics of the actors and their characters. For Kajol’s Anjali, I knew I needed someone who could be one of the boys but at the same time should be physically interesting, and I immediately thought of Ayumi Ito. Her boyish aura is best shown by her character in SOLANIN — her squishing the beer can is burnt in my mind — while having a sort of rough exterior. I know a lot of people who don’t mind Ayumi Ito, but I also know of some of these people who… given the time… were taken by her. So I don’t have any doubt in her talent.

Next up — I know SRK’s role is pivotal because Rahul is the epitome of the Bollywood heartthrob dufus, but I’m taking it down a notch. I’m not very knowledgeable about Japan’s heartthrobs, but I don’t want someone who would be too pretty to make guys nervous nor a guy that’s more of a guys’ guy. I thought Shugo Oshinari would be a nice middle point.
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I was finally doing some room cleaning, and ran into this plastic bag that had a whole bunch of the tickets of movies I caught while living/staying in Van. The results? Of course, I spent over two hours trying to make out some of the fade tickets, arranged them and put them in order of attendance.

movie-tickets-vancouver

The first movie that I caught there was Hulk at what used to be Tinseltown Cinemark. The first two columns cover my first year of studies. My maximum number of movies a month was 9 flicks in January 2004 (Cold Mountain, Big Fish, Peter Pan, 21 Grams, Along Came Polly, Monster, Butterfly Effect, The Cooler and Ginger Snaps 2), April 2004 (Hellboy, The Delicate Art of Parking, Kill Bill, Connie and Carla, Home on the Range, The Punisher, Dogville (twice) and Man on Fire), followed by July 2006 (Devil Wears PradaThe Omen,The Lake HouseThe King, PotC 2Lady in the Water, Strangers with Candy, and an unidentified movie that’s already faded) with 8 flicks.

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This is my first (proper) Aishwarya Rai movie, and though I wasn’t blown away or bothered by her acting (maybe yet); Sanjay Leela Bhansali more than over-compensates for his direction. While watching Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, I just kept thinking “this has got to be the most artistic movie to ever have a fart joke in.” It’s a pretty gorgeous movie to watch.

While watching the performance for Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje [lyrics + translation], my brain just went “OMG, this is a beautiful sequence.” Then again, so was my reaction while watching Black. And so it was with Khamoshi: The Musical. Can you tell I’ve been taken by his directing?

And the music in this was awesome. Is it really true that they spent two years working on it? Coz with IMDb, you never really know these things for sure.

Think this already deserves an India tag.

I just checked Amazon (and other online sources), and there doesn’t seem to be HD releases of his movies, though. It pains me so much.

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