Monday, January 20, 2020

The Farewell: a comedy?

This was spurred by a best friend of mine exclaiming to me that Awkwafina won the Best Actress by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. In his words... "Why is this film a comedy?!"

Let's ignore the fact that the nominations are actually submitted, and hence could be "decided" (see also: gamed) for the maximum chances of winning.
Side note: going up against Saoirse (sur-sha) Ronan or Scarlett Johansson is daunting to say the least.

I have noted that out of the times that I've been to see this movie, there were scenes that elicit different emotions from the audience.

Minor spoilers
The funeral home scene to me stood out.

There was a juxtaposition between the end of the last scene, with the mother saying that they employed people who cry... straight cut to a woman crying extremely loud and tearful in front of a funeral in progress. Seemingly to showcase the absurdity of the situation.
People laughed.

Then...
People laughed at the family burning paper iPhones, credit cards, cash.
People laughed at the peeling of the fruits, the opening of the chip bags, the idea that ancestors can't peel themselves in their corporeal form.
(The directors' real grandfather btw)

Honestly, I was a little taken aback. I mean, I also chuckled at removing the petals from flowers to prevent thieves. I have done it myself, and honestly, didn't think too much of it. It was until I saw some people taking the flowers and food from a grave. They picked out the good looking stalks, and then walked to the entrance of the funeral home to add to their existing flower bouquet.
Those... were for sale of course.

I stopped my chuckle. This... well.

The Farewell is, to me... a drama written and shot like a comedy.
While what's on screen is comedic, the events that trigger your own emotions is... drama.
That's easier to digest for people, and for repeated viewings. Pulling punches if you will.
Still, I don't see the fault in that, the film provides an interesting premise, and delivers.
They are designed as an escape, an outlet.

I wrote more about this film here.

This quote keeps floating back to me:
“你把生命看成是个体的。这正是西方和东方文化差异的问题。
东方人是把生命看作为集体的。家庭,社会。”

"You think one's life belongs to oneself. But that's the difference between the East and the West.
In the East, a person's life is part of a whole. Family, Society."

I think perhaps then... the hardest part for me, is to juggle between the two worlds. To be selfish... and be okay with it.

I do hope you find a balance as well.
______

P.S. While we are on this dramedy train, Fleabag is a good recommendation as well, more Brit dry wit, less ancestors.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Lunch

Sat down at a somewhat busy food court. He spoke while picking at his food.

He liked her, but he knows it's not enough. Not for a lifetime, he likes her. She loves him.
It's different.

"It's been a while since we last spoke. I know it is a shitty thing to say, but I'm going ahead with wanting a divorce."

"Did you think it through?"

It sure seems like that question is asked every time they meet.

"Yes, yes I'm sure."

Seems like everything is cyclical. He shifted his weight on the seat, leaning forward.

"This will break her, that I am sure of it. She loves me with all of her heart. But I need to be better to her."

He looked the other straight in the eye as he said it. He has convinced himself that this is the best course of action.

He went on about his plan, how it will supposed to be the least disruptive.

"All I'm saying is... they know. They know that something is not right. Hell, I ..."
"Just... talk it though"

"We'll get there."

"Yep... yep."

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Fountain

As summer came around, more and more people started congregating at the fountain.
Some of them are with dogs, well, those they need to.
Can’t expect the pets to pee in the apartments no?

The rest just sat around, there’s plenty of benches, tables with chairs. With books, they sit there with coffee on the table and a book in hand.
There is one with a weird keyboard contraption on his tablet.
Near the late part of summer, they started having plays at the fountain.
Plays, Shakespearean plays.

They have the costumes, they have the language, they have the grammar.

They have audience participation too. One of the actors came to the person at the front, and said “You are too young and too nice to bear the child of my blood, but thank you for offering”. I think... that's a complement?

I think it’s the commitment that impresses me really. There is no stage, there is no place to hide, no curtains. The only place for refuge is a little tent that they have setup for costume changes or touch ups. Every movement, even not as the centre of the attention, is in character.

In that sense, grabbing the audience attention is also difficult. With no stage, there isn’t a centralized place to look towards. Attention is attracted by either the sound that starts the scene, or just straight up vocal volume. It’s great.

Initially just walking past the fountain, he stopped one day when he heard a busker sing. She sang well, he stopped... and sat down nearby.

In that moment, with the sun shining down through the shade. He heard this song for the first time.
“Bülow - Two Punks In Love”
She delivered it beautifully. That song is now in his music library.

He went back every Saturday from that point on, sometimes he would be late, sometimes he would catch the last of the songs. He would sit there, and then enjoy the sun, enjoy the dogs that pass by, enjoy the breeze that comes through. Either listening to the busker, or listening to his songs on the phone.

Perhaps more importantly, enjoying the peacefulness.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Last 3 Stages: 如果这就是爱情

Last 3 stages.


