Again?!

This is probably the closest one’d get to posting anything political as one can’t hold it back any more… !@#$%^&! Yours truly’s delicate sensibilities just can’t handle the noise.

Right. It’s the packaging and delivery that matter.

Oh, and editing…

And framing…

 

That’s all there is to it.

Now. Can we just fast forward and get this done and over with? Or just leave one alone to attend the more pressing matter of 1s and 0s?!

Thank you, Sir…

When the news of Isao Takahata (高畑 勲) passing on 5 April came via an app notification, I paused from reading a book. For a moment, my chest tightened with a familiar pain. And the memories of watching Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓, Hotaru no Haka) decades ago and the grief and devastation that had followed for weeks afterwards came flooding back.

His other films I’ve seen, ‘Only Yesterday’ and ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’, are equally moving but ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ still haunts me. Once seen, it stays with you forever. Just a mention of the film brings heartaches. I can’t think of any other films, animation or live-action, that come close to reducing me to a blubbering mess for days like ‘Grave of the Fireflies’. The fact that, to this day, it still triggers such visceral response is a testament to its profoundly moving story and storytelling.

And to hear and read that atrocities and sufferings depicted in this film are still happening today… I can’t hold back tears… Insensitive news coverage and click-baiting clips may have numbed us on war and tragedy that I agree with the cries, in the wake of the director’s death, that it should be mandatory for everyone, especially those running for positions of power, to watch ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ at least once.

 

Thank you, Sir, for the masterpiece…

 

Of The Other Master of Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata (1935-2018).

Afterthoughts on Forest of Secrets, and Its Biggest Mystery…

This is courtesy of dearest pal Al whose claim that Forest of Secrets (비밀의 숲/Secret Forest, or Stranger on Netflix) is on par or even better than Signal nudged one to succumb to temptation. Now that one has finished it (twice!), one should get these thoughts out of one’s system before one starts swinging axe to kill bug #29. Coherence be d@#n3d!

There is a scene in episode 14 that reminds one of a shot in Pacific Rim’s closing credits sequence. In a rather wierd way, it makes a handy shorthand for a summary of one’s impression of this drama. Forest of Secrets among kdramas is like Mr Del Torro’s Pacific Rim among Mr Bay’s Transformers films. And one agrees with the following sentiments: (0). Well-written and well-executed story; (1). Jo Seung-Woo and Bae Doo-Na take it to another level; (2). Those smiles! (3). More adventures of Hwang Shi-Mok and Han Yeo-Jin, please —they definitely can pilot a Jaeger together. Because this is one of those rare cases in which one actually digs the (non existent) romance in a non-romantic crime mystery thriller drama, indicated by the lack of need for palate cleanser afterwards (it’s Mitchellian rants and outbursts these days). In short, Forest of Secrets is a Kdrama done right.

Continue reading “Afterthoughts on Forest of Secrets, and Its Biggest Mystery…”

Going Rogue #2: Hwarang, Penultimate Week’s Afterthought

One doesn’t usually bother writing about kdramas one finds less than satisfactory. So this must be a lunacy, possibly with a capital L, on one’s part. This drama must have caused one’s wiring to short-circuit. Otherwise, how should one explain the following baffling experience…

At the end of episode 18, Sam Maek Jong walks into the Royal Court, interrupting whatever debate the court is rolling, and introducing himself as the King. Yet, one’s brain played a different game: “7 things Sam Maek Jong might be thinking whilst strutting…”

One came up with these initial possibilities…

Continue reading “Going Rogue #2: Hwarang, Penultimate Week’s Afterthought”

Lost in Fiction-land

This won’t do. !@#$. What’s with this blogging block one is currently in: unable to string words into coherent sentences; dreading the publish button so much that one is stuck forever drafting. So one looked up last year’s first post for inspiration, which was about a korean drama. Yet that line of thought goes nowhere since one has been in a state of dissatisfaction with kdramas after “Signal” ended in march 2016, which needs a separate post.

One needs to re-calibrate one’s expectation and keep in mind that “Signal” is the exception to Kdrama laws. This re-calibration will probably take years, judging from previous “Misaeng” effect. Or until both dramas’ director, Kim Won-Seok, comes with a new one.

This really won’t do. Yet one insists on conjuring something to post that one shall just do this the haphazard way then…

*cue for Bob James and Nathan East’s “Turbulence”*

Continue reading “Lost in Fiction-land”