Question of the Week: What’s Your Favorite Movie Set In Paris?

Happy midweek, everyone! Pardon me for being extra chirpy today as it’s only two days away before my hubby & I are off to Europe. As I’ve mentioned here, we’re going to Amsterdam – Bruges – Paris to be exact, but we’re spending the most time in Paris. We’re renting an apartment in the 15th arrondissement area for 6 nights via airbnb.com, something we’ve never done before but that’s part of the adventure as we’ll be staying away from the tourist-y area.

We wanted to visit Bruges because we saw how gorgeous it is in the 2008 movie In Bruges with Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell. That’s perhaps the most famous movie featuring the Belgian city, but Paris has been quite a staple in various films, Hollywood or otherwise. Just look at this super long list in Wikipedia. In fact, this weekend we saw 2 Days In Paris, which was written & directed by Julie Delphy who also starred in it with Adam Goldberg as her American boyfriend.

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It’s a pretty cute movie, a bit vulgar in parts but also hilarious and has a wonderful scenery of Paris through the lens of a real Parisian, so it doesn’t look too glamorized. Well, it made me think of other movies I’ve enjoyed that’s set in the City of Light, whether in parts or in its entirety.

Midnight In Paris

Moulin Rouge

An Education

Inception

Paris Je T'aime – Père Lachaise Cemetery

Sabrina 1995

Phantom Of the Opera 2004

I know for sure I’d want to visit some of the main landmarks featured in some of my favorite movies. I’ve booked my tour to Palais Garnier where the Phantom of the Opera is set in, which is pretty close to the Père Lachaise Cemetery where Rufus Sewell and Emily Mortimer’s sequence is set in Paris Je T’aime. Of course Midnight in Paris has a bunch of great Parisian locations, and I have this site to use as a guide. But what I look forward to the most is just enjoying the ambiance and simply being in Paris, strolling through the streets and along the Seine river, people watching whilst sitting in a café, etc.


So my question to you today is, what’s YOUR favorite movie set in Paris?

Versatile Blogger Award… & 7 fun facts of yours truly

the-versitle-blogger-awardSo apparently I’m still versatile. I did this about 3 years ago I believe, and since I haven’t done a meme like this in a while, thought it might be fun to do again. Thanks Fernando for kindly bestowing this award to me… I’m verklempt! 😛

Of course, there are always rules for these kinds of things …

  1. Thank your nominator and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Make your own fifteen nominations and tell them they have been nominated
  3. Offer up seven interesting facts about yourself

Ok so naturally I’m going to nominate 15 bloggers whom I haven’t nominated the first time around. Besides, I’ve *met* a lot of new bloggers in the past few years anyway. I also try to nominate those that Fernando haven’t done already, so here goes:

  1. Andrew – A Fistful of Films
  2. Chris – Movies & Songs
  3. Chris W – This is Madness!
  4. Cindy – Cindy Bruchman Blog
  5. Eric – The Warning Sign
  6. Katy – Girl Meets Cinema
  7. Keith – Keith & Movies
  8. Mark – Markus Marakai
  9. Natalie – Writer Loves Movies
  10. Mark – Three Rows Back
  11. Mikey – Screenkicker
  12. Melissa – Snap Crackle Watch
  13. Sati – Cinematic Corner
  14. Shah – Blank Page Beatdown
  15. Terrence – The Focused Filmographer

Now on to the 7 facts about me… hmmm tough one as I’ve already shared quite a few in this 10 Movie Facts About Me meme.  Interesting or not, here they are:

