Showing posts from March, 2008

homme riche sans l'argent

Didn't manage to take any photo in Paris, so here's one instead of sweet J, man in a cardigan at the new Changi Terminal 3 European cities are often written in a language I do not understand - an architecture from a past that is monumental and seemingly indestructible (those thick stone walls, wrought iron balconies, tall windows, cobbled roads, statues on building facades and the opulence of recycled palaces). This classicism is in turn juxtaposed against an increasingly fluid, diverse population of migrants from North Africa and Asia, as well as all the usual signages for globalisation on shop fronts. Admittedly, I saw very little of Paris in the last three days. Only their museums (I recommend the excellent museum of decorative arts near the Louvre, and the highly accessible Centre Pompidou built in the 70s) , the hotel and whatever view there was from the car of the arc de triomphe . But from what little I saw, it would appear that nowhere other than Japan do peopl

coming of age

At 21 years, the Singapore International Film Festival comes of age with a whole new section "Singapore Panorama" with 17 titles by Singaporean filmmakers! I'm glad the SIFF has persisted. Someone at work had observed that in 2015 it would be our island's 50th national day as a republic and the Padang and City Hall would need to be used for a really elaborate national day parade. 2015 that would make it the 28th Singapore International Film Festival. At that instant, I was thinking that the 28th SIFF would strangely make me far happier and "proud" to be a resident of this island. Anyway, such fuzzy "sense of belonging" aside, Us amps missed most of the films we bought tix for last year , but we are determined to make it for these screenings this year: Singaporean filmmakers Tan Siok Siok's documentary Boomtown Beijing , Abdul Nizam Hamid's documentary on P Ramlee's cinematographer Kerongchong for Pak Bakar and the collective effort o

Tokyo for various Ladies of Leisure

J did not go along, so there aren't many pretty photos of Tokyo here this time round. Just some lazy shots with the Ricoh GR. For anyone thinking of having a short trip to Tokyo with your mom, here's a leisurely-paced itinerary that does not involve museums for non-Culture-Vulture mothers (otherwise, us amps definitely recommend visiting at least some museums if you are in Tokyo. Click here for our museum recommendations ). DAY 1: For Ol' Skool Girls Start the trip with Asakusa for a little of ol' skool Tokyo and the expected tourist traps. Asakusa is home to the oldest temple Kaminarimon in Tokyo, away from the fashion or financial intensity of the city. Walk around the temple grounds and wander into the little adjacent streets and old shopping arcades. While there, if your mom enjoys cooking, a 10min walk will bring you to Kappabashi Dogurai Dori , a street of shops that stock all kinds of kitchenware, utensils and furnishings for restaurants. Take the Ginza line f

time and distance

all images by J I wished I could sit, stare and draw as intently as this girl J and I saw last Sunday at the National Museum of SIngapore's show of marble status of greek gods and assorted philosophers and other such artefacts from the Louvre's collection . Or if taking things slow was an art, it would not itself appear as laborious as this snail's drawing on the pavement. from her daddy's head, literally But I digress. If things could slow down, I wished it would be like Sunday's one and a half hour walk through the exhibition at the museum, led by an excellent guide who told us stories about amorous/jealous/vengeful (demi)gods, lofty philosophers, earthy dramatists and life in Athens more than 2500 years ago. Because of the stories, the bustle of the crowd and a smart-alecky kid were forgivable. Because of the stories, the distance of those Greek marbled figures from our time, culture and land was at once drawn out and also bridged. Drawn because they were indee

no country for old men (and women)

no country for Chinese New Year cast-offs either - image by J I am not sure if the Media Development Authority 's move to have more "co-productions" between Singapore and foreign film studios is a formula duplicated for TV, but there has been several really well-made mandarin documentaries and even travel programmes, typically featuring Singaporean, but also Japanese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong and Chinese stories in parallel. One of these was screened just last Sunday evening. It was an a well-shot documentary. But as if Sunday evenings were not depressing enough, the documentary was about growing old alone in Singapore. The point was not just growing old alone, but growing old and alone - and childless . The parallel story was set in Taichung, Taiwan. In the former, there was nothing to live for - except the volunteer who would drop by perfunctorily to check on the 87 year-old woman [if she had died] and to assure her that he would take care of her funeral. There were scenes