Archive for the ‘film’ Category

What I’m Watching

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Ex Machina

I first heard about Ex Machina while listening to Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast. As an aside, I love Culture Gabfest! It’s a great way to find out about good books, music, tv shows and movies. I find that the three hosts and I have the same taste so I tend to trust them and go with their recommendations. Ex Machina is a film the podcast greatly recommended.

Ex Machina is the new movie of writer/director Alex Garland, this film is about a robot and a tech employee assigned by his boss to conduct the Turing test on the artificial intelligence project called “Ava”.

What is the Turing test, you ask? It is a series of tests to determine whether a robot can pass for a human through conversations which in itself is a conundrum. Is a robot’s ability to speak like a human equate to a person’s intelligence? What Ex Machina delves into instead is the Turing Test’s inability to test for emotions.

Probably the best movie I’ve seen so far in 2015, Ex Machina‘s actors were superb especially Alicia Vikander who played Ava, the robot. She was graceful and fluid and cold and emotional all rolled into one. Amazing performance! I also love the look of the film – crystal clear and vibrant and modern. If you like unique, quirky and thoughtful movies, go watch Ex Machina.

Mad Men – Early Seasons

It was a moment of SEPANX – separation anxiety – from Mad Men after watching the series finale. The last episode was amazing, BTW, I loved how unexpected it was yet very natural with its pacing and conclusion. I also think the finale was satisfying and life-affirming, feelings I would have never expected from the very last show of a celebrated drama series. It then left a gaping hole in my life. To soothe my aching Mad Men missing heart, I started watching Seasons 1 through 4 and it reinforced my belief that it is one of the best shows of our time.

Silicon Valley

During the whole brouhaha that was the Game of Thrones season opener social media debacle, I decided to skip the GOT mania and go watch something from the opposite end of the spectrum.

Silicon Valley is an HBO series about a group of young millenials pursuing the millenial dream – a billion-dollar Startup. I found it funny, current, if not ironic but who knows if it’s a true depiction. I’m sure it is as realistic as “The Social Network” (BTW, the Winklevoss twins make a cameo). I like it because it’s a wake up call to all the younguns – not all tech startups end up like Facebook or Snapchat. You cannot just quit school or your job and the next thing you know, you’re a CEO of a billion-dollar company. HA! One in a billion chance, hijo.

I also found a lot of the IP(Intellectual Property) talk very educational, one can take up notes especially for future entrepreneurial projects. seriously!


I finally decided to renew my subscription to a paid VPN(Virtual Private Network) which I quit after marathoning the third season of House of Cards months ago. What is a VPN? It basically masks your connection and changes your Internet Protocal or IP as if you were in North America or Europe. This is particularly handy if you want to access Hulu, open a NetFlix account and take advantage of your Amazon Prime perks which includes this new show called Transparent.

Transparent is about this Los Angeles based Jewish family headed by Jeffrey Tambor, a political science professor Mort who decides to completely transition from a once-a-year crossdresser to a Transgender woman. Supported by a talented cast including Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass as Mort’s kids, they navigate their ever-changing lives in the midst of the sheen of life in LA.

Chef’s Table

if you enjoy dining and food as much as I do, you will love Netflix’s Chef’s Table. This Netflix docu-series features a single world-renowned chef on each episode and discovers their world and tries to give us a clear and magical peek into their careers and food. It is a voyeuristic view of a chef’s life punctuated by his philosophy, thoughts, background, taste and adventure. A masterpiece in each episode.

Written by divasoria

August 17th, 2015 at 9:23 am

The Great Gatsby

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I am obsessed with early 20th century life! I know, such an over-arching era but whenever I look at my grandparents’ photos or read their old journals and letters, I feel so connected and so fascinated with their lives during that time. Most of the artists, writers and designers I really admire are from that age – Coco Chanel, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Picasso, Gustav Klimt..I felt like the 1920s and the 1930s, in particular, changed the way we looked at modern life and culture.

from the early 1900s

Here is a picture of my grandmother and her sister. This was probably taken around 1920. How chic were they? Loved the head wraps and shoes.

pinoys in massachusetts

Another photo from the era, here is my grandfather with fellow Filipino undergrads in Boston. My Lolo Goring finished his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

my grandfather, the pilot

Lolo Goring went to complete his graduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. This has got to be my favorite photo of his EVER. This is totally Great Gatsby. SO CHIC!!!

a masquerade in the middle of the atlantic

Another photo from the 1920s, this is Lolo Goring’s cross-atlantic ship to Paris! He went on to complete his PhD at the Sorbonne. The crowd looked like it was so fun, must be a party every night. Lovely lovely lovely!

paris in the 20's

Here’s Lolo in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. Can you just imagine this time in the left banK? MUST BE AMAZING. He walked amongst the writers and artists of the so-called Lost Generation. I also loved their fashion!! If I were to pick an era(apart from my beloved 90s) for fashion and culture, it would be the 1920s.

Concours d'élégance en 1925.             RV-49505

The 1920s simply revolutionized womenswear forever. Women took off the corsets and petticoats for short and flirty dresses and trousers.


