this is the archive for the ‘on the big screen’ category:


5 chinese dramas

the whole thing started with meteor garden, a netflix series that our friends were watching at the beginning of the year. we watched a few episodes with them in thailand in the hopes of catching glimpses of shanghai, but while we were seeing it, a strange and magical thing happened: all these chinese words buried in a dark corner of my brain for over 10 years, came back all in a rush of familiar tones and expressions. suddenly i really wanted to understand things again, i wanted more!

so since then i’ve watched a few of these series. here are 5 series c-dramas i’ve enjoyed lately:

meteor garden started me on this road, so it had to go first. it’s a netflix remake of a taiwanese series, but with mainland characters. it takes place in shanghai, where dong shancai is a university student that stumbles on a gang of 4 boys who think they’re kings of the world… adventures ensue! it’s mostly silly and light – but also very infuriating at times. i guess this is why they’re called dramas in asia. :D

i found a love so beautiful after searching for shen yue, the main character of the previous series. in this series, we follow her fumbling attempts at confessing her love for her childhood crush from high school till adulthood. it’s generally cutesy and light-hearted, but you can see how tough high school is for kids in china, especially as the dreaded university entrance exam draws in.

following hu yi tian (the male lead on the previous series), led me to go go squid! where he plays a supporting role — and it also lead me the world of e-sports. i’m glad it did, because this was a fun series to watch! like stepping into a parallel reality, it was amazing to see how intense the world of e-sports is in china and many other countries. i laughed out loud at their idea of what norway looks like though — i can’t imagine it has these many skyscrapers… :D

after that, i found some more dramas on the theme of e-sports and now i know more vocabulary about gaming than i’ll ever need, but i still find it fascinating. love O2O mixes a bit of game fantasy scenes with real world interactions and i liked the story quite a bit as well — it’s an adaptation of a novel by gu man, a chinese writer whose books have been so popular that a few of them have been made into tv series. the support cast is hilarious and yang yang is a darling, but the female lead… ouch. please, someone feed that kid. :(

(sorry, couldn’t find a subtitled trailer!)

and last but not least, boss & me, another drama based on one of gu man’s novels. also titled “shanshan comes to eat”, it’s mostly a happy series following a girl’s misadventures as a new employee in her company, where she eventually falls in love with her boss. she really enjoys eating and was hired to the company not because of her unspectacular accounting skills, but because she has “panda blood“, aka Rh-, which in China is said to be as rare as pandas.

so that’s it — five silly dramas that i’ve watched and recommend, if you have some time and would like to brush up on chinese vocabulary and listening skills. it’s a nice complement to more boring (but necessary) aspects of chinese learning, such as grammar or character writing practice. i’ve set myself a goal to take a higher level of the HSK exam in 1-2 years, and these higher level exams all have a speaking component, so i’m going to need all the practice i can get. wish me luck! :)

“falling is just like flying…

… except there’s a more permanent destination.”

after 2 years waiting, it’s now less than a week for a new sherlock episode to air! this makes the fan in me very happy indeed :D

six movies to see and understand berlin a little bit better





we’re slowly working our way through a big “berlin movie list”, discovering a number of movies that portrait berlin in its different eras. they set the atmosphere to the places we visit and the books we read. we recognise the streets and sidewalks, the façades, the monuments, and even the everyday objects that we now see elevated to relics in flea markets across town… it’s quite magical.

in ljubljana we were lucky to find to so gadi, which takes place in the same houses we lived in. but in berlin, it feels like the whole city is a movie set.

any movies you’d like to recommend?

two movies

we’ve seen ‘the cave of the yellow dog‘ after joana’s recommendation, and loved every minute of it. mongolia is beautiful, and if we ever end up there someday in the distant future, i think we’ll be able to trace that decision back to this movie.

and we want to see somewhere, sofia coppola’s newest film. i really like the trailer, and this song… i can’t get it out of my head!

home sweet home, ljubljana version

and now that we’re out of the house searching loop, i can finally breathe better. we got a slovenian phone number, called dozens of landlords and real estates, saw quite a few houses and ended up scoring a little apartment that we can just barely spot on some of the city’s postcards. :) right now, our fridge magnets are holding our favorite polaroids, there are maps on the walls, the table is a mess of postcards and notebooks and there is a cat (i don’t know who the owner is, but he likes belly rubs) sleeping on our patio chairs. it feels like home.

as a reward (or perhaps because of my persistent nagging), we went to see new moon on the cinema, yesterday. the room was filled with giggly teenagers, who clapped during the kissing parts and sighed loudly on the sight of their favorite shirtless character (vampire or werewolf), but all in all, i had a nice time. to me, new moon felt much more coherent with the books than twilight did and so the whole story felt familiar, matching what i had imagined when i read it. i can see why people dislike it, especially if viewed as a standalone movie, which it is not meant to be…

…frankly, i can’t wait for eclipse! :)