I had an interesting conversation with my uncle recently. My uncle, along with my sister and I have been planning to go on a vacation abroad next year. We’ve been discussing about it since early this year but we haven’t made up our minds yet on which place to visit. Our initial plan was to go to Malaysia but we eventually changed our minds and thought of other places to go. My sister and I are actually interested to visit Thailand but since my uncle has been there before, he suggested that we pick another.
If there is one thing that the three of us have in common, it is that we love to explore and experience different cultures. We’re not the kind of travelers whose main agenda in visiting a country is to go shopping. I, for one, love arts and culture. I’d rather visit museums and watch cultural shows than go to a mall and shop.
My uncle suggested that we visit China because he wants to see the Great Wall. But my sister and I are not really keen on going to China. For me, China is not exotic and foreign enough. Going to China would be like going on a trip to Binondo. My lackluster response to my uncle’s suggestion led to him suggest London instead. I found out from him that we actually have relatives living in London. I didn’t know that. He added that we could stay at our relatives’ house in London while we’re there, so accommodation won’t be a problem.
So of course, my answer was a big YES. I’ve never been to London. In fact, London is in my bucket list of places I would love to visit. I’m a little bit of an Anglophile so I’m really excited about this. And since I am a big fan of Downton Abbey, the first thing that came to my mind when my uncle suggested London was to visit Highclere Castle.
Highclere Castle, a.k.a Downton Abbey
(Photo courtesy of skewenhistoricalsociety.org.uk)
But for now it’s still a plan. We haven’t picked a date yet because we’re still going over our schedules and looking at other priorities. But here’s hoping that this London trip will push through.
I first heard about the movie, Lucy after it became a hit in the US. I had no idea what the movie was about. All I knew that it was directed by Luc Besson – the same director and writer of highly acclaimed movies I’ve seen like Leon: The Professional and Nikita, which by the way, is one of my favorite characters in pop culture.
My interest wasn’t exactly piqued when I read the basic plot of Lucy. The plot summary was too vague for me and it didn’t really grab my attention. The movie trailer didn’t get a rise out of me either and I don’t exactly follow the reviews so I had mixed feelings about it. But I was curious enough to check the film out because, hey, it’s from Luc Besson.
Watching Lucy was like a mixture of watching a program on National Geographic and History Channel and several sci-fi movies. It delved on scientific theories and discussions about time and the human brain’s capacity to acquire and absorb knowledge. The scenes at a hotel in Taiwan where Lucy was forced to deliver the briefcase full of drugs were paralleled with depictions of wild animals hunting for prey in the jungle. The first half of the movie was a bit dragging and there wasn’t enough backstory on the titular character of Lucy except that she’s in Taiwan. I was expecting a lot of action-packed scenes but there were only a few. But it’s okay. The second half of the movie got pretty interesting.
The movie reminded me of The Lawnmower Man and Transcendence, with a little bit of The Matrix thrown in. Come to think of it – Morgan Freeman, who played a professor in this movie was also in Transcendence. I even got a Nikita vibe during the scene where Lucy disguised herself with a black wig and dark shades.
There were loopholes in the story, though. I know this is a sci-fi movie but my suspension of disbelief could only go so far. I find it hard to believe that the police immediately took Lucy’s word and acted upon her tipoff without enough background checks about her and the validity of her claims. Unless she manipulated their minds with her acquired superhuman abilities?
All in all, I liked the movie but it still felt like everything on the second half of the film was anticlimactic.
If there is one thing I dislike, it’s people who want me to do things I don’t agree with or believe in. Being an Aquarian, this is something I’m passionate about. I find it really suffocating when people try to control me. I especially hate it when some people go overboard and step into my personal life uninvited. They don’t seem to realize that certain things have boundaries.
Telling me to do personal stuff that I don’t even believe in or dislike doing is stepping on boundaries. That’s already asking me for favors and I’m not obliged to follow it.
What I usually do when this happens is that I exactly do the opposite. Screw the consequences. That’s how stubborn I can be, especially when I’m being forced. Sorry, not sorry.
While I never read any of the Thomas Harris books, I’ve been a fan of the Hannibal movies since Silence of the Lambs came out. I always love psychological thrillers and what got me to love the Hannibal movies was because of its strong female character, Clarice Starling. Of course, Hannibal Lecter himself is such an interesting character. Who would have thought that a refined, well-educated man could turn out to be a cannibal who love eating his victims. That’s why Hannibal became one of the most iconic villains in pop culture.
Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs reunion photo shoot for Empire Magazine
When I learned that there’s going to be a TV show based on the character of Hannibal, it caught my interest. And my interest was piqued even more after learning that Gillian Anderson, one of my favorite actresses aside from Jodie Foster, was going to be in the show as well. She’s playing the part of Dr. Bedelia du Murier, Hannibal Lecter’s own psychiatrist.
Since then, I’ve been watching the Hannibal series on TV. It’s a smart, psychological show that remains true to the story which I come to love. Although I must admit that sometimes I couldn’t stomach the blood and gore in the show. Some of the scenes are actually disturbing, especially that scene about Beverly Katz which was really yucky. It was the same feeling I had when I watched the movie Hannibal for the first time. I was so grossed out by some of the scenes in the movie that I couldn’t watch it again.
But I think the difference between the movies and the TV show is in the manner of killings. While the killings in the movies were all-out gross and gritty, in the TV show, the victims are killed and presented in such artistic ways that I couldn’t help but mesmerized by it. Most of the victims would look like a piece of art meant to be showcased in a museum. Hannibal’s manner of eating his victims is a little toned down in the show as well. It doesn’t gross me out whenever I see him preparing a meal using the meat of his victims. I don’t gag when I see Hannibal dining with his dinner guests and eating his victims with such relish.
What I also find interesting in the show is the bromance between Hannibal and Will Graham. Will Graham is an FBI criminal profiler who knows about Hannibal’s true nature behind the facade of a mild-mannered psychiatrist. The Hannibal fandom call this bromance “Hannigram,” which I find amusing.
The show remains to be dark, bleak but intellectual. It just ended its second season with a shocking and amazing episode, and I’m looking forward to its third installment.
Tags: friendship, personality
There’s a common saying that birds of the same feather flock together. In my case, that doesn’t always ring true. Generally, I hang out with people who share the same interests as me. My circle of friends are certainly those who I have things in common, whether in terms of interests or personality. But it’s interesting to note that my closest friends are in fact those who are the complete opposite of me. I differ greatly from their personalities. We even have different tastes in nearly about everything. And yet we blend well together somehow. We understand each other despite the fact that we have different perspectives and values in life.
But there’s also one thing that binds me with my other friends. There’s a piece of me in each of them. I see myself in them one way or another, even if it’s just the smallest detail. These little things might be trivial for some people, but for me they make up an entire character to become my collective whole.