BooksActually Is Currently Watching

Billie is currently watching...
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 6)

Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool; basically, this show is my life but I've put off watching this season long enough. So, it's time to binge it even though I'm trying to pace myself (not the easiest task, because it is so easy to watch). Thankfully our favourite squad has found a new home on NBC, and can return to my small screen with all their high jinks and shenanigans. 

 

 

 

Jamie is currently watching...
Abstract: The Art of Design

I tend to gravitate towards the Docuseries section whenever I’m on Netflix (probably because I’m quite kpo). Abstract: The Art of Design quickly got me hooked, allowed me to view the world through the eyes of some of the most amazing designers and artists, and revealed the multitudes that inform their work. Platon’s attitude towards photography was truly illuminating. He has photographed some of the generation’s most powerful people, from Clinton to Obama to Trump to Putin to Muammar Gaddafi, and his graphically-simple portraits evoke intensity in his subject’s eyes and an authenticity that cannot be captured otherwise. The episode featuring Jonathan Hoefler was so mesmerising as a history lesson in typeface design and a wake up call on the intricacies that I often overlook and take for granted. (Side note: Hoefler Text, a font he designed, is the font we use for some of our Math Paper Press publications.) All in all, I think Platon sums it up pretty well with a short line that I wish to commit to heart: “What’s important is the story, the message, the feeling, the connection. How do you make this reach people?”

 

 

Kenny is currently watching...
A Chinese Odyssey

Released in 1995, this is one of the very few movies that I'd watch at least once every year. At first glance, this is like a typical Stephen Chow slapstick movie but at a deeper level, it is a movie that "dwells" on the cravenness of mankind, the emptiness of what is past, present, and future. Perhaps even the futility of what one believes in, and our gods.

 

 

 

Nadiah is currently watching...
Run with the Wind

As the title suggests, it's a Japanese animation about a track and field team that's aiming to compete in the Hakone Ekiden, a collegiate long-distance relay race. I'm just about at the end of the series, and I'm really enjoying it so far.

I love the characterization of the main cast, especially the more subtle aspects of their personalities that we don't get to see immediately, like their struggles and insecurities. And of course, the character growth. Absolutely heart-wrenching. The art is stellar, and the animation is consistent throughout the series, save for a few subpar off-model frames. The attention to detail is *chef's kiss*. Particularly the fact that characters develop dark under-eye circles when they're pushing themselves, or that they sport visibly tanner complexions after training in the summer heat. Very nice. Story-wise, this is a solid, run-of-the-mill underdog story about an unknown sports team trying to take on the world, but I've always been a sucker for those, so it gets a thumbs up from me!

I'll probably finish up the last few episodes after writing this, hah!

 

 

Nikita is currently watching...
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I started watching this film with no clue what I'm about to be thrown into. I was really confused at first but once I caught on, I was blown away and my emotions were all over the place. This is the fourth time I’m watching it and I’m still realising new things that I didn’t before. Being a sucker for movies that makes me really sad, this one is just right up my alley. The story basically revolves around Joel and Clementine who were lovers. They started drifting apart as they realise each other’s flaws (which is normal in every relationship that exists) and Clem had Joel clinically removed from her memories. Feeling hurt, Joel did the same to spite her. The story goes backwards, if that makes any sense. It's really cool to see the progress of a relationship backwards. It reminds you of how important it is to go back to the reason you did something in the first place. In this case, Joel realises that he does love Clem despite her flaws (he couldn't see that during their dark moments) so as he got his memories of her erased, he did a quick 180.

Storyline aside, the cinematography is amazing (it’s sooo trippy). The movements and transitions as we go from one memory to another give you some kind of rush and sense of urgency as Joel tried to stop more memories from being erased. The attention to detail is genius. You will go "holy sh*t" by the number of subtle details you start to realise (even Clem's ever-changing hair colours). This film is the perfect visualisation of having your memories erased. Watch it before Netflix decides to remove another good film from its platform (lol).

 

 

Shing Yee is currently watching...
Followers

I had always thought Japanese TV series to be more mellow and understated, but Followers took me by surprise. With all its fashion, vibrant colour palette and interesting shooting style, I'd say it is definitely not your typical Japanese drama. This show features two women, Limi Nara and Natsume, who live vastly different lifestyles and face their own sets of pressures in modern-day Tokyo. 

As a successful fashion photographer, Limi has everything she needs but love and affection, a lonely soul beneath the smile she wears for the world to see. On the other hand, Natsume is an aspiring actress who is always ignored by everyone, no matter how hard she tries. She catches the attention of Limi one day during a photoshoot, when she is driven to the point of frustration by the director's ill-treatment. Limi captures the moment in a candid Instagram post, and catapults Natsume to insta(nt) fame. But for Natsume, who is just starting out and is not used to being in the public eye, online criticism proves difficult to swallow.

The contrast between the two women reflect the realities we are all too familiar with. One, we place too much importance and are too dependent on social media to define our self-worth. Two, are our materialistic pursuits really worth it if it means losing the self, losing sight of the important things in life, and losing our connections with our loved ones?

I'm halfway through the show, but I can't wait to find out if Limi and Natsume can ultimately find themselves, happiness, and love.

 

 

Xin Ya is currently watching...
Kingdom Season 2

Season 1 left me speechless (because wow, show, how are you this good? ) and hungry for more of that incredibly well-produced, fast-paced, action-packed, one heck of an epic zombie saga. So with Season 2's release, I binged it in an afternoon. Three words – So. Freaking. Amazing. It's like the Game of Thrones x Train To Busan crossover you never knew you needed, but only more than you would ever imagine. Gory, bloody, political perfection. Like Season 1, the cinematography is stunning, the writing is tight, the casting is spot-on, and the zombies are absolutely killing it. Where other zombies make me cringe (I can't tell you how many zombies shows I've given up on watching), Kingdom just keeps getting it right (also Train To Busan but that's another story). I'm so glad Kingdom is a Netflix production because I don't think a story of this intensity and scale would ever get told on mainstream Korean broadcast, but a movie would probably make the show's pacing too rushed. 

Season 3, I'm so ready for you!

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