Tuesday, October 26, 2010

DAY 5: SOPPY, PUNCHY AND SHOCKY


The evening started off very flat for me but the films seen on this night were by no means flat but full of good sap, good fights and good scares.

Pulling into the Hazard Center parking lot I heard a weird ticking sound coming from the back of the car…a nail stuck in my car’s tire…POOFFFF…flat tire. The dude from AAA came over and fixed it. The downer about this flat is that I missed the short program MIXED PLATE SPECIAL, a collection of shorts about interracial couples.

If you’ve seen my wife Silvia and I in the lobby doing Qi Reading and healing, you’ve maybe noticed that she is Chinese and I am English (which means I’m really white looking). Even though the statistics for interracial and cross-cultural marriages are not in favor of success…poopy on that…Silvia and I have been married for over 28 years.

On the uplifting side of the flat tire, I noticed that the fellow fixing the tire had a bad lower back and as healers do as healers do, I offered if I could help him. He shares that it has been hurting for a long time and nothing would help. I said, “Well, just give me a few minutes and we’ll see.” Ninety seconds later his back pain was gone. He smiled a smiley smile saying, “I’m glad I came out here tonight.”

So although I missed the MIXED PLATE I still caught a full plate as I moseyed on over to watch TIME TRAVELLER: THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME. How could I not be attracted to this film as within the movie’s first few minutes I recognized five familiar actors…five ants. I have a PhD in entomology with specialties in pest management and medical entomology so I was hooked by the bugs…then they suddenly disappeared. Ooooooooh! The ants went back in time.

Stories about time travel are of course not a new concept. Early examples of time travel themes are mentioned in the Sanskrit epic of ancient India “Mahabharata” (circa 700 BC; about the same time Homer wrote the “Illiad”) and the Jewish Talmud (AD 200). Some early examples that are purely about time travel to the future are the Japanese tale “Urashima Taro” (AD 720) and Louis-Sebastien Mercier’s "The Year 2440: A Dream If Ever There Were One" (1771).

Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau’s book “El Anacronopete” (1887) was the first story to feature time travel via a time machine, with H.G. Wells’ novel “The Time Machine” (1895) eventually becoming the blueprint for later time travel stories that featured vehicles to allow the time traveller to pick and choose where and when he wanted to go, such as in TIME TRAVELER, where it is not a machine but a liquid once drinks.

It begins as a rather soppy story, gets really sappy then ends, like most time traveling films, with tragic consequences as the blooming teen who goes back to 1974 falls in love with a future film director (who incidently looks a lot like a young Robin Shou) and when she realizes something bad will happen to him (due to her knowledge of the future)…well she can’t destroy the time continuum now can she. Instead she destroys herself emotionally…but then there is still hope, albeit a gut wrenching hope.

Next we return to the planet Earth with something a wee bit violent, the festival’s final and eighth martial arts film that stars Vietnamese America martial artist extraordinaire Johnny Nguyen (THE REBEL, TOM YUM GOON) in CLASH. Written and starring Nguyen, it’s a contemporary crime thriller with sexy and stylish action, where pugilistic mayhem arrives in the shape of three martial arts: Tae kwon do; vovinam, a Vietnamese martial art founded by Nguyen Loc in 1938; and lien feng kwon, a martial arts created by Johnny Nguyen’s grandfather and uses grappling and jiu-jitsu style skills.

Our festival’s fearless leader Kim portends, “We hope that the martial arts film attendees will cross over and pick something that may not be martial arts but something culturally enriching. So although the martial arts films are not the heart of our mission, they help the mission because it brings in people who probably would not come to the festival.”

And what about Yoga…tomorrow’s blog will share some startling things about yoga that most people do not know and I’ll use it as a start off point because now I must zip off to the festival for yet another night of…what will happen tonight?…adventures.

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