“The Bridge” to the after life



I just watched The Bridge last night and found it very revealing and disturbing. It is a documentary about the Golden Gate Bridge that showed the dark side of the beautiful structure that to many of us is a tourist attraction. Not only is the bridge a magnet for out of town visitors, but also for those who are intent on ending their lives. The Golden Gate Bridge has the highest number of suicides of any destination on earth. In the year the film was made, there were 24 suicides alone.

Much of the movie was about the people who committed suicide, through their friends and families’ voices. This is what I found very heart breaking – the frustration and sadness, the utter despair of knowing that there was nothing that the families could do to stop their loved ones from killing themselves, short of having them locked up forever. Many of them had heart to heart talks about death with their loved ones, about the ending of their fears and torment. I found these people to be so brave to reveal their stories in the film. I felt they wanted so much for people to understand and also were sorting it out themselves as they spoke to the camera.

I felt guilty and yet very intrigued by seeing what the camera person was seeing. How would I feel if I sat all day for a year with a long lens trailing back and forth on the span over the water, waiting for some one to jump? I would really recommend watching the making of the film in the extras section on the DVD. I had a lot of respect for the film makers and camera people after hearing their experiences. During the filming they were able to save a couple of people from falling to their deaths by calling security in time to intervene.

Would I recommend this film? I would because it gives the viewer a window into a world one would most likely not experience. The film was well done and beautifully shot. I did find it disturbing though and did not sleep well after viewing it.

The Bridge, 2006, Director Eric Steel

Invisibles in San Francisco


Inspired by the international humanitarian work of Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontière, Javier Bardem worked with the organization to produce a film which highlights five neglected humanitarian crises taken from MSF’s yearly “Top Ten” list of underreported humanitarian stories. Each topic is addressed in a separate short film, shot by different directors, creating the five-part film “Invisibles.” Latino Film Festival – San Francisco Bay Area
Saturday, November 3, 2007 – 11am

Castro Theatre
429 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA

a movie with a lot of fun and twists and turns

When I was in my early 20’s, my Chinese American boyfriend and I used to head over to San Francisco Chinatown and go to three Kung Fu movies for a dollar. I don’t remember there being any subtitles for us non-Chinese speakers, but it didn’t really matter because you knew what was going on. Yesterday, almost 30 years later, I saw a movie which brought back those memories. Kung Fu Hustle by Stephan Chow is a barrel of action-oriented fun but much more slick and with subtitles. If you like to laugh till you cry while riding a roller coaster, then this is the movie for you. Yes there is some violence, but done with such style and humor and finesse that it doesn’t make you want to close your eyes. The bad guys do a mean dance dressed in snazzy attire a la Gangs of New York and a couple of the heroes are a smoking middle aged woman in curlers and a house coat, and a gay donut shop owner. I won’t say any more so you can be delighted and surprised.

“…dumb fun this smart is a gift.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“It’s both utter nonsense and thrillingly imaginative cinema.” – E! Online

“An endearing homage to a genre’s history…” – Robert K. Elder Chicago Tribune