Monday, August 30, 2004

Poetry by the late Jullia Rypinski... (Well Just 2 that I liked)


I tried to keep my love at home
by binding him to me,
but all he did was love me less
and struggle to be free.

So then I tried to keep him home
by letting him be free,
but all he did was find his love
with everyone bu me.

So now I've sent my love away;
it's proved the best safekeeping;
for now, in all his other loves,
it's always me he's seeking.

Jullia Rypinski

Love, I Wonder

Have I ever loved, I wonder?
I was better at infatuation,
that blinding flare of brain
and visceral flow, non-bloody,

almost pain- and pleasure-free,
like the 'envelope de marbre'
in teh sigh of that oft-loved lover,
tale-spinner she, inspirer of geniuses.

How I hoped for love and tried to give
love back! Had I no hear? I wonder.
I courted Duty a long, long time,
a time beyond my time, but at last

The time was up: my daemon took
my hand and wandered me away
to new infatuation, new ennui.
Those shades I will not count a cost.

by Jullia Rypinski

Saturday, August 28, 2004

A letter to the observer editor by a friend of mine

This is a letter to the editor from a parree of mine so mi just a forward it still...

Our Land of Contrast

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Dear Editor,

Please allow me the space in your paper to point out the ugly and unfortunate contrast which Jamaica has become. It revealed itself Wednesday while the nation's giddiness over the history-making success of golden girl Veronica Campbell was still very fresh.
I was watching CVM-TV's coverage of the Olympics where, minutes after Veronica and team-mate Aleen Bailey had completed their victory lap hoisting the Jamaican flag, host Rohan Daley spoke with Veronica's mother, Pamela Bailey. An understandably elated Ms Bailey expressed her pride and jubilation at her daughter's achievement and gave us some insight into the kind of person that Veronica is. Then the host asked her about the mood in her community and how they were receiving the triumphant news concerning one of their own. It was then that Ms Bailey's tone hinted, if even for a few brief seconds, some disgust.
She informed Rohan that she lived in Spanish Town but she was actually at the home of Olympian Neville Myton in Clarendon to watch her daughter run, as an Observer article also revealed. Ms Bailey's next few sentences could be summed up as saying something to the effect that she really didn't have much to do with Spanish Town and its people these days so she couldn't really act as a spokesperson for them.
The manner in which she had separated herself from her troubled town and townspeople brought wry smiles from the CVM panellists and myself. We cannot be faulted for inferring that Ms Bailey's wish to distance herself from Spanish Town has something to do with the violence, mayhem and tension that has brought it so much negative attention recently.
Rohan Daley had said repeatedly after the golden moment, "It feels good to be Jamaican right now".No one could have said it any better. It is only a shame that, given the current state of affairs in the country, Jamaicans couldn't even get completely lost in the euphoria of such a glorious moment.

Thura Soe-Htwe
Rose Hall,
Montego Bay

The original can be found at this link:

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Just Feel Like Listing My Favourite "Flims"

Snatch: Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.

Seven Years In Tibet: In the autumn of 1939, Heinrich Harrer, the famous Austrian mountaineer, and his countryman Peter Aufschnaiter, set out to climb Nanga Parbat, one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas. The self-centered Harrer, whose sole preoccupation was the achievement of fame and glory, would experience an emotional awakening on his fantastic journey that would take him form the heights of conquest to the depths of internment in a British prisoner-of-war camp, then from escape and a harrowing two-year trek through the Himalayas to the mysterious Tibetan city of Lhasa.
As a stranger in a strange land which few westerners have ever visited, Harrer was befriended by the young Dalai Lama, and was asked to tutor the religious leader in English, geography and the ways of the Western world. He would eventually spend seven years in Tibet, during a period of tremendous political upheaval in that country, graced with the friendship and the spiritual enlightenment of the young Dalai Lama. As the deep and abiding bond between these two isolated, lonely people evolved, the selfish and egotistical Harrer experienced selflessness for the first time, allowing him to complete the emotional transformation which
began on his way to Lhasa.

