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Patrick’s Best of Asian Cinema

Movie Reviewer Patrick’s thoughts on the best of Asian Cinema

Filmmakers have always put in dedicated efforts in espousing social messages through their films, and this practice is especially prevalent in art house films. And more interestingly, this endeavour sometimes translates into historical epics or legendary figures where audiences are given a visual treat where life lessons are presented through celluloid – without requiring the audiences to having live through the various experiences of the protagonists. While there are mixed sentiments about the authenticity and historical accuracy of the films, audiences should place their focus on what they are able to learn from the films instead of spending time checking …

While director Hideo Nakata is well-known for his works in the horror genre with titles such as “The Ring”/ “Ringu” (1998) and “Dark Water” (2002), much can be said for one of his lesser-known works “Chaos” / “Kaosu” (1999). More of a suspense thriller than a horror flick, “Chaos” speaks of a lie gone wrong, a deception gone askew and a love gone bad. Few films explore the underlying implications of a lie more intensively and excessively than “Chaos”, with concentrated focus on the efforts taken by the perpetrators to cover up their lies – resulting in devastating consequences with no chance …

By the time you read this article, you should at most be a day away from one of Singapore’s most acclaimed events – the 24th Singapore International Film Festival. Almost two and a half decades have passed but the festival has not lost its touch with its fans, showering them with films of wide-ranging genres and touching movie-goers’ hearts with selective applauded titles in a ten-day event. Drawing interested movie buffs to the event is one thing. Offering them a luxurious venue to indulge in is another. Held at the newly-renovated state-of-the-art theatres in Shaw Lido, movie fans are sure …

Asian Actors: A look at Donnie Yen (Hong Kong) When one thinks of Hong Kong actors in action-packed and adrenaline-pumped films, there’s a high probability that actors of old such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Sammo Hung will spring to mind. And when one considers memorable actors who exhibit style in the same genre, Simon Yam, Chow Yun-Fat and Andy Lau are surely familiar names. But Donnie Yen?

In recent years, it is not uncommon to see someone in a wheelchair selling tissue papers on the streets. Or someone holding a white cane – closely guided by a loved one – walking around shopping malls. What is one’s perception of these handicapped individuals? A person who deserves sympathy? Maybe. A person whom we should shower compassion on? Most probably. How about someone whom we may have a romantic interest? Hardly. It’s a cruel and sad truth.

I was walking along Orchard Road a few weeks ago when I chanced upon the movie poster of “A Chinese Ghost Story” (倩女幽魂), a Hong Kong movie. In fact, this is a 2011 movie remake of the 1987 classic. What makes the poster striking is not the allure of the poster but rather, the memories that come flooding back – of Leslie Cheung and Joey Wong, of innocence lost and of an eternal love that transcends death itself. Scenes of this classic film have forever been etched into my mind since I first set eyes on them.