Sunday, February 26, 2006

" bkkiff 2006: day nine "


the minutes in between screenings and other festival poo (fodder):

[coming soon]


25. february 26th - revolver, uk, 11:00am **

take everything that you love about lock, stock, and two smoking barrels, and everything you love about snatch (saying that you like these movies), and place them in a home-made hand-made paper-making churn.

now sludge that all around and add fibers of confusion and abstract texture. mix it all around with a large churning stick of ambiguous storytelling and fractured editing/internal monologue structure, then take a crap in the churn.

when you're ready to use the paper, long after you have spread the mixture on the rack and laid it out in the sun for a proper amount of drying time, remember to please note how at the beginning, it had so many good things going in its favor.

it could have been a beautiful explorative sheet of pristinely cinematic paper, used even for official and beautifully drafted certificates. and then try to use the paper and realize that all it is good for is second-rate toilet paper that you can roll dead fish in after its been beer-battered and slathered in brown sauce scottish-style because its the only way you can make use of it.

that's how i felt about this fight club/vanilla sky/kill bill/sin city po-mo pseudo pastiche movie that makes use of mozart's requiem mass so oddly that you might want to watch amadeus over and over just to rectify in your brain what your eyes have just witnessed.

now that i've alienated myself from anyone who wanted a normal review, here's my go at explaining myself better.

this is a story that is so loosely handled that not even the presence of andre 3000 could save the scenes he was in. okay, he's more of a presence than an acting talent, but then again, the whole film feels like this; a sort of dabbling from certain actors into surprisingly great bit parts, but those are just the problem.

it's a film of bits that meet at awkward editing choices and really alienate the viewer to the point where you look over to your neighbor and try to see if they too are feeling the disconnect you are.

the tone is a little darker with less of the humor that worked so very well in lock, stock...which makes it seem as if the same level of complexity could be shifted from the heist template and secured in a dramatic psychological mindspace, but no.

i'm glad that someone gave ray liotta some work, but damnit, it was sort of wasted in a really strange way. and i don't know if seeing him naked saved anything for his character. there's a scene where his character is at a point of such vulnerability that he is moves to tears.

it's a very affecting image and he sustains it like a professional. and yet i felt nothing because i wasn't led to care at all about him or his personal plight or anything remotely near an emotion. this is the sort of problem that saturated almost every scene in the latter half of the film.

and also, two characters with psychological problems? why treat them as the same character if you're feeding the fact that they are similar? we're not dumb.

and then to use quotations in the opening titles, then repeat them again and again through dialogue and title-cards and other characters and beat it over and over that it's the the greatest mysteriously multi-faceted quote ever to have the magical properties to reveal and hide the true nature of man's drives through the infinite quickly becomes old hat and frustratingly so.

it's dramatic, but more dramatically confusing to the point where it causes the audience disinterest. and while this could be a point that someone could turn around and say "i just didn't get it," i will further state that if you are to present a mysterious atmosphere where things are not as they seem, i believe that one of the roles of confusing the audience is to lead them consciously astray then lead them back, and powerfully. not make the story so erratically confusing to the point where when you finally come to the "reveal," it is so too late in the story for it to make sense and you are just left annoyed and duped.

ritchie is riding off of snatch i think, and i can see that he is trying out a new hand at storytelling which is refreshing in a filmmaker sort of way. but i think that if someone doesn't help him produce the things in his head, his films will get introverted in the same way that this film gets introverted. you end up feeling cheated and like you got kicked in the kidneys; not beaten down, but struck at just the wrong angle as to induce momentary disgust.

but like i've said before, these are the moments where the low price of the ticket comes in. so what could've been a very interesting film ends up a greater example of how a sure-to-be-great films can crumble right through your fingers and leave you empty-handed.

26. february 26th - mrs. henderson presents, uk, 1:30pm ****

[coming soon]

27. february 26th - the world's fastest indian, new zealand, 4:00pm *****

[coming soon]


Saturday, February 25, 2006

" bkkiff 2006: day eight "


asking questions is a subtle art:

all i'm going to say is that if you find yourself in the position to interview someone, don't bee goofy cock.

come prepared, have valid things to ask that are relevant to the interviewee, and above all, if you can sense that your questions are headed nowhere don't keep pushing for an answer that is never going to manifest.

today i had the privilege of attending a Q&A with mr. willem defoe.

he was great, giving out small anecdotes that were honest and personal without being utterly transparent. he has a great level of experience which makes him one of the most ideal persons to discuss what actors call "the process."

it takes an interviewer that is totally out of the loop to not get that he might possibly be pissing off willem defoe. i mean, how could you not pick up on the fact that willem defoe is being at his most respectful and civil while not giving up the ghost for the merry inner-whims of a fanboy sweaty-palmed interviewer?

just do the job well, and let the work speak for itself. be honest and let your instinct be your divining rod. it's that simple. i mean the question man might as well have licked mr. defoe's shoes and prayed to the actor while whipping himself for not being worthy. it was scary to watch.

oh yeah, all of that and the fact that he drank out of willem defoe's water then realized it, then put it back. no doubt trying to steal some of his essence or something gross.


mini reviews:

23. february 25th - just for kicks, france/usa, 11:30am *****

the only bad thing about this documentary is that they leave you (i think) about an hour too short, and only stay within the sneaker-collector-fetish world of the united states (save a cameo interview with matthieu kassovitz, most likely due to the french connection).

i have a friend named whiz who is a sneaker aficionado. he loves the sneaker. he loves talking about the sneaker universe at great length with a masterful sense of history, aspects of design, a love for the sociocultural impact of them, and all other miniscule information pieces that might cause intrigue and awe.

this documentary is about that sort of interest. it is a documentary that sticks to these sneaker fiends that would go to all ends of the earth to gain more physical pairs of sneakers, and also more information about the secret super limited models of shoe that were/are long out of production.

as i said before, well done and filled with insight and humor; two things that without, would have been more of a strange history channel piece about the "urban fashion world" and its effects on consumer america.

instead, we are treated to a taste of the world of the sneaker and the folks who make it a part of their daily life. interesting and never boring, i only ask that a second part be devoted to the japanese contingent, and we'll have a start on something massive.

*after browsing the official site of the doc, i found out that a longer version of the doc is planned for the dvd version of it, so maybe someone will put in their/my two cents and head over to japan, cause it's just not complete without the collector craze over there. word.

