Monday, December 2, 2013

Before Midnight

<Before Midnight>------We're so important to someone but we're just passing through.

Directed by :Richard Linklater
Produced by:Richard Linklater
                        Christos V. Konstantakopoulos
                        Sara Woodhatch
Screenplay by: Richard Linklater
                          Ethan Hawke
                          Julie Delpy
Based on:Characters by Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan
Starring: Ethan Hawke
                Julie Delpy
Music by:Graham Reynolds
Editing by:Sandra Adair
Studio: Castle Rock Entertainment
Distributed by:Sony Pictures Classics
Release dates:January 20, 2013 (Sundance)
                         May 24, 2013 (limited)
                         June 14, 2013 (wide)
Running time:109 minutes
Country:United States

  Nine years after the conclusion of Before Sunset, Jesse and Céline are a couple and parents to twin girls conceived when they got together for the second time. Jesse is also struggling to maintain his relationship with his teenage son, Hank, who lives in Chicago with Jesse's ex-wife and who, after spending the summer with Jesse and Céline on the Greek Peloponnese peninsula, is being dropped off at the airport to fly home. Jesse has continued to find success as a novelist, while Céline is at a career crossroads, considering a job with the French government.

  After dropping off Hank at the airport, the couple discuss their worries about Hank having a healthy childhood and Céline deciding what to do with her career, before returning to the house of their Greek friend, Patrick. Over dinner they discuss ideas about love and life, and the other people staying with them buy Jesse and Céline a hotel room for that night so they can have some time alone. While walking to the hotel, the couple reminisce about how they met and how their lives have changed since then. When they arrive at the hotel, however, the two have a vicious argument, as both of them pour out their fears about a present and future together.

  Céline eventually storms out of the hotel room, telling Jesse she doesn't think she loves him anymore before sitting in the hotel's outdoor restaurant alone. Jesse joins her and playfully tries to explain to her how things can be different from tonight. Céline initially finds his attempts childish, saying that their fantasies will never match the imperfect reality their relationship constantly goes through. Jesse then proclaims his love to her, saying that he loves her unconditionally and is not sure what else she could want from a relationship. Céline suddenly resumes Jesse's joke and the two seem to reconcile.

  Compared with Before Sunset and Before Sunrise,Before Midnight is more realistic. It's about jobs, kids, salary...dull routines in everyday life and then love.Love becomes the last thing they think about.They have to deal with the turning point of Celine's career, 2 girls of their own and Hank, Jessie's son who still lives with his ex-wife. When relationship turns into marrige, they have to take the responsibility and can't be free as they used to be. 

  9 years after 9 years, the uninhibited boy in the past turns into a sloppy middle-aged men, and the woman with two girls is no longer the Celine who was young, pretty and romantic 18 years ago. 

  They quarreled. Celine becomes a common woman complaining the babysitting, housework,cheating of husband and that kind of staff. And Jessie gives up after making efforts holding her back. A romantic night seems to be ruined.

  Then everything gets back into track. Jessie finds Celine and greets like their first meet. They get back to the uninhibited boy and pretty girl.The pair who first fell in love with each other in Austria finally get back into love before the midnight of Greece.

Before Sunset

<Before Sunset>------I still love you but I'm afraid to admit it.

Directed byRichard Linklater
Produced byRichard Linklater
Anne Walker-McBay
Written byRichard Linklater
Ethan Hawke
Julie Delpy
Based onCharacters
by Richard Linklater
and Kim Krizan
StarringEthan Hawke
Julie Delpy
Music byJulie Delpy
CinematographyLee Daniel
Editing bySandra Adair

Distributed byWarner Independent Pictures
Release dates
  • February 10, 2004 (BIFF)
  • July 2, 2004
Running time80 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States

  Nine years have passed since the events of Before Sunrise, when Jesse and Céline had met in Vienna.
Since then, Jesse has written a novel, This Time, inspired by his time with Céline, and the book has become an American bestseller. To help sales in Europe, Jesse does a book tour. The last stop of the tour is Paris, and Jesse met Céline there.just like in Before Sunrise, Céline and Jesse's reunion is constrained by time. As in the earlier movie, the characters are forced to make the best of the little time they have together, making it easier for their conversations to become ever more personal, beginning with the usual thirty-something's themes of work and politics and then, with ever increasing passion, approaching their love for each other, just as their time together is running out.

