Monday, 28 November 2011

Prague - the puppets

Prague's famous for its puppets. I still can't get over the fact that I didn't see any puppet show - a friend told me I have to see it (he couldn't when he was there) and I tried my very best to book, but I'm just really unlucky - the groups I wanted to see were out of town / not available on weekdays (I didn't spend any weekend there). :( 

The puppets I saw are all pretty cool though. Of course there are ones which are mass-produced and aren't of a high quality, but in general the ones I saw are all pretty cute! 

A few pictures I took (I may update this later, when I have sorted the pics... there are too many) 






This is not a puppet but it's very cute! :) 

Prague & Cesky Krumlov trip: FOOD

These are pics of some of the food we consumed in Prague and Cesky Krumlov (can't be bothered to sort all food pics again...). To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with Czech food - I was expecting lots of mouthwatering goulash but all the goulash dishes I had were just okay. S was really disappointed with the bread dumplings - I think both of us appreciate German dumplings A LOT more! But Prague and Cesky Krumlov are beautiful places so it's okay... :) 


























Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Machine Gun Preacher


Saw this quite a while ago and never got round to writing about it. The film had quite an impact on me because being the ignorant me I had no idea there are still so many civil wars going on in Africa. After seeing the film, I kind of understand why there are countless numbers of Africans seeking asylum here, because life back in that place is simply unbearable. Of course, I'm not saying that certain countries have / don't have the obligation to receive refugees, as this is an all-too-complex issue, and in a way it is the ambiguity of the issue which highlights how selfless Sam Childers is. When you're living a carefree life, and in Childers' case, a better and corrected life in the grace of God, few would contemplate abandoning it all and going to dangerous foreign places to rescue people. While his approach of defending the Sudanese people may be questionable (machine gun?!), his intentions are noble.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

50/50


To be honest, plot-wise there's nothing much too interesting to write about, so I'm just gonna jot down a few random observations / personal anecdotes here:

Has it ever occurred to you that friendships like that between Adam and Kyle in the film hardly exists in real life? I mean, you are such good 'buddies' that other relationships in your life are kind of sidetracked and your 'buddy' is the most important person in your life, whether you're in a romantic relationship or not. Sometimes I really wonder if it's just me, or that these friendships are just 'invented' to make all of us feel bad about ourselves! Well, what I actually wanted to say is that I wish I had a friend like that...

Anna Kendrick did a good job with Katherine the PhD student there. She feels so 'real', it's almost like she's not acting and she's really one of those PhD students who collect data from patients for their thesis without really thinking about what those people are going through.

And then there's of course the overbearing but endearing mother of Adam's. She's hilarious in her protective ways, but you quickly sympathise with her - she isn't born like that, life has forced it on her. Which reminds me: shouldn't we all walk in others' shoes before judging them?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Castor and Pollux - ENO


Castor and Pollux by the ENO is a modern adaptation of Rameau's opera Castor et Pollux. It depicts the Greek classical story of the two brothers who love each other so dearly they are prepared to sacrifice their life and their lovers for each other. I quite like the modern take, though certain treatments are a bit weird if you ask me - for example, I don't understand why the nymphs have to keep removing their panties when they are trying to tempt Pollux to stay on Mount Olympus (there were ever so many panties to remove, it's both hilarious and embarrassing); and why, when Castor is in hell, the others in funny clothing suddenly begin to remove their clothes and start walking naked on stage. The nudity isn't necessary, in my opinion, as it has nothing whatsoever to do with the plot (or anything, for that matter) and it's actually quite distracting! (It's hard not to stare at the naked people walking around...) I also find the scene where a hand 'comes out' of the hill to 'finger' Phébé quite disturbing... what does that mean???? But overall it's an interesting take and the music's a lot better than other modern operas of ENO's (e.g. The Passenger, Two Boys) we've watched!

On another note, I can see how this story (and in particular, the last scene of Télaïre wandering aimlessly on stage after both Castor and Pollux are 'received' by Jupiter) can be interpreted by feminists as having a phallocentric theme. Romantic love involving a woman does not matter, despite the fact that both brothers are supposedly in love with Télaïre, and both women in the story - the evil Phébé and the loved Télaïre, are abandoned and punished for their love in the end. What kind of story is that? 
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