24. february 25th - manderlay, denmark/sweden/netherlands/france/germany/uk, 1:30pm *****

manderlay is a sparse very theatrical film by enigmatic dogme-co-founder lars von trier.

i never had the opportunity to see dogville, the first of this planned trilogy (of which manderlay is the second part), but this film stands alone as one of the most theatrically successful films i've seen of the sort in a long time. and by theatrically, i mean films in the vein of theatre, not box officeness, although i'm sure it had its good days there as well.

its a movie that doesn't pull any punches with the acting, which is determined and heavy with a dramatic weight. added to the empty spaces, which our minds fill in like when reading a detailed passage in a novel, is the atmosphere of sound effects which complete an audio third wall to the films lack of physical locations.

it is a psychological experiment to tell a heavy tale which meanders through realms of humanity, enslavery of the body and of the mind, and also tests the audience how far are they willing to share this experience in order to see the story though.

when the credits rolled, i felt like i ran a marathon and was all ready to punch a wall, scream out loud, cry in a fetal position, and smile ear-to-ear all in the same moment. it was immensely satisfying after the first five or so minutes.

to be sure i will have to watch dogville, but i believe that it's not necessary to find yourself thusly engaged so deep in this film. don't let the smatterings of theatre or stylistic choices fool you into thinking that there is no content. in the contrary there is so much more that you will wonder how come this sort of production design is not used more often.


Friday, February 24, 2006

" bkkiff 2006: day seven "


subtitles and traces of favoritism:

so tell me why again if you go to an international film festival in bangkok thailand, that there are no thai subtitles on any of the films? i know that english is arguably the most international of subtitled languages, but are we in a predominantly english-speaking city?

okay okay, that point can be argued in terms of business, but it just seems silly that the festival's volunteers are introducing these films in both english and thai, only to not have any thai subtitles for any of the movies (save the movies which are from thailand and in different dialects).

it just makes no sense that if this festival is in place (including major sponsorship by the tourist authority of thailand), that there is no real incentive for thai audiences to be more included in the tone of the festival other than the mascot and location.

there is a demand for these thai subtitles, but no one here has brought it up because either they have been successfully brainwashed by the norm of being second to the english-speaking attendees or they have just gotten used to having to speak enough english in everyday usage because it is the predominant language used by the business and hip majority in this chaos of a city. i mean, why else are the q&a's being translated for the thai audience members?

why isn't there any of the same effort to make at least dual subtitles for any small number of the films in competition, which is the norm for films that are neither in the english or thai languages in any of the other theatres in the city.

there is something to be said about making the festival also cater to the thai contingent as well, and not only the promise of having passing tourists be able to feel like they are the only ones being looked after.


mini reviews:

20. february 24th - a common thread, france, 11:30am ****

beautifully "french" is this story of a young girl who finds herself pregnant with few options. she quits the job she has a the local supermarket, hides her pregnancy from her mom, and seeks a more hidden employment with an armenian embroiderer who has recently lost her son.

i say "french" in terms of a more poetic shooting style, a slower pace in the story, and the sense of mystery that is more favored by film geeks and those seeking a non-spoon-fed spun tale.

i'm not sure of this fact, but i think that these sorts of movies are some of the best, because where else will a scene of someone releasing a fish end up with getting some with a pregnant girl against a tree in the light of sunset? it just is a scene made possible by more expressive odd cinema tactics, and is done very well in this one.

it is meandering and follows a structure more like a lazy afternoon with nothing to do, rather than a classic three-part one. the music is quartet orchestral with a tinge of phillip glass, which makes certain passages tedious in the good way.

the other aspect is that the dialogue was fairly minimalist and symbolic. this allows us to create the atmosphere in our heads rather than be held by the hand and told where to go. i like that.

21. february 24th - house of sand, brazil, 2:00pm *****

alluring and haunting, this beautiful story spans three generations of women left to fend for themselves in the deserts of northern brazil in the early 1900's.

usually stories which set up the human characters against both other humans and the landscape equals a very dramatic high-stakes fast-paced story. this one however takes its time to unfurl itself to the audience, and at times, chooses to jump ahead years in the seamless effort to show how the passing of time doesn't change much but the location of the dunes of sand surrounding the base camp/house site.

it's a ravishing look at how we must respect the whims of both other people's personalities and the power of the natural world surrounding us. the acting is top notch and the two main women characters convey a sense of every conceivable emotional extreme with a subtle brilliance that goes nowhere near overexaggeration.

there is a short story that a passing soldier tells one of the women, of two twins. one of them goes in a space rocket and one stays on earth. because of the was space and light and distance work, when the rocket faring twin returns to earth, he is younger than his twin.

in some ways, this mirrors the film in the sense that the twin who left in the rocket was them; they went on a long journey, left at unawares about the rest of the world around them, and the rest of the world was the twin who stayed behind, having to endure the pain of knowledge and experience.

22. february 24th - naked in ashes, usa, 6:30pm ****

a documentary on the sadhus, yogis, and holy spirit people in india who live a life devoid of material desires. a fascinating look at daily life, customs, and cultural practices of these walking devotees. this doc focuses predominantly on a yogi and his 14 year-old disciple among other groups of yogis and holy men.

i loved the descriptions of the aspects of their hindu-based faith, which included thoughts on life, death, the path of enlightenment, worldy religions, love, the unseen powers, honing control over the body, mind, and of the spirit.

it's a nice document of how amidst the ever-consumeristic world we live in, and how all the countries of the world are growing to rapidly exponential, there are people out there devoting their lives in the pursuit of eternal bliss. and these are the more profound of the social commentators, because they live well and outside this ever-evolving capitalistic hegemony.

it gives them an outlook that is both aware and uncaring without being inhuman, if anything, these holy men are more than human as they seek to attain a sense of being greater than the confines of their bodies.

they are looking not only for the truths to the human spirit, but a solution to desire through a constant searching for perfection of the soul. in some ways a universal theme, and somehow seeing the world through their eyes makes everything seem possible.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

" bkkiff 2006: day six "


recurrent themes:

when attending these festivals, you start to realize just how many similar themes are going through all of these vastly different stories. there are stories of all kinds that are itching to be told, and i think that film allows people to explore these themes on such a different level that novels or articles.

i also think that it will be the last day here at the bangkok international film festival, when any sense of normalcy might come to order. i know that yesterday i gave the how-it-was-going report an a-okay, but today i found out that certain films being screened in the normally special-seat theatres (more plush, couple-oriented spacing, food allowed, less audience, super wide screen) have doubled in price.

now in the great scheme of things, paying five bones instead of $2.50 is no big deal, especially when you think of prices per ticket at a festival. the problem i have is this:

what if this is the only screening of the film that is available when you are available to see it? what if you don't want to pay extra, because you don't really have any say over the location of the screening?

what if you don't care that the screening is attached to a special all-day cinematographer's workshop which makes you pay extra for an additional movie that you don't want to see and don't have time for?

i guess that i personally only had to deal with these questions in theory, because the film i wanted to see was sold out, but still. i believe that it is not the viewing audiences fault if normal festival films are being screened in the specialized theatres or not.

the fact of the matter is, if the festival box office can't start a pricing scheme from the very beginning of the festival day one, then it is just bad form to be changing the prices after the fact. the same thinking applies to film festival coupons and their wavering prices.


mini reviews:

17. february 23rd - rize, usa, 11:00am ****

photographer david lachapelle has added another filmic work to his resume with this insider's look at the "krump" and "clown" dance phenomenons to come out of south central los angeles.

out of the predominantly black cities of S.E. L.A., there has been a scene emerging that has the aggressiveness and attitude of what most would consider the ingredients for a new gang-related subculture, but this time around the community is gathering around this dance not only as an activity in the pursuit of expression and peace, but also as a way of life that could lead to positivity, safety, and ultimately a way out from being labeled only as a "ghetto gutter child."

this documentary delves deeply into the personal lives of the dancers that have come to personify this dance phenomena, and explains its origins, ever-evolving boundless style, and impact upon the area and beyond.

it's a piece that shows and inspires. this is something that maybe the media can latch onto before someone else feels that nothing good ever came out of S.E. L.A. beautifully shot and worth the watch.