  In the concluding scene, Jesse plays a Nina Simone CD on the stereo system. Céline dances by herself to the song "Just in Time" as Jesse watches her. As Céline imitates Simone, she playfully imitates Simone's voice and says to Jesse, "Baby ... you are gonna miss that plane." As the camera slowly pans in, Jesse smiles while nervously fidgeting with his wedding ring and responds, "I know", as the film ends.

  Does Jesse catch the plane in time or stay with Celine for another night? People ask themselves.Does it matter that Jesse leave or not? People then realize.

  90% of the movie is made up of conversation. The other 10% is the scenery of the gorgeous Paris, their loving eyesight and tacit silence. In this world, we'll meet different people everyday and the one who can communicate with you like a soul mate may only show up once in your whole life. And if you happen to meet the one and have a really good time, should you keep him for longer even the rest of your life?

  For Jessie and Celine, the answer is no. They have already know the end if they say yes. Undoubtedly, if they start the relationship as usual, it'll end as usual, tired and scarred, nothing left but the love memory of the past time and deep regret for being together. So they say goodbye and miss each other for the rest of their life. That makes this love perfert and forever, although with pity, countless and hopeless.

  9 years later, I still love you but I'm afraid to admit it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


<Coraline>------The nightmare we all have

Directed byHenry Selick
Produced byHenry Selick
Claire Jennings
Screenplay byHenry Selick
Based onCoraline
by Neil Gaiman
StarringDakota Fanning
Teri Hatcher
Jennifer Saunders
Dawn French
John Hodgman
Ian McShane
Music byBruno Coulais
CinematographyPete Kozachik
Editing byChristopher Murrie
Distributed byFocus Features
Universal Pictures (DVD)
United International Pictures
Universal Pictures International (Non-US)
Release date(s)
  • February 5, 2009(Portland International Film Festival)
  • February 6, 2009 (United States)
Running time100 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States

  Coraline Jones moves with her mother and father to the Pink Palace, a dilapidated mansion renovated into an apartment building in Ashland, Oregon, which is also occupied by retired actresses Misses Spink and Forcible, and eccentric Russian acrobat Mr. Bobinsky. With her parents perpetually working on a gardening catalog and paying little attention to her, Coraline feels neglected and decides to explore their new home, meeting Wyborne "Wybie" Lovat, the grandson of the apartments' landlady. While exploring, Coraline finds a small door sealed off by a brick wall. That night, Coraline is awakened by a mouse and follows it to the small door where she discovers a long, dark corridor in the brick wall's place. Coraline goes through it and finds herself in the Other World, a fantastical parallel version of the Pink Palace inhabited by doppelgangers of her parents called the Other Mother and Other Father, who look a lot like her parents but have black buttons for eyes. These beings prove to be warmer and more attentive than Coraline's real parents, particularly the Other Mother, who does everything she can to impress Coraline. Coraline decides to stay the night at the Other World, but when she wakes the next morning, she finds herself in her old world.

  Despite warnings of danger from her neighbors, Coraline continues to go to the Other World at night to escape from the doldrums of her real life and is entertained by button-eyed "Other" versions of her neighbors, including a mute Other Wybie, who guides her through the Other World. During her third visit, Coraline encounters a black cat from her own world that has the ability to talk in the Other World, and he warns Coraline of danger. She disregards the warnings until the Other Mother invites her to live in the Other World forever if she sews buttons over her eyes. Coraline is horrified and demands to return home but the Other Mother angrily reveals her true form as a monstrous witch and traps Coraline in a small room behind a mirror.With the help of the Other Wybie, Coraline escapes to her own world, but finds that her parents have been kidnapped by the Other Mother.

  Armed with a seeing stone provided by the real Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, Coraline returns to the Other World and challenges the Other Mother to a game to find her missing parents and the eyes of the ghost children in the Other World, agreeing to have buttons sewn in her eyes if she loses.

  Finally, Coraline wins the game.With her parents done with their work and able to spend time with their daughter, Coraline holds a garden party with her family and neighbors.The movie ends with Coraline content with her new life.

  This stop-motion animation first reminds me of Corpse Bride directed by Tim Burton because of both the animations are in a very strange atmosphere.One of the most important reason why I like this movie is that it describes the growing up of a little girl. No matter how horrible the other world is, Coraline decides to save her parents without hesitation. That makes me realize that love, true love for families, friends will give courage and power, shape us fearless like heroes saving the world.

