Listen to Your Inner Voice

I wrote a post that I had to set to private at the last minute, entitled, “The Experiment.” Far from what I usually post here, it’s probably one of the most intimate article I’d ever written in my life.

It was written at the point in my life when I had to make a tough decision. I had help from my inner voice. I knew the voice was wise and I should’ve listened. But with every dilemma, we have another voice that’s more primitive and raw – less concerned about consequences. And I gave in.

And now, I live with the consequences of my actions. I knew  I should have listened to the wise inner voice but I was weaker than I thought.

Only time will tell if I eventually will find the peace I’d lost. But I’m hopeful my future will be brighter with the knowledge that I will never be alone again even after he leaves as he left a precious cargo behind.

 

Advertisements

The Battle with Myself

My last post was in February and now I need to renew my subscription. What a waste! And I have no one to blame but myself.

I’ve missed the continuous clickety-clack of my keyboard, denoting the creation of something new – a story or an article. Whatever, it’s a creation! But I’ve been stuck again, a bottomless rut without a light in sight.

Forgive me for being such a drama queen today. I just gotta pull myself together again trudge on this murky life of mine.

The Imitation Game: Gratuity-Free, You’re Welcome.

I’ve heard about Alan Turing’s story before watching The Imitation Game, starring my favorite Brit, Benedict Cumberbatch. I knew that he was a gay math genius who broke the German’s Enigma machine, then got arrested for indecency that led to his chemical castration and eventual suicide.

I was preparing myself for hard-to-watch gay scenes (as I’m a prude straight woman, I usually close one eye on these scenes) and the suicide scene which I predicted would make me bawl as if I’m having my PMS. I was also prepared to be annoyed by Keira Knightly (not a huge fan).

Wouldn’t you know it there were non of that at all! Not one gay sex scene in a movie about a homosexual! That’s amazing! The suicide scene I was waiting for didn’t materialize either. And Keira Knightly was believable and not annoying at all.

As expected, Benedict Cumberbatch was excellent. How could he not be? Alan Turing was basically Sherlock Holmes. There were some controversy about Benedict’s quote on Metro about people assuming his characters have some form of autism. But clearly, Alan Turing is displaying some serious signs of Aspergers Syndrome.

Mathew Goode was good (haha). He’s truly one of the hottest British actors today(I loved him since Chasing Liberty). His character was a perfectly charming complement to Benedict’s socially awkward one. And how about the Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones cross-over, huh? I still kept seeing Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister in an army uniform, instead of his armour. Allen Leech aka Tom Branson in Downton Abbey as the spy for the Soviet Union I think was a bit far-fetched as he has a naturally kind face that could do no evil.

I like how the film was structured, going to and fro from the last moments of his life, to war time, and his childhood days at boarding school. It clearly illustrates where he’s been and how it affects his present circumstances. It made the audience more sympathetic as they understand Alan as a person and not just the genius who broke the German encryption.

I love the portrayal of his friendship with his team including Keira’s character, Joan. How she could agree to be his wife knowing he was gay truly made me admire her more. It made me think about my own gay best friend who I definitely don’t see marrying as I am a normal person without a genius IQ as is he.

I can see why this movie is nominated for a variety o awards including the Oscars. Too bad they didn’t win. But still, cheers to Alan Turing as he ushered in the age of the Digital Computer.

Gone Girl: Misogynist or Feminist? Who Cares?

I just watched this movie and I loved it! I was planning on reading the book first but I’m stuck in a rut lately. I’ve not finished a damn book for months; I think I need to have my internet taken away!

Anyway, I now realized what everyone was raving about. Gone Girl is an absolutely smart and unique take on the mystery and thriller genre. The plot was a bit outrageous but not entirely implausible.

Relating to the feminist context, I thought the movie is very feminist but after seeing that shocking scene with Barney, I mean Neil Patrick Harris, and Amy’s (SPOILERS!) eventual return to her husband, Nick, who’s now afraid of her, I thought that’s a bit misogynistic. But who could blame him really?