18. february 23rd - the white masai, germany, 2:30pm ****

a beautifully told story adapted from a novel about a young swiss woman who leaves her boyfriend of two years, to stay with and eventually marry a masai warrior and live in the bush.

i only wish i had access to the novel that inspired this film. it seems like the sort of adventure that would lend itself very well beyond the potential listing of differences. a very human story about the nature of love, acceptance, and cultural ties.

the shots are engaging and the hardships are not only felt by the woman herself, but also by the masai man who has also chosen to pursue the relationship. he must face issues of the mentality of the "western" female; independent, ambitious, and at times un-understanding of cultural isms.

the location very much reminds me of a film that i enjoyed very much a couple years ago, called "nowhere in africa." true the films take place at different times, but i believe both stories touch upon not only the differences in the cultures between europeans and africans of this area, but also how the human condition and love can create grounds of mutual understanding and care.

there are little annoyances like her lack of learning swahili language and continuing to yell at him in german. or in scenes where she is affected or shocked by eons-long masai customs, how she never takes that short moment most open-minded people take to try and understand and empathize cultural customs from a perspective other than her own.

it takes only small moments to get over such things, but over all this beautiful movie does end on a strange note, but delivers a great story to latch onto. hopefully soon, i can get my hands on the novel, and see what really when on in between the edits.

19. february 23rd - river queen, new zealand, 8:30pm **


i wanted to love it samantha morton and oddly cast kiefer sutherland.

so sad.

sorry temuera morrison and cliff curtis, really.

you know when you're watching a movie, and with every following cut, you feel horrible and confused at why anyone would allow this train wreck of a work print to be made into the final edit?

it felt like someone had known ahead of time that this film would be so fragmented, even with the beautiful collection of shots and vast potential to be an epic story set in the colonial-time campaigns against the fleeting maori culture in new zealand, it would have saved me about two hours of feeling guilty that such great actors were somehow done a greater disservice.

that's the sort of tedium i was riding almost the entire time of this screening. and yeah, i felt bad, but i felt worse for the director, vincent ward (aka-the guy responsible for what dreams may come), who was in attendance trying to not sound disappointed in his own film.

this is not to say that all of his films are epic-in-vision/horrid-in-practice bombs (i loved map of the human heart personally), but how can you have had the opportunity to work with these great actors, and somehow sell the entire idea of the story so short. i think it was not the actors themselves who faltered, but somewhere the story got lost, and someone didn't work hard enough to try and save it. it's not harsh, it's human.

not to dog him as a director, but you have to understand that i could feel that he had a passion for this film, and somehow it got away from him. there were articles i had read about the production problems, weather woes, bond company production infiltrations, and a whole slew of challenges, but it just wasn't pulled together.

story-wise, there were so many inexplicable holes. the space-time continuum was disrupted. lines ended up flat and odd. motivations were skewed. epic dreams turned into opportunities to get some booty during wars. it was all very very confusing.

you can see that a great deal of work went into the making of the film, but something happened after the last shot was doctored and assembled together. something that once was a strong cohesive story became shattered and it was bravely attempted to be pieced back together, but ultimately was a systematic prolonged example of how editing and slight foresight are both key in presentation.

true, i am not a "working professional" yet and i have many unfinished crappy scripts in the works, but i can use this film as a brilliant example of a work that should've been something great, had all the ingredients of something great, and then turned into a moving visual question mark.

sorry, but it just didn't work for me.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

" bkkiff 2006: day five "


halfway day:

yessiry, today is the halfway point in the film festival. i'm glad that the logistics of the festival's ticketing has hit its first stride along a rough and tumble road to streamlining the sales aspect of the fest.

the "big boards" are being updated by hand, things are being passed out on time for the most part, flyers and information are available, and everyone seems to have sunk into the more cinematic parts of the festival.

most of the films that i've seen thus far have been a great insight into what storytelling around the globe is like and how it is so unique this world we live in.

i have been a fan of international cinema since i was fairly young. i think the first foreign film i saw was french director jean cocteau's "la belle et la bete." i rented it from the original albany library when i was around 6 or 7 years old, and i thought it was so expressive and interesting. the surrealistic aspects of it amazed me.

i was captivated and i began to question why i had never seen it before. of course it took me a few more years to get used to balancing the enjoyment of a foreign film and getting my reading comprehension up to speed to follow the subtitles. now i get to reap the benefits of those earlier days, and steep myself into the international cinematic arena.


mini reviews:

14. february 22nd - journey from the fall, usa, 2:30pm *****

after the fall of saigon, americans left vietnam in a state of unfinished political purgatory, in which one family goes through the hardships of remaining faithful to survival, to their idea of freedom, and to each other. the story spans two countries and approximately ten years.

this film is now the new frontrunner for my favorite of the festival. shot in thailand to be the background for the vietnamese jungles, this film seemingly overcame hardships of its own to be made. the story has been said to be the story of one out of every seven vietnamese living in the united states.

this is the story of life after american involvement, during the times of internal conflict, a mass exodus of its peoples, and the horrors of the "re-education camps" which were little more than propagandistic prisons.

after now hitting its third festival, i believe that this film has the legs to send it on a very prominent career. the story is specific but its themes are universal and touching in very powerful ways. it deals with love, loss, humanity, pride, desires, and has so many emotional arcs, that everyone in the theatre was left in a state of emotional vulnerability.

also displaying a nice subtle treatment of sociopolitical awareness pertaining to the times, it gives a very nicely shown sense of place and being, rather than the usual oversaturation of information.

definitely one to hope will find distribution soon.

15. february 22nd - sympathy for lady vengeance, south korea, 6:30pm **

you know those movies that you really want to love, but after the hype of both previous films from the same director, the buzz of loyal fans and critics, and the marketing flurry, just dislike as a finished piece? yeah, this is one of those...i hesitate to say duds, because there is something there, but i'll stop short of it could've been better.

the shots were nice in the extremely widescreen showing of this one, but the sense of storytelling felt way too rushed in a non hyper-kinetic-for-coolnesses-sake either. it felt hurried unnecessarily. it felt edited strange, like it didn't want to find it's ground and kept fluttering in front of the audience like an idea lost in contemplation and stylization.

i would also say that the tone of the film was hard to pin down. not in the way where you might've missed something, so now you don't know how to feel. rather it was the way of blending high violence, heinous acts, longstanding revenge, and slight dark humor that should've worked based on oldboy's delicious flow, but just never found itself amidst all of the desire to be stylish and cold and hip and strange.

it didn't have a pent up delicious sort of evil backwards revenge, just a strange one that lingered on the use of raincoats too long for me to enjoy the act itself. it was just odd instead of interesting or appealing.

i'm just hoping that i might've been wrong about this one, and there's something great that i'm missing out on if i could just put my finger on it. but at the same time, i don't think that i'd be swayed if someone could prove these things to me. if anything it'll remain one of those films that almost made it for me.

