Much of this movie happens in a language that will scare a whole lot of good ‘ol Americans. I don’t mean Chinese. It’s the language of silence. The setting takes place in a tiny fishing village in Malaysia. There are smoke stacks beyond the trees and garbage collects on the shore, but the village itself is trapped in time, its residents occupied by the day-to-day tasks of catching, gutting and drying fish.
In this quiet, structured setting, the simplest dialog can cast deep foreboding. In its first scene, a young man, Ah Fei (Ernest Chong), is with his father, Ah Kau (Chung Kok-keong). Ah Fei asks his father if the old man will die soon. Ah Kau’s response is simple: yes, he will die soon.
Director Woo Ming-jin (Monday Morning Glory, The Elephant and the Sea) here deserves credit for giving his characters time to reveal themselves. One of the movie’s funniest scenes comes when Ah Kau visits the woman he has loved for decades, Ai Ling . What starts off as an honest confession of unrequited love turns abruptly when we find out that Ai Ling is still married to another man. The two then turn to discuss whether Ah Kau will outlive Ai Ling’s husband.
Still, for its careful pacing and simple-yet-beautiful style, this movie will not turn a box-office hit. This was never more apparent then when, after watching Woman on Fire at the Los Angeles Film Festival, I walked into my next screening: Cane Toads: The Conquest in 3D. I’m not making a judgement about either movie–simply commenting on the things people tend to spend their money on. On a related note, I’d like to point out that Woman on Fire contains the more graphic depiction of a decapitated frog.
That’s too bad (about the movie’s commercial success, not the dead frog). Woman on Fire Looks for Water can be riveting, especially in its depiction of young love between Ah Fei and Lily (Foo Fei-ling). Their interaction manages to be both charming and uncomfortable, always pure, but with the implication that such love rarely stands still. Woo Ming-jin said in an early interview that his film is primarily about longing. With longing comes regret, and at the core of this movie is the tragedy that Ah Fei might be on his way to becoming just like his father.
If you live in Los Angeles, you have a chance to watch Woman on Fire Looks for Water on Sunday, 1:45pm at the LA Film Festival. I recommend it, but just make sure to go with the right expectations, which can be summed up as such: Jerrica Lai gives a great performance as a character that is the exact opposite of her last major role.
And let us know how you liked it!
Cleansing milks always make me wonder if they really do the job of getting rid of dirt and makeup. Anokha’s Oatmeal Cleansing Milk for normal to oily skin goes on creamy and smells like sweet oatmeal, which is just fine since the company’s products feature all-natural ingredients native to South Asia.
This cleanser looks deceptively like any other milky cleanser. But, once you slather it on and massage it over your face, you really start to feel something, like the ingredients are soaking up all the oil on your forehead (goodbye T zone!). Immediately after rinsing, my skin not only felt clean, it felt soft and totally clear of any trace of oil, and actually felt that way for a few hours. If you’re heading off to bed, finish off with Anokha’s Jasmine Serum for a really nice, clean scent as you fall asleep.
Amla, or Indian gooseberry, is reported to have the highest amount of vitamin C in natural form. And of course, everybody knows that vitamin C is a potent ingredient in fighting free radicals and contributing to younger-, healthier-looking skin.
Dr. Nina S. Naidu harnesses the power of this potent sour fruit in a brightening formula. Amla Skin Brightening Lotion, doesn’t lighten as so many Asian skin brightening creams claim to do, but it “brightens.” Though the product tells you that it will take some time – four to six weeks – for the magic to happen, this editor saw some pretty impressive results after just three applications. Then again, I went a little crazy and slathered several pumps’ worth all over. The lesson? A little of this potent cream goes a long way.
C’mon, admit it. When the thermostat outside turns up, calling for shorts and tanks, we all do the same thing – we dial down the makeup and even our skincare practices. We suddenly become too lazy to get to the third step in our three-step skincare regimen. I mean, it’s just so hot. Who wants to slather on cream after cream on top of sunscreen?
When the temperature rises, switch that cream-heavy anti-aging skincare regimen so perfect for cooler months with a lighter formula.
I’ll admit it. I’ve never taken very good care of my eyes. I’ve yanked, pulled and rubbed my eyes with abandon all throughout my 20s and well into my 30s. I’ve stayed up late (I’m a night owl) and never worried about the state of my eyes the next morning. My excuse? I’m Asian! I’ll never have saggy, wrinkly eyes. Sadly, the day I’ve been in denial about has finally arrived. The skin around my eyes is noticeably thinner. Where I once rubbed or pulled with confidence knowing my eyelids would snap right back into place, and never turned down another glass of wine even though the hour was well past midnight, I have to be a little more careful now.
Freckles may be cute, but the effects of photoaging (sun damage) aren’t so adorable. But sometimes, life gets in the way, making it difficult to slather on a shot-glass full of sunscreen every time you go out. This editor has been guilty of making a quick run to the grocery store sans sunscreen. And while there is always the dermatologist, let’s face it, we can’t always stand to wait a whole month to get an appointment.
If you missed out on last week’s screenings of Asian/AA films at Tribeca, you’re still in luck. Several films are playing throughout the rest of this week until the festival’s close on May 2. Here’s part two of what to watch.
Dream Home, April 27, Feature Narrative
Slasher film about real estate? Yup. Audrey It Girl Josie Ho stars as an upwardly mobile professional in Hong Kong dead set on buying the house of her dreams, even if that means driving would-be buyers away with a few well-placed murders. Continue Reading »
It’s safe to say that over at Audrey Magazine, we get a lot of pretty cool products, sometimes months before they hit the shelves. Over the course of the eight years we’ve been publishing, I’ve seen plenty of beauty products and never have enough shelves in my bathroom to fit them all. Some products get prime shelving, right above or around the sink with constant attention. Marie Louise Cosmetics is one of those brands and the brand’s washing foam is something special.
Just a couple of quick pumps yields a luscious little cloud of cleansing foam. And we’re not talking that wispy stuff you get at fancy restaurant bathrooms — this is luxurious, velvety foam that tells you it’s not only gonna wash all that dirt and makeup clean off, but it’s gonna do it with a little style and a little love. After all those no-nonsense scrubs I’ve been using lately, my skin deserves a little babying. And so does yours. Do your skin a favor and grab a bottle on sale today only at AudreyShops.
When the only choices at the box office are a hot tub that takes you back to the ‘80s and a Greek tragedy (poor Beebo!) on CGI steroids, thank god for film festivals. The urban film festival for the masses that is Tribeca kicks off today, and while you may wonder, what the heck does Tribeca have to do with an AA pub like ours? Tribeca is host to several Asian and Asian American films, not to mention the festival’s director of programming has been David Kwok, who’s been in that role since the festival was founded in 2002.
India is having something of a moment these days. Ever since a little-known movie called Slumdog Millionaire exceeded everyone’s expectations by walking away with an Oscar for best picture, all things Indian have been spotted all over, from home decor all the way to music (cue hottie Jay Sean).
In the meantime, the organizers of the Indian Film Festival Los Angeles (IFFLA) have quietly been putting on what is arguably the largest showcase of Indian films on the West Coast. This year’s festival, held at Hollywood’s ArcLight Cinemas as always, includes an eclectic mix of films from Indian and Indian American filmmakers, with participation from other cultures in between.