May 25, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (III),
by Gore Verbinski

At the End of the World, the Adventure Begins.

After Elizabeth, Will, and Captain Barbossa rescue Captain Jack Sparrow from the clutches of the Kraken, they must face their foes, Davey Jones and Lord Cutler Beckett. Beckett, now with control of Jones' heart, forms a dark alliance with him in order to rule the seas and wipe out the last of the Pirates. Now, Jack, Barbossa, Will, Elizabeth, Tia Delma, and crew must call the Pirate Lords from the four corners of the globe, including the infamous Sao Feng, to a gathering that will make their final stand against Beckett, Jones, Norrington, the Flying Dutchman, and the entire East India Trading Company.

May 21, 2007

May 17, 2007

May 13, 2007

Voss, by Patrick White

The plot of this novel is of epic simplicity: in 1845 Voss sets out with a small band to cross the Australian continent for the first time. The tragic story of their terrible journey and its inevitable end is told with imaginative understanding.
The figure of Voss takes on superhuman proportions, until he appears to those around him as both deliverer and destroyer. His relationship with Laura Trevelyan is central personal theme of the story.
The true record of Ludwig Leichardt, who died in the Australian desert in 1848, suggested Voss to the author.

Patrick White was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973.
Disturbia, by D.J. Caruso

After his father's death, Kale Brecht becomes sullen, withdrawn, and troubled -- so much so that he finds himself under a court-ordered sentence of house arrest after a run in with the law. His mother, Julie, works night and day to support herself and her son, only to be met with indifference and lethargy. The walls of his house begin to close in on Kale. He becomes a voyeur as his interests turn outside the windows of his suburban home towards those of his neighbors, one of which Kale begins to suspect is a serial killer. But, are his suspicions merely the product of cabin fever and his overactive imagination?
Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others), by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

The movie debut focuses on the horrifying, sometimes unintentionally funny system of observation in the former East Germany. In the early 1980s, the successful dramatist Georg Dreyman and his longtime companion Christa-Maria Sieland, a popular actress, are big intellectual stars in the socialist state, although they secretly don't always think loyal to the party line. One day, the Minister of Culture becomes interested in Christa, so the secret service agent Wiesler is instructed to observe and sound out the couple, but their life fascinates him more and more...

Moh waan chue fong (Magic Kitchen), by Lee Chi-Ngai

This hilarious Hong Kong romantic comedy plays on competition generated by the wildly popular Japanese television show IRON CHEF, in its tale of love and revenge. Yau (Sammi Cheng) owns and cooks for a successful restaurant and has created a life for herself based on following rules and order. When she appears on IRON CHEF, however, she runs into her ex-boyfriend Chuen (Andy Lau). Discovering that Chuen is engaged to marry Yau's best friend, Yau throws her rules to abandon and sets about gaining revenge. Notably, in addition to featuring pop stars Cheng and Lau, MAGIC KITCHEN also features Taiwanese idol Jerry Yan

Magic Kitchen stars Sammi Cheng as Yau, a female chef who has built a very successful professional life, but at the expense of a rewarding personal life. While making an appearance on the popular television program Iron Chef, she comes into contact with an old lover who she discovers is planning on marrying one of her close friends. She becomes jealous and starts using her chef's skills to get even.

“The tale of the scorpion and the frog. A scorpion comes to a river bank. It doesn’t know how to swim. It sees a frog. So it asks ‘Can you help me cross the river?’ The frog says, ‘Of course not. If I carry you, you’ll sting me at the back.’ ‘I won’t do that, the scorpion says, that would kill us both.’ So the frog carries the scorpion across. Halfway, the scorpion stings the frog. "When they are both sinking, the frog asks why. ‘It’s my nature’, answers the scorpion."
Noise, by Matthew Saville

The community reels after an incident on a suburban train. A young cop, beset with doubt and afflicted with tinnitus, is pitched into the chaos that follows this tragic event. He struggles to clear the noises in his head while all around him deal with the after burn of the crime.

Graham McGahan is a cop - almost by default he thinks. Self centred, beset with doubt and afflicted with tinnitus, a few days before Christmas he is sent by his boss to man a police van in a suburban shopping strip, after violent murders rock the local community.McGahan starts to engage with traumatised members of the local community, as they deal with the afterburn of these terrible crimes. He learns to come to grips with his role as a cop and a man. But terror has a way of finding the most vulnerable amongst us. Noise deals with the response of an ordinary young man, to the challenge posed when a community is affected by tragic events. The film shows we are at our best when the worst occurs.
The Science of Sleep, by Michel Gondry

Close your eyes. Open your heart.
In dreams emotions are overwhelming.

The Science of Sleep is a playful romantic fantasy set inside the topsy-turvy brain of Stephane Miroux (Gael Garcia Bernal), an eccentric young man whose dreams constantly invade his waking life.
While slumbering, he is the charismatic host of Stephane TV, expounding on “The science of sleep” in front of cardboard cameras. In “real life”, he has a boring job at a Parisian calendar publisher and pines for Stephanie, the girl in the apartment across the hall. While Stephanie is initially charmed by Stephane, she is confused by his childishness and shaky connection to reality. Stephane’s co-worker, Guy, a vulgar but practical man, offers advice on the opposite sex, but Stephane is too far in the clouds to listen. Unable to find the secret to Stephanie’s heart while awake, Stephane searches for the answer in his dreams.