16. february 22nd - magdelena: the unholy saint (santa santita), philippines, 9:00pm **

a young girl going through the erratic mess that is early teenagedom, comes to terms with the path of her self-destructive ways after her prayer-woman mother passes away. she assumes the role of a prayer woman to make ends meet, and by doing so, starts on a short journey to the knowledge of her own gifts.

by all rights, this is a good film. at least it so should be. in fact, i believe that i liked this movie-fable interpretation of the theme of the biblical magdalene, the prostitute who becomes a saint.

i think i got lost in the unconvincing trials and tribulations of the young girl, by the subplot badboy boyfriend with a son, and the pastor who has lost his faith to alcoholism. it's all some realistic issues that get a 90's feel to the dialogue, a 70's odd saturation to the colors, and an all-too-often out of focus shot/reverse shot volley that takes anything away from the themes and story.

i should've liked it, and might be a little harsh, but i just didn't think that pretty girl always equals great film.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

" bkkiff 2006: day four "



it's moments like being on the same escalator with catherine deneuve, that allows you to come full circle from that time in sixth grade when your albany middle school french teacher madame donahue was trying to instill some interest into not only the french language, but french historical events by showing indochine in class.

now that i've been within 6 feet of this iconic classic and completely cool lady, it's hard to find anything wrong with the festival today. i guess i wanted to not complain at all about the festival today, and it looks like they got away with flubbing up.

of course i still have to complain about the below freezing temperatures of all of the theatres, annoying american "talkers" who are trying to explain to their thai friends all about film history during the screenings (shut up and woo later!!!), and the disrespectful people who still don't understand that they're not in whatever country they came from, and don't yet know to stand for the king's anthem.

so yeah, other than that, beautiful day.


mini reviews:

11. february 21st - dreaming lhasa, uk/india, 2:00pm **(*)

an american-tibetan filmmaker is documenting tibetan refugees in the city of dharamsala, india, which is a city where tibetans have set up a makeshift life-in-waiting while the chinese regime continues to rule over tibet.

this is the sort of film that is greatly helped by having the directors to help explain certain aspects of the film and the filmmaking process, in order to better feel about not liking certain aspects.

like finding out that the main actress was cast after an extensive stateside search, and is actually a banker in washington d.c., made me feel better about feeling confused by her lack of convincing english-spoken dialogue for her character.

it's not that the film was bad or uninformative at all, just some problems with plot, forced love-story angles, and the use of non-actors for main characters which are sort of wooden and flat, left me with a guilty taste in my mouth.

i rarely like to dog a film that actually has sociopolitical weight, important historical reflections/information, and a great insight into a culture in flux with the rest of the world. is it bad to make a film where you feel that the main character was hurtful to the supporting cast?

of course it wouldn't of been the same film, but i think that at times, directors can rethink the importance of the themes against the wont of a great provocative drama, and filter out unnecessary dialogue.

the film ends up very thoughtful and clearly has passion and things to say about both past and current situations in tibet and india, but i still left the theatre feeling that it could've done better as a different slimmed-down drama and an accompanying documentary.

12. february 21st - season of the horse, china (mongolia), 4:00pm ****

a mongolian sheep-herding family has to come to terms with the fact that along with the desertification of their once-lush green pastures, their lives as traditional generations-long herders is nearing their last days, as the chinese government extends their reach over the lands in the name of ecological preservation.

this poetic well-shot beautiful film resonates a universal tale of the end of a culture by being overswept by another. season of the horse is direct and also subtle at times while being overall very powerful. you feel like you're hearing about amazonian tribes, the entire native american collective civilization, and any other lost peoples of the world.

it is a poignant portrayal of the process by which the sheep-herders are being systematically forced to leave their pastural and seasonal nomadic lifestyle, and retire to the confines of the loud and alien city.

an important scene to watch is one where the sheep herder confronts a childhood friend who had left for the city and became a painter evoking the lineage of ghengis khan in order to sell his art. the herder asks for help as a fellow mongolian of the same village, and the artist denies him anything. the herder then accuses the artist of selling out his own culture for his own personal advancement in the guise of cultural preservation, and he's right. is it enough that the artist tells everyone that he is a descendent of ghengis khan, if he only cares about that fact as long as he can use it to make money?

there are pressures not only of cultural preservation, but financial concerns, and boundary privileges which come under fire constantly. there is a achingly calm scene when the father of the family realizes that he must set his horse free.

he and his people were/are considered to be very close to their horse culture, until they blend together in a mutually beneficial existence of work, life, and respect. the ceremony to send off his aged horse into the wild plains, evokes the same beautiful sounds of tuvan throat music, and is painful not only as a farewell to the horse itself, but also a farewell to an entire way of life.

it reminds me of a trip i made to d.c. last year. i had a chance to visit the new native american museum and just in one day, learned of numerous groups of displaced cultures, languages, and peoples that i had never really heard of before. it's astounding how all of these cultures are rapidly disappearing in the name of progress.

if we really want to make progress in a broad collective human sense, we have to fight to preserve these disappearing peoples/groups, and not feel it necessary to succumb to the supposed ideal of citification. in the end we'll all disappear into the chaos of urbanality with no sense of origin.

13. february 21st - the umbrellas of cherbourg, france, 7:00pm *****

this musical stands out as one of the most engaging storylines among other musicals of its time . the use of real locations over sets, issues such as underage pregnancy, young marriage, young love, war, and the repercussions of unspoken betrayal.

the only aspects that keep the tone more out of the pure drama of the story, are the bright colors and the orchestral arrangements of the classic songs. it's hard to say that you cannot find at least something about this film to completely fall in love with.

it is completely captivating and plain at the same time, and it's the balance of those two dynamics which keep the interest in the storyline. it was and is a brilliantly made musical that steps over the line of a musical filled with set pieces and choreographed dance sequences, and steps confidently into the times of which the people and places are being represented.

the piece de resistance of the night which capped off a great day of film-watching with a calm and collected casual q&a was the elegant and down-to-earth catherine deneuve. devastatingly beautiful, serene, a state of elegance and pulled together with so many amiable traits, one would find it hard to find anything to dislike about the bright shining actress in the umbrellas of cherbourg.

all of her answers to the sometimes blah questions were always respectful, informative, and apt. one of the highlights of the session was when she talked about working with lars von tier on dancer in the dark with bjork, and how it was a completely artistic and engaging experience.

just hearing her talk so casually about wanting to remain dedicated to herself and portraying her characters with honesty and reality was very riveting for some reason other than her being such a captivating icon that she is.

and as you can see i'm rambling on too, because how can you stand it to be in the same room with such a person, and not feel somehow moved profoundly. i mean, she came to be at the bkkiff just for a few days, in between currently filming a movie in france. now that is the sign of a professional that is grounded in reality, and exudes an elegant sense of grace. beautiful, just beautiful.


