Posts tagged with "movies"

I’m the hero of the story

(This first. Listen to the clarity of the lower octave notes that Regina adds in waves and waves at the end of the chorus; you can tell it’s a quality grand piano just from how those notes resonate — an upright would sound much muddier at the low end. This is the song that plays on day (408) and it’s fucking perfect. Also, title from the lyrics.1)

It would appear that someone made a movie of my last relationship, and (500) Days of Summer is to #8 as Eternal Sunshine was to #4. The interesting part is that it was released early last year, during the relationship, and I wonder if it would have changed anything on my end, had I seen it then. And if she saw it now, would she understand things from my perspective? Or does she understand already? And if other people saw it, would they understand how one could unwittingly get their hopes up when things are so clear from the beginning?

I’m so glad Marc Webb, the director, treated the material with such grace. You can tell it was based on experience because the tender moments come from a real place (co-writer Scott Neustadter admitted Summer was based on a girl who “returned his kisses but not his ardor”). In an interview, Joseph Gordon-Levitt said, “I’ve had my heart broken before. Truly, truly broken. But when I look back at me in my heartbroken phase, it’s pretty hilarious, because it felt so much more extreme than it really was. One of the things I love about (500) Days of Summer is that it doesn’t make light of what we go through in romances [emphasis mine], but it is honest about it and shows it for what it is, which is often profoundly funny”, and I completely agree. I also appreciate the fact that they don’t villainize Summer because she never takes advantage of Tom2, and at the same time, it doesn’t make the agonizing days he goes through any less significant or difficult. In a profound way, it brings justification to everything I was (or am) going through. I suppose I’m just waiting for the punchline.


Watching it has left me feeling emotionally devastated lately, almost as if I’ve regressed, and lost months of progress. Perhaps it’s because seeing it was like seeing her again, reliving the entire thing from day one, from when we had met in the office. Like a recovering alcoholic falling off the wagon and taking his first sip in 5 years. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the message, and as well as the recommendation to watch the movie from Darren.

Even though I’ve tried to completely forget and move on, I’ve come to learn it’s not that easy. It’s almost as if you have to accept the all the memories, both good and bad, as much as you accept your own qualities and flaws.

The days, months, years you spend with someone significant will inevitably change and shape you. To deny them is to deny yourself.

I found it fascinating to trace the plot developments to parts of my own story. The entries I’ve written over the last two years echo the sentiments so strikingly in dialogue, songs, and voice-overs.

Things in blockquotes are either narrator voice-over or directors notes. I listed the events linearly too (even though the film is presented in non-linear fashion) for the sake of clarity. It’s also interesting to see how the calendar title cards change backgrounds, from bright and sunny, to red and simmering, to grey and bleak.


This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen, of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he’d never truly be happy until the day he met “the one”.

From my entry The Penultimate Letter — “My whole life, I looked for someone like you. Someone who was capable of raising me to my potential, someone who was worthy of the love I have to offer. But even then, I never knew I was capable of a love that resonated so deeply in my person.”

Continue reading “I’m the hero of the story”…

  1. Or is it? []
  2. Ironically, the gender roles are reversed, and it’s Tom’s date who’s the voice of reason here. []

Swine Flu Movie Reviews

Being sick is one of the most difficult things for me. It’s a psychological mind game. Not only am I unable to be productive1, which is something that normally keeps me sane, it’s the only situation in which I feel like I can’t take care of myself. All I’m left with is this misery, this suffering that mentally wears me down. On a long enough time line (though I’m talking months to years), I lose the will to live.

I started getting some symptoms since Tuesday afternoon, when I was feeling faint at work. When I woke up the next day, the symptoms had gotten worse. I spat into the sink, and cheered the fact that my phlegm wasn’t dark green, which is the case when I have strep throat (something that seems to happen annually to me). I should say that I only suspect swine flu, since I didn’t have a blood test confirming it, but the person who gave it to me told me she had it, so I’m going on her word, and my symptoms match up with how swine flu is different from seasonal flu.

