November 29, 2014


English: Bernardine Oblates make their Commitment
English: Bernardine Oblates make their Commitment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Commitment is refuge for the weak, prison for the strong.

November 27, 2014

Highsmith's Super-antihero - The Talented Mr Ripley

In The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith created a serial killer who is extremely anti-social, yet intelligent and charming.

Tom Ripley is a young man who lives in New York with poverty. He is also deft con-artist. One day he is caught by Mr. Greenleaf, who ask him to go to Europe to persuade his son - Dick Greenleaf back to America. Mr Greenleaf offers a handsome amount of money, so Tom embarks on the mission.

In a small town called Mongibello in Italy, Tom finds Dickie Greenleaf, who lies happily with his girlfriend. As story goes on, Tom quickly becomes Dickie's friend, and the relationship between he and Dickie gets more and more complicated and obsessive. As a traumatized person, Tom envies Dickie almost in every aspect of his life, and what worse is, he is "abnormally" attracted to him. Unlike the movie version, his attraction to Dickie in original book is not so much sexual, but more platonic and intellectual (of course, Highsmith was not at all into romance, either straight or homosexual).

Saving Mr Banks - Conquering The Dark Past By Creativity

Again, I watched Saving Mr Banks by chasing Ruth Wilson's filmography, and was again satisfied. Not only I was impressed by Wilson's play, also I was surprised to see that another favorite actress of mine - Emma Thompson - was the leading actress of the film.

Saving Mr Bank is about the life of P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins. The film focuses on the part of her life when she comes to America with hesitation to meet Walt Disney (played by Tom Hanks), working with other Disney film workers to adapt her book into Disney film. Prior to this point, Walt Disney has been begged her to adapt her book for 20 years, and Travers, who detests Cartoon culture, does not agree until her own financial situation is in trouble. During the teamwork in Disney, the movie constantly flashes back to Travers earlier life, reveals the childhood trauma that Travers carries all her adult life.

November 25, 2014

"Edith's Diary" - The Murderous Mediocrity

Edith lives two lives: in her diary, she has a happy family, her husband is loving and her son is successful; in reality, she has a dysfunctional family, her son is alcoholic and her husband is cheating. As her diary turns page by page, her utopian life climbs up higher and higher, to almost perfection; as reality moves day by day, her factual life sinks lower and lower, until the boredom and heavyweight routine gradually erodes her tender heart, consumes her vital energy, take away her sanity and eventually crashes her life.

Among all Patricia Highsmith's novels I have read -the most famous ones would be The stranger on the train, Ripliad series, Edith Diary is undoubtedly the most thrilling. The character (Edith) she crafted is extremely convincing, the scenario she conceived is hauntingly thought-provoking.

November 23, 2014

"Small Island" - An Underrated Masterpiece

I had not cried for long time, but recently I cried twice, both due to Ruth Wilson's powerful performances, one of which was in Small Island (another one is in Saving Mr Banks).

Small Island is a BBC TV movie that consists of two episodes. It tells a story about lives of 4 people during and after WWII: Hortense and Gilbert, two young black people who come to England from Jamaica seeking for new life; Queenie and Bernard, two young English people who married each other but soon they marriage is disturbed by the war. Hortense and Gilbert have grand dream about their new life in England, but after they come to the country, they not only have to endure poverty, but also racial discrimination. Queenie and Bernard also have to endure hardships brought by the war, but their different dreams and life attitudes seem to tear them apart even further.

November 19, 2014

"The Affair" - A Powerful Affair

Romance bores me, but affair doesn't... The Showtime TV drama series The Affair, is a story about a serious affair - both lovers - Noah and Alison - are married, with their respectively royal (at least so far) husband and wife, yet they fall in love with each other at the first sight, and get more and more passionate and comfortable about each other. There are quite many sexual scenes, played by both actors intensely and realistically, make their secret passion dangerously contagious. I can imagine that it must be disturbing for audiences with conventional minds.

Again, romance is not my type, but I am addicted into this show nonetheless because there is so much more than just "affair". There is humanity in their affair, which draws audiences sympathy "ruthlessly" to the characters, despite our moral principle; there are background stories with "secrets" from each side's family, being unraveled slowly, but intriguingly through each episode; there is suspense - a murder is going on, which we knew from the first episode, but still know so little about it after 6 episodes. So we keep guessing.

November 17, 2014

Forgiveness And Peace

English: White tulips
English: White tulips (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Do we find peace because we forgive, or we forgive because we find peace?

November 12, 2014


The world might reach its final "peace" if there are only two types people reside in it: one that slap others faces, and one that not only grant being slapped, but also turn the other side to whoever slap them.

November 4, 2014

From Unknown Illnesses To The Limits Of Reason

Hippocrates: a conventionalized image in a Rom...
Hippocrates: a conventionalized image in a Roman "portrait" bust (19th century engraving) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My mother died in 2010 and I was too ill to go back. When my relatives asked me what kind of illness I had, I had to use bunches of words to describe my condition, because there was no term for my my problem. I did not convince them, so judgment came along.

I consider myself a quite convincing person, but why didn't I convince them on this "simple" matter? Years later I found the reason was simple: I did not have a name for my illness. Had I just thrown them a term like "myalgic encephalomyelitis", I could easily shut all of them up. But sadly that's not what I got. What I've got had no name - at least according to  modern medicine, which most people worship, so my explanation became excuse.

November 3, 2014

Religious Attitude

The Rivers of Belief
The Rivers of Belief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Religious attitude is nothing more than holding our beliefs - personal or collective, sound or unsound, such as God, free will, humanism, even kindness - as a general truth. That is to say, we are religious as long as we let our beliefs govern our reasoning.