Tag Archives: asian

Noroi: The Curse

Off-note: Went to watch Death Note’s spin-off’s L: Change the World today with (El) Panda. Not surprised at how great it turned out to be, considering Hideo Nakata is behind it muahahah. Brilliant, absolutely gratifying. Thank you. I knew I love you (the movie lah) before the reviews… ♥ ♥ ♥

**
Bought the DVD of this movie ages ago and didn’t bother to watch it until last week. So hold your breath, this is going to be a long one. Or you can skip this if you like. No matter.

Everyone diesNoroi: The Curse is a mockumentary (directed by Koji Shirashi) J-horror about a TV journalist Masafumi Kobayashi who had gone missing at present, leaving behind several video tapes of his unpublished work on his latest (and the last, apparently) paranormal research.

The movie opens with a scene of brief introduction on Kobayashi and takes the audience to a studio room where the tapes are played. This is where it starts: Upon receiving a letter from a woman who complained about hearing strange noises coming from a neighbour’s house, Kobayashi together with his faithful cameraman sets off on an investigation which led them to discover an ancient demonic ritual bind by an evil force of symbolical knots known as ‘Kagutaba’.

Kobayashi then begin to witness disturbing things happening around him, as tragic fate starts to befall on unsuspecting victims one after another. A lady who happens to be the only one survived after partaking in the last ritual has the explanation behind it, hence she was ‘the curse’.

Having filmed on a DV camera, Noroi is most probably likened to Blair Witch Project. But if you actually sat through the near 2-hour length of the movie without having to peeked through the gap of your trembling fingers to watch, you will then agree with me that the similarity pretty much ended there. I believed Noroi has the best plot of all the J-horrors I’ve watched so far, though you can’t possibly go wrong with having someone like Taka Ichise as the producer where his previous works include Ringu, Ju-On, and the recent Westernized version of Thai horror Shutter.

What made this movie to be intelligent as they are, I think, lies in the ability to string together a series of symbolical images in significant manner, one that most audiences can relate to without making much intellectual fuss about it. In Noroi, the video footages shown are cleverly angled to zoom onto objects which are present in other footages as well. Second place goes to the casting. Portrayal of their respective characters are almost surreal, and by using real names to the character adds a little more credibility to the mockumentary. Not forgetting of course, the ‘special’ treatments used on the video to create a realistic feel to the supposed J-horror.

J-horrors are distinctive than the Hollywood counterpart in terms of subtlety used in scare tactics. But with Noroi, things were somewhat different. You won’t find a lady with long flowing black hair standing next to you… sorry, in the movie of course, but the symbolical images that I’m referring to earlier is effective enough to creep you out, even the sight of harmless, domesticated creature like pigeons can actually turned out to be a dark omen. How neat! And the best part of it (or worse, depending), the creepiness it brings sort of ‘grows’ in your mind long after the end credits rolled in. It’s beyond any J-horror I’ve seen.

I can’t tell exactly described how that feels (ecstatic?), but I can tell you what does. Take one scene in the forest for example, which I think is tastefully done, the part where everyone panicking and the cameraman was scurrying along with his DV when he ‘accidentally’ caught something in the video in the midst of chaos (in Blair Witch Project, friends who watched told me they see nothing). Then there was also another scene, where in the middle of filming the images gets somewhat distorted halfway and lo and behold! WTF!!! @#%$^&*&^

Ok, think I’ve spoiled enough surprise in this movie. But I tell you, after watching Noroi, you won’t see Ju-On the same way again. Horror fans, give this a miss, and you’ll regret this, so don’t!

Rating: 5/5

The eye(lids)

This morning I woke up with a double eyelid on my left eye. Surprise!! Just the left. Happens when I’ve not enough sleep, or when I had too much for a drink the other night.

Those who knew/met me out of blogosphere would know that I have single eyelids all my life. A single eyelidded Asian girl I am. Today I’m a half. So you can imagine how ‘uneven’ I looked in the upper eye.

I remembered about this Harpo programme I’ve watched long time ago on a killing-me-boring sunny afternoon, Opera… sorry Oprah I mean, and another Asian lady I-don’t-know-who (could be an author of a featured book in Oprah book club) were in the middle of some animated discussion about this beauty obsession that Asian women had with having double eyelids, to the extent that they would willing to go for… *went for a quick google* ah, blepharoplasty.

Yes, that’s right. Cosmetic eyelid surgery in layman’s term. Apparently they are different types of eyelid surgery too. Common ones are upper eyelid among Asians and this is no new news.

Want to know how it’s done? Got it here through a blogger’s link here who has written quite thoroughly on the subject.

Back to Opera.. sorry! Oprah. So Oprah was asking this lady, so what’s going on? What’s with all this obsession among Asian women on having double eyelids (and stuff)? *flapping arms around* Tell us.

And the lady brings the whole world watching and scooped us all back to her childhood yesteryears where her cousins use to come to her place on a family visit and she noticed how pretty they were and realized it’s because they have double eyelids and so she wants the same thing too for herself because she has single eyelids and she tried tapes, stuff… phew, what a wordful.

The point is, everyone in general thinks that double eyelids are beautiful. Especially to some of us Asians who are naturally born with single eyelids. Some say it’s a Westernized thing, some say it’s a supposedly natural thing to have, especially if you’re the only one having single eyelids in the family. The black sheep you.

But you know what, when I did a quick google run on the topic, reading what people are talking about this, I noticed something that points out how right that lady were when she told Oprah about what she thinks. Celebrity influence and peer pressure are among the reasons that people go crazy (what an uttah nonsense!) about having double eyelids, but here’s what I don’t understand… family is also included in the picture.

So what’s going on? What’s with all this BS; moms/aunts who picked pressured on single-eyelidded ones in the family to have double eyelids? That they’ll be more pretty (or normal) if a ‘slit’ is added to the upper eye? I like mine just fine. Mom? Well she did sort of lamented once or twice about me and LD not taking after her (double-eyelidded) but why? Why double is always the winner?

Tell me.