Category Archives: Movies

Watched ‘Watchmen’

Watchmen

Watchmen

Last night I watched Watchmen on DVD, an experience which left me feeling oddly exalted even though the film’s vision is bleak and filled with “cartoon violence.” I think it must have been the Dr Manhattan perspective…

Looking to prolong the experience I checked out Amazon’s Watchmen store & thought the “Complete Motion Comic” sounds interesting, or maybe Watchmen and Philosophy: A Rorschach Test (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series). to further ponder the issues raised in the movie….

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Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Last night I watched Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress on Netflix, a movie celebrating reading and the human need for stories.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

A few foreign (mostly French) novels transform the lives of people in a remote area of China during the Cultural Revolution. Two young men sent there for re-education manage to obtain the forbidden literature, which they read to the “Little Chinese Seamstress” (LCS) and retell to the villagers at various points in the film. Although they pride themselves on the way they are educating the LCS, she surprises them by taking the lessons to heart and walking right out of the men’s lives and out of the movie, her ultimate fate left unresolved, though the narrator and his friend both later try to find her. It is as though she wasn’t expected to have any agency of her own and then all of a sudden she does; probably that is how it seems from a male point of view! The narrator even goes back to the village to find her and asks for the “little seamstress” as though expecting to find her still there frozen in time, as she must be in his memory.

Also watched over the past few months: Flickering Lights (Blinkende Lygter), Porco Rosso, When the Last Sword Is Drawn, Chop Shop.

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‘Hidden Blade’ – samurai love story

The Hidden Blade by director Yoji Yamada has one swordfight scene embedded in a larger love story, with both aspects working together to illuminate the virtues of the main character. I enjoyed this movie quite a lot.

The Hidden Blade has a 7.8 rating at IMDB

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‘The Burmese Harp’ – war and spirituality

DVDNow that there’s not as much on TV, our Netflix subscription is starting to get heavier usage. Last night I watched The Burmese Harp, a classic Japanese film from the Criterion Collection. This film is often cited as an anti-war film, but the emphasis is on one soldier’s spiritual development as a result of witnessing the aftermath of war. Contemplation of corpses is a standard Buddhist meditation practice, and one that is unavoidable for this Japanese soldier in Burma at the end of World War II. Eventually becoming a monk, he remains behind to bury the dead.

The Burmese Harp at IMDB

The Burmese Harp at Wikipedia

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Juno – awesome soundtrack!

Juno Juno store at Amazon for DVDs, downloads, music, Orange Tic Tacs and more!

Kimya Dawson at Amazon

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If you like ‘Fight Club,’ ‘Amelie’ and ‘Lost Skeleton of Cadavra’: MovieLens movie recommendations

Enter your favorite movies and MovieLens offers recommendations based on your selections.

I entered Fight Club, Amelie, and Lost Skeleton of Cadavra and got these recommendations:

In Bruges (2008)

The Interview (1998)

Advise and Consent (1962)

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)

Samsara (Original Tibetan with English Subtitles) (2001)

Institute Benjamenta (1995)

Evil (2003)

Juno (2007)

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

Drifting Clouds (Kauas pilvet karkaavat)  (1996)

Porco Rosso (1992) 

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“King of Kong” meets “Word Wars”

King of KongToday I spent part of Cesar Chavez Day watching “The King of Kong,” a documentary about Donkey Kong players, available on Netflix’s Instant Viewing service — not exactly in keeping with the spirit of the day, one might say. 🙂
“The King of Kong” was recommended on the VeryShortList awhile ago… The movie reminded me of Word Wars, a similar documentary focused on competitive Scrabble players. Word Wars
Apart from the rivalries and intensely focused rather nerdy subcultures, both movies show people who are interested in pursuing excellence for its own sake, since the meager or nonexistent material rewards are evidently not the point, though peer recognition probably also plays a big role.

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