Showing posts from September, 2015

Slow-boiled assassin

With culinary metaphors, it is hard to get lost. If you are in a pressure cooker, you better find ways to get out fast. And if your head is on the chopping board, then buddy, I hope for your sake that the knife is swift and sharp. Being in a pickle, well, there's always sour aftertaste. And that hardboiled detective novel is all dark, cynical, tobacco-chewing, drugs, bullets and sex, minus the rock and roll.  In this family of metaphors, the slow boil seems ambiguous. A slow boil suggests the pain of a long arduous torture (think mesapotamian torture method for your worst enemy!) but also a complete and thorough accomplishment. A slow boil is how I think of Hou Hsiao Hsien's The Assassin Nie Yin Niang 刺客聶癮娘. Hou has spent years reading about the Tang dynasty and preparing for this film. And there is nothing in the film that is extraneous. He shows you enough for you to do the rest of the work, piecing both the narrative and characters together - it is still on a

dancing, as I imagine it to be

J doing the robot move with Kidnap Bob Among all the performing arts in Singapore, dance probably has the smallest audience. Yet in the last ten years or so, it grew to have the next highest level of participation, after playing an instrument or singing in a group. Folks young and old are signed up for classes in street dance, social dance, line dance, belly dance, folk dance, tap dance, classical indian dance, ballet, pole dance...and  zumba . We are made to move. Working the fields, walking to gather our food, running away from danger, and moving as a group and as in a ritual to symbolise our being part of one body. Play music to a baby and it  [ oops ] he/she responds to that rhythm, even if in the slightest of movement - that curling at the corner of their lips. Toddlers dance freely. And when we are happy, our foot steps quicken with our heartbeat, not in haste, but in flight. I imagine that when we learn how to dance, as in learning a sport, we turn the instinct into dis