Film Review

Portrait tells the tale, rather, witnesses the unfolding of a delicate love between Marianne, an 18th century French female artist of some renown, and Héloïse, a young noblewoman and the eponymous Lady on Fire. Complex emotions, turbulent and quiet in turns, underpin the film’s deceptively simple premise.

Héloïse's mother, the Countess, has called her away from the convent, and a life within which she had created a semblance of freedom, to wed a Milanese nobleman in her deceased sister’s stead. As a picture is worth a thousand words (and more) in our Modern Times of the Tinder, so too it…

Film Review

Yi Yi starts on a familiar note. It's a Taiwanese wedding, but run-ins in the hotel corridor, little grouches sleeping in their mum’s laps after hours of merrymaking, the spontaneous camaraderie between the bride and groom's friends and cousins — cavorting with the special energy reserved only for the young, beginning and endings receding and resurfacing, blurring into one, are vignettes instantly recognisable to this Indian writer. Over its runtime of nearly three hours and a full life circle, Yi Yi paints a slow and haunting portrait of the Jian family.

The film is not easy to settle into physically…

Book Review

I got into Chinese science fiction (SF) like most people do. Some otherwise quiet corner of the internet whispered into my ear. Next thing I knew, I was staring at an online magazine offering a translation of one of Chinese SF's early stars, Hao Jingfang's Folding Beijing. I research urban sanitation in developing countries — where it sits at the intersection of rapid urbanisation, laggard public service delivery systems, weak local governance, and unrelenting social hierarchies. …


L looked out of the window of her sixth-floor office at the stagnated stream of cars below. They had blocked the road an hour ago, her assistant told her, due to a crash downtown. A trolley had lost control, spinning out of the hands of the driver and taking half a dozen vehicles with it. The morning sun was strong in the sky and the day clear. One could spot the Dome in the distance from where she stood. It squatted like an unimaginative command room in the center of the city.

Inside it was cool, outside, the drivers had…

The Room

Book Reviews | Film Analysis | Flash Fiction | Mid-20s Female

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