Horror fans and devotees of Naomi Watts miffed by this week’s canceled release of Funny Games, Michael Haneke’s scene-for-scene American remake of his brutal Austrian film from 1997, will have to make do with Pathology. The good news is that it’s getting a few good notices. Like the loopy Thai flick Sick Nurses, which opened here a few weeks ago, this gory story is set in a hospital and features a cabal of nasty medicos. This time, however, it’s in Washington, where the dissolute doctors challenge each other to identify the cause of death of the latest morgue delivery — after they’ve found someone to kill. In the middle of it all is a newly arrived doctor who plays the game but remembers his Hippocratic oath before it’s too late
|Happily Ever After
Here’s another Japanese film that takes a downbeat subject (domestic violence) and turns the tone upside down and inside out. Miki Nakatani (Ringu, Silk) stars as a woman who cheerily makes the best of things while surrounded by low-life men. Yet another manga adaptation, which partly explains its surprising approach. From the director of Memories of Tomorrow, a much more sober film that impressed audiences here last year.
Poor press is presumably the reason why this is being released in Taiwan before the US. It’s based on the true story of socialite Barbara Baekeland (Julianne Moore), a woman who married into a wealthy family empire built on the plastics industry and who was killed by her mistreated son Tony (Eddie Redmayne) amid a lifestyle of opulence and emptiness. Alternately described as melodramatic and unmelodramatic by critics, the film looks like a worthy contender to dethrone Mommie Dearest as a camp classic of child abuse, notwithstanding some brave performances.
|What Happens in Vegas …
A wild night in Las Vegas ends up with two strangers (Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher) wedded and bedded. The pair’s hangovers are alleviated somewhat when they discover that one of them hit the jackpot the previous night. Cue a vicious struggle for the loot and inevitable realization that fate may not have dealt the couple an ill-planned love connection after all.
With most of his village preferring to converse in Mandarin, opportunities are scant for 81-year-old Kacaw to use his mother language of Amis. But things are changing in his household — one day the family was having an animated discussion when his plucky four-year-old granddaughter Nikal bursts into the room: “You should talk in the mother tongue,” she tells them loudly in Amis. Another time, Nikal’s uncle Yosifu, a well-known artist, overheard her arguing with her grandmother over rights to the television remote — “in our mother tongue,” he tells me excitedly. “With such visible change, I can see hope
Deaths, economic meltdown and a planet on lockdown: the coronavirus pandemic has brought us waves of bad news, but squint and you might just see a few bright spots. From better hygiene that has reduced other infectious diseases to people reaching out as they self-isolate, here are some slivers of silver linings during a bleak moment. WASH YOUR HANDS! The message from health professionals has been clear from the start of the outbreak: wash your hands. Everyone from celebrities to politicians has had a go at demonstrating correct technique — including singing Happy Birthday twice through to make sure you scrub long enough, and
Within 10 minutes of the train pulling into Chaojhou (潮州) in Pingtung County, I’d retrieved my bike from a paid-parking compound and initiated the fitness tracking app on my phone. Just one thing bothered me: The color of the sky. I cycled southeast, passing the shuttered Dashun General Hospital (大順醫院). Given everything that’s going on in the world, I couldn’t help but think: If the government needs extra facilities to handle the COVID-19 epidemic, this sizable building could perhaps be brought back into service. After crossing Highway 1 (台1線), I skirted a settlement established after 2009’s Typhoon Morakot disaster, during which
While those of us stuck in self-isolation or working from home watch TikTok videos and refresh liveblogs, a meme has been going around that claims Shakespeare made use of being quarantined during the plague to write King Lear. The Bard supposedly took advantage of the Globe’s lengthy closure to get on top of his writing in-tray — coming up with Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra to boot. If you weren’t panicky enough about how little you’ve achieved recently, this is surely a way to feel worse. Why aren’t you finally dusting off that novel or screenplay you’ve been itching to