小豬的教室 School Days with a Pig 4 / 5
The Class (Entre les murs) with a Pig
Based on a true story, "School Days with a Pig" is a moving, realistic and educational Japanese movie requiring the audience to ponder on the cycle of life and reflect on whether humans have the right to end other animals' lives.
The most special scenes are the 5-minute and 15-minute real-time, documentary-like and thought-provoking classroom debates in which students spontaneously discuss if they should eat the pig. While shooting the two scenes, seven cameras operated at the same time. Besides, the debating scenes were not rehearsed. Only given partial scripts without lines assigned to them, students had to discuss the issue with their own arguments, which makes the movie authentic and distinguishable from other typical animal movies. The debating scenes shot in a documentary-like style also remind me of The Class, a French movie with non-scripted classroom discussions.
Apart from eleven lovely pigs, the movie stars twenty-six pleasing children whose natural acting deeply moves me to tears. Tsumabuki Satoshi, who plays an inexperienced new teacher, gives a convincing performance. He really resembles a new teacher intending to establish close relationships with his students. As an authoritative figure, he also refrains from crying in the ending.
The first thing slightly puzzling me is that, in the movie, nearly all students actively participate in the discussions. I wonder if Japanese primary school students are generally passive and unwilling to voice their thoughts. Secondly, some people may complain that the reason for the teacher's decision in the ending is unclear and he should explain the reasons to his students. In my opinion, the director intends to highlight the teachers' words. In reality, model answers to moral questions are not always available and it is hard to view an issue in black and white. Indeed, both option A and B have their own pros and cons and therefore he probably plays safe and opts for a less risky solution.
On the whole, the movie reminds teachers that students should be encouraged to acquire and apply knowledge through real life experiences. They should also be exposed to different controversial issues and learn to express their own thoughts and feelings. I highly recommend this authentic and touching movie to teachers, parents and students.
第一部 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XKK_NDXdu8
第二部 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b56fBW_FTB0
第三部 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMFtTf8HhF8
標叔出城之與神駁咀 Religulous 4 / 5
A Hilarious Blend of Religions and Ridiculousness
Religulous is a hilarious, comprehensive and thought-provoking documentary pinpointing the ridiculousness and terror of different religions.
Some human beings, in the name of God, invade other countries, kill people, ask others not to use condoms, spread seeds of hatred for homosexuals and so on. Does God really exist? Is it likely that humans distort his words? Is religion detrimental to the progress of humanity? Is it good to have unquestionable faith in God? Out of many gods in the world, which one is truly the creator of the universe?
Thanks to Bill Maher, a very humorous, eloquent and quick-witted comedian; the observant cinematography capturing the right moments and facial expressions; the effective soundtrack highlighting different tones of the film; as well as the witty editing inserting footage of old movies, speeches, news, etc, at the right moment, the movie guarantees hearty laughs among atheists, offended frowns among believers and, the most importantly, enlightened expressions among some viewers who begin to doubt (e.g. the virgin birth, a talking snake, a man living inside a fish for 3 days, etc), instead of asserting with arrogant certitude the existence of gods which cannot be scientifically proven.
Believers should be forewarned that the movie ridicules religions and they may feel offended. Nevertheless, some find the jokes necessary and effective because they hammer the irrationality and danger of religions into people's hearts. That is also why the film is called Religulous, a hilarious blend of ridiculousness and religions.
清潔小小姐 Sunshine Cleaning 3 / 5
Dealing with the traumas of death, Sunshine Cleaning is a bittersweet indie drama with a capable cast. However, the going-nowhere and frothy plot fails to produce much emotional resonance.
麥兜菠蘿油王子 McDull, prince de la bun 3 / 5If you can stay awake during the weird and fragmented prince de la bun story told with a monotone voiceover which is irrelevant to the beginning and the end of the film and understand the symbolism and satire incomprehensible to kids and some adults, you will find the nostalgic Hong Kong images, black humor and touching moments rewarding.
希魔撞正殺人狂 Inglourious Basterds 4 / 5
It is an entertaining, exciting, well-acted and creative movie with several scenes of great tension interweaved with dark humor, off-beat music perfectly fitting the mood, a well-designed climax and an unpredictable ending. The film is a bit gory, but it is not as bloody as the director’s previous works. Although the film is 2.5 hours long, it is very engaging.
However, the characters can be further developed and I wonder why there are no
soldiers outside the theatre when Hitler is inside.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas 4 / 5
The Home Song Stories 4.5 / 5
Brighter Summer Day 4 / 5
Frozen River 4 / 5
地獄巫門等你來 Drag Me to Hell 3.5 / 5
海雲臺 Haeundae 3.5 / 5
姊姊的守護者 My Sister's Keeper 3.5 / 5