The story turns the battered wife-abusive husband trope on it’s head. In Gone Girl, it’s the wife who’s a violent pyschopath who manipulates her victims and audience to her bidding. What’s interesting is everyone’s reaction to what was happening. I’m sure that the media won’t be so forgiving if it was a man who came back bloodied after murdering a woman, even if that woman kidnapped him and used him as a sex slave, meanwhile causing his wife to become a suspect in his “murder.”

It’s fascinating how Nick (Ben Afleck) in the end, feels trapped by his marriage to a woman he’s afraid could hurt him in his sleep. It echoes the majority of battered women trapped in a loveless marriage, forced to live under the thumb of their male partners.

On the other hand, I thought that the movie is also feminist as it shows that women can take control and direct their lives to where they want to be (although faking your death to frame your husband might not be such a good example to women). She used every weapon she had, including her sexuality, to get what she wants.

The very open ending of this film might cause frustration on the part of the audience but I don’t mind it at all. It allows us to imagine how their lives would become. Would he finally get the guts to leave and get a divorce? Would she eventually get a gun and shoot him in the head as he snores? (And sing “he had it comin'” “he only got himself to blame…”) Or would the town wake up to a murder with Nick Dunne holding the box cutter, this time?

We may never know…

Broadchurch Season 2: How does Chris Chibnall do it?

I watched Season 1 of Broadchurch in 1 day and in 1 sitting. Although it goes against the traditional police procedural, this drama series is as compelling as early season CSI episodes. I would not want to compare it with another British police drama, The Fall, but then I think I need to. The Fall was an extremely slow burn series. Both are intelligent but I found Broadchurch to be more accessible with all the back stories of each character very intriguing almost verging on soap opera tropes but holding itself back with incredibly powerful performances and smart writing.

It’s also visually stunning. I wouldn’t mind moving into that idyllic town with a cliff on the beach, rustic cottages, and small town charm where everyone knows everyone else’s business. The production really took advantage of the location in Dorset. I love the cinematography and how they compose the shots. The place itself adds another layer of character to the story.

I’ve seen up to Episode 3 and so far, I love the new series. It continues from where the first season left off – the trial of Joe Miller, the suspect in the death of Daniel Latimer. We see what happened to the characters after the shocking reveal. It seems the intrigue continues and no one has moved on.

I think the main strength of the story lies in the relationship dynamic of the characters. Some of their relationships are rarely portrayed. Example is the prosecutor and the defence (or defense) lawyers (or barristers). The retired prosecutor (Jocelyn Knight played by Charlotte Rampling) used to be the defence attorney’s (Sharon Bishop played by Marianne-Jean Baptise) mentor and professor. It’s revealed and implied that Sharon Bishop asked Jocelyn’s help for her son who was now incarcerated for an unknown (yet) reason but her mentor refused. It appears to be the main motivation for the character to help out the accused.

And of course, the Mulder-Scully (at least in the TV series) esque relationship of DI Alec Hardy and now, PC Ellie Miller. So rare is this platonic friendship based on mutual respect ever explored with a man and a woman. Somehow, TV and movie executives always mess things up with sexual chemistry, as if friendship between a man and a woman is not possible.

The former best friends Beth Latimer and Ellie Miller are also explored in the wake of the tragedy. It’s interesting how each character react with the other. Will their friendship ever be mended?

I can’t wait for the next episodes. Chris Chibnall certainly can deliver another great season of Broadchurch. Makes me wish he’ll be Steven Moffat’s replacement for Doctor Who (you know, when time comes). I know he’ll give us a Doctor Who we’ve never seen before.

