You have slumbered upon yourself all your life.
Your eyes have been as much as closed most of the time.
What you have done is already in mockeries.
The mockeries are not you.
And within them,
I see you lurk...
This emotionally riveting concept piece from Mia Michaels portrays time and the journey of life; the joys and the struggles that seem to pass in a blink of an eye...
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Performed by: Billy Bell, Alex Wong, and Ade Obayami
Music: This Bitter Earth/On The Nature Of Daylight by Dinah Washington/Mach Richter
Enoch read with intent under a lamplight. Flipping through the pages, he was carefully savoring every word as how a connoisseur would taste a decade-old wine. His brows were curving to meet. When reading, this usually means only two things for Enoch: One, that he is either challenging a truth an author claimed, or two, there’s something distracting him from his reading. In this particular case, it was for the second reason.
The distraction sat two tables away, silently reading a book. Enoch cautiously watched the culprit from his seat. She was wearing eyeglasses, typical for a school girl who reads a book in a library. She had short hair, neatly clipped from one side to reveal a pretty face. Behind the glasses were chinky eyes, calm but oddly full of expression. Enoch was drawn by them-the kindness that seemed to be churning within them. For a moment, he was thrown into a warm reverie, like he was sitting beside a crackling fire in a cold winter night. However it ended in an instant, as the girl’s eyes rolled in their sockets and looked directly at him.
Utterly taken off guard, he almost threw the book he’s holding in the air. Embarrassed, he immediately shoved his head onto the book and pretended to read. He actually tried to get back into reading but he couldn’t. No thoughts or wisdom in printed words could detach him from the moment. The distraction was too overwhelming than what he’d anticipated. He couldn’t do anything but sigh while thinking, “Who is this girl?”
The girl continued to read silently. The only sounds she made were that of paper grazing another everytime she turned a page. Heart-pounding, Enoch would periodically glance at the girl’s direction, sometimes watching her from behind his book, or when he would reach for his pen he intentionally dropped on the floor. Frustrated, Enoch closed his book and walked toward the mysterious girl.
Hesitation could be vividly heard in his steps - rubber on wood echoing off the walls of the dimly-lit library. There were no definite thoughts in his head as he walked along the aisle. He was walking out of impulse that seemed to come out of nowhere. The choice to move was so unpredictable and brisk, that he even considered the thought of being remotely controlled by someone.
And so he walked on. Four meters. Then, Three. Two meters. One. He had a split-second glimpse of the book she was reading: A Murakami. And then, with one great beat of a heart in distress, he suddenly regained voluntary control of his limbs, walked past the girl and to the book shelves ahead. He hid behind them cursing in silence, lips moving to read “pathetic idiot” in a loop, while his heart thumped against his throat.
As he calmed himself, he watched the girl through the gaps of the shelves, admiring her silhouette, beautiful against the yellowish lamp light. And while he did so, a curious sentiment dawned on him: This girl was his type. He didn’t even know he had a type until that very moment. The thought surprised him because he never felt that way before, and that, in a way, gave him a sense of excitement. He was about to cross a bridge of chance for the first time, waters churning underneath as did the elating, fearful emotions within his heart.
He closed his eyes, muttered something in the dusty air, breathed in deeply as if sucking in all the courage offered by the Universe, and then out. He walked from the shelf and towards the girl. His steps, this time, were steady and determined. It didn’t take long before he reached the girl’s table. He smoothly pulled a chair, sat opposite the girl, and hid his face behind his book. Remembering a line from Murakami's Sputnik Sweetheart, Enoch quoted, “In dreams, you don't need to make any distinctions between things. Not at all. Boundaries don't exist.”
And then came silence. The voice that conjured the words hung in the space between them, a flickering beacon pleading to be kindled. Enoch waited.
“So in dreams there are hardly ever collisions. Even if there are, they don't hurt. Reality is different. Reality bites.” The girl spoke back in a soft voice that seemed to reverberate against Enoch’s heaving chest.
Impressed, Enoch slowly lowered the book and was greeted by the girl’s shy smile, his unfounded fears dissipating in rhythmic waves of euphoria.