Legends of the Fall:
Epic tale of three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of 1900s USA and how their lives are affected by nature, history, war, and love.

Gladiator: When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by a corrupt prince, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.

Lord Of The Rings(Trilogy): No info needed eh!!!

Fight Club:
A man disillusioned by what his life has become encounters an exciting stranger who introduces him to a new way of life.

City Of God: See Review below

Rabbit Proof Fences: Based on a true story, Rabbit-Proof Fence moves with dignified grace from its joyful opening scenes to a conclusion that's moving beyond words. The title refers to a 1,500-mile fence separating outback desert from the farmlands of Western Australia. It is here, in 1931, that three aboriginal girls are separated from their mothers and transported to a distant training school, where they are prepared for assimilation into white society by a racist government policy. Gracie, Daisy, and Molly belong to Australia's "stolen generations," and this riveting film (based on the book by Molly's daughter, Doris Pilkington Garimara) follows their escape and tenacious journey homeward, while a stubborn policy enforcer (Kenneth Branagh) demands their recapture. Director Phillip Noyce chronicles their ordeal with gentle compassion, guiding his untrained, aboriginal child actors with a keen eye for meaningful expressions. Their performances evoke powerful emotions (subtly enhanced by Peter Gabriel's excellent score), illuminating a shameful chapter of Australian history while conveying our universal need for a true and proper home.

Last Temptation of Christ: It isn't difficult to imagine why this 1988 retelling of the Crucifixion story was picketed vociferously upon release--this Jesus bears little resemblance to the classical Christ, who was not, upon careful review of the Gospels, ever reported to have had sex with Barbara Hershey. Heavily informed by Gnostic reinterpretations of the Passion, The Last Temptation of Christ (based rather strictly on Nikos Kazantzakis's novel of the same name) is surely worth seeing for the controversy and blasphemous content alone, but it's difficult to find in skittish chain video stores. But the "last temptation" of the title is nothing overtly naughty--rather, it's the seduction of the commonplace; the desire to forgo following a "calling" in exchange for domestic security. Willem Dafoe interprets Jesus as spacy, indecisive, and none too charismatic (though maybe that's just Dafoe himself), but his Sermon on the Mount is radiant with visionary fire; a bit less successful is method actor Harvey Keitel, who gives the internally conflicted Judas a noticeable Brooklyn accent, and doesn't bring much imagination to a role that demands a revisionist's approach. Despite director Martin Scorsese's penchant for stupid camera tricks, much of the desert footage is simply breathtaking, even on small screen.

Wyatt Earp: This massive, in-depth study of the dark Western icon comes off with mixed results. Trying to capture the whole life, (warts and all) of the lawman-criminal-brother-fortune hunter, director Lawrence Kasdan gains points for sheer scale, giving us a rich epic painted in dark colors with gritty settings. But the visual poetry and extensive foreshadowing ruin the dramatic drive. Some scenes have as much impact as stalker movies; you're just waiting for someone to get knocked off. As Earp, Kevin Costner is not afraid to look rumpled and play colorlessly (as in The Bodyguard), but it saps the energy of this 3-hour-plus film. The only relief is Dennis Quaid as a droll Doc Holiday, a much more engaging character. New faces Linden Ashby and Joanna Going (as an Earp brother and a lover, respectively) are solid finds, though the remainder of the female cast is barely given anything to do. Best is the first half, with Costner, as hip as he was in his Silverado days, going through a series of ups and downs until he accidentally finds his profession. Great set design (Ida Random) utilizes dozens of similar settings that always look distinctive. Recommended to fans of the star and the genre, but the story never justifies its length.