For me, it’s been:

  • runny nose with extremely watery mucous
  • stuffed nose
  • loss of appetite
  • mildly sore throat
  • dry cough
  • headaches
  • very slight fever
  • hot flashes and sweating

This flu, though drawn out, has actually been easier than strep, which is so painful for me that I get fairly severe headaches. I went through two entire boxes of tissues, and I’m sure I would have gone through more, I had not spent almost the entire time like this:

Nose tissues

On the upside, it was an excuse to drink Neo Citran every night, which I also call Yummy Sleep.

In the five days since I realized that I have the flu, I didn’t leave my house, aside from going across the street to buy groceries. Not a single one of my friends called me (although some of them probably didn’t know I was sick), which was a little disheartening, but I didn’t let it get to me. Jen offered to pick up groceries for me, but I didn’t take her up on it because the offer was enough of a morale boost.

This time, I survived, I did it by myself, and I’m stronger for it.

To keep myself sane, I watched a record number of movies. Usually, it’s hard for me to watch movies, because I feel guilty for not being productive, but this time I embraced my sickness. I may watch one every two weeks when I’m healthy, but this time it was nine in five days (ten if I hadn’t passed out in the middle of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice). Here are some quick reviews. Warning: SPOILERS.

Continue reading “Swine Flu Movie Reviews”…

  1. I have the motivation, but it isn’t enough when my head feels like it’s exploding from the inside. []

Speaking Chinese

I’ve been speaking pure Chinese for almost an entire week straight. Certain muscles in my tongue that I didn’t know existed are tired. People tell me they’re surprised at how good my Chinese is — not just in terms of pronunciation, but vocabulary as well — and wonder how it’s possible without any means of practice. I can’t explain this myself, aside from a constant interest in learning new terms, and a love of Chinese movies (although this is more of a love of Hong Kong, and Chinese movies are my sentimental way of revisiting it). There are also some Chinese terms that have no English equivalent, and people are always shocked when I know them.

Somehow, I can switch between the languages quickly when I’m here. I even catch myself counting in Chinese now, which they say is what reveals your mother tongue.

Documentary Night

Picking vinyl

Thumbnail: Banister kitty
Thumbnail: CD rack
Thumbnail: Playing Wii
Thumbnail: Tree piece
Thumbnail: Stealing kitty

A camera to mask my shyness, a lens to hide behind.

At Audra and Jesse’s I felt like I was back in university. Meeting people, learning names, throwing in for some pizza. Except this time, I wasn’t being dragged, kicking and screaming to the party. Maybe I was just feeling social, because I hadn’t seen my own friends in so long.

I learned that playing Punch Out on the Wii is as natural to you as it was back when you were in your room back in elementary school, crying because you were no one’s best friend. That watching Air Guitar Nation — when it’s hard to tell how seriously the contestants take themselves — is much more enjoyable with sarcastic comments applied liberally from the audience.

I want to know these people.

I want to find out what drives them. I want to know why they create, why they’ve chosen their mediums. Why they hang out together. Why they studied what they studied. Why they have the jobs they do.

They’re well-read, educated, opinionated, cosmopolitan. I felt somewhat out of place. Topics of conversation weren’t even close to my interests. Concerts aren’t my scene. Politics confuse me. Things are happening to other friends I’ve never met. But when there’s this much to learn, listening is just as good as taking part.

It was past midnight by the time I got home, but I had hard time falling asleep. My brain was buzzing, trying to take in everything I had just experienced.

Eagle vs Shark

Eagle vs Shark

Eagle vs Shark is the new Postal Service.

The movie I can’t stop watching. The movie I can’t watch with anyone else.

Not because it’s painful in any way, but because it’s sacred. A movie where no one else would understand the way I see it. A reminder that I was adored once too, when someone loved me beyond limit or condition. (A memory that I need right now.)

But I will leave you with this little song, if only for a short while. You need colours and candles in your room when you listen though, and an imagination will serve you well. Having a makeout partner and wearing a costume of your favourite animal is optional.

That is all you need to know, for this is all I can say.