Monday, February 20, 2006

" bkkiff 2006: day three "


when attending a film festival, one has to always remember to enjoy oneself:

it's not enough that you have the opportunity to see great movies, possible celebrity interviews, and super exhibitions, you have to remember to eat properly (or at least as well as possible), schedule the films you want to see with restroom and reflection breaks in mind, and also know when too many movies is enough.

one of the fun things, that sort of has turned into a minor annoyance after the fact, has been the filling out of the response sheets. these five page questionnaires are fun the first few times (also because they have these odd flower-candles in shot glasses for a thank-you-for-filling-out-our-form complimentary gift), but after the 7th time, isn't there the possibility that you might be rendering their chance at honing on a key demographic useless? i guess i'll just have to restrain myself tomorrow.

knowing myself, too many films in one day is usually never too many, but eating well and all of these other concerns should always be a consideration when attending with a friend or a group of friends.

not having to pee halfway through a film is great. having the proper snack items at your disposal, whether popcorn, cookies, chips, or liquid refreshment is all worth it and can be taken care of with a slight planning of ahead of time.

also key is knowing that modern theatres these days are colder and dryer than the inside of an airplane, so eye drops (for contact lens wearers) and sweatshirts can become very important items, following of course money, cheaper ticket film festival coupons, an updated festival schedule marked with a loose plan of films to watch, at least four hours of sleep, and a sense of adventure.


mini reviews:

08. february 20th - crossing the bridge: the sound of istanbul, germany/turkey, 11:30am ****

excellent excellent strange documentary about the diverse musical atmosphere in istanbul, turkey. great insight into the different types of music thriving within this ancient city.

i am always interested in things about this world that i have yet to experience. the great thing about this documentary is that it took the audience through so many different types of people and neighborhoods within istanbul, and brought out a great variety of music that i had never knew existed.

these musical forms were both familiar in a sense and also alien, including romany traditional, gypsy musical forms, rock and grunge, psychedelic experimental, a form called sez, traditional turkish music, kurdish tunes, street musicianry, hip-hop/rap, and a smattering of other beautiful practices.

a nice piece touching upon some of the more cultural backgrounds of the music and the peoples that they originated from. this is a good doc to check out if you are a world music nerd with out the pretense and audio-snobbery.

09. february 20th - before the flood, china, 2:00pm, ***

it was hard to sum up what exactly was going on in this documentary. i know that people were being forced to locate from their homes en masse. i know that the government is not supporting the people enough financially. i know that everyone is out to get their rightful compensation for being displaced. and i know that this documentary is banned in china.

it's still a great piece that evokes a fly-on-the-wall mentality. the only thing i felt that it lacked was an adequate set-up for the main point.

yes i understand that there is a great injustice going on, but the problem of being a complete outsider and confused about the intricacies of such a plight of humanity, isn't helped by the fact that the shots linger upon conversations that don't necessarily evolve with a sense of storytelling or structure.

it is definitely something to check out, but at the same time, i wish the point felt much more solid, and the sense of humanity more developed. perhaps better editing could hone down the main point and it's satellite issues into a context where i could feel like i could sympathize more as a fellow human, rather than simply empathize as a viewer.

i guess i wasn't as receptive to the situation as much as the material suggests is key. the blurb probably explains it much better than i:

The dam of Three Gorges, the largest dam that humans have ever built on earth, is under construction in China. The water-reserving began in 2003, and is expected to be completed in 2009. Until then, hundreds of counties, thousands of towns, and millions of local residents, including countless natural and historic spots along the area of Three Gorges, will be under the water level of the reservoir, including Fengjie, the town which became famous because of Li Bai, one of the most significant poets in the Chinese history. This film is a genuine overall record of the relocation of Fengjie town in 2002, just before the first water-reserving. An old man, who used to make a living out of a small inn for the cargo-movers in the front, was losing all of his assets. The priests of one local Christian church found it difficult to keep their faiths while bargaining for the breakdown of their church. Many life stories happened there, not without struggles and tears.

10. february 20th - sisters(hermanas), argentina/brazil/spain, 6:00pm, ****

this film is probably the best drama i have seen yet in the festival. it is powerful and clear in its sense of confidence. the acting great and well motivated.

it is a nice period-piece set in the mid 1980's in texas, concerning sisters that have drifted apart after a political upheaval in argentina sets their paths in different directions.

the characters are all well-developed and have just as much flesh and blood as they have convictions and determination. it's a great piece that actually utilizes the flashback sequences with a touch of foresight.

this helps to set up the eventual learning of information in such a way that isn't too oooh-i-figured-that-one-out, and also is nice to see a kind of artistic balance being shared instead of forced.

if you don't go for a great drama pertaining to political histories of movements and the social repercussions in the aftermath(s), you can at least appreciate a film set in the 80's which doesn't hold back on the fashions of the time, but uses them more as a mood and time placement attribute, rather than as trendy filmmaking shock-value fodder-filler like more "throwback" fluff-dramedies.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

" bkkiff 2006: day two "


reminder to self - you are not always right:

today went a little smoother in terms of lines. i started to realize that i become sort of a frustrated near-angry person on a hair. my body starts to heat up, my face starts to contort all weird, and i notice that people that i'm talking to start to react in an almost fearful state.

so i am going to stop being a dick if i am not fully understood the first time i try to explain something to someone. deep breaths, calm, focus. it is all going to be okay.

i think that i made this girl employee at the counter today think that i am a pushy angerball, and i will have to try and be either better at explaining myself in thai, or more patient with the thai version of collective confusion.

i also get cranky when i am hungry. so yeah, i guess i need to snack up when attending the festival, or else i might go crazy in between shows.

other than me finding out about how at times the state of my temper is acutely connected to my inability to speak my thai well enough and the state of my hunger at the time, i had a great day.


mini reviews:

04. february 19th - dark horse, denmark/iceland, 11:00am ***

this is the second film that i have seen of the icelandic director dagur kari. i give it a three-star rating not for lack of content, but because i was so impressed with his previous work, noi albinoi, that i was expecting similar themes.

instead of a thoughtful dreamery icelandic landscape-mirroring-human-nature drama, i feasted on a playalong adventure through the denmark version of the gen-xers and their daily ways of getting by.

it is a beautifully grainy experimental-at-times black and white prose which develops its quirky nordic comedy stylings episodically. i think however, that we might've received a workprint version of the film, as there were definite work-in-progress moments with the sense of editing, sound, and story content (including a late in the making new subplot involving a minor character which draws heavy exploration but goes nowhere near the protagonists).

also, i think i saw a few china marker edit smears at the head and tails of some of the shots. whether or not this is meant to happen or not, it did take me out of some of the better sequences of the film. but fun without trying to be overly something that it's not.

in spite of those things, there is a brilliantly simple deconstruction of an example that involves why a son should give all of his potential modeling earnings to his parents using the color green as the basis. fun.