 

The Sound of Music: As I Bid Adieu to 2014

FYI, Facebook, this year has not been great. How could it be when you’ve lost a beloved brother, whose life was just starting to make sense. As Idris the T.A.R.D.I.S. said, “I’ve been looking for a word. A big, complicated word but so sad.” “Alive.” It’s sad when it’s over. When you’ve experience a tragedy like that, you can’t help but be intimately acquainted with the concept.

However, time moves on, waiting for no one. And now we say hello to hopefully a better year in 2015. I wanted to start the year right by getting off my ass, dusting off my keyboard and finally stop procrastinating and update this blog.

As a kid, Christmas used to be my favorite holiday but as an adult, I feel a bit jaded as my wallet gets lighter from all the obligatory shopping I had to do. I was feeling nostalgic about my childhood so I watched something that always made me all warm and fuzzy, far from my usual sarcastic and cynical self. I watched Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music.

As an 80’s kid, this is the musical, maybe the only musical you care to know the lyrics to. I remember my sister and I bonding over our favorite songs such as “My Favorite Things” and “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”. Studying at a Catholic school run by nuns just added to the relatability factor, really. In my school, I remember we even had a full-blown production of the musical. Nuns absolutely love movies about nuns.

Watching this in 2014 is just as enjoyable, if not more so for the added nostalgia factor, as when I first watched it when I was 6 or 7. My feminist side winced at lyrics like “You need someone older and wiser telling you what to do,” though.

I was totally crushing on Christopher Plummer! He’s totally dreamy as Captain vonn Trapp. And Julie Andrews was fabulous, of course.

According to Wikipedia, the movie was initially turned down by some producers because it was too saccharine. The actual people and events it’s based on are actually very far from what was portrayed in the film. Well, if they based the movie closer to what’s historically accurate, I doubt it would result in a musical. It would probably a grittier story much too depressing to sing about.

I’m glad we have this “too saccharine” musical for times when we just want something to make us feel better, much like a tub of ice cream after a heartache.

 

From My Dream Diary: Neil Gaiman, Mr. Sandman

Neil Gaiman
Photo from Wikipedia

So I just woke up, groggily typing away everything I remembered.

11/20/2014

I dreamt about Neil Gaiman. Strange.

I can’t totally remember all the setting but the later part of my dream was set in my house, particularly, my room. There was some incident involving torture in which both Neil and I were the victims. There’s this interrogation type of a room with at least 5 strangers monitoring my reactions (we didn’t get tortured together apparently).

At least 3 people were touching my hands and arms, they seem to possess some sort of negative psychic powers that affected me physically. I felt my heartbeats fluctuate and felt actual pain in my chest. One had to go away as I couldn’t take the intensity.

I don’t know why we were tortured but I suppose we were rescued. The next scene was in my house. I was thinking I’ve got a connection with Neil Gainman now! We were practically buddies so I can ask him to sign all the Gaiman books I had! I was not a true fan girl of his but I do read almost everything so I do have a few. So I run to my bookshelves to try and find some of his books.

I found Neil looking at my book collection and I’m embarrassed because some of my sister’s romance pocketbooks were also there (we shared the room but she seldom goes home). I defensively mentioned that those particular books weren’t mine (and please don’t judge meeee!).

I managed to find only 2 books but I can’t remember which ones. I only remembered the second one was a non-existent book that’s really a compilation of different authors and artist. It was a large hardbound book with gold-leaf edges and a gold-colored first page (which I tore from nervousness in passing it to him). I figured, he drew something in there (as contributing artist) so it qualifies.

I think I managed to pull out more stuff but he had to leave and I woke up.

In reality, I only owned a few Gainman books. I’m interested in reading the Sandman graphic novels (although I’m not into graphic novels really) but nobody seem to want to lend me some.

So far, I’m not what you can call a true fan although I do admire his incredible imagination. The problem I think is that I have trouble relating with his characters.

I’ve read: Neverwhere, American Gods, some of Fragile Things, and the Graveyard Book (in audiobook). I’ve also read a few other short stories from other collections.