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Just finished watching Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 film, Breathless. It’s one of Godard’s best films and a very intergal part starting the whole French New Wave film scene which influenced so many filmmakers. In my opinion, it wasn’t as entertaining as my favorite Godard movie, Alphaville. There wasn’t much plot to the film and must admit I fell asleep twice just trying to watch the movie but for its amazing cinematography, its style, its dialogue and the fact that its a Godard movie, its definitely worth checking out.

Here are some screens from the movie which started the French New Wave scene:

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The Last Kiss Soundtrack

September 11, 2006

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I didn’t get a chance to see the sneak preview of The Last Kiss and you can question Zach Braff as an actor and his directorial debut in Garden State but you can’t deny his incredible taste in music. He won a Grammy making his “mixtape” or rather his soundtrack for Garden State and after listening to the The Last Kiss soundtrack, he might be on track for a second.

Tracklist:

1. Chocolate – Snow Patrol
2. Star Mile – Joshua Radin
3. Pain Killer – Turin Brakes
4. Warning Sign – Coldplay
5. Ride – Cary Brothers
6. El Salvador – Athlete
7. Hide And Seek – Imogen Heap
8. Reason Why – Rachael Yamagata
9. Hold You In My Arms – Ray LaMontagne
10. Prophecy – Remy Zero
11. Paper Bag – Fiona Apple
12. Today’s The Day – Aimee Mann
13. Arms of a Woman – Amos Lee
14. Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk (Reprise) – Rufus Wainwright
15. Paperweight – Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk

I ran into this via Shanghaiist :

A film about the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, based on the late Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking, is going to be made this coming year, with expected release dates in China of late 2007 and 2008 worldwide.

Sorry I’m about to get political..

I’m definitely all for awareness of what actually happened in Nanking during the Japanese WWII invasion BUT I’m extremely worried about how this will turn out. I wouldn’t even dare to make this event into a movie.

If the film does any justice to the book and what ACTUALLY happened during the Massacre, it’ll probably be the most gory, most violent, most disgusting film ever produced. Hands down. I’ve seen really powerful, moving, heart-braking war films but if this event is eventually put to screen, this would probably trump them all. It’s probably because it’s so close to home (me being Chinese).

After reading the book myself (though not having to finish it because it was too distrubing), I thought if I would be able to make a movie about the Massacre. Easily, no matter how much someone would pay me to direct the film, be it like 10 million or whatever, I honestly would say I wouldn’t be able to do it (seriously). To me, its just a way too sensitive and a heart-wrenching subject to be put on screen. For thousands tortured, raped and killed (est 300,000 in 3 months), I don’t think I can do justice to the victims. I think the content and the pure vividness of the book written by Chang (who committed suicide) was too graphic and too much for any reader.

I admire the balls on whoever is directing this film but it better be damn good, it better be sensitive to the victims and it better have a great angle on the story. I honestly wouldn’t even know how they can make a story out of it.

I think its good to promote awareness for the event but as some Chinese, there are still some built up tension towards the Japanese. Making this film will only make things worse. Riots and boycotts over the Japanese occured 2 years ago (?) when it was learned that the Japanese were altering and neglecting parts of WWII. This included the specific events of Nanjing. As well, the current Japanese PM continue to mourn the war criminals, some of whom were part of this event. Imagine if this film gets produced and viewed. The last thing anyone wants is excessive nationalism  in China, a reminder of what happened and resulting hatred toward the Japanese.

I’m not saying let’s forget about the event but I wish there was a better way to aware people of what happened and I don’t know if a film is the best way to do it. Let’s hope to God the studio whoever is producing it isn’t looking solely for financial purposes.

If it were up to me, I’d rather not have the film produced. If and/or when the film comes out, I don’t think I will be able to watch it unless the angle of the film is different from the one of the book. The book and the real photos of what happened were already too graphic/vivid enough for me.

If you want to learn more about the Nanjing Massacre, click here.

Side note:

I do not hold any hate or anger towards the Japanese because the WW2 masscre in Nanjing. I believe it is completely wrong that a lot of Chinese have blamed the Japanese people and believed all the Japanese people during that time should be responsible for the event.

The only ones who should be responsible are the ones who tortured, raped and killed the victims of the Nanjing Massacre- The Japanese army who performed the killings, the government who were aware of what was happening at the time and the supervisors who allowed the army to willingly take the lives of hundreds of thousands of victims.

Babel – New Trailer

August 2, 2006

Babel – Reason to watch: Alejandro González Iñárritu.

The director has perfected his unique style of non-linear plots and interconnecting stories in films such as ’21 Grams’ (one of my favorite films) and Amores Perros. With its story written by Guillermo Arriaga and a cast that includes Brad Pitt, Cate Blachett and Gael Garcia Bernal, you can’t really go wrong with this one. I smell Oscar. Can’t wait to see this one. Hopefully, I’ll be able to watch the premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

Here’s some good advice from one from one of the film icons, Billy Wilder. If you’re inspiring to write a screenplay or whatever, this could be very useful. It won’t guarantee you an Oscar but it’ll definitely give you a direction when writing.

As told to Cameron Crowe:

1. The audience is fickle.

2. Grab ’em by the throat and never let ’em go.

3. Develop a clean line of action for your leading character.

4. Know where you’re going.

5. The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.

6. If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.

7. A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.

8. In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’’e seeing.

9. The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.

10. The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then — that’s it. Don’t hang around.

[Source]