Match Point, A History of Violence

A Woody Allen movie that is very unlike any other Woody Allen movie.

It has been three days since I saw the movie. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I found my thought constantly turned to the movie, and even readjusting my perspective throughout of the day based on the movie’s point of view.

The plot is simple. An Irish boy, Chris, with a humble beginning strives to make it in the upper class of British society in London. He did very well. A company Jaguar comes with a driver; a spacious loft over looking the Themes, with a view of the Big Ben; a private family box in Covent Garden Opera(?); lovely wife, powerful in-laws; etc. etc.

The point of the movie? “It is all about luck. There is no justice, no retribution.” Chris happens to be lucky, very lucky. While one of his comrades, Nola, a struggling actress from Boulder Colorado, seems to have none of it.

Maybe some part of me had already realized that. I did remind myself often that everything is rather random. Each human being came into being by accident, and each human life could end by accident too. There is never a grand scheme of things to look up to, and no one is out there to watch out for us.

But it had never hit me like the movie did. “There is no justice.” Life is not fair, deal with it. If we really believe in that, what would we do in life? We wouldn’t endure long sufferings, hoping for some final justice, because it will never come. We wouldn’t sacrafice for the sake of future reward, because it might never come. It is all about luck, it is all just statistics. So might as well enjoy it. Don’t continue doing what makes you unhappy. Go through hell, maybe, but you better enjoy it. Otherwise, what is the point?

We often heard that someone made some decision along the way and then voila, everything fell into place. We’d like to believe it was because he had forseen the consequences, and he had planned it all out. The truth is, he just got lucky. Sometimes, a string of possitive events started occuring after one made certain decision, turned certain corner, conducted certain change; we’d say that was because the person in question made the right choice. The truth is, if we followed our heart and made the choice that made ourselves happy, chances are, people around us are influenced by that sense of wellbeing. The possitive feedback loop could cause more possitive things to occure. But then, that is luck, too.

I’m sure that theme of the movie depressed some people. For me, it becomes such a relief. Everything, suddenly, becomes very simple. 🙂

The acting is excellent all around. A very enjoyable movie.

A rather peaceful movie, on the topic of violence.

When we walked out of the theatre, I said, “So violence is necessary.” ZM said, “And there is good violence and bad violence.” Then ZM turned to me, “It does mean we all have violence in our blood, doesn’t it? Howelse would you explain the enjoyment we got out of watching this movie?”

Well said. I couldn’t agree more.

Other than that, we also concluded that Viggo Mortensen is not that good an actor in this movie. Ed Harris and William Hurt are much better actors. Then the question came up, “Who would be a good actor for this role that is kinda wasted on Viggo Mortensen?” First candidate came to my mind was “Edward Norten”, but he is too young. Val Kilmer could be good, if one remembers how cool he was in the “Heat”, but then he only made bad movies afterwards. Eventually i settled on “Daniel Day-Lewis”.

Any other choices?

Hatless in Beijing

I lost my favorit hat today. First day working in Beijing.

It has been with me since 2000. I bought it from a small hat shop in downtown Santa Cruz. It has earned me many praises cuz it fit me so well. It has kept me warm (and stylish) in many cold winter days/nights in SF, New York, and Beijing. Yeah i was wearing it during the last few days in Beijing and feeling very special cuz i see most girls here don’t wear hats.

I thought i dropped it in our building lobby or in the elevator, but after going up and down the building a few times, i decided that maybe i dropped it on the crowded subway.

Why did i bother to take the subway instead of taking a cab, i had no idea.

Now i want to get back to the bayarea, drive down to Santa Cruz, find that hat store and buy half a dozen my favorit hats, provide they still carry it. Keeping my fingers crossed.

While I sat on the 15th floor office, overlooking the Chang An Avenue, moaning over my lost hat; i heard a sound that i have been missing so much over the past 15 years. The wind whistling in between tall buildings. It sounded absolutely horrible. But i loved it so much that i turned to my co-worker sitting next to me, “This is the sound I missed the most since i left Beijing!” He rolled his eyes, “I wish I could just miss it instead of hearing it.”

But when we hear such sound, we are usually inside, warm and content. We weren’t suffering. On the contrary, the horrid outside, ehnanced by the wuthering wind, could only makes one treasure the warmth and coziness we have while sitting indoors.

Beijing’s winter.