“Hi. I’m Enoch,” He offered a clammy hand, reaching, hovering across the table.
Two hands conjoined over the table. Eyes locked in wonder and destinies colliding in a burst of words that would take them a hundred lifetimes to fully comprehend.
One of the pleasures of watching television series from the US, besides the diversity and quality of the stories, is being exposed to good fresh music. It is because of my addiction to such series that I've learned to love more subtle but beautiful genre of music such as folk and post-rock.
So if you're growing tired of listening to Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and those Korean K-Pop sensations, you might want to watch some US series to cleanse your ears.
My latest discovery was Brendan James, a singer-songwriter. I first heard him from the 8th episode of One Tree Hill S08 with his song, Your Beating Heart. But I suggest you watch him perform live. His voice, the soft music, and sentimental lyrics are just inescapable...
Your Beating Heart by Brendan Jason
Beauty picks me up then throws me to the floor;
I may never know what I was searching for.
Like a beggar on my knees,
Never knowing what I now believe.
Like a drug, I took the walk back to your door;
I had had enough, but I always want more.
There was something I was needing,
Something you were keeping.
I almost cried when I first heard this. Sometimes, regrets creep their way back to us without warning, and in my case, through this song.
Brooklyn by Wakey! Wakey!
I guess it’s safe to say
We both could use this fire escape
Cause I’ve been breathin’ ashes in
And I’ve been waiting for somethin’ to carry you away
Cause i have made mistakes today.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 - Bloody brilliant, isn’t it? Or not? :P Well, personally, I like this movie adaptation. I am really glad that it remained true to the book, which was the way it’s supposed to be, so good call Warner Bros. for splitting the final instalment into two parts. The sequencing moved with the events in the book. Now that I think about it, the events were almost exactly how I pictured them in my head. Hence, I can’t really say anything negative about this movie (Geez. I am that biased!) Even the boring scenes in the book are still boring in the movie!
Okay. Positive points (since there are no negatives to be said). I really like how they managed to squeeze some element of surprise. That’s a hard feat especially to those who’ve read the book. I particularly liked the animation for the Tale of the Three Brothers. That was ingenious! I think the inspiration derived from Thai shadow-play puppetry and watercolour art. I wish I could learn how to do that kind of animation.
I am pretty impressed of how they managed to blend in comedy into dark plot of the film. Misplaced maybe but really effective. Let’s thank Ron Weasley’s comedic muscles in action for that. That recovery mission into the Ministry of Magic was really amusing!
The creepy and disturbing parts are commendable; the woman, with her body bent while hovering over the table and Nagini posing as Bathilda Bagshot were really disturbing. They made me cringe in my seat. I also liked how they translated the destruction of the locket—visually stunning. I wonder if Daniel and Emma really kissed, or was it just CG? Hmm…
The trio are really maturing in their craft, aren’t they? I felt most moved by the tent scene where Harry tried to cheer Hermione up through dancing, though at first, I thought Harry was trying to take advantage of Hermione’s vulnerability (Haha! Dirty mind talking!). Bellatrix Lestrange is just perfection. I can’t imagine anyone playing that role besides Helena Bonham-Carter.
The ending was magnificent. It maybe a little frustrating, but in way, it provokes the audience to feel that ominous events are coming. Harry has no decent wand while Voldemort wields the most powerful of all. Obvious mismatch.
Overall, I think the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 is emotionally satisfying. It’s a great way to start the end of the series I’ve loved for a decade.
I first encountered this short film when I stumbled upon Jenny's blog: The Love Project. It really made quite an impact because I was able to relate to Xoo, who's character basically resonated how an atypical guy I am. And it's a pleasant feeling to know I'm not the only atypical in this planet. Haha!
Balangingi (Nosebleed) by Jason Paul Laxamana
Synopsis: Balangingi (Nosebleed) is a Kapampangan short film that takes a peek into the life of Xoo, a young Filipino "pilosopo" who is forced to attend a blind date set by his nephew. He attempts to suppress his intellectual side but gives in and shows his true color to his date.
