Moonlight orchestra

23 02 2017

This track, The Middle of the World, is a highlight of the sumptuous classical score of Moonlight. The much-heralded black gay arthouse sensation also incorporates a performance by Janelle Monae, a song by Caetano Veloso and a flurry of references to Wong Kar Wai, to name just three of this blog’s favourite people.


La La Land at the Lido

31 12 2016


I went to see La La Land (which I loved) at the refrbished Lido theatre in Hawthorn, an eight screen arthouse complex above an inner-suburban arcade, complete with rooftop gardens screen and jazz bar.

Weekend report

12 12 2016


It was a weekend of perfect Winter weather and aimless wandering. I spent a clear-skied Saturday walking, first from Central to Sai Ying Pun, via streets selling dried seafood and a stop in Winston’s, the inexplicably annoying expat hipster cafe by Sai Ying Pun station, where I waited an ill-tempered eternity for a flat white. Then I hopped on the train to Mongkok and wandered over to Sham Shui Po, shopping at street markets for knick-knacks on the way. This was followed by a lunch of eggplant and fish at the Kam Mong robot restaurant in Mongkok.


On Sunday, again glorious, I hopped on the ferry to Lamma for a party at an islander’s apartment, before heading home for some movies, one French (Girlhood, disappointing) and one Spanish (Julieta, better if not perfect. I loved the tiled kitchens and the scene of the deer by the train, Rossy de Palma’s frumpy cleaning lady, the Hitchockian score and Miquel Navarro’s savagely primal sculptures.)



21 11 2016

On the night of the “supermoon” I went to see director Lee Sang-il’s new movie “Rage,” featuring an all-star Japanese cast and an intriguing premise. After a grisly murder, the story cuts to three separate stories. In each strand, a mysterious stranger has arrived into a community. Gradually, all manner of repressed anger and anguish is revealed. In one segment, a Tokyo gay party boy finds a new boyfriend with an obscure past. In another, a quiet drifter turns up in a Chiba fishing village. And in Okinawa, a girl finds a backpacker camping out on an isolated beach. Which of these three men is the killer?

It is a grippingly well-executed film, largely keeping melodrama at bay (despite the weepy trailer) and Satoshi Tsumabuki’s all-out gay role was something of a revelation – he just got a hell of a lot sexier in my opinion.

There are also impressive turns from Ken Watanabe, Aoi Miyazaki, Kenichi Matsuyama and music by Ryuichi Sakamoto.


Beauty isn’t everything…

22 10 2016

With its lingering pauses, jerky dialogue and plotless re-iteration of a rather cliched point (“the fashion industry is, like, mean”) this is not a movie that will please everyone. But, but, but. It is also ravishingly beautiful to look at, and in its spaces and its silences, weirdly hypnotic. The pulsing, insistent electro soundtrack, the wonderful face of Jena Malone and Abbey Lee’s revelatory stick-thin Aussie badass chick villain made it, for me, one of the films of the year.

Wknd report

25 09 2016

After a sunny, productive week of work back in Hong Kong, it was time for a leisurely weekend. I saw my second great Korean zombie movie in as many weeks, and then the next day enjoyed a Saturday breakfast of organic baguette slices at Le Pain Quotidienne, while reading  Knausgaard on my kindle , (as I probably will for weekends to come).


On a whim, I went to an exhibition of conceptual artwork by Cannes Palm d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul, held at Quarry Bay’s Parasite art space. The show confirmed that as much as I love both things Thai and arthouse cinema, I don’t quite *get* Apichatpong. The show here consisted largely of projections of ordinary-looking Thais, doing everyday things, slowly, in mundane surrounds. Whatever it was that these were meant to say I missed. There were two pieces that struck me though – a portrait of a reclining dude (which, it turns out, is the director’s real life partner) and finally a darkened room where another image was projected, the naturalistic silhouette of a red dog which wandered and faded, skipping between the different walls.


Gym. The hot press of Mongkok weekend crowds. A few hours of housework and domestic loafing, with the windows thrown open. For dinner, we had good Lebanese food: baba ganoush and pitta bread, and roasted cauliflower.

This was followed by a sunny Sunday of swimming, reading on a dozy cafe terrace overlooking the Pok Fu Lam straits, then the schlockfest of Jaws. All in all, not a bad weekend.

Train to Busan

21 08 2016

This tense and cerebral Korean zombie-as-allegory flick lives up to all the hype. Definitely recommended!