– The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (The USA ver) –

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Watched the American version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”,

you might wonder why now – as I never was in the mood of reading the novel, nor seeing the Swedish version of the film?

But I guess I just took years to feel like watching, since the theme involved heavily of violence toward women – from Lisbeth the main character to the woman who they tried to track down.

I adored Rooney Mara – she made a lot of drastic changes for this role, she was in the film as if she was the Lisbeth I imagined. The Swedish one wasn’t bad, but I liked Mara’s version for the contrast between her frail body and the extent of brutality she could carry out in return for the harm placed upon her. Her punk rock style also in part of my liking, as it reminded me of a character in Ai Yazawa’s NANA.

Daniel Craig was nice too, he was the kind of actor that can draw you to follow his every movement on the case. His interaction with Mara was heart-warming from time to time, even some were rather awkward to be put together.

The film clearly pictured the Swedish I was known through images etc that contributed to my stereotyped knowledge of Sweden, but it matched the atmosphere of the novel itself – the atmosphere of suffocation, preventing people to be able to break out or make a change.


– Paperblank Notebooks –

2187F.Scott.Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby Ultra

3377Kafka, The Metamorphosis Ultra

2660Darwin, Tree of Life Mini

3138Wordsworth, Letter Quoting “Daffodils” Midi

3134Mozart, The Hunt Midi

paperblanks-embellished-manuscript-monet-the-bridge-groot-3_4Monet collection

jennibick02568_2271_717081971Virginia Woolf – A Room of One’s Own Notebook

2672-3-Embellished-Manuscripts-Florence-Nightingale-UltraFlorence Nightingale – Inspiration Letter Notebook

I have always liked writing in my notebooks, notebooks like this mostly for stories or novel ideas.

My preference of notebooks have often been the Embellished Manuscript of Paperblank,

they used manuscripts, notes or letters of famous people onto the cover – which make the notebook itself extra special, carried the legacy in some ways.

– The Lovely Bones –

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Was watching “The Lovely Bones” at last, the film and the novel have been existed for some time. Yet I never got the courage to read, as it spoke of a girl being murdered.

The story began with Susie Salmon an ordinary 14-years old girl being murdered by a neighbour of her family, she watched in the interchange (bus stop kind of interchange I am referring to) between heaven and earth, of her family and friends coping with her absence. She also use her spiritual ability to help others, for example unsuccessfully attempt to make her dad turn back from running after the actual murderer. She also witnessed the changes within the family, from how her sister almost ended up being another victim, to how her mum and dad got into a breakdown in marriage for their take on breavement.

I liked the bit when she borrowed the body of a girl who could see ghost to kiss a boy she never managed to kiss when alive, but got pretty mad over the fact that the murderer never got caught despite numerous killing he made, even in the end his sin found him out by pushing him into the clifff. Yet then a lot of the time some of the people’s justice never got achieved, I feel bad for them.

– A Bunny’s Tale –

Please don’t be mistaken by the title, it was nothing innocent as you imagined.

It was in fact an investigation journalism written by Gloria Steinem, when she was undercovering in Playboy Clubs as Playboy bunny in the 1960s. She made up her names, backgrounds and age to enter the scene without causing trouble, there she seen many interesting situations whilst she seen/experienced deeply on women being treated unfairly as a sexual object.

Despite my disagreement on her opinion toward sex work and women, I must admit that her notes on her two months as the playboy bunny was indeed fascinating, just like reading insider’s tale on almost every industry. It also nicely described how sex work (voluntary ones, I use voluntary to distinguish in case people might think I neglect the potential coered ones) aren’t totally different from actual labours – we all worked hard with our body for the job given, we all have to put on a face/gesture/preparation to make a brilliant “performance”, as Arlie Hochschild (1983) would’ve said.

Even it’s Gloria Steinem and I wasn’t fan of her, her writing was in fact wasn’t bad.

Look it up -> http://dlib.nyu.edu/undercover/bunnys-tale-gloria-steinem-show-magazine (the actual article)

– SARA (film) –


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 –





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.