Tipping the Velvet (2002)

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Have I really never posted about this BBC mini-serie Tipping the Velvet before? Can hardly believe it! This is an adaptation of Sarah Waters’ other novel besides The Fingersmith.

The story is about a young woman Nance Astley (in the picture, she’s on the left side) who falls in love with a male impersonator named Kitty Butler and the journey brought her to London, together with Kitty. The tragedy started when Nance came back to London from Whitstable earlier than expected just to find out that Kitty had an affair with their manager, Walter and was going to marry him. Nance went away, wandering alone in the city, experiencing poverty, and her new life wandering through the streets in a male costumes, satisfying male costumers for money. She was kind of “do what I can do today to survive” person until she met her true love

This story really made me think and imagine of how life as a lesbian really was like back in the Victorian era. After reading the background story of the novel’s author, mrs. Waters, this story has somewhat her own experience in which she was 19 when she joined a student house in Whitstable, sharing bed and falling in love with another young woman.

The story is very touching! Life full of sadness, disappointment, slavery, poverty, and longing for true love…it’s nicely written and the mini-serie is nicely acted! More info here

I’ve watched this BBC mini-serie for a few times and still love it! :)

Kinski Paganini (1989)

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Klaus Kinski believed that he lived through the same experiences as the legendary “devil violinist” Niccolo Paganini, who set all of nineteenth-century Europe into a frenzy and through whose personality Kinski offers an incredibly profound and honest insight intohis own life; a life of extremities.

My first impression about this movie? Hmmm…..that typical old movie with no good lightning, dark, unclear, and oh……you know typical noob who tries to play violin and thinks himself as Paganini? Yeah, that! Kinski held his violin wrong and his bow hold was WRONG! I am not going into the detail of this movie, I haven’t finished watching because it’s so bad! It made me feel ashamed every time he played violin because I play violin, too and I know that what he’s doing is just totally wrong! The music doesn’t even match his bow movements. And….another reason why I haven’t finished watching is because this movie contains more sexual content! So if you’re underage, I strongly don’t recommend this to you, or JUST DON’T WATCH no matter how old you are! The movie is disgusting! And oh….those women in old era obviously didn’t shave their hmmm…yeah…”that” *LOL*

The worsest classic movie I’ve known. It would make the real Paganini feel the worst if he was still alive and watched this.

The Red Violin (1998)

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In present day Montreal, a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, known as “the red violin,” is being auctioned off. During the auction, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy, and follow the violin as it makes its way through an 18th century Austrian monastery, a violinist in 19th century Oxford, China during the Cultural Revolution, and back to Montreal, where a collector tries to establish the identity and the secrets of “the red violin.”

The movie is spoken in English, Italian, French, German, and Mandarin. This is an interesting movie, especially if you love violin, or better enough, play violin! ;-)

However, there’s no subtitle when I watched this, but I understood the story. Back in 1681 — Cremona, Nicolo Bussotti just finished his master work when his wife was pregnant. She told him that she felt that she wouldn’t live that long, but he was so optimist and said he had a good relatives that could help her. But she and their first child died at the time she was giving birth. Nicolo took her body to his workplace, cut her hair to make a brush out of it, cut her hand and poured her blood in a can and then he painted his violin with her blood.

CAST
Cremona

* Carlo Cecchi – Nicolo Bussotti
* Irene Grazioli – Anna Rudolfi Bussotti
* Anita Laurenzi – Cesca
* Samuele Amighetti – Boy

Vienna

* Christoph Koncz – Kaspar Weiss
* Jean-Luc Bideau – Georges Poussin
* Arthur Denberg – Prince Mansfeld

Oxford

* Jason Flemyng – Frederick Pope
* Greta Scacchi – Victoria Byrd
* Eva Marie Bryer – Sara
* Joshua Bell – Orchestra member: First violin (cameo)

Shanghai

* Sylvia Chang – Xiang Pei
* Hong Tao – Comrade Chan Gong
* Liu Zifeng – Chou Yuan

Montreal

* Samuel L. Jackson – Charles Morritz
* Colm Feore – Auctioneer
* Monique Mercure – Madame Leroux
* Don McKellar – Evan Williams
* Ireneusz Bogajewicz – Ruselsky
* Julian Richings – Nicolas Olsberg
* Marvin Mill – Limousine Driver
* Sandra Oh – Madame Ming, companion of Chinese son who was trying to win the auction of the red violin
* Rémy Girard – Customs Agent

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Personal review:
This movie is incredible! It made me think who have been the owners of my current violin, knowing that it’s made in 1890 and is obviously not new. There are flaws of use here and there. This movie inspired me to pick up my violin and play. I even paused it, took a break and played my violin for about half hour. I believe that there are ex-violinists who picked up their violins again after watching this movie.

I don’t like Frederick Pope (Flemyng). He’s ugly, but acted like he’s the most coolest and handsome guy! And sex is his inspiration and without it he couldn’t play violin passionately. I really pity that they’ve chosen that ugly Flemyng to be Frederick Pope.

