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I am Chinese, my family is small and we are not religious. We don’t do gifts and parties, nor do we transform our home into a tricolour tinsel and cedar wonderland. I never even believed in Santa, thanks to my mother’s casual ‘Santa and magic and stuff are not real, it’s all made up’ when I was very young.
For Christians, Christmas is the birth of Jesus. For the non-religious, it is about Santa, reindeers, and snow. For us, it is a time to eat together: we mark the day celebrated by many with food and family, the pillars of Chinese culture, and I would not have it any other way.
But Christmas itself—be your take on it Christian or capitalist—is not Chinese, no matter how I celebrate it. Christmas in my mind is a kaleidoscope of Anglo-American sights and sounds. Continue reading
The following quote has been attributed to you but I’m not sure if you actually said it as there’s some debate online regarding its origin.
Am I in love? Absolutely. I’m in love with ancient philosophers, foreign painters, classic authors, and musicians who have died long ago. I’m a passionate lover. I fawn over these people. I have given them my heart and my soul. The trouble is, I’m unable to love anyone tangible. I have sacrificed a physical bond, for a metaphysical relationship. I am the ultimate idealistic lover.
For the sake of this letter and my sanity I’m going to assume that those words did spring from that solitary, sensitive soul of yours, because Continue reading
The disillusioned teenager in me never died. James Dean called and I answered; that is to say, his brutally realistic portrayal of troubled teen Jim Stark reminded me of myself all those years ago—I think 15 is the average age at which one sheds their childhood coil—when, along with my peers, it became more apparent than ever to us that pain and suffering are inevitable, as is death.
The angst was real and it was raw. For the hypersensitive ones who felt and thought about everything deeply and personally, creative expression Continue reading
Gilles Bourdos’ 2012 biopic follows an ailing but strong-willed Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s (Michel Bouquet) struggle to bring his artistic visions to life in spite of his deteriorating health. The painter draws inspiration—and much-needed spiritual rejuvenation—from Andrée Heuschling (Christa Théret), his last model. The film, set in 1915, also touches on Renoir’s struggle to make sense of his son Jean Renoir’s (Vincent Rottiers) perilous decision to rejoin the army.
On a broad scale, the film sheds light on universal themes of love, loss, pain in all its physical and emotional permutations, (be)longing, and individuals’ lifelong search for their raison d’être. It also poignantly juxtaposes Continue reading