I saw two movies back-to-back recently – Mostly Martha and Collage of Our Life. The former a German film, the latter Japanese.

In the first, the story revolved around the title character, the ‘second best chef in town’ according to her boss. It was a quiet movie, apart from the scenes in the restaurant kitchen where Martha works. I like the way she talks about preparing specific dishes in depth to her shrink, who then asks her to change the subject.

In Collage of Our Life (or the Astro title Love Collage), photography, New York and an almost love story were the main ingredients of the film. I don’t know Matsuda Ryuhei but Hirosue Ryoko is a familiar name. Watching the movie made me want to go out and get an SLR camera. Not that I need or can afford one right now. But taking pictures the old school way has a special appeal, don’t you think?

Come to think of it, I just belatedly realised both movies were mainly shot in winter. You can feel the coldness in some scenes, like when Makoto first arrived in New York and he shouted “samuiii!” while walking on a pavement covered with snow. Or when Martha got news of her sister’s death.

I like that Astro is showing more of these non-Hollywood films from Europe and Asia (apart from Hindustani titles that is). Given, like mainstream flicks, there are hits and misses all around, but choices are always good for consumers.


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