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The Unalienation Of ‘The Alienist’

Jun. 6 | As the title card of ‘The Alienist’ informs, ‘In the 19th century, persons suffering from mental illness were thought to be alienated from their own true natures. Experts who studied them were therefore known as alienists.’ Yes,...

‘Toc Toc’, OCD OCD…

May. 24 | ‘Toc Toc’ is a lighthearted take on the serious issue of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). While offering humour, it also offers much needed hope. A band of strangers scheduled for group therapy decide to ‘make the group the doctor’...

‘Meet Joe Black’, Life & Death

May. 15 | Bill chats with Joe as they watch ephemeral fireworks burst into the night sky at a great party: Bill: It’s hard to let go, isn’t it? Joe: Yes, it is, Bill. Bill: Well, that’s life. Death personified had taken on Joe’s human form...

The ‘Black Mirror’ That Reflects Darkness

May. 4 | One of, if not the most thought-provoking Netflix series is Black Mirror. What does the title refer to? It is what you are looking at now – the screen of your phone, computer or TV, that is black by default. The series explores how current and future...

What Is Love Under ‘A Full Bright Moon’?

Apr. 25 | Great Master Hongyi’s (弘一大师) ex-wife was reluctant to let go of him, and was puzzled by the nature of love. She thus asked him – ‘Please tell me, what is love?’ (请告诉我,什么叫爱?) If she really loved him, how could she let...

Existential Chats In ‘Café Society’

Apr. 19 | In ‘Café Society’ is discussion of some interesting existential issues. Bobby exclaims, ‘[W]hen the end’s near, you need something… I have to know that all this just doesn’t end… I need to believe that...

Commitment Issues In ‘Café Society’

Apr. 13 | Why commit to another love interest if already committed to another? Was the first commitment not genuine then, and thus meaningless? If there was meaningless commitment for the first case, what makes one sure that the second case has genuine commitment? If...

Extreme Decisions For ‘Extremis’ Situations?

Apr. 7 | ‘Extremis’ is a documentary on the tough decisions that family members have to make in extremely difficult situations, near moments of potential death of their loved ones. Medical personnel are also shown to face much challenge when explaining...

It’s A Very Very ‘Mad World’

Mar. 28 | ‘Mad World’ (一念无明) accurately depicts of how the mentally ill, who deserve more empathy by society get more demonisation instead. Much more dangerous than the extremely rare ‘raving lunatics’, are the masses’...

An Outsider’s Review Of ‘The Outsider’

Mar. 19 | ‘The Outsider’ tells a fictitious tale of how a foreigner (gaijin) joined a yakuza gang, rising in its ranks to be its most ‘honourable’ leader. Often the case, such stories depict the fierce sense of ‘honour’ among,...

What Would Push You To Make ‘The Push’?

Mar. 8 | ‘The Push’ is a reality TV documentary by the mentalist Derren Brown. For choosing its ‘participants’, he shortlists, through an experiment, those who are especially socially compliant, without question. They are then put through...

Beyond ‘Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond’

Mar. 2 | This documentary (2017) features how one famous comedian Jim Carrey portrayed another famed comedian – Andy Kaufman (1949-1984) in the latter’s biopic – ‘Man On The Moon’ (1999). What intriguing is that Jim attempted to do what...

‘Bright’ On The Darkness Of Speciesism

Feb. 21 | Exploring issues due to inter-speciesism, ‘Bright’ portrays the near-future – with a hybrid of the familiar and gritty real world, mixed with a couple of fantastical species. Set in America, a black human cop partners a orc cop. This...

Is ‘An Honest Death’ An Ideal Death?

Feb. 11 | ‘An Honest Death: A Palliative Care Doctor’s Final Days’ is a documentary featured on NHK World Prime. Masahiro Tanaka was a palliative care doctor and a Japanese Buddhist priest, who had helped thousands to die peacefully. He requested...

‘Justice League’ On Bodhisattva Heroism

Jan. 24 | When Commissioner Gordon asked, ‘How many of you (i.e. heroes) are there (in the Justice League to be)?’, Batman replied with ‘Not enough!’ How many then, are enough? When everyone of us become heroic in nature, with none of...
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