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Sometime ago there was this post that went viral, written by a mom who was travelling either for business or pleasure. One of the things that struck me (and many of her readers) was that she said being stuck alone on a flight was pure bliss, me-time that was hard to come by and that she intended to use it by watching movies back to back. I can’t claim to have no me-time, but I don’t have uninterrupted guilt-free time, and so I too fantasized about what I might do on a flight, and yes, the idea of back to back shows with me in charge of the remote did excite.

See, in-flight entertainment is exciting in the same way that inflight meals are. The choices are laid out for me and I have to choose. Just the way I like it.

grand-budapest

I am always drawn to watching reruns of chick flicks, but I try to be stern with myself and choose something edifying. I oscillated between The Grand Budapest Hotel and Bird Man, decided on the latter (more edifying) but ended up entering the channel for the former and so stuck with it.

And I have to say, I loved it. It might become one of my favourite films. Expectedly quirky and in the magic realist tradition. Somehow it didn’t seem off that everyone was speaking in American accents, except for Ralph Fiennes who was excellent. Why don’t people get Oscars for performances like this? Understand but impeccable. Also for a film with war as the backdrop, no sad ending. Yay! Just a really really charming story charmingly told.

Before Sunrise

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So someone, probably MinCat or my friend K, told me that I should watch this film, and one of them said she didn’t like it but I should still watch it. Because it sounded like exactly the kind of film I would love.

And in theory it is. Walking and just talking and one night’s grand romance in a great European city, what’s not to like? It’s probably been my personal fantasy for more than half my life.

But I realized, and this may be part of the reason the film fell flat for me, is that it’s not my fantasy anymore. My fantasy is not to meet anyone on a European trip, but rather to be alone (which is what I did on my most recent one, heh). If a guy came up to me and said the things Jesse did, I’d at best laugh, at worst get annoyed.

Frankly, Jesse could only be taken as charming because he’s goodlooking. Otherwise, he said very boring teenage things. Celine was better looking and more interesting. But still. Is it that I’ve just outgrown that kind of conversation? Possibly. But also, it reminded me that the conversation between people in love is fascinating only to them.

Honestly, I had to force myself to watch till the end. At which point, I can’t say I hated it, there were points that I liked, but it could really be so much more interesting. If they didn’t say the clichéd intelligentsia type things.

I mean the whole idea of backbacking through Europe and traipsing into quirky places and buying records or whatever is such a cliché. Which reminds me, why is that form of consumerism okay? Go to Disney, it’s more honest, I say. Ok I digress.

But I don’t have much more to say about the film. I should have watched Pretty Woman. Now I’m afraid I will feel pressured to watch the sequel and waste another 2 hours of my life.

Pretty Woman

pretty woman

I watched. I cried. I fell in love with Richard Gere as the original Mr Big. felt like a sap by being so moved by schtick. But I also felt like there was more to the schtick. Well I would.

Birdman

birdman

My first encounter with this film was a clip shown by a guy in our gender class. Specifically, it was the clip during which the protagonist meets the critic who can make or break his career. My impression was the aggressive masculinity of the encounter and that coloured my impression of the film as a straight white male’s egocentric preoccupations. Watching the film, I don’t think I’ve entirely changed my mind, and yet, there was something intriguing about it. It was a more enjoyable ride than the usual Hollywood drivel, masculine though it’s aesthetic may have been. There is a poignant scene between women in the film, and Emma Stone was awesome. Also the scene with the critic takes a on a new resonance in the light of my own recent, um, experience.

Force Majeure

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This movie centres around an episode that happens with a family (mother, father, son and daughter) are on a skiing holiday. While eating at a restaurant in the Alps, an avalanche happens. The father basically runs off leaving the mother alone with the children. He then returns and pretends nothing happens. The incident implodes the tensions in the marriage. I found it riveting for obvious reasons.

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