05. february 19th - don't come knocking, germany/usa, 2:00pm ****

a tale of an aging cowboy actor playboy seeking out a former flame and the son he never knew he fathered.

wim wenders again is a master of weaving those dialogue-less moments into passages of cinema that astound and capture the sense of a person's entire being in one shot.

i had some problems with the story at times and also wanted the peripheral characters to stop being sucky, but in the end, a nice road trip exploration into the breakdown of the cowboy mentality of a man nearing the next stage in his life.

sam shepard gives a performance that is believable and achingly good stuff. he also reminded me of jack lemmon at times. it was nice to see character like that again and how regret of past and present actions can evolve into realizations that forward rather than provide more room for misinterpretation and a further sense of chaos and loss.

i remember how in wender's segment in ten minutes older, he managed to have something completely serious also have a flair of the silly, and this film is a great piece which incorporates that energy throughout.

go for sarah polley being a little too mysterious but soft lit enough to be worth it. go for tim roth as a bond stooge bounty hunteresque man accept an offer of a cookie. go for the strange opening band, it's musical arrangements, and fairuza balk being stranger. go for the setting, go for the oddity of real life.

just go.

06. february 19th - africa united, iceland, 4:00pm **

i remember in the beginning of the fall 2002, visiting my friend petur in iceland for a month. the complete sense of being in a different country-island that had so much confidence in itself, it took discovery in a new direction every minute of every day.

i remember the swimming pools. i remember the hotdogs. i remember the people and their endless energy for life. i remember the spirit and the want for something better. this is what energy is shared in the documentary africa united.

this silly compilation of shots is a great little saturday afternoon piece on the fledgling third division amateur football (soccer) team in iceland, comprised of immigrants from africa and abroad, and local icelandic football enthusiasts.

you so want them to play well and win games, but most of the time it's more a documentary about the opportunity for a better life, a better chance, and the day ahead. it's about failure and remaining true to your ambitions. it's about being a foreigner and not caring about it.

i thought that the people on the creation end of the team were eager and that was 50% of the success; just the thought of getting the team together was a sign that they were meant to play. this sense of blind ambition is hard to shake, even when they fight and lose and are defeated on and off the field.

07. february 19th - press conference with christopher lee, 7:00pm *****

it's true. he was here to be praised for being not only a great acting legend, but to share with us a brief moment of his long and celebrated life in a q&a format.

- counting television, he has been in about 280 films to date, and is continuing to work.

- he is the coolest old school nerd still working.

- his favorite director is tim burton and his favorite actor is johnny depp.

- he praises the lord of the rings as one of the most important literary works ever written, and even met J.R.R. Tolkein in a pub called the bird and the baby.

- does pose for photos doing what is beautifully described as "the claw."

- played golf with sir ian fleming and was considered for the role of dr. no, but when ready to go for the role, found that it was already cast. later he played the man with the golden gun in another classic bond film.

he is so cool, that i had to not watch a film so that i could listen to this session. it was worth it just to be near someone who defends middle earth so passionately, that he felt the need to describe its importance to humanity. that, and he gave the interpreter enough time and pauses with which to translate properly. now that's class.

see you tomorrow.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

" bkkiff 2006: day one "


it begins:

the lines at this thing are admirable but ultimately amateurish. this is an event body that cannot handle itself and the manifestation of its own monster. but we're trying.

i know it's only the opening day of the festival, and i do have high hopes for every day following this one, but we are simply not prepared for any large significant event on any wide range of a scale, let alone a film festival.

as it is now, this has the immediate makings of a sour and bitter facsimile of what could have been a glorious start, to match the gimungous size of the structure it's being held in. side question, completely rhetorical: is it possible to hold a film festival, when no one working the floor seems to be a lover of cinema?

until late afternoon, there were no signs telling anyone where to go or which line was for what. the paragon cinema staff seemed to be fielding questions that they knew that they had no responses for...but we're trying is all they say.

and yes, you can try all you might, but that still doesn't tell me why i had to switch lines after 25 minutes because you have no clue what you're doing. i felt like i was wrangled like a weaning calf unsure of my destination.

there are too many volunteers with the same collective limited knowledge of the film schedule, the changes to that schedule, and a general sense of what's going on besides the sales of the larger format souvenir schedule.

there are too few managers with any sort of balance between people skills and technological troubleshooting skills(all of the tickets are computer controlled but no one knows how it all works...yet).

all of the announcements in the main cinema lobby were in the thai language, which is super if you're thai. just because i am and i understand doesn't mean that the rest of the english-understanding population knows that you just changed the description/properties of a specific line, are allowing people who are/have been waiting in line and are now 20 minutes away from the screening but 45 minutes away from purchasing a ticket that they can go ahead and rapid purchase the seats at a different location, or that when you do finally seem to be on your way to see a film, that you might have to stand up to pay respects to the king of thailand...which is what we do here.

i feel that i might be a little scathing at the moment, but i'm sure that many other festival-goers had experienced the same if not similar levels of frustration across the board in reference to lack of information and direction.

i mean, we're not dumb, so if you're going to play like everything is "under control" when it clearly is not, just say so, or else popcorn is going to be thrown, and this is not the thai way, but the international rules apply during an international festival. this is weird but understandable.

i had a screaming woman behind be blabbermouthing and fuming like a teakettle left to its own devices on a stove unseen. she ranted and talked under her breath, muttered on and on and on and was furious. i thought that i was miffed, but i could see how rapidly her eagerness to delight in the glory of the cinematic experience quickly shifted into a blind rage.

i checked myself and remembered that at an average of $3.50 USD a film, that i was not as mad as i had previously thought. in fact all of these annoyances are just that; those things you focus in on because everyone is so ready to join in.

we want to see the films. we want to participate and be engaged, entertained, and satisfied. it's a festival, should we not have high hopes? i think that it is clear that there are things to be noticed and remedied.


mini reviews:

01. february 18th - master class: q&a with terry gilliam, 4:00pm *****

he is a great and visionary man. mr. terry gilliam is an unbridled force of cinematic explosivity.

i was surprised to find out that this was the first time that he had ever been to bangkok. it was no doubt something that was due. he came to the session ready to give up the ghost. i think that the fact that there was no pretense involved in the setting of this q&a, allowed him to be casual, be real, be himself. and that's exactly what people are inspired by.

the main points i jotted down in my notepad were these:

- he said that film school doesn't make you anything but a film school student and poor. film school is not a prerequisite for greatness.

- a large influence on early surreal experimental comedy and storytelling to a wide audience was ernie kovacs, both in the mediums of radio and television.

- the mistakes made during filmmaking often come to be what defines the piece, and that can be good.

- he likes to work with good actors that are willing to play and be silly and do whatever it takes to strike the right chord. he doesn't direct then, but allows a playground environment where something special is created.

