Oculus (2014).

Oculus-Movie-PosterHonestly, I did not find it the least bit horrifying. But I was glad that it was not a typical horror movie that simply had nonsensical scary moments planted here and there just to get a few screams from the audience and your adrenaline rushing.

Banking on a relatively strong storyline and more sinister than gore, the movie is based on two siblings that decide to dig up the supernatural force that caused their family tragedy ten years ago and to try and destroy it once and for all.

Though I did feel like the story went a little too slowly for certain moments, especially the beginning, the overall storyline was wrapped up nicely with clever parallels between the past and the present.

The movie’s direction was more towards the exploration of perspectives, the idea of what is real and what is an illusion. That was fine by me since it made the visuals more interesting and it made me stay alert to catch the hints and come up with my own sequence of events for what really happened. That made it engaging for me and I was able to follow the action throughout.

Another thing I really liked will be the subtlety of it all – from the presentation of the supernatural force to the hurt it inflicts onto the various parties and the action that follows after. You know, most horror films does things like flying spirits and sharp teeth and victims having missing body parts, which make things really over done and pretty lame. But Oculus embraced the details and the precision of actions and moments.

The dad’s fingers. The mum’s caesarean scar. Kaylie’s face. Tim’s hand.

I also really appreciated the appearance of the supernatural force – her normality accessorised with slightly cracked skin, mirror-covered eyes, a mocking smile and just a slight tilt of the head.

Oh, I just love it.

But beyond just horror, this movie told me a sad tale of a family that fell apart and was meant to remain broken ever since the start of the mirror’s existence. I mean, even while the mirror was gone, it left such a haunting impression on the children that Kaylie (the daughter) painstakingly located it just to bring it back to destroy it. Without a physical presence, the mirror went on to destroy their lives and controlled them.

And the ending was just painful for me. It was a sense of feeling alone – the kind of loneliness you feel when no one believes your version of the truth – and the people that know are not there. I admit that I cried a little and thinking about it, this movie had the same effect on me as Mama, which is a horror show I caught last year.

So what’s real and which memories did happen? Or is everything simply in your mind, where the ghosts really live?

Well, guess no one will really know.

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I Hugged The Berlin Patient.

IHTBP_SquarePoster_Arts_House_smallI heard about the film since the end of last year but never really got around to catching it until now. Sometimes, life is just full of excuses and when something does not really hit you the first time, you just end up doing something else and you forget about the things you want to do.

For me, this film was one of the things I wrote down in my schedule and forgot about.

But luckily for me, I got a pair of tickets to catch the rerun of this documentary at The Arts House last Saturday afternoon. All thanks to Peatix Singapore!

And it was the best thing I have watched for the past month, I dare say. I am not even exaggerating here.

It is basically about a cancer survivor’s spontaneous mission to search for The Berlin Patient also known as Timothy Ray Brown – the first man to be cured of HIV ever. A simple and straightforward storyline but with plenty of surprises and food for thought weaved in.

There are many things I loved about it, such as the rawness of the documenting done, the way it was presented and the mapping out of relationships between so many different people as well as the cause this film is dedicated to helping.

But what I loved most would probably be the honesty.

The honesty of the situation – how it was spontaneous and maybe a little crazy to just pursue The Berlin Patient with nothing set down in concrete or anything fixed, the telling of the journey – as well as the honesty of the people that appeared as themselves on camera.

I really appreciated how real everything was. With the high and low points documented and every facial expression shown on camera and shown to the audience, I found myself being able to empathise and slowly opening myself up more to the whole journey and the conversation started. It did not feel distant or foreign and I liked how everyone was open to reacting to any given situation in a way that was true to themselves.

And because of that, I was nodding and smiling and hugging myself throughout the film and I was thoroughly engaged because I was able to relate to those moments of happiness and sadness. To me, everything just seemed to flow really well because it was simply as unscripted and spontaneous as everyday life.

Nothing was romanticised.

“How lucky are you to be the chosen one of a serial killer?”

It reminded me that heroes are human too.

Hmm, I am still thinking about the documentary and even after two days, I am still unable to find the right words to describe what the film gave me.

It was just a beautifully human experience that engaged me as a whole person. Yup.

The rerun ends tonight (7.30pm and 9.00pm) at The Arts House so please, do yourself a favour and catch this wonderful piece of work before you miss it. I walked out of the screening room feeling overwhelmed with ideas, thoughts, emotions and maybe some life lessons I might have missed from my own life. And well, maybe you will feel the same too.

So #passthecure today.

Happy Ever Laughter.

HEL_BannerThirteen local comedians on one stage and each doing their own stand up comedy act.

It was the last show of the run and I was pretty glad that I caught it last Sunday at the Esplanade Theatre. It was quite a wonderful way to spend my time laughing away at the various jokes and listening to the comedians poke fun at things that are unique to Singapore.

Two hours with an intermission in between, it did not feel that long at all and it was entertaining to watch. Or to take videos, photographs and even participate to talk to those on stage during the performance. I took a photograph or two but I did not do it too often. I found it weird actually since it is usually against theatre etiquette to use your phones during the performance. So even with the disclaimer right at the start of the performance, I still felt a bit awkward about it. Oh well.

Anyway, I enjoyed the fact that many of them used a mix of languages and personas to entertain the crowd that night. Some jokes cracked were pretty daring too and I liked that they did not simply just choose to stick to the safe zone as well as the tried and the tested. The variety of styles was important I think, because it showed off their different personalities on stage and their different comedic skills. That kind of made the whole performance engaging and every time a new person comes up, I felt like there was something fresh to look forward to.

I will say that my favourite acts will be Zul, Adrian Pang, Karen Tan and Kumar. Punny and dramatic and dynamic. I laughed the most during their acts. But of course, humour is quite a personal preference so I do not really know how to pinpoint the reasons why.

Well, stand up comedy is all about the experience so I do not really want to go into the jokes or the skills or the stage lighting. I just had fun and I think that was the most important.

I was happy! Yay!

The H Word.

I am bursting

With laughter with love with life

In a thousand different colours

Of the sunrise of the sea of the stars

Colours never thought possible

To see to taste to feel.

Swirling in a dizzy mix of emotions that I never knew

Existed

Painting the skin of my being with a glow

Like I am the

Sun

And the light is shining from my

Soul.

Embracing me from head to toe

Like a beautifully woven dress made of 100%

Sunshine

Made just for me.

Hugging me with a wonderful

Love

That only I may give

Myself.

And reminding me that this is what

Happiness

Is.

Sleepless.

There are days when sleep rejects you.

The night is late and you simply just want to drown yourself.

In the sweet comfort of clean sheets, fluffy pillows and the steady beating of your own heart.

Your body is tired and heavy.

Your mind is zoning out.

And your eyes.

Your eyes are glazed.

But after closing your eyes and resting your mind, sleep still does not come to steal you away.

And you just stay like that.

Existing.

 

 

Le Cafe.

2014-04-10 10.02.44I used to work nearby the area. Early this year.

I would not say I hated my job but I guess I just did not feel as appreciated as I would like to be. Working crazy overtimes and being bored out of my brains sometimes, I was pretty glad to have discovered this place thanks to a friend.

The place was different from the office and it felt like a safe space.

No need to worry about people, work, noise or anything. I was able to take a seat, be present in the moment and have a nice chat with my friend. Take in the energy from the people dining around me and smile at the friendly staff behind the counter. Admire the decorations – texture, lights, colour and the various little details around me.

The meal I had was not bad, but I cannot remember it anymore now.

The atmosphere and the space left a bigger impression on me, since the cafe gave me a space to be free. Even if it was just about an hour or less.