Symbolic as this was also the time women finally had the right to vote. Must have been an amazing time be alive in the midst of progress and prosperity.

thanks to maleldo2 for this!
Not in the 1920s but I must show you this photo of my grandmother who was the 1933 Miss Philippines(she’s the same little girl in the first photo – she’s the one with the bob on the right). LOOK AT THAT AWESOME CROWN. <3 And speaking of the 1920s, fashion, the lost generation and great gatsby, you must realize by now that I CANNOT WAIT FOR BAZ LUHRMAN'S THE GREAT GATSBY!!!!!!!!! the-great-gatsby-article-po

I kind of secretly loved the book when I first read it in high school because I loved the whole lifestyle and visuals the novel evoked. I had seen the old Robert Redford version when I was in college, that one I thought was ok and very preppy. But this new Baz Luhrman-Leo Di Caprio take has gotten me beyond excited!

AHH!!! Gives me tingles and as a late adapter to the Leonardo Di Caprio bandwagon, yes guys – I only like Leo now that he’s reaching middle age 😛 I hated Titanic back then but found Leo kind of amazing when he started making Martin Scorsese films. A friend also told me that Leo and I can be siblings because we sorta have that same wide face and a weird Eurasian look.(I know how gross am I to find a possible sibling hot! Lols)

Anyways, I’ve read so much about the art direction and costume design(i think, by Prada! make-up by Mac) and also about the music(Jay-Z produced OST with Florence and the Machine! the XX!!! ) for this latest re-telling and I could imagine how over-the-top Baz Luhrman can be – this is probably the movie event of the season. CANNOT WAIT.

The Great Gatsby is showing here in the Philippines starting May 17th.

Written by divasoria

May 4th, 2013 at 7:02 am

The Nora Ephron Effect

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i had spent the day rifling through papers, going to endless meetings and dealing with some technology issues but there was one thing that just stuck in my head above everything else – the passing of nora ephron.

ms. ephron, through her engaging and beautiful prose, made me understand the life and intricacies of modern womanhood. i read her books and old new yorker essays since high school and i’ve felt such a deep connection with her through her work.

i may not know nora personally but i had always imagined her to be exactly like that voice in her writing – sharp, self-deprecating, funny, intelligent, sassy, engaging and unequivocally modern. she wrote about a whole variety of subjects and often unpredictable but entirely entertaining and introspective. i had read heartburn while recovering from my very worst heart break, i had gone through countless of her essays and blog entries when i felt empty and vulnerable. and after every reading, her writing had managed to always make me feel better about myself.

her movies? when harry met sally? sleepless in seattle? you’ve got mail? all in my top 20 favorite movies. her films were the ultimate romantic comedies and had the right amount of humor and romance. and they probably defined what “falling in love” meant for a lot of girls, including myself.

most people would think that “when harry met sally” was the quintessential ephron movie that practically moved a generation of women to be adventurous and honest but i loved sleepless in seattle and secretly reveled in it. it was romantic and giddy and magical. who wouldn’t want to meet the man of your dreams while getting out of a cab, or by just listening to a radio show or…through the internet. at the end of the day, we all just want to fall in love just like in nora ephron movies.

whether it was in her movies or in her writing, ms. ephron’s candor and cadence have moved legions of women to accept things with humor and fearlessness and to enjoy life. all throughout the day, thousands of nora ephron quotes were shared over the internet and i couldn’t even pick one favorite. she has left us with a multitude of words to live by and images to aspire for.

i spent some of my free time re-reading the NYT obit and the comments were all so touching but nothing more as touching as this:

“Never thought you (Nora Ephron) could make me feel bad until today”


like many, i feel like i lost somebody special today. you were everybody’s friend, confidante and inspiration. godspeed, nora.

Written by divasoria

June 27th, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Posted in books,film,pop culture

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i watched the documentary “annie leibovitz :life through a lens” last night on a recommendation of a friend and i was completely riveted. the film starts with annie’s mother’s penchant for taking photos and her memories of the family’s time moving around in the clan’s station wagon. the story also mentions her time in the philippines as her dad was in the military during the late 60s.

the documentary also spent a good amount of time talking about her start in photography with the legendary magazine rolling stone.


annie lived the life only “kids” like me could dream of – meet influential people, go around the world with rock stars. but it also came with trying to keep up with a very self-destructive lifestyle.


but her most prolific era is her time with the conde nast magazines – vanity fair, vogue, w, etc. some of the most iconic images of our time are annie leibovitz photographs.





i was also very touched by her life spent with susan sontag – one of the brightest literary minds of the last century. there was something fascinating about two geniuses getting together.


but what ultimately breaks my heart about annie’s story, and it wasn’t quite discussed in the documentary, is her financial issues culminating with protracted legal battles a few years ago. business and art oftentimes do not mix.

Written by divasoria

August 29th, 2011 at 11:15 am

Posted in art,film

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the granddaddy of street style photography

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Bill Cunningham New York Trailer from Gavin McWait on Vimeo.

this is THE fashion movie to end all fashion movies this year. bill cunningham’s new york is a documentary featuring the photographer and his work. as the man behind the new york times’ on the street, he pioneered street style photography even before the sartorialist was even walking! so influential is mr cunningham that anna wintour, yes, the devil herself, feels slighted and insecure when he declines to photograph her. YES.

and in this day and age of instant celebrity, self-importance and vanity, maybe we should take a look at this legend’s own down-to-earth lifestyle and real wisdom. maybe we can learn a thing or two about life.

Written by divasoria

January 25th, 2011 at 9:01 am

Posted in fashion,film

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