- is a fan of the "bonza dog doo-dah band"

- said out of confidence that because of the interference with the making of brother's grimm, he will never work with the weinsteins again. he said they are not producers, they are money people and interfere. he wanted to keep spending money and go over budget to see how long it would take to bankrupt them, but it never happened.

- despises compromising in filmmaking.

- likes the atmosphere of the real bangkok, although says that he is more intrigued by the fact that he sees something and doesn't quite understand it.

a gem of an experience. (if i find the time, i might transcribe the almost hour-long interview session...maybe)

02. february 18th - tsotsi, south africa/UK, 7:00pm ***

an adapted piece about tsotsi, an young amateur gangster who lives in the shantytowns in johannesburg, south africa. he gets by in this environment by pulling small crimes with a tight band of thieves and hoods. one night, while committing a crime, he ends with the responsibility of taking care of a baby. this circumstance forces him to think about where his life is at, and if it is too late to change.

this piece was all in the cinematography. the lighting was well done, the shots were motivated and all of the environments held a certain visual weight that allowed you to be able to lose yourself within the settings.

emotionally, i could have been more affected if the editing was a little tighter, but a sound film despite sort of feeling overmanipulated my some of the orchestral musical passages.

the one thing that i thoroughly enjoyed however, were the moments of pure cinematic shots, where no words were spoken and the story was unveiled before your eyes like visceral treats consumed with the eyes.

03. february 18th - transamerica, usa, 9:15pm ***

if nothing but a now prominent oscar contender, this film is all about performance. the nuances of felicity huffman's character are so palpable, that you almost feel as heavy as the make-up she applies to her face. but this is not used to conceal, as much as it is utilized to set her soul free.

transamerica basically is a road-trip film that uses that expected passage of time, to help you understand the plight of transgendered people through a strange and odd plot involving her underage drug-abusive troubled son.

great digi-piece and the performances shine through the digi-noise. i think that the the notion that the character wanted to deconstruct himself and become herself, with the eventual sex reassignment surgery, was well flushed out and explained with extreme care.

a few points in the film lacked a proper handling but was probably more of an editing issue than a storytelling flub. the grandma character was a little more caricature than needed be, but it oddly fit only because we recognize the silliness of her words and actions hiding deeper rooted fears.

all in all, a solid piece. i'm not sure that i felt as strongly towards this film due to the hype built up from afar, but i was moved and entertained nonetheless.


Friday, February 17, 2006

" bkk internat'l film festival 2006! "


it's here again, and this time there's a lot more to see in the film festival now in its fourth year.

the organization for this year's festivities is a little if not substantially off. when watching the "opening ceremonies" the english was horrid, the questions little more than opportunities to see how more plasticine the upper-crust of society can be.

it's amazing however, the fact that the films involved do not have the sense of being allowed to be into the festival. rather they have the position of allowing the festival itself to house them. and maybe it's not that amazing.

thailand has had a very rapid and strong recent history in the gaudy oversight usually affiliated with celebutantism, but on a city-wide scale. the rich pump funds into shopping complexes and high-so name brands, when thailand clearly is one of the three hot spots in fake wares.

it's just funny is all. when we lay out the red carpet for the grand entrance, it's interesting how many people have absolutely no clue what they're going to do at a film festival, other than go to yet another party and be seen/photographed. which is not only sad culturally, but also depressing in the way that everyone "famous" is a prime example for someone that sold out completely to where this is not only the exception amongst the successful, it's the gold standard.

this is only a hidden rant veiled in excitement about the film festival, which i am actually excited to attend, so be ready for some reviews and other fodder in the next ten or so days.

i'll try to keep the social commentary at a minimum, because seriously, i could go on forever and ever and ever and ever and...


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

" from the window sills "


a dog passing low in the night

buildings in the distance pulse constant red light

the streets far off

the sounds dissonant in a chorus

finally can sleep at night


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

" traces "


a few strands of her hair

curl around my toes

as i walk around

the wide stone floors.

the saddest thing to witness;

the last attempt

to be remembered.


Monday, February 06, 2006

" eat me: thoughts on yummy things of sorts "


i think i over-eat.

there's something about not being able to tell if you're really hungry, or you have a stomach ache. i mean, due to a recent bout of internal malaise, i am left to think that my innards will never be properly functional again.

biology aside, there is always that slight feel of guilt after finishing a meal, that just resonates long after the consumption-for-sustenance aspect of eating has passed. it meanders then into a state of willful gluttony. and this is what worries me.

have my eating habits changed that much in the past couple of years? has my portion size become drastically smaller? it seems that over the course of a few days following an incident that turned me inside out, i find that i do actually stuff myself until i am too full.

it feels like someone punched you in the belly with a sack of food. or like a ninja came along during the midway point in the meal, and snuck a thick biscuit into your meal while you weren't looking.

i think the responsible thing to do, for the safety and betterment of myself, is to just be more aware of my nutritional surroundings. to be more attune to the thing(s) that i am about to eat, and then have just enough to be satisfied.

there's no reason to over indulge, just indulge enough to have a happy relationship with food. starting tomorrow, i'm going to make a conscious attempt to be good to myself in this way.

why is taking care of yourself at times, make you feel like you're living out a self-help manual?

sigh...i think i'm hungry again.


Saturday, February 04, 2006

" so you might have Campylobacteriosis "


after about 24 hours later, i still feel crappy. this is what may be the problem:

Types and differences of foodborne illness

More than 250 foodborne illnesses have been identified. Most of them are infections, caused by pathogens (organisms that cause disease) such as bacteria, viruses and parasites found in food. Others are poisonings caused by toxins or chemicals that have contaminated food, such as food served in lead-glazed pottery, or naturally poisonous foods, such as poisonous mushrooms.

The most common types of foodborne illnesses include:

Campylobacteriosis. Caused by the Campylobacter bacteria, which is the most commonly identified bacteria that causes diarrhea. The bacteria live in the intestines of birds. Undercooked chicken or other foods are frequent sources of this type of infection.

Clostridium Perfringens. Results in diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and usually develops after eating improperly stored or cooked meat.

Salmonellosis. Caused by the Salmonella bacteria, which is widespread in the intestines of birds, reptiles and mammals. Fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps are common symptoms. In people with poor health or weakened immune systems, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections. Some infected people do not develop symptoms, but instead become carriers and spread the infection to others.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection. E. coli is a bacterial pathogen found in cattle and other related animals. Illness often when food or water has been contaminated with microscopic amounts of cow feces. The illness causes severe diarrhea that may be bloody and painful abdominal cramps. In a small number of cases, a serious condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can occur. This can result in anemia, profuse bleeding and kidney failure.

Calicivirus. An extremely common cause of viral foodborne illness. This type is rarely diagnosed because the laboratory test is not widely available. The virus (a type of norovirus) can spread from one person to another or through food. For instance, a kitchen worker may spread the virus during food preparation.