如果这就是爱情 - 张靓颖
你做了选择 对的错的
我只能承认 心是痛的
怀疑你舍得 我被伤的那么深
就放声哭了 何必再强忍

我没有选择 我不再完整
原来最后的吻 如此冰冷
你只能默认 我要被割舍
眼看着 你走了

如果这不是结局 如果我还爱你
如果我愿相信 你就是唯一
如果你听到这里 如果你依然放弃
那这就是爱情 我难以抗拒

如果这就是爱情 本来就不公平
你不需要讲理 我可以离去
如果我成全了你 如果我能祝福你
那不是我看清 是我证明 我爱你

灰色的天空 无法猜透
多余的眼泪 无法挽留
什么都牵动 感觉真的好脆弱
被呵护的人 原来不是我

我不要你走 我不想放手
却又不能够奢求 同情的温柔
你可以自由 我愿意承受
把昨天 留给我

如果这不是结局 如果我还爱你
如果我愿相信 你就是唯一
如果你听到这里 如果你依然放弃
那这就是爱情 我难以抗拒

如果这就是爱情 本来就不公平
你不需要讲理 我可以离去
如果我成全了你 如果我能祝福你
那不是我看清 是我证明 我爱你

If This Is Love - Jane Zhang
You made a choice, right or wrong
I can only confess, my heart is in pain
Questioning if you are willing to hurt me this deep
I cry loudly, there's no point holding it back

I have no choice. I am not whole anymore
Seems that the last kiss can be this cold
You admit passively that I am to be forgotten
As I watch you leave

If this is not the end, if I still love you
If I want to believe you are the one
If you hear this, if you still want to give up
Then this is love, I cannot resist

If this is love, it is not fair to begin with
You do not need to justify, I will leave
If I let you go, if I can wish you the best
It is not that I saw clearly, it is proof that I love you

Grey skies cannot be guessed
Excess tears cannot be held back
Emotional with everything, feeling really fragile
It is not me that you want to care for

I do not want you to go I do not want to let go
But I am not begging, I do not want pity
You can be free now, I am willing to endure
Leave yesterday with me

If this is not the end, If I still love you
If I want to believe you are the one
If you hear this, If you still want to go
Then this is love, I cannot resist

If this is love, it is not fair to begin with
You do not need to justify, I will leave
If I let you go, if I can wish you the best
It is not that I saw clearly, it is proof that I love you

紫色/Purple - Bargaining
蓝色/Blue - Depression
棕色/Brown - Acceptance

Saturday, August 31, 2019

First 3 Stages: 我不难过

While figuring out the playlist selections, I found two songs that seemingly capture more than one stage of grief.
One song handles the first 3 stages, the next song handles the last 3, with an overlap in the middle.
It's been a while since I've done a self-translate. So here it goes.

我不难过 - 孙燕姿
又站在你家的门口 我们重复沉默
这样子单方面的守候 还能多久
终于你开口向我诉说 她有多温柔
虽然你还握着我的手 但我已不在你心中

我真的懂 你不是喜新厌旧
是我没有 陪在你身边 当你寂寞时候
别再看着我 说着你爱过 别太伤痛
我不难过 这不算什么
只是为什么眼泪会流 我也不懂
就让我走 让我开始享受自由
回忆很多 你的影子也会充满我生活
我并不懦弱 你比谁都懂
虽然寂寞 这会是我 最后的宽容

终于你开口向我诉说她有多温柔
虽然你还握着我的手 但我已不在你心中

我真的懂 你不是喜新厌旧
是我没有 陪在你身边 当你寂寞时候
别再看着我 说着你爱过 别太伤痛
我不难过 这不算什么
只是为什么眼泪会流 我也不懂
就让我走 让我开始享受自由
回忆很多 你的影子也会充满我生活
我并不懦弱 你比谁都懂
虽然寂寞 这会是我 最后的宽容

抱紧我 再抱紧我
这一份感动 请你让我留在胸口
别再说是你的错 爱到了尽头
是非对错 就让它随风
忘了所有 过得比你快活

我真的懂 你不是喜新厌旧
是我没有 陪在你身边 当你寂寞时候
别再看着我 说着你爱过 别太伤痛
我不难过 这不算什么
只是为什么眼泪会流 我也不懂

不要再说 或许这是最好的结果
现在分手 总好过你不爱我一拖再拖
松开你的手 离开你左右
我向前走 这会是我 真正的解脱


I'm Not Sad - Stephanie Sun
Standing in front of your place again, the silence persists
This one sided waiting, how long can it last
Finally you start to tell me how gentle she is
Even though you are holding my hand, but I am not in your heart

I really understand, you are not fickle
I was not there by your side when you were lonely
Don't look at me and say you loved me don't be too hurt
I'm not sad, this is nothing
I just don't know why these tears are falling
Just let me go, let me start to enjoy my freedom
Memories abound, your shadow will envelope my life
I am not a coward, you know this better than anyone
Even though I'm alone, this will be my final tolerance

Finally you start to tell me how gentle she is
Even though you are holding my hand, but I am not in your heart

I really understand, you are not fickle
I was not there by your side when you were lonely
Don't look at me and say you loved me don't be too hurt
I'm not sad, this is nothing
I just don't know why these tears are falling
Just let me go, let me start to enjoy my freedom
Memories abound, your shadow will envelope my life
I am not a coward, you know this better than anyone
Even though I'm alone, this will be my final tolerance

Hug me close, hug me close again
Let me keep this moving feeling in my chest
Don't keep saying its your fault, love has reach its end
Right or wrong, leave it to the wind
Forget everything and live better than you

I really understand, you are not fickle
I was not there by your side when you were lonely
Don't look at me and say you loved me don't be too hurt
I'm not sad, this is nothing
I just don't know why these tears are falling

Stop talking, maybe this is for the best
Breaking up now, is better than you not loving me and dragging this out
Letting go of your hand and leaving you
I walk forward, this will then be my true escape

绿色/Green - Denial
红色/Red - Anger
紫色/Purple - Bargaining