Crouching Tiger, Matrix, and Hero

I’ve been finding some pretty awesome films that were never popular in the States. If you’re a fan of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon… (as I am). You should check out “Hero” with Jet Li and the same girl that was from CTHD. The film was produced for Chinese, by Chinese, so you better be ready to read subs. The atmosphere, colors, and graceful choreography are astounding. With each path in the storyline, there are subtle changes in coloring that take place. The pace moves a bit quicker than CTHD, but is not a straight up fighting movie. What drew me in were the beautiful perspectives, the intense emotions and tragedy, and the way a brutal fight scene can somehow become an elegant piece of filmmaking.

It is simply a reminder to Hollywood to step back and learn from some of the Asian directors. Many followers of The Matrix fell in love with the fight scene choreography, and should realize that the fight scene choreographer Yuen Wo-Ping produced them. If you’re not familiar with him, here’s an interesting article about his work. In fact, much of the camera work and perspectives from Matrix were inspired by Asian films. It’s fascinating to witness some of the same techniques threading through popular modern films.

So what did you think of Matrix Reloaded? I won’t get into that right now… everyone has their own theories and opinions. Needless to say it wasn’t as brilliant as the first, but hey, when are sequels often better?

American Tourists and SARS

Now that I’m completely off point… let me wander back. From what I’ve seen, Asia is a land that all of the world should devote time towards learning about. From any standpoint: travel, education, investing, militarily, arts, and culturally, Asia has a tremendous offering that many people will never learn about.

If Americans have a holiday, we tend to visit beautiful places within our country, or those nearby. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s simply a part of the reason we don’t learn enough about other countries. Since the Sept. 11, SARS, Bali Bombing, political unrest, and situation in Iraq, I can’t say that I think people should blame Americans for staying home. I guess most people wouldn’t think a nice trip to Beijing sounds wonderful at the moment, but I think we have to step back and think, “When will it be any safer to travel?” I wrote my opinion about this in the “archives” section, back in November. The world is changing more and more every minute. Shit happens, and it always will.

People Are People – the World Over

Well, anyone who is reading this may notice that I haven’t written in almost 5 months! It’s not because I’m lazy, bored, or losing creativity. I simply needed to stand back and gain some perspectives in everything that is happening. It’s been a pretty amazing year with arriving, having the Bali bombing, traveling, experiencing the Iraq situation from a Muslim country, and even everyday life. I believe some of my views have changed, and my perspectives seem a bit more “realistic”. This was my goal in stepping back from writing – I wanted a definite rift in my situation so that I could see some definite changes occurring.

I felt as though when I first arrived in Java, I was wide-eyed… everything was so amazing because of the complete opposites I was encountering in everyday life from that of America. You can see the posts from back in October, and the obvious excitement show through. I’ve been here about 10 months now – sufficient time to go through many phases. At times I love it here, other times I hate it. I guess it’s as though I’ve become more calloused and have seen the “true” sides of the country and its people.

Something I’ve grown to learn is that people are people – the world over. We may speak other languages and have differing customs, but after all is said and done, many of the issues and relationships between people correlate with all others.

I hope to begin writing again – it provides an interesting way for my friends and family to keep updated, as well as providing some interesting feedback from those of you who write me with responses and criticisms. So please continue to visit…