Subtle, funny, and informative, Balangingi (Nosebleed), a Kapampangan short film, is the recipient of the ETC Best Short Film Award, 1st Philippine Digital Awards.
I wonder what it would be like to date a philosopher. Hmm...
He gazed into the eternal abyss of her eyes, searching. The answers should be there somewhere he thought; embedded deep beneath the beauty and chaos that faced him. He could already sense them—the words threatening to spill from behind her trembling lips. He fought the urge to kiss them as she starts to lose the battle to contain the emotions in her chest accumulating like fine dust. It was only a matter of time—the kind that freezes on you when you want it to fly.
They stood opposite each other as the day melted into a dark starless night. He held the girl’s hands and tried to feel the last drops of affection that might still be circulating in her body. He wanted to shake her, rack her brain, her heart. But he knew the attempt would be futile. Nothing would come out of her but impacted sorrow for breaking a heart—his heart. He didn’t need such sympathy. Instead, his soul craved for pain in the form of the most potent lie she could muster… or just the one absolute truth; anything that could shock his core and arrest his senses. But she wouldn’t give him any.
The winds began to whisper finality to the moment. Hands grew cold and pulses raced in the anticipation of the inevitable. But he was in love and in pain and everything that filled both extremes. Sadly, for the young man, irrational hope springs with love. Once it plants itself on someone, nothing else matters. Even reality plays in a blur and in a twisted series of captured moments in time. And he was in it, taking it all in heaving deep breaths.
The film finally started to roll again and time woke up from what seemed like a deep slumber. Tears cascaded from the girl’s eyes, hands clenched tightly on his. The young man couldn’t wait for the answers any longer. Hope-driven, he drew the girl closer and leaned slowly forward. He took a last glimpse of her glassy brown eyes before closing his and planting a gentle kiss on those lips he loved so much. A flickering sense of bliss engulfed him—a window in time that remained open for only a flutter of a hummingbird’s wings.
Tears escaped his eyes the moment he felt the girl’s unresponsive lips. On his tongue stuck an indelible taste of loss, bitter and paralyzing. Warmth vanished from his grasp as the girl’s hands slackened and finally left his. He was collapsing on himself. He felt weightless. He wanted to fall and crash on the ground. But he wouldn’t. The girl gave him one last look before she turned her back on him. And then she slowly walked away, mouth brimming with the only words that could’ve set him free from the weight of the love that had become his gravity.
This is one of those videos you watch and say to yourself: I’d like to be a director one day. I think Sigur Ros is still one of those under-rated artists out there. And it’s just sad. How can you watch this and not be moved? Great haunting music and amazing photography packed in 7 minutes… It’s art in its most potent form.
Sigur Ros - Untitled 1 (Vaka)
And pebbles send them dancing off
In ripple rings of sun burnt cloud and windy blues
And maybe we will fall in love
Before the day is through
Untitled 1 , later named Vaka from () or The Untitled Album won The Best Video in the 2003 MTV Europe Awards, and the audience seemed like they didn’t even care.
I really do hope Mia comes back for Season 9 as a regular choreographer.
He was sitting on a bench by the side of the road one snowy night. The street was empty and a hollow silence slithered on anything that had no life. In fact, the only sounds were of his breathing, the muffled beats of a heart, and the noises pulsating in his head. He looked at his hands and watched as flakes of snow fell on them, each one instantly dissolving upon contact. He looked up and observed the graceful movement of the snow against the soft wind, against the gravity that was pulling them. It was a stunning sight. They looked like ashes, golden as they passed the stream of light from the lamp post beside him. Their descent was so slow as if they wanted to just linger in the air like winged fireflies. But they were meant to fall, one on top of another and accumulate on the ground. Everything has its place in the world, the man thought.
