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.