Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shelf Life: Some Cats and Tigers

*** Gurls, thanks a lot for all the support you've been showing Bubbles these past days. It's delightful that many of you find him as an inspiration to bring your Body Mass Index to 18 (when we all know it should be at least 16, chai mai?).

I'm expecting more personal weight-loss miracle stories from you, my sweethearts! Now move, it's time to start werqing. ***

OK, enough of this weight talk coz we all know once I start yakking about weight it's hard for me to not go on and on and on.

Let's talk about not so faggoty stuff for a change.

It's review time!

Let's start with movies, shall we?

I had the chance to watch in DVD two German films, and coincidentally they both feature the lives people lead before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Goodbye Lenin (2003) is a comedy about how a son (Alex) protects his mother (Christiane), who just came out from a coma, from further fatal shock. Christiane is a hardliner of the GDR so Alex intricately recreates for her the world of the recently-dismantled East Germany.

Goodbye Lenin is a heart-warming and tender film that weaves family, its secrets, and its truths at a time when monumental change sweeps through a country. It is also a satire of political bravura and the hard blows it receives when history makes a drastic turn.

Meanwhile, The Lives of Others (2006) is set five years before the downfall of the GDR when the Stasi, the omniscient secret police, was closely watching political dissidents. One of the organization's best men, Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler, was tasked to head an operation that would monitor a famous writer and his actress-girlfriend.

While Wiesler zealously takes on the job, he is caught by the lives of the people he watches over, from their petty fights, to their passionate lovemaking, and to their tender moments. The usually staid and detached Wiesler, played to perfection by Ulrich Muhe, soon discovers a whole new layer to the couple's relationship and he is suddenly confronted with the dilemma to exercise his power to both hide and reveal the truth.

As a political drama, The Lives of Others, is a genius of a film that explores the place of our humanity and morality in the midst of boundless power.

Ok, two recent reads I recommend...

First is The White Tiger (2008) by Aravind Adiga, which is a rather amusing confession to murder by a Bangalore cab driver. Told as a narration directed to China's premiere, Wen Jiabao, the novel recounts one man's fall from grace as a consequence of the injustices he faces in modern Indian society.

Never before in human history have so few owed so much to so many, Mr Jiabao. A handful of men in this country have trained the remaining 99.9 percent - as strong, as talented, as intelligent in every way - to exist in perpetual servitude; a servitude so strong that you can put the key of his emancipation in a man's hands and he will throw it back at you with a curse.

Around a month ago, I also read my first Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore. Because of the author's popularity, I've always wondered what makes him damn coveted and why his work occupy substantial shelf-space in bookstores, ha. Well judging on this book at least, I think I know why... Murakami is kick-ass bizarre (in a good way of course).

I still don't know how to describe the plot, but essentially we meet in the book a bevy of characters - the boy who ran away from home, a wandering man who talks to cats, a mysterious head librarian, and her transvestite of an assistant - crossing paths at some point or another.

The book is enthralling and requires readers to just ride along the author's unbridled imagination. It's really a good introduction to Murakami, which would keep you wanting for more.

You're afraid of imagination. And even more afraid of dreams. Afraid of the responsibility that begins in dreams. But you have to sleep, and dreams are part of sleep. When you're awake you can supress imagination. But you can't suppress dreams.


Bryan Anthony said...

ay dami naman nice movies.

btw, i moved my blog. please update the link.



[G] said...

ive seen these two films, winner sila! i'm glad you liked murakami as well. good choices!

kawadjan said...

byran: true! the sad thing is we hardly have time to watch them.

g: what other murakami books do you recommend?

jayclops said...

wow nice! i have already goodbye lenin but can't find the time to watch it. I really liked The Lives of Others pud. recently lang pud nako nabasa ang The White Tiger. The novel can't help but be socio-political, but is richly entertaining also, in an amoral way hehe. If someone needs to take a closer, interesting look at India, The White Tiger is a better experience than Slumdog, I think.


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