Whale Rider

I truly enjoyed Whale Rider. It was a beautiful film that introduced to me aspects of a culture that I had previously known nothing about. I fond myself sympathizing with the young girl who was not wanted by either her father or grandfather. The way she was treated just because she was the girl who lived seemed very unfair to me. I liked her spunk and determination to learn the old ways despite her grandfather’s objections. She had a genuine heart that made her a good leader and I am glad that her grandfather finally realized that in the end. I found myself wanted to cry right along with her when her grandfather did  not come to her school performance. I am glad that she lived and everything worked out in the end. I enjoyed the ending watching all of the tribal people, performing their ceremony and going back to the old ways. It truly was a proud moment not only grandfather and granddaughter, but the whole tribe. I highly recommend this movie.

November 30, 2010. Movie Reflections. Leave a comment.

Manufactured Landscapes

Manufactured landscapes was a very interesting documentary. I actually found it boring and intriguing at the same time. At times I was draw into the pictures or the stories, but the rest of the time I found it hard to watch. The photographer is a great photographer, making beautiful  pictures out of scenes that are manufactures by the worlds economies. It made me sad to see whole towns in China that were built around taking apart and disposing of our American e-waste. These towns were polluted by the e-waste and the people’s whole life was based on the task of disposing of it. I was also amazed by the Chinese people taking on the task of building the worlds largest dam. I liked the pictures, but wish the documentary was more interesting.

November 25, 2010. Movie Reflections. Leave a comment.

War Photographer

War Photographer was a very interesting documentary to watch. I am intrigued by this man who travels the world documenting human tragedy. I am surprised that people allow him to stand by and witness their most intimate moments of suffering and take pictures. It is a job that few people can take. I am interested in knowing more about how he copes with the amount of horror and suffering that he has seen and witnessed. He seems so humble, gentle and soft-spoken despite the horrific things he has seen. I was shocked with his photos of famine victims. They were nothing but skeletons with skin. He was right in saying that those are not usually the images that we see of famine because most are taken at feeding centers. It is important to document tragedy and to let the world know, so I value this task that he has taken on. It was a very interesting documentary to watch.

November 12, 2010. Movie Reflections. Leave a comment.

Shall We Dance? Japanese vs. American Version

 Shall We Dance? Was originally a japanese movie created in Japanese. It is a film about a Japanese man, unhappy with his mundane existence is drawn to a dance school by a beautiful woman he sees every day from the train looking forlornly out her window. He was drawn to dance by this beautiful woman, but eventually falls in love with dancing. His wife is afraid that he is having an affair since he stays out late and seems to be more happy, so she hires a detective to find out what he is up to. To be a dancer, especially a male dancer was not something looked well upon in Japanese culture. It was more of an embarrassment and something you keep a secret. He joins a ballroom dance class along with two other beginners and the fun begins. Eventually his dancing develops and he is entered into a composition where his wife and daughter surprisingly show up to. Eventually his secret is out and his beautiful instructor regains her love of dancing to compete once again in the Blackpool competition. It is story full of love, laughter and dance. Truly a delight to watch. 

 The American version starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Jennifer Lopez came later. It follows the same basic plot with a bit of a modern American twist. The differences between the two versions are not many, but they do make them different. I have seen both of these films before, first the Japanese version then the American version. I like the Japanese version for its peek into Japanese culture, but I still favor the American version. The two main reasons why I favor the American version is because I can watch it without having to read subtitles, unlike the Japanese version which is in Japanese. The second reason because I like the ending better in the American version. The ending is more developed and romantic. It makes me happy to see him reunite with his wife and dance with her. Both films are wonderful and the different characters are well-developed.

November 8, 2010. Movie Reflections. Leave a comment.

Curtains @ The Avo

I had the privilege of attending The Musical Comedy Whodunit Curtains at the Avo Playhouse in Vista on Halloween. I have never attended anything like it before. I have always loved mysteries and someday hope to have the opportunity to attend a mystery dinner theatre. This was the closest I have come so far. It was funny, entertaining and kept you guessing the whole time as to who was the murderer.

This comedy is set inside a theatre where the leading lady in the up and coming broadway musical flop Robin Hood is murdered after giving a horrible performance. She faints after giving her final bow and it is discovered that she was murdered by poison. The police send in Lt. Cioffi to investigate and discover who murdered the leading lady. The entire cast, crew and producers are all possible suspects and nobody is confessing up to the crime, so Lt. Cioffi places them all under “theatre” arrest until the case is resolved.  Lt. Cioffi has his favorite actress that he takes into his confidence and is determined to solve the crime. Everyone has their suspicions, but things heat up when the producer is found hung backstage. Now there are two murders and no murderer to be found. Everyone is fearing for their life and suspicion of some individuals is increasing. Lt. Cioffi uncovers a secret and starts questioning certain members of the cast as to why they are a part of the production. In the end the mystery is solved and Robin Hood becomes the hit Broadway musical that it was intended to be. As a courtesy to others I will not reveal the murderer. If you want to know who did it, go see curtains.

Not only was it a funny and entertaining show, but the acting was phenomenal. The main character Georgia, who took over the murdered leading ladies role in Robin Hood had an amazing voice. It was thrilling to watch her sing. The cast as a whole did a great job singing and portraying their characters. Overall it was a delightful afternoon full of laughter and mystery. I was totally surprised at the end when the murderer was revealed. I had my suspicions, but like any good mystery goes it wasn’t anyone I suspected.

November 4, 2010. Art Events. Leave a comment.