Written and directed by Michel Gondry, the boundlessly inventive creator of award-winning film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep is a whimsical trip into a cut-and-paste wonderland fashioned from cardboard tubes, cellophane and imagination.

May 11, 2007

The King's Last Song, by Geoff Ryman

A great king brings peace to a warring nation. Centuries later his writings will bring hope to those facing the heart-rending legacy of Cambodia’s recent history.

When archaeologists discover an ancient book written on gold leaves at Angkor Wat, everyone wants a piece of the action but the police, the Army and the UN are all outflanked when the precious artefact is stolen, and its guardian, Professor Luc Andrade, kidnapped along with it.
Luc’s love and respect for Cambodia have won him many friends, including ex-Khmer Rouge cadre Map and the young motoboy William. Determined to rescue the man their consider their mentor and recover the Golden Book, they form an unlikely bond. But William has no idea just how closely Map’s violent past affects him.
The Book contains the wisdom of King Jayavarman VII, the Buddhist ruler who united a war-torn Cambodia in the twelfth century. With his enlightened wife he created a kingdom that was a haven of prosperity and learning.
The King’s Last Song skilfully interweaves the ancient story of Cambodia’s greatest king with the modern tales of Luc, Map and William. It is an unforgettable and dazzling evocation of the spirit of a land and her peoples in all their beauty and tragedy.

“Love was still possible. Kindly love, alleviating love, love which warmed and elevated. Love which made sweat sweet, feet beautiful, grass into a soft bed. Love gave anyone with the capacity to be happy for others a moment of pleasure. Love gave hope to anyone with a particle of courage left. It gave anyone whose strength was not exhausted a reason to think that life could always offer something.”

“I canoe through that inundation of sadness now at the end of my days. I have canoed through all my other battles on that same lake of tears. For we are angels, we are demons, we can be anything we care to be, but when the blood dances, the blood spurts. And then tears follow.”

“Khla krap kón tha khla sampéah. If the tiger lies down quietly before you, don’t say it respects you.”

May 01, 2007

A Very Long Engagement, by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
From the director and star of "Amelie" (Audrey Tautou) comes a very different love story, "A Very Long Engagement," based on the acclaimed novel by Sebastien Japrisot. The film is set in France near the end of World War I in the deadly trenches of the Somme, in the gilded Parisian halls of power, and in the modest home of an indomitable provincial girl. It tells the story of this young woman's relentless, moving and sometimes comic search for her fiancée, who has disappeared. He is one of five French soldiers believed to have been court-martialed under mysterious circumstances and pushed out of an allied trench into an almost-certain death in no-man's land. What follows is an investigation into the arbitrary nature of secrecy, the absurdity of war, and the enduring passion, intuition and tenacity of the human heart.
Margaret Atwood - Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake was begun in March, 2001. I was still on a book tour for my previous novel, The Blind Assassin, but by that time I had reached Australia. After I'd finished the book-related events, my spouse and I and two friends travelled north, to Max Davidson's camp in the monsoon rain forest of Arnheimland. For the most part we were bird-watching, but we also visited several open-sided cave complexes where Aboriginal people had lived continuously, in harmony with their environment, for tens of thousands of years. After that we went to Cassowary House, near Cairns, operated by Philip Gregory, an extraordinary birder; and it was while looking over Philip's balcony at the red-necked crakes scuttling about in the underbrush that Oryx and Crake appeared to me almost in its entirety. I began making notes on it that night. (says Margaret)

“Pigs might not fly but they are strangely altered. So, for that matter, are wolves and racoons. A man, once called Jimmy, now calls himself Snowman and lives in a tree, wrapped in old bed sheets. The voice of Oryx, the woman he loved, teasingly haunts him. And the green-eyed Children of Crake are, for some reason, his responsibility.”

Welcome to the outrageous imagination of Margaret Atwood.

“There’ll be the standard quintuplet, four men and the woman in heat. Her condition will be obvious to all from the bright-blue colour of her buttocks and abdomen – a trick of variable pigmentation filched from the baboons, with a contribution from the expandable chromosphores of the octopus. As Crake used to say,
Think of an adaptation, any adaptation, and some animal somewhere will have thought of it first.
Since it’s only the blue tissue and the pheromones released by it that stimulate the males, there’s no more unrequited love these days, no more thwarted lust; no more shadow between the desire and the act. Courtship begins at the first whiff, the first faint blush of azure, with the males presenting flowers to the females – just as male penguins present round stones, said Crake, or as the male silverfish presents a sperm packet. At the same time they indulge in musical outbursts, like songbirds. Their penises turn bright blue to match the blue abdomens of the females, and they do a sort of blue-dick dance number, erect members waving to and fro in unison, in time to the foot movements and the singing: a feature suggested to Crake by the sexual semaphoring of crabs. From amongst the floral tributes the female chooses four flowers, and the sexual ardour of the unsuccessful candidates dissipates immediately, with no hard feelings left. Then, when the blue of her abdomen has reached its deepest shade, the female and her quarter find a secluded spot and go at it until the woman becomes pregnant and her blue colouring fades. And that is that.
No more No means yes, anyway, thinks Snowman.”