February 12th, 2008


I endorse Korean cinema

Things to look up on Wikipedia:

  1. Are round-abouts a really good traffic coordination mechanism? I think I read somewhere that they're safer than intersections w/ traffic lights. We only have one in SF but in New Zealand they were everywhere.
  2. Are mikvahs supposed to made out of only rain water?

I ran for way longer than planned today, due to some inadvertent detours. It was super nice out. I followed the water till I got to Bay Bridge, then circled back. Except it was more of a paralellogram. Came across "bail bonds alley," and one of SF's few roundabouts. I think I got a runner's high?

Our new building has a putting green
Charles says 1 in 5 gerbil poops is nutritious (and that's why they eat their own poop)

Been watching a lot of Korean movies, and Anthony Lane is right on:

Anyone who has taken the plunge into recent Korean movies (“Lady Vengeance” and “Oldboy,” say) will know that their impact springs not just from the verve of the storytelling but from a tendency to hurtle energetically from one mood to the next, merrily swapping the lyrical for the sadistic. It is as if Korean directors, refusing to observe the niceties of genre, offered value for money by packing several movies into one. The trick with “The Host,” the most successful release in the history of Korean cinema, is therefore to unpack it and inspect the contents.

You should definitely go see The Host.

As for the other two, 3 Iron is an odd film in which the two main characters never say a word, and spend most of their time breaking into other people's houses and doing their laundry. (Would it be creepy if you came back from vacation and your laundry was mysteriously folded? Probably. Convenient though.) 3-Iron starts out as a fairly realistic character study, but at some point turns into this crazy magical realist kung-fu flick. I don't think I've ever seen a movie where neither of the main characters speaks. It doesn't feel gimmicky, which is an achievement.

Oldboy - I had to watch large parts of it through my fingers. It's about this guy who's mysteriously kidnapped and tortured for 15 years (!) and then gets released. He of course seeks vengeance and answers. Lots of torture scenes, not for the squeamish. Beautifully composed shots though. Lots of times the movie looks like a painting. The guy who made it studied philosophy, so it's probably a metaphysical commentary or something.

I watched the last 10% of the movie at 1/4 speed, which made it more like a painting, but also made it harder to follow. So this review only applies to the first 90%.

Rented Training Day but couldn't get far into it. Too contrived, every hackneyed police team cliche, in this particular American way.
In 3-Iron the guy gets a magazine wet while reading it in the bath. He then dries out the pages using an iron! I took a bath today and got the New Yorker wet, but I'm not anal enough to iron the pages of a magazine.

Got my iPhone finally. It won't charge though. So never fear, I am as inaccessible as ever.