Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette – a genuine feast of glamourous abandonment. Despite the Rock ‘n’ Roll background music this is a rather quiet film: slow, down-to-earth, in big contrast to all the glamourous settings and costumes. Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette, portrayed by Sofia Coppola, is a young helpless Austrian princess traded off to the court of Versailles and who in her own way survives among all the intrigues of the court of Louis XV during the instable era of the revolutions. It is a woman’s film, it does not attempt to answer the big historical questions, slightly passing off the famous “Why not eat cake?” quotation, but deals carefully with the inner life of the young Queen hidden behind the facade of Versailles.
It is great to see the Versailles again after my visit to it the summer before the last. It feels wonderful to know where I am when the scene changes – as if I really dwell with this Queen in this biggest palace in Europe. And yet the film’s greatest impact for me is the CLOTHES. Satins, laces, ribbons, hats, feathers, fans, slippers… in Rococco pale blue, pink, white, enbroidered floral patterns… I am all fetish! I really love the Rococco and her blonde aristocratic women with pale complexions, buried in laces and ribbons of baby blue and pink, who faint away frequently because the corsets make them literally breathless.
PS A little anecdote: a portrait of the real Marie Antoinette.
聖誕時因為閉關寫作，幾乎都沒有外出購物。現在趁減價期間，一口氣買了一批東西：長靴、短褲、長褸、cardigan、one-piece。其實我的shopping list上還有很多未完成的項目，但已入手的全都是very good buy，所以也很滿意。
My book review on Geling Yan’s The Uninvited:
|The Holy Bible: King James Version. 2000.|
The First Book of Moses, Called
The Tower of Babel
|1||And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.|
|2||And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.|
|3||And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.|
|4||And they said, Go to, let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.|
|5||And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.|
|6||And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.|
|7||Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.|
|8||So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.|
|9||Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.|
Two of my favourite studies of the Tower of Babel by Brugel.
The Tower of Babel – a fascinating story from the Genesis. Why did God do that? In the early texts of the Genesis, there was no mention of man’s sinning. Even in this King James Bible version (17th century, best English Bible!) God’s motive is ambivalent. The Puritants decided it was for man’s pride that the punishment was given. But is it really our pride? Or is it purely God’s unaccountable wrath? But anyway, that explains how humankind never understand each other. Babel – a story about failures in communication.
I tried to convey how much I needed you, but you never understood.
I said I would have nothing to do with you, and you thought I was making a joke.
We spoke the same language, and we never spoke the same language.
那些美國Reality Show，除了Queer Eye For the Straight Guy，我也喜歡看America’s Next Top Model和Project Runway。很明顯我是喜歡看漂亮的東西而已，所以我討厭看The Apprentice（真的很討厭Donald Trump，真是相由心生的）。Pearl 在播Project Runway Season 3，星期六晚在家的話也一定會看。雖然不喜歡Heidi Klum每次裝模作樣的”In the world of Fashion, one day you are in, the next day you are out”，但每一季總有一些很有性格的設計師，令我每次都祈求他們不要被那些保守悶蛋評判Out掉。只是這樣也很緊張呢。所以，我也很想在此說說我心目中的Project Runway Season 3的”Ins”－
My Ins for Season 3:
我頗喜歡Jeffrey的。喜歡他那種Skinny的Body Shape，Mix&Match和Layering。有點像上一季Daniel的身型但因為他的style是Rock ‘n’ Roll，所以對我來說更有性格更加吸引。就像他所說的The God was drunk，我也不相信他竟然要待到第8集才勝出第一次。他是參賽者中少數有意念而又真能將之實踐的designer。他的design label，Cosa Nostra原來在香港的Lane Crawford和Harvey Nichols有在 賣！但相信這一季做完後，他的label便會大大升值了。
對Keith的第一印象是Jude Law！雖然我也會偏心長得好看的人，但Keith卻是人如其設計，他的衣服都很精彩。如果他不是因為犯規而被取消資格，我相信他一定會是Final 3。這真是Season 3的一個大遺憾呢。他被請走的那一集，真的令我非常失落。只有寄望Jeffrey和Alison了（又剛好他們三人在那集是同一組；我果然是偏好某一種style的）。
Jeffrey x Alison
Keith x Jeffrey x Alison
Today I had a training session with one of my bosses. This amiable Australian woman is a public relations consultant and has an office in Central with a very pretty view overlooking the Government House and the Peak beyond, and it just makes me dizzy thinking that I am having this training session for free while the CEOs from international business firms actually pay for the professional advice of my boss, who has been in the field for 20 years now.
Would anyone ever think of me as a speaker? Even I dare not think such an outrageous thing. Speaking makes me nervous. It makes me feel that I am giving away myself, which is mostly unflattering, and hearing my own voice is hideous. And if I keep silent, and represent myself only with written words, I would awe others with the partial image of myself as a fine writer while keeping the imperfect part of me away from others’ scrutiny. I have drawn myself a chalk circle and stayed within rather comfortably. As time goes by people begin to take it for granted that I do not speak, and I am planted even more firmly into my safe zone.
There were some changes after I became a hotungnian. As a freshman I was compelled to shout, cheer and sing before people. As a member of the Students’ Association I was required to stand before people and address people in an official manner. As a Senior I was entitled to lecture and patronize. But still I have one foot within the safe zone and I would not hazard anything more than is necessary. Well, at least I could shout a cheer out loud before people, which was already a very big leap forward.
I thought I was doing fine, and I never thought I would want to be someone who can speak comfortably with almost any person and give excellent talks on stage before crowds of people. I did not know, when they offered me this job, they were actually looking forward to a day when I would become a very presentable representative, knowledgable as well as sociable, who would be an important contributor to the Prize instead of just an ordinary clerk taking care of petty affairs. They are trying to lift me entirely out of my safe zone and transform me.
There is always reluctance to leave one’s safe zone – but then what have I to lose? Perhaps some embarassments and unpleasantness along the way – but when my transformation is complete, I shall feel comfortable doing what I refrain from doing now. I realize I did not refrain from speaking because I did not like to, but because I was afraid I would not speak well. This self-fulfilling prophecy only makes the matter worse: nothing is impossible if one stops denying any possibility. This is the one thing I did not overcome among all the achievements at LHT, and I am ready to admit my cowardliness, step out of my safe zone and face the challenge. I am sure I will become stronger.
PS Been writing this whole passage amid terrible pain in the eye…… Why is there no cure to the pain?