  Besides, it's also impressive that the other mother says,even the most proud people can be hurt by love. This most proud person, the other mother, may be hurt by love once, and scar is left on her heart which leads her to a control freak,possessive about the one who's loved. Sometimes, we need to recover from love hurt by ourselves instead of being ill for the life left.

  And if there's anything for parents, that must be Don't forget your children even if you are really busy, or they'll find the other parents in the other world.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Love Will Tear Us Apart

<Love Will Tear Us Apart>------It's love that makes me lose you.

Directed by: Li Weiran

Screenplay by: Zuo Yeben / Li Weiran

Starring: Feng Shaofeng / Ni Ni

Type: love/drama

Country: China

Language: Mandarins

Year: 2013-10-12(mainland)

Length: 96mins

  The story happens between Liangliang and Miaomiao. Liang is a copywriter of an advertising company and one day he encounters Miaomiao, an actress. After helping Miaomiao for several times, Miaomiao finally falls in love with Liangliang and the two live together.

  At first, they do live a happy life but owning to their nature as a man who loves freedom and a woman who lacks sense of security, the love between the two youth makes them lose themselves. Miaomiao tries to control Liang like a nut while Liang feels bitter becayse of losing freedom. More love, more pain. Finally , they break up. It's love that makes them together and tears them apart.

  The director of the movie Li Weiran uses the story of Liang and Miao to tell the
contradiction between men and women. Of course Miaomiao is Control freak who we can't find in real life. But every woman has a Miaomiao instate, more or less. So does men, keeping a Liang in their own world,crazy for freedom. 

  The movie is viewed as relationship that hurts most. When the most self-willed man come across the most vulnerable and insecure women, the tragedy does happen and it's always incurable.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

<The Girl Who Leapt Through Time>------Youth is the best thing we could have in our life.

Directed by :Mamoru Hosoda

Produced by :Takashi Watanabe
             Yuichiro Saito

Written by :Satoko Okudera

Based on :he Girl Who Leapt Through Time by Yasutaka Tsutsui

Starring :

Riisa Naka
Takuya Ishida
Mitsutaka Itakura
Sachie Hara
Mitsuki Tanimura

Music by :Kiyoshi Yoshida

Cinematography :Yoshihiro Tomita

Editing by :Shigeru Nishiyama

Studio :Madhouse

Distributed by :Kadokawa Herald Pictures

Release date(s) :July 15, 2006

Running time :98 minutes

Country :Japan

Language :Japanese

  Seventeen-year-old Makoto Konno lives with her family in the Shitamachi area of Tokyo, Japan. One day, when Makoto is on duty,she inadvertently falls upon a mysterious, walnut-shaped object and then got the power for time-leap. At first, Makoto uses her power extravagantly to avoid being late, to get perfect grades on tests, and even relive a single karaoke session for an entire hour, but Makoto soon discovers that her actions can adversely affect others.

  Makoto ends up using up most of her leaps frivolously, to prevent undesirable situations from happening, including an awkward love confession from her best friend. Makoto eventually discovers a numbered tattoo indicating that she can only time leap a limited number of times. Using her remaining time leaps, Makoto attempts to make things right for everyone. Makoto impulsively uses her final leap to prevent a phone call from Chiaki asking if she knows about time-leaping. Due to this, she arrives too late to prevent her friend Kōsuke Tsuda and his new girlfriend from being struck by a train when they borrow her faulty bike. However, time suddenly freezes and Makoto discovers Chiaki nearby.

  Chiaki confesses that he is from the future, the walnut-shaped object is a time-traveling device and he used it to leap through time to see a painting that is being restored by Kazuko, as it has been destroyed in the future. While walking with Makoto in the frozen city, Chiaki explains that he stayed longer in her time frame than he originally planned. He admits to using his final leap to prevent Kōsuke's accident and has stopped time only to explain to Makoto what the consequences will be. Having revealed his origins, the nature of the item that allowed Makoto to leap through time and being unable to return to his time period, Chiaki must disappear. Makoto realizes too late that she loves him...