And then suddenly, from the deep solemnity of the moment, a phone rang. The crisp sound pierced the thick silence like sharp scalpel across flesh, eerie and unsettling. The ringing wouldn’t stop. It went on and on and on, each causing the man burgeoning anxiety. It should stop, he thought. And so, he stood up and tried to figure out where the mysterious sound was coming from. He walked down the road, leaving dents on the sparkling white snow. The ringing grew louder. He was getting closer. But every step he took felt like he’s moving against a strong wind. Was it fear? He was alone in the middle of the night. No one knew he was there. Someone was calling but no one wanted to answer. But the ringing had to stop. With senses heightened, he walked on towards the sound, questions gurgling loudly within him. Those had to stop too.
He stopped in his tracks. A phone booth stood a few paces in front of him by the side of the road. The ringing persisted so was the anxiety and the curiosity that had tainted his peace. He waited hoping the ringing would stop. But it didn’t. Instead, it went on with impatience, indifferent to the world sound asleep. Slowly, he walked towards the phone booth. It looked like it hadn’t been used for a long time. He walked over the threshold, took a deep breath of chilly air and reached for the phone. He hesitated. He exhaled, wrapped his fingers on the handle and lifted it. Slowly, he placed it against his ears.
“Hello?” There was no answer but someone was on the other side of the line. The sound of its breathing was deep and raspy on his ears.
“Why are you there?” A man’s voice spoke.
“Who is this?”
“It doesn’t matter who I am. What’s more important is who are you?”
“What are you talking about?”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about.”
“Look, I shouldn’t have answered this call.”
“Wait. Is anyone there with you?”
“Are you sure?”
His eyes instantly surveyed his surroundings, scouring the place for any signs of human presence. But there wasn’t. Everything was still except for the falling snow.
“You don’t belong there.” Said the mysterious man on the phone, followed by a dead dial tone and the birth of a truth, reverberating, gnawing on the part of him that's still awake.
photo imsage by julian fraser
This is one of my favorites from 5th season of So You Think You Can Dance, performed by Jeanine and Kayla. Kayla is just perfection for me. She should've won the competition. I mean she's hot and she never left the Hot Tamale Train throughout the entire season. But I also had to agree that Jeanine really nailed her solo at the finale.
Sigur Ros is known for their haunting and melancholic music, but one of their songs, Hoppipolla, directs anyone who listens to it to a happy place. This is my current happy song and one of my favorite music videos from the post-rock band from Iceland. Whenever I watch it, I am always thrown 50 or 60 years forward, wondering if my friendships today can withstand the decay of time...
Hoppipolla - Sigur Ros
Jump into puddles with no boots
Completely drenched with no boots
And I always get a nosebleed
But I always stand up
Dancing - Elisa
I'm dancing in the room as if I was in the woods with you
No need for anything but music
Music's the reason why I know time still exists
Time still exists
A light went on. A heart shattered, echoing in the dream you slithered into and then disappeared. My eyelids opened, pupils constricted in a struggle to accommodate the truth that I am still alive and awake in a world where you don’t exist; alone with the faint memory you left burning in my hand that used to hold your heart…
photo image by:Soffia Gisladotir
In Season 3, one routine stood out from the lot- from the twisted mind of Wade Robson and performed by Hok and Jamie. Absolutely original and creative. Wade conjured an artform in motion with this piece.
"I wish there was some way for us to go back and undo the past. But there wasn't. There was nothing we could do. So I just stayed silent and trying to telepathically communicate how sorry I was about what had happened. And I thought of all the grief and sadness and fucked up suffering in the world, and it made me want to escape. I wished with all my heart that we could just leave this world behind. Rise like two angels in the night and magically... disappear."
Mysterious Skin (2004) by Greg Araki
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 84%
Synopsis: "The summer I was eight years old, five hours disappeared from my life. Five hours, lost, gone without a trace..." These are the words of Brian Lackey, a troubled 18-year-old, growing up in the stiflingly small town of Hutchinson, KS. Plagued by nightmares, Brian believes that he may have been the victim of an alien abduction. Local Neil McCormick however, is the ultimate beautiful outsider. With a loving but promiscuous mother, Neil is wise beyond his years and curious about his developing sexuality, having found what he perceives to be love from his Little League baseball coach at a very early age. Now, 10 years later, Neil is a teenage hustler, nonchalant about the dangerous path his life is taking. Neil's pursuit of love leads him to New York City, while Brian's voyage of self discovery leads him to Neil -- who helps him to unlock the dark secrets of their past.