  • So a lot of you perhaps already know that my dad was in the Indonesian film biz before I was born, he was a screenwriter and also directed a couple of films which sadly are not available for me to watch in any format. Well, my earliest memory of being in a film set was when I was about 2-3 years old. I distinctly remember it was my grandmother’s house where I ended up living in later on when my parents divorced. There were people and things everywhere, lot of lights and people carrying poles (either lights or boom mic poles). Not sure why I always remember this detail, but the make-up artist was a tall, slim man in drag who’s wearing tons of make-up. I think my aunt later told me he could’ve been a transgender. To this day I still have no idea what film it was though.
  • Ever since we saw In Bruges, my hubby and I wished to pay a visit. I even dedicated a post to it and finally, three years later, we’ll be going to Bruges later this month!
    InBruges_Night_Pic4
  • My penchant for British actors might’ve been due to all the ESL teachers I had in my teen years who’re mostly from the UK. I’ve become good friends with a lot of them, I’d even hang out with them outside of class with my girlfriends. It’s a lot of fun as they always wanted to learn Indonesian from us whilst of course we wanted to speak English! Wish I had kept in touch with ’em, especially Ben from Birmingham.
  • RisolesI’m a picky eater unlike my hubby who pretty much eat anything. Oh and I also don’t like seafood (though I don’t mind shrimp/fish crackers, and on occasion, fried calamari), alcohol of any kind and I generally am not fond of chocolates. Yes I know, those seem to be most people’s favorites 😀 But I do have a weakness for fried snacks like fried wonton, egg rolls, etc. My all time favorite snack is Risoles (Indonesian Croquette) which is simply to-die-for. My grandma made the best risoles growing up, I still haven’t been able to find one that tastes better than hers. Here’s a recipe if any of you are curious how to make it, it’s REALLY time-consuming!
  • When I was in Jr High I used to make illustrative stories, mostly b&w pencil drawings. In fact, sometimes I got caught doing it in class and got sent to detention (which was just outside of the classroom so I actually could continue drawing, ahah) I must’ve made at least 5-6 of them, and my classmates would take turn reading them. I guess it was my way of coping with a lot of problems at home as a form of escape, but also to feed my crazy imaginations, ahah. I remember my friends would get a kick out of my *racier* drawings of people kissing and stuff. I guess I’ve always been fond of writing, though I’m not as into drawing as much anymore as an adult.
  • The only time I saw a movie at midnight was a double feature with my late mother and brother Paul. It’s such a memorable moment for me as it’s the last time I went to the movies with my mother and she passed away a couple of months later. The movies we saw were Tango & Cash and Showdown in Little Tokyo. Yep, in that order. Those were the only double feature the cinema had at the time and my mom was totally game for it! Yeah, she was a VERY cool mom indeed.
    TangoCash_ShowdownLittleTokyo
  • The first concert I’ve ever gone to was Debbie Gibson in Singapore with my friends, around the time I attended a Summer Camp in California when I was 16. Gibson, Tiffany, NKOTB were hugely popular growing up. I was a huge fan of New Kids too, but now I can’t imagine ever listening to ANY boy band, in fact it just made me mortified I was ever a fan in the first place!

Well, hope you enjoyed reading some tidbits about yours truly 😀 

Monthly Viewing Roundup & Favorite Film of January 2013

MonthlyViewing_Jan

Last day of the month already and I must say I’m glad January is over. It’s been one of the coldest Winter months yet with up to a week (maybe more) of subzero temps! I hope only one more month left of this brutal frigid weather.


As is customary for the beginning of the year where people make their new year resolutions, the gym I go to has been so much busier and the classes are more packed than usual. Now I wish my blog hits has the same effect, but I find that FC’s been getting a significantly less traffic in January. I don’t know why that is as my blogging pattern (5 days a week) and commenting frequency across the blogosphere remains relatively the same as it’s always been. Am I the only one experimenting this? Or maybe I should start something new? Perhaps some of you could share how your blog traffic has been like in January?

In any case, I’ve had 22 posts so far this month, 23 including this one. Here are some of the posts and reviews you might’ve missed:

I also introduced a new monthly series… Traveling Through Cinema… starting with In Bruges! I might venture to Italy for the next one 😉

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It’s been a pretty good mix of new releases and older movies, though I only managed to see one classic movie this month, for shame!

Movies I haven’t seen before:

Rewatches:

  • Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade
  • The Living Daylights
  • The IT Crowd


So 14 movies in January. That’s not a bad month for me considering I usually only had time for about 10 or so a month and January is kind of the dumping ground for movies anyway. Hopefully I get to see more in Spring, though there’s no movie I’m anticipating in February and the only planned screening I’ll be going to next week is A Good Day To Die Hard.

Favorite Movie Seen in January:

EONDoc007

I know some of you aren’t surprised considering I’m a James Bond aficionado 😉 But seriously, this is one of the most insightful and entertaining documentaries ever. I highly recommend this for anyone who likes documentaries and an intriguing story, regardless of how you feel about 007. Of course if you are even slightly into the franchise, this is absolutely essential viewing!


So, what movies did you get to see in January and which one is your favorite?

