You have not known what you are.
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.
Underneath them
And within them,
I see you lurk...

-Walt Whitman


synecdoche, new york

Just finished watching Synecdoche, New York (2008), the directorial debut film of Charlie Kaufman, the writer of Adaptation (2002), Being John Malcovich (1999), and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). And I really applaud him for giving me a really good headache!

I think Synecdoche, New York is the most technical film I've ever seen in terms of complexity and usage of motifs. After watching it, I didn't know where to place it at first. I guess that's his thing. He'd play with your mind with these ideas so out of the box, sometimes dangerously tipping into the realm of weird but are always delivered fresh and thought-provoking.

Synecdoche, in terms of motifs, is Adaptation's brother in a way. Syncedoche uses a motif such as 'play within a play' (can't shake off Christopher Nolan's 'dream within a dream thing'), while Adaptation uses 'movie within a movie'. Forgive me if I'm being technically inaccurate. Well, in Adaptation, the whole movie is the final output of the adapted screenplay of a book by the protagonist, a writer in the movie played by Nicolas Cage. Huh? There, I tried explaining. Haha! It's just crazy how he was able to come up with such ingenious ideas. Well, I guess that's the writers' way of putting their signatures on what they do, especially in an industry with so many artistic writers and surrounded by never-ending cliches.

Overall, Synecdoche, New York is a little pain in the head, but it's really nice and I think I'm gonna watch it again and discover new things in it...

when the words finally fail

Words fail and the refuge they once built crumbles down into small pieces, scampering in all directions on the floor. No more masks. No more flights. And most of all, no more lies to twist the truths. So this is how it feels then? The feeling of being completely naked. No clothing but your skin and the damages that have taken hold from hiding in the dark, riding time while playing with shadows. What will happen now? Next? The thought scares the hell out of me. Because for the first time, I'll expose myself into the light and I will burn- To either shine or end up in ashes...


the real glee

The Sing-Off is an all-vocals singing competition that features top caliber a capella groups from various states in America. If you’re a Glee fan or have been a member of a chorale group, I think this is the perfect show to sink your ears into.

I spent my Christmas afternoon doing a season 2 marathon of the show with my brother… and it was a good 7-hour eargasmic experience of tight harmonies, fun, powerful and emotionally-rivetting numbers. The witty arrangements and choreography threw me back to my High School days when I used to be a member of the school choir. I miss the friendships bound by the desire to make good music.

The season only had 5 episodes but the quality of the performances could topple the much commercialized American Idol, I dare say. I am really quite surprised that they didn’t expand its format and the show as a whole. Oh well, I’m pretty sure it’s a matter of economics and station popularity. Hays.

One of the good performances (and I tell you they’re all good), was their group performance of 21 Guns by Greenday. I like the theatrical variation…

But my all-time favorite group performance was the Top 8’s rendition of Use Somebody by Kings of Leon. I am a KoL fan and I say the Sing-Off version is way better than the original-and they did it without any instruments, just pure, raw, and adulterated vocals :)

The Sing-Off is an annual deal that usually airs before the Christmas holidays. I can’t wait for the next season!


a man's life

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


who is this girl?

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.

“I’m Isobel.”

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.