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SPOILER ALERT! HAVEN’T WATCHED THE MOVIE? DON’T READ THE TEXTS BELOW!

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Fingersmith (2005)

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Fingersmith is a BBC mini-series that was televised in 2005, which is an adaptation of Sarah Water’s novel, who’s also the author of Tipping the Velvet.

The lives of two young women collide in Victorian England when a trio of ‘fingersmiths’ (pick-pockets) concoct an elaborate scam to defraud a young heiress of her inheritance. The story alternates between the twisting back alleyways of Dickensian London and the cloistered gloom of a Gothic mansion in 1862.

Cast:
- Sally Hawkins as Sue Trinder
- Elaine Cassidy as Maud Lily
- Imelda Staunton as Mrs. Sucksby
- Rupert Evans as Richard ‘Gentleman’ Rivers
- Charles Dance as Uncle Lilly

Sue Trinder is a Fingersmith (British slang for thief) who lives at Lant street in London with Mrs. Sucksby, a woman who looks after unwanted babies and orphans.

Maud Lily is raised by the nurses in the mental asylum where her mother died. When she was 11, her uncle brought her to Briar to be his secretary. She has to wear gloves to preserve the surfaces of the books she is working on.

Richard Rivers aka Gentleman has befriended a young lady, Maud who is going to inherit a great fortune when she marries. But Richard’s access to Maud is very limited because of her uncle and hence he wants Sue to be accepted as her new maid. Sue’s task is to gain Maud’s trust and to persuade her to marry him. Richard told Sue that after he married Maud, he’ll have her committed to a mental asylum and he’ll take her fortune.

I like Tipping the Velvet better than this. I still question where her uncle was after she got married. It didn’t tell me that he died, or something. He disappeared without reason. Sarah Waters storyline (always) includes poverty, judging from the previous novel she has written, Tipping the Velvet. If you’ve read or watched it, you’ll know what I meant (if you haven’t watched Tipping the Velvet, I may as well tell the storyline and review it).

Watching these mini-series made me think of the life of a lady in the Victorian time. Were the ladies really being treated like how Sue has treated Maud?

Sue is an orphan, Maud is raised by the nurse at mental asylum where her mother died. They’re actually switched at birth, which also means that Maud’s real name is Sue Trinder and Sue’s name is Maud Lily?!?

What touched me the most is when Mrs. Sucksby confessed to the murder she didn’t commit as she felt guilty for how she has deceived the two girls. While Maud was the one who killed Richard. Maud said she killed him, but they didn’t believe it because she’s a lady. Mrs. Sucksby was the only one who could tell the truth, but she refused.

Nana (2007)

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I was bored today and thought to rewatch Nana and Nana 2 (you can watch it online).

Two girls, both named Nana and of the same age, coincidentally meet on a train trip to Tokyo. They soon find themselves living with each other under the same roof because of an even bigger coincidence. Even though they share the same name and age, they differ in just about everything else. Even so, through hard experiences in love and life, a strong friendship is born between them, as both Nana’s grow through their hardships and struggle to win the odds.

I heart this movie! I see two Nana’s, but I also noticed two goths together. Nana (Hachiko) being gothic lolita and the other Nana being punk goth.

Nana (Hachiko) is a naive, fragile girl who easily gets excited in almost everything. She’s also a diligent girl who migrated from a small town to Tokyo because her boyfriend lived there. She, according to me, also can fall in love easily. After getting dumped by her previous boyfriend, she met Takumi, the bassist of TRAPNEST band and obviously fell in love with him as she’s been his fan. She tried to hide her relationship from her roommate Nana and her band BLAST (Black Stones) even though they knew about it. Nevertheless, Nobu who fell in love with her confessed his feelings for her. And then? She fell in love with Nobu, too.

Nana (Black Stones) earns money by singing. She takes pride more important than love. She’s rude, doesn’t talk much about herself, trying her best to bury her feelings for Ren.

- Hachiko’s a girl who doesn’t seem to have her own opinion while Nana knows what she wants, and has her own opinions. (Like, Nana telling her that she behaved like a dog. Uhmm well….I think she’s right! *winks*)
- Hachiko gets easily excited in almost everything while Nana rarely smiles. (I don’t even know if I can survive living with a roommate who screams like that when getting excited!)
- Hachiko got 2 ex boyfriends while Nana only has one, from the beginning till the end.
- Hachiko is a polite girl while Nana is rude.
- Hachiko has had shit jobs while Nana does what she likes: singing.
- Hachiko is very good at cooking, Nana? I haven’t seen her cooking :p
- Hachiko is very sweet and a type of friend who’s there for you (proof: she cooked a lot only to find out that Nana couldn’t even come home that night).

I like the movie, it’s so touching! What I dislike is the songs!

But if I may choose which Nana I prefer to be, I choose Nana, the singer of Black Stones.

P.S: if you’re gonna tell me that you like the manga version more, I tell you: I don’t like manga.