After enjoying the great Korean film The Wailing yesterday, we went rented another Korean ghost film: A Tale of Two Sisters. We loved it! A beautiful film (cinematography) that followed two sisters, their step mom and their glum father. The plot twists in it were great, and I think the review that compared it to The Turn of the Screw said it best. In short, it is a psychological horror film with a few Sixth Sense like twists. I’d love to watch it again.
While three films is a long way from an adequate sample size, here are trends I’m noticed on the three horror films I’ve seen from Asia (2 from Japan, 1 from Korea): The SuperNatural are powerful and dangerous. These aren’t just ghosts out for a spook or demons out for a body to posses, but supernatural forces that use their powers to kill humans. This adds a downright sinister feeling to them… There is no neat and tidy explanation at the end: they are muddled and somewhat confusing endings, which makes sense, since this is the supernatural afterall… The main characters are real. That is, they are sometimes bumbling characters whose evil moves into their lives, not some perfect family who moves into a remote farm house with a brave character who moves in to try to fix anything… There are multiple victims, not just one person or family, so the stakes are high…
Wife M and I tried to see The Wailing in the theaters but timing didn’t work out, so we were glad to see it available on DVD and made a plan to watch it last night. What a wonderful movie it was, too! Bumbling characters, strange and errie things that weren’t too terrifying, incredible setting, and somehow just kept us engaged for the entire 2.5 hours. The ending was confusing as heck for us, but maybe there are cultural meanings (it is a S. Korean film), maybe that was the point (not everything has a neat answer) and it was fun to discuss the ending. What a great evening it was, to watch this. And what a wonderful day it was yesterday when I wasn’t feeling well, to watch 3 great spooky films back to back to back: The WItch, Notorious, and The Wailing… Love days like that…
Wife M and I were in a Hitchcock mood so watched one we had not seen before: Notorious. Ingrid Bergman is the bitter daughter of a German traitor recruited by Cary Grant to fly into Brazil and catch additional Nazis who were living in Brazil. Notes:
I love both of these performers. Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman are great as always.
I loved how Grant was upside down when she opened her eyes that first morning: her world has turned upside down.
Even in a 1946 black and white, the shots of Rio are splendid.
I love Grant’s response to her accusing him of his being afraid he’ll fall in love with her: “That wouldn’t be hard.” He learns she must contact her father’s friend Sebastian, land him, serve as a spy and report back. Grant forgets the wine on the table: his love is wrapped away. Later, the chicken, which had been on fire before (like their budding love), is cold now.
Classic Hitchcock with the suspense. It is nervewracking the risk she is putting herself under with the wine cellar. She is also playing him as a fool, although he is clearly a keen observer. Then later, when she has the headaches we suspect why, and are left to fret… And we *know* if she gets to the bedroom she will likely die! Then Sebastian’s risk of being betrayed adds a wonderful twist!
What I love most about Hitchcock, was his endless and exhaustive attention to symbolic detail. One of my favorite books about movies is The Art of Hitchcock, whch uncovers a lot of these.
“The Witch” was on Amazon Prime so I watched it this afternoon while Wife M worked on her grant application. I liked it. I liked the setting (17th Century Puritan New England is a spooky setting on its own), that the movie was patient and didn’t take on too much or try for too many cheap scares, and I thought it was a deft use of sound. I liked the themes, including one that I think is self-pride can lead to destruction in times of crisis.
The mother’s cynical treatment of the daughter was difficult to take at times (which may have been a theme, about harsh parents chasing children into the arms of temptation), and I am not a fan of dark filters (overdone, plus in some ways is cheating, since anyone can make a horror film in spooky murkiness — the trick would be making a spooky movie on a bright summer day).
I liked the father and oldest daughter’s performance. I thought it was depressing that the eldest daughter — of marrying age in the film — was born in 1996, which makes me feel very old 🙂 It reminded me of the time that one of the AEs on my team brought her parents in to meet us, and her parents were my age. I don’t mind, of course, it just catches me by surprise, as in, “Oh yeah, I am well into middle-age” and nearing the end of my career.
I liked this film, especially in the Fall, and will watch it again another Halloween.
We were taken out of the field for a full f***ing week two years ago and flown across the country and stuck in a dark conference room during the all-important January to attend a Sales Training mandated by that nutbag Mahfuz, our so-called leader. This was bad enough, but then we spent most of the time brainstorming for a new business idea that we could pitch to customers. WTF. We were running a 500M organization with firm practices in place with a nutbag CEO (Mahfuz), and he wastes a fully day of my time brainstorming for what-ifs? This would be fine, but he was completely intolerant of missed quotas and had a no cell-phone policy during these meetings, which is why 80% of the people were fired or quit every month, plus I had an office I was responsible for. I was thinking about this right now, as I came across the title “Content Manager” and that was one of the ideas — Content — we were brainstorming for. As a former Educator, I knew these one-day brainstorming with no follow-up on top of a million other similar activites that Mahfuz oversaw on top of our stressful day jobs was doomed to fail. I rue the day I ever worked for that whack job, and the next time I think of him will be too soon 🙂
ALthough I have always had individual responsibility, I have had management responsibility much of the past 5 years, which means I am not only making sales calls but receiving them from other sales people, too. It is wonderfully helpful – I can see what I like, what I don’t like and what trends are and adapt my own approach accordingly.
For example, several years ago I would tell people up front in an email that they didn’t know me, and coincidentally many of the emails I receive lately from sales people start out with “we’ve never met” or “I hope you are having a good day.” That tells me to tweak that approach, since everyone else is doing it.
The other thing is, I don’t like when sales people ask for a call or a meeting yet give no information about their solution other than a few words. I don’t have time for a 15 minute “chat,” and even if I did I don’t want to talk to a sales person for 15 minutes, so in my mind better is to be clear up front about what is being offered/proposed.
Finally, I don’t take calls from other area codes, since 99% of the time it is a sales person. Instead, I let it go to voice mail. They have just a few seconds before I delete them, so those few seconds better be good, and I will never ever listen to an automated call or a call that sounds like it comes from a call center.
Anyway, sometimes the best teacher — at least for me — is watching other people in action 🙂