A Tropical Holiday… and Movies I Watched During My Vacation

Hello everybody! Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas break. It was nice to be home for Christmas, we purposely planned to avoid being at the airport during the holiday craze so coming back last Saturday was perfect timing for us. Thank the Lord that our trip went smoothly. Despite the long layovers, not a single flight was delayed and no major travel headache for us to complain about, so we were indeed very blessed.

AlwaysRoomForFamilyWe had a mellow Christmas eve, went to a joyful Christmas service at our local church. I love this year’s theme… There’s Always Room for Family… so true isn’t it? Since I just spent time with my family in my hometown, it definitely holds a special meaning for me. Afterwards we’re invited to dinner at a friend’s family home where we had a super-delicious-but-not-so-conventional Swedish-Indonesian cuisine 😀

Baby it’s cold outside.
It’s quite a drastic 50+ degree swing from our tropical vacation. We went from 90-degree climate of Jakarta to about low 80s in Kauai to well, barely 15° F with a sub-zero windchill here. Brrrrrr!
Anyway, here are some pics from my two-part vacation to Jakarta and Kauai. Pardon the picture quality in Jakarta, I took all of them on my iPhone. The Kauai pics are the ones my hubby took with his digital SLR, so they’re definitely much better.
One of the highlights from my Jakarta trip is that I got to meet I’m super excited that I’ll be meeting up with some of my fellow Indo bloggers next week: Andina from Inspired Ground, Novia from Polychrome Interest, and FC contributor Cecilia! It was fun chatting with all of you ladies! I was especially thrilled to see Novia’s huge smile when she received the Mighty Boosh Special Edition DVD 😀

From left: Novia, Cecilia, Andina and yours truly! Somehow Novia and I wore matching yellow to our meet-up, we must be kindred spirits!
From left: Novia, Cecilia, Andina and yours truly. Somehow Novia and I wore matching yellow to our meet-up, we must be kindred spirits!

For more pics and a complete recap from our Indo bloggers meet-up, do visit my friend Novia’s post.

The view from my hotel room... the sky is always hazy in Jakarta because of the polluted air :(
The view from my hotel room… the sky is always hazy in Jakarta because of the polluted air 😦

Since we visited during monsoon season, it’s almost always overcast here but the temperature remains hot, around 90+ degrees every day. The relatively high winds did help cool things a bit but the torrential downpour wreck havoc on the already super-heavy traffic as flash floods pop up everywhere, especially in low-lying areas.

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From top left: Ivan & I at Ancol Beach City, the wooden boat we’re on, and various ‘macet’ (extreme traffic jam) views that constantly plague Jakarta.

A trip from point A to point B that would normally take 10-15 minutes would take 90-120 minutes, that’s on a normal weekday and NOT during rush hours. Just add at least an hour to your commute if it’s during AM or PM rush hour. My brother said that in Jakarta, there are only two congestion type: heavy or extreme traffic jam… so either you’re crawling at 5-10 mph or basically at a standstill for a good hour or so, barely moving an inch, whilst a throng of motorcycles zip by all around you. I really don’t know how people could endure that day after day.

Suffice to say, we didn’t get to visit too many places in our 6-day trip to Jakarta. Though it was fantastic to spend time with my family and eat my favorite food growing up, by the end of the week, we were ready for our real vacation to Kauai 😀

ViewFromWestinResort
View from our resort in the Princeville area, the northern part of Kauai.

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Poi’pu Beach (on the south side of Kaua’i) … that’s me on the left taking a stroll on the gorgeous sandy beach

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Another view of Poi’pu Beach

The most magnificent rainbow at Waimea Canyon!
The most magnificent rainbow at Waimea Canyon!

It just rained briefly before this picture was taken and we were about to leave. Fortunately I overheard a girl yelling loudly about a rainbow so we promptly went back to the Lookout area. Lo and behold, the most spectacular rainbow suddenly appeared in the canyon. The rainbow was so vivid that all the photos we took looked like they’ve been Photoshoped! We saw a few more rainbows on the way back, in fact, I think we saw at least one every single day!

Various shots of Molokaa Beach, a secluded beach we got to during our Kauai Photo Tour
Various shots of Moloa’a Beach, a picturesque secluded beach in the north shore we went to during our Kauai Photo Tour

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A wild white cat kept us company at Moloa’a Beach

The serene Anini beach in the North Shore near our hotel. It actually rained just a few minutes after we took this picture so we had to run to our car!
The serene Anini Beach in the North Shore near our hotel.

