Cinematography: Fallen Angels

Director: Wong Kar-wai
Cinematographer: Christopher Doyle

Having made visually stunning films together, Wong Kar-wai and Christopher Doyle are easily one of the best creative teams in the film industry. 2046, Ashes of Time, In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express, and Fallen Angels are just some of their best collaborations.

In Fallen Angels — WKW's splendid take on loneliness, melancholy, and undeclared love — Doyle had quite a big challenge: the film had only one day scene, so he had to make the most out of the night scenes, which he filmed in such a charming way.

Urban Hong Kong


Favorite Movie Moments: Jackie Brown

The final shot of 1997's Jackie Brown shows a close-up of Pam Grier's face, looking rather heartbroken while lip synching Bobby Womack's Across 110th Street. Driving away from a love that could have been, Jackie Brown (played by Grier) sings along the lines:


Cassavetes on Screenwriting

(Image source here.)

In 1953, John Cassavetes knew practically nothing about writing. Sam Shaw decided to help him by introducing him to Edward McSorley, a novelist, who gave him a crash-course in screenwriting. Cassavetes said that McSorley taught him the three most important things he knew:


Fave Movie Moments: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is considered by many as one of the most beautiful and transcendent — if not flawless — films of all time. Deeply cerebral and photogenic, Kubrick's 1968 oeuvre is utterly mesmerizing on many levels. (If I say too much, I might spoil the film's beauty; so please check it out if you still haven't.)

One of my most favorite moments in 2001: A Space Odyssey is its ending, which is mindf*ck at its most orgasmic. I've always thought that Kubrick's film is two films in one; you just have to watch it again right after your first viewing.


A Song from My Childhood

"Unhappiness where's when I was young, and we didn't give a damn."

Samuel Bayer, 1994

Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo... ♪

I wouldn't forget that tune. It's from The Cranberries' hit single Ode to My Family, an intimate ballad that reminds me of the olden days, when things are simple yet fun.


Starring Jodhi May

Okay. So I've been procrastinating lately, and this article has long been overdue. Waaay too long. Anyway, Jodhi May's 37th birthday was on the 1st or 8th of May, although some sources claim that she was born on the 30th of November 1974.

"Jodie" who? Jodhi May. Most audiences outside the UK might not be familiar with her because she mainly works in England, a serious actress usually seen in period dramas. Some of her films include The Last of the Mohicans, Flashbacks of a Fool, and Tipping the Velvet (if you're a gay woman, you've probably heard of this one).

If there's one actress who could blow you away with a mere glance, it had to be Jodhi. She's one of the few actresses whose eyes exude an intense amount of raw passion. You can see and feel her emotions through her eyes. That's a rare quality in an actor. And Jodhi is indeed one of the rare talents I've seen onscreen.

Here are my top five performance by Miss Jodhi:

1. Tipping the Velvet (2002)


Fave Movie Quotes: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Tommy: Look, I don't know what the hell your point is, but—
Varla: The point is of no return and you've reached it!


Cinematography: Le Havre

LE HAVRE (2011)
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Cinematographer: Timo Salminen

There's a longing that burns you. You'll have to return to the only life you'll ever know.

Those are the first lines of The Renegades' Matelot, a song that can be heard during the opening credits of Aki Kaurismäki's Le Havre. Kaurismäki's latest film is a minimalist yet compelling portrait of humanity. For me, the song gives the film a sense of melancholy and nostalgia. What makes the film more melancholic is Timo Salminen's irresistible cinematography. Salminen's work is composed of dramatic lighting, which is often accompanied by his elaborate use of silhouettes.

Le Havre in blue.



Favorite Movie Moments: The Conformist

Unlike men, women can do a lot of things together without being labeled "gay." We can hold hands, walk arm in arm, dance together, kiss each other on the cheek, sleep on one bed, etc. If I mention all of the things we can do together without society branding us "dykes," you might drown in its bounty.

Dominique Sanda and Stefania Sandrelli in Bertolucci's The Conformist.
 (Image source here.)


Delicious and Heartwarming

Jon Avnet, 1991

"Whither thou goest, I will go. Where thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people."
- Ruth 1:16

The '90s cinema was abundant with feminist films; there was Thelma & Louise, Nikita, The Silence of the Lambs, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Fried Green Tomatoes, The River Wild, Bound, G.I. Jane, Jackie Brown, Elizabeth, etc.

Among those films, Fried Green Tomatoes is the one whose approach to feminism I liked the most. It doesn't feature gun-toting women, rather it features everyday women who aren't afraid to speak their mind and assert themselves.


Cinematography: The Skin I Live In

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Cinematographer: José Luis Alcaine

Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In is a twisted tale of madness, obsession, and revenge.

The film features Antonio Banderas in his most sinister role as Dr. Robert Ledgard, an exceptional surgeon haunted by the demise of both his wife and daughter. Dr. Ledgard is currently in the process of finishing the flawless skin. His guinea pig is a mysterious "woman" named Vera Cruz (played by the beautiful Elena Anaya). Vera also has her share of dark past, and wants out of her claustrophobic existence.

Aside from the strange nature of the film and the actors' performances, another thing that stood out for me is José Luis Alcaine's cinematography.

Vera's reflection.


Fave Movie Quotes: Chasing Amy

You know, I didn't just heed what I was taught, men and women should be together, it's the natural way, that kind of thing. I'm not with you because of what family, society, life tried to instill in me from day one. The way the world is, how seldom it is that you meet that one person who just *gets* you - it's so rare. My parents didn't really have it. There were no examples set for me in the world of male-female relationships. And to cut oneself off from finding that person, to immediately halve your options by eliminating the possibility of finding that one person within your own gender, that just seemed stupid to me.

- Alyssa Jones

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