If there is one aspect of Léon: The Professional that is truly captivating, aside from the stellar performance of the cast, it would probably lie in the impressive display and execution of two elements stretched at their maximal points throughout the film: love and death
Happy post-Valentine’s Day everyone! I was trying to come up with a mushy blog post for V-Day but hard as I try, I couldn’t squeeze anything from my head. (You cannot write what you don’t know after all.) Not that I am completely cynical about Valentine’s Day, it’s just I couldn’t care less about all the romantic hullabaloo that are always associated with this day. Let’s just say that years and years of reinforcement does that to you.
To compensate for my apparent lack of interest in anything romantic, I made a list of films that explore the complicated reality behind this strange human connection we define as love. In their own unique way, these films portray a suppressed version of love: one that we don’t often see in books and films, but nonetheless acknowledge in real life.
Released in 1999, Wachowskis’ science fiction and action film The Matrix has captured the interest of both young and mature audiences and has stirred a lot of arguments and debates regarding the ever-controversial question of the Red Pill/Blue Pill polemic.
Eighteen years after it has disturbed mainstream media with its complex plot and hardcore philosophical and epistemological underpinnings, The Matrix continues to bemuse and befuddle the popular imagination, and continues to challenge our views as to the nature of reality that exists outside of us.
If you are up for some mind-bending, visually-stimulating cinematic experience, you might want to check out Gaspar Noe’s 2009 psychedelic melodrama film, Enter the Void. Packed with electrifying visuals, the film takes its audience into the wild night paradise at the heart of Tokyo where Oscar and his sister Linda reside.
Living in a small shabby apartment in the midst of a bustling metropolis, Oscar operates as a small-time drug dealer, together with his friend Alex from whom he gathered insights on death and reincarnation based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead. On the other hand, his sister Linda works as a nightclub stripper whose unreserved attachment towards his brother Oscar is made apparent throughout the film.
A tragic night in some local bar witnessed the police bust operation which lead to Oscar’s arrest and death. As he was trapped and shot dead inside the restroom cubicle, Oscar’s spirit flew out his physical body and wandered throughout the city—haunted and restless, but even more still alive in the recollection of a promise he made to his sister: that he would never abandon her no matter what happens.
Once or twice in life we come across certain kinds of films that either bore us to death or strike us with a fresh revelation. For the remainder of time, most of the movies we encounter fall under forgettable nameless categories and we unconsciously consign them to oblivion as soon as we turn off the screen.
Despite the huge number of movies which populate the industry like swarming gadflies today, it is quite rare to find a flower in the midst of the bevy—that is, to find a film which stirs a certain amount of interest in your mind while at the same time, assaults you with heavy questions which you leave you pondering even after the closing credits.
We live in a mad world. In the midst of countless circumstances brought about by the cruel hands of human existence, lies our insanity and the search for the cure. Such a cure, as embodied in all of man’s feeble attempt to understand his condition, has essentially been the most perplexing, if not the most difficult, to man since time immemorial.
Even in the 20th century discourse in psychoanalysis, man remained only an object, but not the owner, of his entire being. For there lies beneath his consciousness the ground of the unconscious — uncontrolled and untamed even by his most fervent will, ignited by sexual desires and sensuous passions he never knew of, slaved by thoughts he thought was long forgotten.
In the course of centuries the naive self-love of men has had to submit to two major blows at the hands of science.
The first was when they learnt that our earth was not the center of the universe […] The second blow fell when biological research destroyed man’s supposedly privileged place in creation and proved his descent from the animal kingdom […]
But human megalomania will have suffered its third and most wounding blow from the psychological research of the present time which seeks to prove to the ego that it is not even the master in its own house.” 
The elusiveness of the answer to man’s most daunting questions and the frailty of words that characterizes his human predicament are two of the wildest, most exacting, task to ever been shouldered by man. In the midst of life, we find death. In the midst of joy, we find pain. At the very core of our understanding of life is a misunderstanding of all that make and break all that is human within us.
Watched this at Glorietta last week over chicken burgers and unsalted french fries. A definitely must-see movie!
…the ball is suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the New year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by. To remember both our triumphs and missteps, our promises made and broken. The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures or closed ourselves down for fear of getting hurt. Because that’s what new year is all about — getting another chance. A chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about what if and start embracing what would be. So when the ball drops at midnight, and it will drop, let’s remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other. And not just tonight but all year long.