Shigellosis. Caused by the Shigella bacteria. It can be transmitted by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by food handlers with Shigella, eating vegetable grown in fields containing sewage, eating food contaminated by flies bred in infected feces and drinking or swimming in contaminated water. The bacteria causes fever, bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Bacillus cereus food poisoning. Caused by the Bacillus Cereus bacteria. It usually presents with extreme nausea and vomiting and has the fastest onset of symptoms (3 hours) of foodborne illnesses. Bacillus cereus food poisoning is commonly seen in people after consuming Chinese fried rice.

Staphylococcal food poisoning. Caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Unlike other types of foodborne illness, this form is not caused by contamination. The bacteria can grow in some foods (e.g. dairy products, fish and processed meats) and produce a toxin that results in intense vomiting.

Ascariasis (roundworm). A parasitic worm infection caused by contact with contaminated food or soil.

Vibrio. There are many different types of this bacteria, one of which causes cholera. Other Vibrio species are commonly found in raw or undercooked shellfish. An infection often causes chills and fever.

Giardiasis. Caused by the parasite Giardia that is passed to humans in drinking water or from infected animal products. Giardia is a common traveler’s illness which causes abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Chemical food poisoning. Some types of foods, such as certain species of mushrooms, contain toxins that result in illness. Most cases result in mild symptoms but some are more serious and require immediate medical treatment.

Botulism. A rare, but serious illness caused by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. If untreated, it can cause paralysis and respiratory failure. Cases of botulism are usually contracted from insufficiently heated home-canned foods, such as asparagus, green beans, beets and corn.

Treatment and prevention

Many bouts of nausea and vomiting usually subside within six to 24 hours and may be treated at home. In some cases, stopping or avoiding the food or medication that caused the problem is the only treatment necessary.

There are several ways to control nausea, including:

Drink clear fluids.
Eat light, bland foods, such as crackers or plain bread.
Do not eat fried, greasy or sweet foods.
Eat and drink slowly.
Eat small meals.
Do not mix hot and cold foods.
Avoid activity after eating.
Avoid teeth brushing shortly after eating.


so basically i'm going to drink gatorade and stop brushing my teeth? why do remedies always sound silly?


" gross dude, gross "


disclaimer: this post will gross you out. be forewarned.

so. lemme ask you all this:

is there any proper way to handle explosive diarrhea and tumultuous vomiting at the same time?

i'm thinking, no.

it's too hard to be clutching the sides of a toilet with any sort of skill, while trying to hold a bag in front of your face. and it hurts too much to try and coordinate just which ailment to take care of at the same time.

i wish that there was just a magical vortex that you could shift yourself into when you've reached that specific point in your sickness, where you neither care about public etiquette and how you might look to anyone around you, nor the fact that you may in all likeness be losing control over your bodily functions too far from any proper receptacle. it's a personal hell which takes a large amount of awareness and commitment of motion to remedy.

and last night, this is where i found myself.

at around one in the afternoon, i found myself itching for something to eat. you know that feeling of when you've been working on something all day long, and you all of a sudden realize that you hadn't eaten anything? yeah, that feeling crept over me.

i decided to go to the local market that sets up some days near to the hospital near my place. you can access it through this side door in the small ,which attaches my street with the main street where i can get onto public transportation. sort of a small maze at times.

usually you'll find an assortment of thai desserts, noodle stands, ready-to-eat-meals-in-a-bag, and then more towards the street, a hodge-podge of various wares including clothing, cosmetics, home appliances, and plastic containers.

as fate would have it, the market was breaking down and almost gone when i arrived, so i decided to hit up the main street to get some fruit from a fruit cart vendor, some desserts from the dessert cart vendor, and hit up a local small restaurant for some "khao mun gai tohd," which is deep-fried chicken with rice and soupstock on the side.

when i got back to my place, i found out that the chicken was not deep-fried as i had ordered. i was going to go back an exchange it, but it being early afternoon, and super sunny hot, i decided i'd just eat it and for one day not worry about it.

that was a big mistake number one.

imagine yourself later that night developing a stomach ache. i really thought nothing of it, until i left my house. i knew that something was wrong, but how wrong, i could not tell. so i decided to go to a punk show i had previously planned to take photos at, and see if i could make it through.

big mistake number two.

imagine a smoke-filled punk jubilee. loud music. moshing kids with gimungous mohawks of all the colors of the punk rainbow. a smattering of thai skinhead-emulating hooligan types screaming "OI, OI, OI!!!" it's all around you and you start to feel nauseous as all of these people start to mosh and kick and you start to feel not that super.

i had to "take a moment" too often out of that place, almost throwing up in the place a few times; almost crapping myself a few times. all of the hits i sustained to my head didn't help the headache. all of the punches to the body and the blows to my stomach didn't help the sickness go away. and all of the enveloping smells of an indoor punk show, which usually doesn't bother me at all, didn't really help me feel any less nauseous. in effect, i was on the verge of everything happening, and i opted to go home.

the taxi ride home was with one of the sort of thai bangkokian taxi-man has-to-go-fast-for-no-reason-other-that-prove-to-his-ride-that-he-can-disobey-the-law. and it was really testing my uppermost limits.

and you do feel like you get to a point when you think you can make it. call it a moment of grace even; a point where all of the ailments subside, the pains lift away, and everything for that moment seems like it's going to be okay. and then the moment passes, and you realize that if you don't get into your room, into a bathroom, now, you're going to make a mess in this taxi, and then you're fucked.

and by some small miracle, i just almost made it into my apartment before the chain reaction came to a head.

the super speed with which the taxi-man went at was constantly testing my stomachs ability to maintain. this, along with the fact that my stomach was being shaken up like a home-made brew of pop-fizzle soda from some sick backwater hillbilly moonshine club in the sticks, didn't make me feel any better.

consequently, i made it into the elevator, where i started to spew. i was really mad at myself the first time, but when the second payload came a-rising, i gave it no mind. i let go in that moment, and it was gross (later on, i would have to clean this up feeling both guilty and extremely not well, and that sucked ass).

then upon exiting the elevator, i had another spew ready to go, and out of sheer not knowing where is the most convenient place to puke if you're going to anyways, i threw up on a closed-top garbage bin, because i neither had the time nor the inclination to attempt taking it off before it all happened.

so there i am walking the short distance to my apartment, from the elevator, which at this point is just sad that i came home in that state. i entered my domicile, and ran for the bathroom with a bag in hand.

one could explain in great detail just what all happens at this point, sufficed to say, it was none too pretty.

but i figure if you've gotten to this far in my gross story, you're both wondering "why oh why did i ever read this far?" and also "could i be more grossed out, but maybe not, because it's just human, but still gross that i had read about it?"

and i apologize. i really do.

but i do feel a sense of responsibility to everyone i care about to say this: if you have plans, or even a job to do which requires you to be somewhere at a specific time, and you do not feel not make the genial attempt at being "that person" who tries their darndest to help out.

take care of yourself first and foremost. don't be a hero be endangering the rest of the population. it's just not worth the test; to see whether or not you'll be able to handle it when the moment comes. stay home. stay safe. allow yourself a "sick day," because you know what?

you'll feel a lot better knowing that you made the correct decision. do the right thing people.

that is all i could ask of anyone.