Quite disturbing, but art is art. That's all I needed to say I think. Moreover, this film is not recommended for very young kids (let's preserve their innocence for as long as we can shall we?) and closed-minded people. Moving performance by (500) Days of Summer guy- I think the best I've seen from him.
Untitled 3 (Samskeyti) - Sigur Ros
My favorite part in the movie was the coda- great narrative, made powerful with the tune of Sigur Ros' Untitled 3 (Samskeyti or Attachment) from their Untitled Album. Samskeyti still remains as my favorite instrumental piece from the Icelandic band. Dynamic, ever haunting, and melancholic auditory experience...
I woke up early for the Live Coverage of the Primetime Emmy's but I was really disappointed that LOST got snubbed. For a ground-breaking series, it was frustrating that it didn't get even a single Emmy this year. But then came Jimmy Fallon's tribute to LOST, and suddenly, it all became clear to me! It was freaking hilarious! Hahaha! This became the highlight of my day:
Another show is gone ‘cause LOST is overdue
Locke was the smoke monster and Jacob was some dude
Goodbye to Kate and Sawyer, Hurley, Ben, and Jack—
He grew a crazy beard and said:
WE HAVE TO GO BACK!
WE HAVE TO GO BACK!
The island, it was mythical but in the end they died
I didn’t understand it, but I tried.
I'm still in denial that LOST is over. Hays.
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 80%
Synopsis: Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and now finds himself without a job. Daigo decides... Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and now finds himself without a job. Daigo decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled "Departures" thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a "Nokanshi" or "encoffineer," a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of "Nokanshi," acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living.
Urgh! Heart-wrenching and deeply moving this movie is. The score alone brought me into a warm and gloomy place. But more importantly, it made me remember how grief feels like. It's really curious how such emotion manifests itself differently to those who experience it, and yet be universal at the same time...
I didn't know Zachary Levi sings! Needless to say, I am HUGE Chuck fan. Hehe! Long live the geeks! :P It's also really nice to hear again from Katharine Mcphee :) And kudos to Kara Dioguardi for a beautifully written song...
Terrified - Katharine Mcphee Feat. Zachary Levi
You set it again
My heart's in motion
Every word feels like a shooting star
I'm at the edge of my emotions,
Watching the shadows burning in the dark
And I'm in love
And I'm terrified
Just one last question. Can I ask you, Billy: What does it feel like when you're dancing?
Don't know. Sort of feels good. It's sort of stiff and that...but once I get going...then I, like, forget everything...and...sort of disappear. I sort of disappear. Like I feel a change in me whole body. Like there's a fire in me body. I'm just there...flying...like a bird. Like electricity. Yeah...like electricity.
Billy Elliot (2000) by Stephen Daltry
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 85%
Synopsis: The life of a miner's son in Northern England is forever changed one day when he stumbles upon a ballet class on his way to boxing lessons. Joining the class and keeping it a secret from his widowed father and overbearing brother, 11-year-old Billy finds himself in dance, demonstrating the kind of raw talent seldom seen by the class's exacting instructor, Mrs. Wilkinson. She encourages him to try out for the Royal Ballet. But when his father and brother find out and forbid him to continue, Billy is torn between his responsibility to his family and to the gift with which he has been blessed. His overwhelming desire to dance has become much more to him that simply a means of self-expression. It is his passion and it is his destiny.
Watched it again! This film never fails to make me feel good. First saw it when I was just a freshman in High School and ever since then, it became the most moving film I've ever seen. When I watch it I always find myself saying- How I wish I could just be like Elliot, and be able to dance everything away...(Too bad my limbs are pathologically uncoordinated. Cerebellar injury- that's a good differential diagnosis! Haha!)
The life of a miner's son in Northern England is forever changed one day when he stumbles upon a ballet class on his way to boxing lessons. Joining...