Theatre

– Far from the Madding Crowd –

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Carey Mulligan as

Carey Mulligan as “Bathsheba” and Matthias Schoenaerts as “Gabriel” in FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD. Photos by Alex Bailey.  © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
All Rights Reserved

Went to watch “Far from the Madding Crowd” with my friend J,

I remember watching the television version in 1998 back in Ashville, at the EFL room.

The story constantly left me drowsy, mainly for many ideas uncleared.

One of thing I remembered of, was that the woman being courted by three men, and one of them shoot the other to death.

This time however, the film provided a richer description on the situation and the world the characters were in, which made the story a lot more whole.

Throughout the film I liked Gabbriel Oak the most, as he was calm, careful, very critical and objective on various matter. These skills enabled him to help Bathsheba the heroine to solve many situations, therefore made him a match/equal for her without dealing with actual wealth. Mr Bolden the gentleman was too cotrolling – maybe because he lived a sheltered life with people in distance, so Bathsheba was like a breath of fresh air for him. Yet like the old man in Marquez’s “Memoirs of My Melancholy Whore”, he gone mad with desire. I dislike Troy deeply, for his recklessness with Bathsheba.

Two unforgettable scenes – one was the beginning when sheeps that Gabriel once owned fell to their deaths from jumping off the cliff, the scene was so horrific I almost screamed. The other was the proposals – the first round poposals of both Gabriel and Mr Bolden, they both offered Bathsheba marriages and mentioned “and a piano”. Piano back then was something that all women have to learn in order to be worth the pursuit, of course in current days it would be seen as stupid and sexist. J and I laughed over it, this seemed a far cry for us – our freedom to chosse to be married or not, and how back then these things were so hard to happen.

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– SARA (film) –

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In Hong Kong, SARA the film caused a load of stirs and talks because of this scene,

the scene was an actress call Charlene Choi and after years of playing sweetness and innocent, she plays in this film a woman who went through many problems, from being sexually assaulted by close relatives to having a sugar daddy. Sara was a woman she met in Thailand, whom shared a very tragic fate with C.C.’s character and C.C. wanted to save.

I must admit I am more than interested in her relationship with the sugar daddy, especially their interpretation from “sell & buy” to building up an actual attachment.

It also brought questions over Hong Kong’s issues, from government being corrupted and useless to all kinds of matters.

I would like this film to be shown in Film 4 one day…

(trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ6sIE2m5fU)

 

– Byzantium –

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Finally watched Byzantium last night, after cooking vegetable fried rice !! I must admit despite the brutality style of killing/murder in the duration of the film, I quite enjoyed it. Some said the story was hardly interesting (as there are no excitement), but I enjoy it as it was like mystery novels you gotta keep flipping pages… I like Saoirse’s character, filled with history and want to write to let the world know her story. However I have issue with the boy she falls in love, especially when he betrayed her trust by passing her story to the tutors and cause troubles for her and her mum (Gemma Arterton).

Gemma Arterton reminded me of “Mona Lisa” (N.J.s previous film I watched) – they both have been working as sex worker for sometime, both were strong and able to react quickly to situations. However I like Arterton’s character more because of her clean-cut and resourceful characteristics , for example she was able to turn a run-down hotel into a brothel. Also the times when she was able to get up and go with work, such as the time as soon as she arrived the town she began working her way to money as a street sex worker. Sex Work in my eyes through this film was like vampires, both were so against the law (morality more like) yet shared such strong aura for attractions and a deep sense of history.

One of the things I liked and noticed was Neil Jordan’s choice of location, in both “Byzantium” and “Mona Lisa” many events happened at seaside town (my guess was on Brighton). Seaside towns back in the post-world-wars were the most popular choices of working class families for summer holidays, they eventually gone into ruins (part from Scarbrough and possibly Whitby) states when airline travel become accessible. The decadance suit the vampire’s “long histories” well, for their symbolism of memories and past happiness…

One of the most visible thing was the brotherhood – in the film the entitlement of becoming a vampire was just like selecting a barrister: rich, male and powerful. G.A.’s character broke all three entitlements: women, poor, with no powerful family (sex worker too). Yet her seizing chances gave her eternal life and S.R.’s character. While she was able to liberate (well in theory) women to fight for her own life, the brotherhood claimed she has to be killed in the film, the pursuit equals the relentness fight women have to take, to ensure their rights not being taken away.

So yes, overall it was a nice film, actually I need to re-watch “Interview with the Vampire” some point.

– The Tide of Life –

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I have known (not well) Catherine Cookson since high school,

an Auntie of my friend’s then boyfriend was a fan of Cookson’s tv adaptions,

almost every Sunday afternoon he would sit in front of the television to watch any adapton of hers.

For many years despite my growing interest, it never occured to me to watch any adaption of hers.

Without knowing how today I watched one of her adaption – “The Tide of Life”.

It was about a woman’s life as a housekeeper, she went through lives and troubles as she worked her way.

She fell in love with a man who posed as the husband of the house (but turned out he was only a lover), tried to build life with him when he lost everything but instead he kept betraying her, to the point he told her to leave the house and she burnt pretty much all the furnitures available.

In the end she found love of course, but through the ex-husband of the man’s lover – it was an odd line, but then again he seemed a nicer guy than the lover.

 

– Mona Lisa –

I was watching this film (thanks my man for taping it!) nights before,

it was a very interesting film,

about a friendship between a call-girl and an ex-convict who tried to rebuild relationship with his kid.

They began working together when he began driving her,

until one day she asked him for help to find a close friend of hers.

Part of him was lonely, so he lost his hard and found himself fallen hard.

Yet in the end he realized he was hardly anyone special to the call-girl.

I wasn’t surprised by the scene, as sex workers don’t befriend people easily.

Yet part of me felt sad as I see that or experienced that kind of situation in many days of my life.

(p.s. gone addicted to the song sang by Nat King Cole)

 

– One Day –

I would say “One Day” by David Nicholls was the only work that I liked both on screen and in writing, beside “The Great Gatsby”.

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The journeys were easily related for me as a university student, struggling to work out about myself.

Especially Emma, for her wish to write to change the world.

As for Dexter, I hated him for being so fucked up but liked him for he was just as vulnerable.

Througout the life they went through many obstacles and sense of losses,

guess the book’s main point was life is too short, need to capture when we can.

– The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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Was watching this film because of Emma Watson,

but just like many films about teenagers,

it is as usual (without much expectation) a likable film for sure.

Also relatable to many for issues that they have to deal with during their high school times.

Like this quote:

Charlie:Why do nice people choose the wrong people to date?

為什麼好的人總是選擇不對的人呢?

Bill:We accept the love we think we deserve.

我們選擇接受我們認為好的愛。