But he was harder to get a bead on than other critics she had encountered.
the sniping and sordid activity of men who wanted to be in control
My feeling was that there was a pecking order and there was an unacknowledged hierarchy, and at the top of it was Shirley’s family
no movie-watching experience is ever complete without the sight of tomatoes smooshed into the pavement
If you did not wish to subscribe, then it must have been some nefarious spam-bot
recent cinematic dud “Pixels” pitched a video-game aficionado against an identity parade of musty video-game characters
video games gave Clune a place in which to explore his nascent identity
omething unsettling, and even grotesque, about works that extol the effects of video games without reservation
Clune’s mother stands in the doorway of his childhood bedroom in a terrible tizz
The campaign is treacle-sweet sentimentality of the first order
plainclothes detectives descended upon Tokyo’s upscale Ginza neighborhood to arrest a group of teen-agers
Only unrepentant rebels experimented with American looks
worked as a masterstroke of promotion: retailers warmed up to VAN
If a series is telling a story that matters to us, the loss of a main character can be jarring but generative
tastes like a gussied-up dorm-room cocktail and drinks like the regrettable make-out session that ensues: inconsistent, awkward, and unnecessarily sloppy
For freelancers, getting stiffed is part of the job
fried until puffed and then sugared until it poses a threat to shirtfronts, be anything less than a miracle
standfirst: an introductory paragraph in an article, printed in larger or bolder type or in capitals, that summarizes the article


There are two things I like about The Night Clerk (Avant l'aube). First is how it used the recurring shots of roads snaking its way up the mountains not just as a way to flesh out the setting, but also as a visual cue for the crime.

The second, done masterfully, is the ending - eerily similar to Cache (Hidden) in terms of tone, mood and abruptness. While most psychological thrillers pile up clues throughout the film to solve a mystery (in this case, the death of Raphael Cassany), this film isn't concerned about coming up with a resolution that would satisfy its audience and exonerate the protagonist. We already know the roads are all pointing to the right direction: the investigator knows about the dissolution of Arnaud and Julie's marriage (through a shot of them arguing in the snow, with Julie walking away) and about the promotion and the Audi that was given to the night clerk Frederic by Jacques, the hotel owner. (In an interview, the investigator also found out that connection between Raphael and Jacques, with Raphael being a real estate developer looking for hotels to buy out, and Jacques, who had no intention to sell.)

The last scene, where the investigator asks her team to find out who ran the errand to buy wine that fateful night of the accident, is the last piece of the puzzle - as it would implicate the real suspect, the hotel owner's son, Arnaud. But the clincher didn't happen in the film. It made me think that maybe the film is not about the crime itself as it is about the 'fall' of Frederic Boissier - this time, in a more heinous crime of murder - and that the implication of Arnaud, if it happens, wouldn't absolve Frederic. The bitter truth is: Frederic Boissier would spend years in jail. Arnaud would probably be convicted of manslaughter, with his father Jacques as an accomplice, but the film already ended, and we are all left to wonder what will happen. Isn't this the stuff great films are made of: the enduring relevance, the puzzle that itches to be solved longer after the credits ended?

July 21, 2012

I tried reading Brautigan, and then Moore. I wish I could tell you what the overarching intention is, how it was not written in Filipino, how I wanted to feel the pain in the different way. It's very much like watching a death sentence on TV when I was in third grade, that despite the situation, the metal bed, the eerie footage, I even managed to ask what's wrong. Sometimes I catch myself thinking too much while telling you not to think too much, and it's just like trying to tell somebody I was trying to tell you to somebody. That Brautigan bit with the film, but mine is slouched on the sofa, in front of a footage of, say Echegaray. Then the rain comes, and it's time most of us look out of our windows and rest our moist eyes. Most of what I've written, you said, is not about you, or your resemblance. But I've read you everywhere, have made you become some sort of a compass, so that every book I've read becomes a dressing room to try things out. (In Moore, you were Silsby Anne Chausee.) "That's not the way her arms would puff out of that sleeve," I would say. The problem is not that you don't know how to smile, it's probably just the timing. Yes, we can both blame it, we can wash our hands from it. We have punched our time cards the wrong way. Maybe some tea is perfect, some crackers, an ashtray! The one in mauve.


A lady with a pink bag with little polka dots that made it look like candy, or sugared doughnut, with a woolly blouse and fitted pants at the bus breezed through the pages of a book with a chapter, Day 5995. She closed it after what must be a thirty-minute traffic, and there it was, David Levithan. She unspools her earphones and jacked it in her ears.

October 15, 2014

The taxi driver and I was chuckling about it. "I thought it was you he was screaming at," I said - there he was this other taxi driver who was fuming with rage when the other taxi (which I chose, since he sped, cut the other taxi, and stopped right in front of me) I ignored one rainy Monday night. We had a good laugh, fraternal, even, as if reminiscing about a snotty playmate. For the entire ride we were chuckling about it, and I got down at Gil Puyat station, bought a family-sized cinnamon bun at Mimipan, crossed the street to chase the last bus to Los Baños, and in their reclining chairs I slept towards home.