It’s a pretty windy day as you can see. It actually rained on Anini Beach just a few minutes after we took this picture so we had to run to our car! It rains quite a bit in Kauai in the Winter months, but fortunately it was mostly passing rain, so we could just wait it out for a few minutes and it’d be sunny again 😀

IvanRuthBeachSunset
Not sure which beach this was. Ivan and I sort of stumbled upon it from the Marriott Kauai Lagoons Golf Course in Lihu’e

Last but certainly not least… on our last day in Kaua’i, we took the helicopter tour to Jurassic Park Falls. The chopper ride was really smooth and we got an amazing view of the entire island from above, like this view of the majestic Napa’li Coast…

NapaliCoastFromAbove
Can’t get over how blue the ocean was from above…

More views of Napa'li Coast from the helicopter
More views of the mystical Napa’li Coast from the helicopter…

The only way to get to the pristine beach above is through a rocky Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile of arduous hike that includes a very narrow paths over cliffs that are hundreds of feet high!

We went with Island Helicopters as they’re the only chopper company that has the permit to land on the island. So here it is… the crème de la crème of our trip…

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Ivan and I at the base of the Manawaiopuna Falls (aka the Jurassic Park Falls) in the Hanapepe Valley

The chopper landed just a few hundred yards from the 360-foot Falls. It’s a bit of a movie geek moment when they played the glorious Jurassic Park theme as the chopper descended down onto the island… I literally got goosebumps! The pilot told us that only three years ago Island Helicopters was able to purchase the permit to land there, which took about five years to obtain. He showed us the remains of the concrete slab where the Helipad from the first Jurassic Park movie was used. Apparently it was destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, the biggest tropical storm that hit the island. According to this article, several storm scenes in the 1993 movie are actual footage of Iniki.

So that’s my vacation recap… hope you enjoyed the pics 😀

Movies watched during my vacation

Pretty much the only time I had to watch movies was during my long flights to and from Minneapolis. I watched a total of four movies and one documentary just on our 15+ flying hours to Jakarta!

  • Bringing Up Baby
    Cute rom-com with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. I’ve got the worst headphones ever, I could barely hear a thing! The movie itself is not bad, kinda silly and absurd but enjoyable.
  • Pride & Prejudice (rewatch)
    l was in the mood for something romantic so this was a perfect choice. I still think Keira is too pretty as Lizzy Bennett but she was all right. At least the chemistry between her and Matthew MacFadyen was right, I especially love the proposal scene. Hence it’s one of my favorite movie rain-scenes!
  • The Dark Knight Rises (rewatch)
    I never made it to a second cinema viewing of this one so I couldn’t help but watch it on the plane. The giant plot holes I mentioned in my review still made me laugh, but darn it’s still one heck of a superhero flick! 
  • InBrugesPosterIn Bruges
    I’ve been curious about this movie for so long I’m glad I finally saw it! My hubby actually saw it right after I did and I couldn’t help peeking at some of the scenes again. LOVE this film! The acting is top notch, full of witty dialog, plus the scenery is so gorgeous. It could practically doubles as a tourism video for the capital of Belgium. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson have an effortless chemistry together, and man that final scene packs a punch! Ralph Fiennes has quite a memorable supporting turn as well. I definitely should rent Seven Psychopaths, the latest from writer/director Martin McDonagh.
  • This Means War
    Every time I came across this one on Netflix my hubby always scoffed about it so I figure I’ll just watch it on the plane when I came across it, for one reason only and that is Tom Hardy 😉 The preposterous level is off the charts and Reese Witherspoon is hardly believable as a girl these two guys would fight to the death over, but still it was fun watching the charismatic Hardy and Chris Pine bantering. Not a bad rental, even better when it’s free!
    ,,,
  • National Geographic TV show Megastructures on Dubai’s Burj Khalifa
    You can watch this one on Youtube, it’s quite fascinating even if you’re not an architecture buff.

HemingwayGellhornOn the way to Honolulu, I also saw the HBO TV movie Hemingway & Gellhorn starring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman. It focuses on the tumultuous affair of the renowned writer and the war correspondent. I thought it was a decent film, and I think Owen captured the boisterous, untamable nature of Hemingway. He may be a great writer but boy, I wouldn’t ever want to be married to someone like that. Apparently their romance is the inspiration for his book For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Later this week I’ll have reviews of The Hobbit & Playing For Keeps, and also guest reviews of Jack Reacher and Django Unchained, courtesy of my pal Ted S.


So what have you been watching the past week, folks?