  Like most youth theme anime film, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is very successful in shaping a imagine of young girl and describing the inner world with mixed feelings of seventeen-year-old. Although usually what attracts people is time leap, but what the movie really wants to say is love, love between families,friends, schoolmates etc.Time leap is just a good tool to show it, so it's unwise for some audiences who blame the logic of the time leap to entangled in the exact rules for this magic power.

  What impresses me a lot in this movie? Makoto almost loses Chiaki because of not making the decision being the GF of Chiaki in time. Sometimes, when you have to make choice, running away doesn't help to make the choice later. When you choose to run away, the have already make your choice and lose your chance to make it in a more reasonable way. So why not calm down and face the choice instead of escaping? After all,whatever you do, being brave is better than running away.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Ideal City

<The Ideal City>-------The satire aimed at modern China

Directed by: Sun Bohan

Screenplay by: Sun Bohan

Starring: Fang Zuming / Wang Taili / Yang Di

Type: Comedy/drama

Country: China

Language: Mandarins

Year: 2013-09-18(mainland)

Length: 98mins

  The ideal city is a movie based on the novel with the same title by the popular writer Han Han. It tells about two youth who mistakes that they killed one person in a fighting and escaped to a little town,a lot of ridiculous stories happening there.
  The whole story seems absurd because of the plots and characters logical thinking. The writer of the book try to use this absurd mocking the sick society, which is accustomed to the injustice.
  The director keeps the absurd atmosphere and inserts the confusion and sadness of one character's inner world into the movie once a while. In the process telling the story, the director succeeds in using carton taking place of real scenes which decreases the cost of the production and add the absurd feelings. The disadvantage of the movie is the director try to include as much as plots in the books which leads to the pointless of the story. 
  The performance of the actor Wang Taili is brilliant. He plays the role of Jian who's unlucky and smart aleck. Compared with him, Fang is not that good who's not that expressive.
  In one word, the movie deserves to watch if you only go for fun.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

<Vicky Cristina Barcelona> ----------Three women play a drama

Directed by
Woody Allen
Produced by
Letty Aronson
Jaume Roures
Stephen Tenenbaum
Gareth Wiley
Written by
Woody Allen
Running time
96 minutes
United States
Narrated by
Christopher Evan Welch
Scarlett Johansson
Rebecca Hall
Javier Bardem
Penélope Cruz
Javier Aguirresarobe
Editing by
Alisa Lepselter
Wild Bunch
The Weinstein Company

  Vicky Cristina Barcelona tells a story of a relationship between three women and one man happening in romantic Barcelona. Vicky and Cristina who are best friends goto Barcelona for vacation and study. They encounter a Spanish artist,Juan AntonioGonzalo, and he invited them to join him right away for the weekend in the city of Oviedo, in a small plane he flies himself, for sightseeing, fine eating and drinking, and hopefully, lovemaking. Cristina is won over by the offer almost at once, but Vicky is unimpressed and reluctant; she however eventually decides to accompany her friend. And both two girls fell in love with Juan Antonio Gonzalo. After flying back to Barcelona,the two begin to grow apart, Vicky throwing herself into her studies and Cristina moving in with Juan Antonio. Then Vicky is joined in Spain by an enthusiastic Doug and the two get married while Juan Antonioex-wife María Elena gets back and lives with Juan and Cristina together.Meanwhile, Vicky realizes she is unsatisfied in her married life and still attracted to Juan Antonio. Life becomes a farce for these three women.At last,As the summer winds to a close, Doug, Vicky and Cristina return to America; Doug never learns what truly happened, Vicky goes back to her married life, and Cristina is back where she started,unsure of what she wants.
 In this film, Woody Allen shape the roles of Cristina,Vicky and Maria who are women of different type.Vicky is practical and traditional in her approach to love and commitment, whereas Cristina imagines herself to be a nonconformist, spontaneous but unsure of what she wants from life or love. And Maria is sensitive and charming,mentally and emotionally unstable but talented. Most women find themselves in the three girls. Thats what the director wants. Normal women are just a combination of the three,only different in proportions.

  Scott Tobias wrote in the Onion AV Club that it was "a witty and ambiguous movie that's simultaneously intoxicating and suffused with sadness and doubt". We seethe terrific understanding of women in the directors mind and read the love letters addressed to Barcelona through the movie.But he doesn't make a solution to all the problems between friends, couples and lovers at the end of the movie. Maybe it's his way to tell us life is a question without answer.