Light Year:
An evil force from a 1000 years in the future begins to destroy an idyllic paradise, where the citizens are in perfect harmony with nature. Based on a vision by the great Sci-Fi author Isaac Asimov, Light Years takes the viewer on a journey to the world of Gandahar. Gandahar is a world totally at peace with itself until the day an experiment from the past threatens the very existence of life and freedom. All that guides the hero is a mysterious double prophecy. Light Years, while not as flashy as the animated movies of today is a marvelous story that bridges the gap between fantasy and sci-fi. As a child the story and its amazing visuals captivated me. The movie is full of symbolism. For example the incredible irony that the villian of the film is a creation of the peaceful kingdom that genetically engineered him and that said villian (a giant brain) employs an army of mechanical men to wage his wars in the pursuit of more power. Then, seeing that his waring ways are leading to an ugly apocalypse of sorts, the villian is his own downfall as he sets in motion the events that will ultimately be his undoing. It speaks to the ever present conflict between nature and industrialization and perhaps how humankind may be its own worst enemy. My only gripe is that I wish they would re-release it on dvd. Oh well. A fantastic movie experience if you can get your hands on it.

Info and synopses for the movies were taken from and

Monday, August 23, 2004

Reel Life- Flim Review: City of God (Cidade de Deus)

Well this movie ought to appeal to most Jamaicans. It is an insightful look into the life an motivation of a host of characters in the Brazilian ghetto, paradoxically dubbed "THE CITY OF GOD". An enthralling and exhilarating panorama of similar crime and violence in a neighbouring culture. "City of God" kicks off with a desperate chicken trying to escape slaughter by a gang of gun toting kiddies.

It is a metaphor or symbol that alludes to the frenetic struggle for any semblance of existence for the characters in this bullet blazing gangster epic.

Alexandre Rodrigues stars as Busca-Pé or 'Rocket', a boy who lives in the Cidade de Deus or City of God, and narrates our expedition into the slums of a 60's favela (housing project) in Rio de Janeiro. The favela is quarters to the poorest and most hopeless of Rio's citizens and becomes a den of violence and crime. As a child, Busca-Pé is a spectator to two decades of barbarity, gluttony, rape and vengeance which perpetuate a tragic and cataclysmic gang war. At the start he watches the notorious Tender Trio - a group of older boys - robbing motels and gas trucks. As he grows up, he sees his peers graduate from being petty thieves through drug dealers into cold-blooded killers. In time, vicious gang leader Li'l Ze (Leandro da Hora) and his companions prosper and come to rule much of the favela.

Anxiety, fear, sensitivity and an instinct for self-preservation keep him on the straight and narrow and prevent him frombecoming a real violent criminal, Busca-Pé finds himself at the centre of the favela's action, but separate from it. As he matures, he comes to realize that he views things differently. Preoccupied by cameras and photography, he eventually acquires a camera of his own, and his photographs come to the attention of a local newspaper. As the two remaining favela gangs duel in the 80's, Busca-Pé takes some of the only photographs that the press will see of the events that take place and the people involved. Through his camera and his unique comprehension of favela life, he documents and explains what life is, as the poorest people in Rio. His childhood associate Li'l Zé (Leandro Firmino da Hora) morphs into the ghetto's godfather - a ruthless, demented killer.

In "City of God", desperation and desolation drives children to acts of outrageous violence, crime appears to be the only option in the moral and economic wilderness of the Brazilian favelas. Even the grotesque Li'l Zé is not without humanity, while the fate of other so-called gangsters is poignant.

Based on a true story(Paulo Lins' fact-based novel), "City of God" is a tale that has impact not just because of the level of violence it portrays but due to the fact that the violence is a reflection of real events. The director employs the use of real favela children to fill much of his cast. The main cast does a truly flawless job, and fit seamlessly into their environment. The film is picturesque, and carries with it a grime and originality that unearths the real texture of life in Rio. Terror follows cruel bellylaughs, and the unrelenting action is brought into full focus by unending and inescapable poverty. The story is plastered with gore, blood , bullets and savagery, but and in the tradition of good storytelling offers a message at its conclusion, which is more than what canbe said for most Hollywood blockbusters these days.