Apocalypse Now, bridge on the river kwai, Chungking Express, entre les murs, grave of the fireflies, Infernal Affairs, Lost in Translation, Spirited Away, The Godfather, The Twilight Samurai, Three Colours Red, Yi Yi
Check out movie reviews by country – as soon as I review enough movies from that country. First up are Hong Kong and Japanese films in their own sections. Hover over the link above – “Movie Reviews”
I don’t normally blog about events in my ‘real life’, but I thought I’d write a brief post given that I received exam results today. Overall I’m relatively pleased- I’m on course for a distinction, which is important – particularly in the current economic climate – as it marks me out a bit from the crowd when looking for jobs in risk analysis, think tanks, international relations research and other related job avenues. Also, if I ever decide to do a phD (which is not beyond the realms of the possible), then its an advantage. So that’s good. I still need to get a distinction in my dissertation, however, which concerns PM Koizumi’s trips to the Yasukuni Shrine and the international relations hoo-ha they generated. So still work to be done, but getting averages of 70 in both my history and politics modules go a long way.
On the other hand, I was disappointed with my Japanese language grade- the one mark I thought I’d definitely get 70 on, and the one mark I didn’t- a respectable but ‘nothing special’ 64. I increasingly feel like I’ve hit a wall with Japanese- that no matter how many sentences I cram into SRS software, or articles I read, I’ll never master the language. Even more frustrating is the level of vocab I actively use when speaking, which is a fraction of what I understand. I’ve decided to use my disappointment at my grade to spur me on for JLPT level 2 in December, a worthwhile goal as getting “ni-kyuu” marks out your Japanese as adequate for a business environment. Of course, speaking Japanese in such an environment is about far more than getting the qualification, but the qualification certainly helps! Also, just as when in my first year in Japan I took JLPT level 4- an essentially meaningless qualification – as a spur to motivate myself, I feel like this could serve in the same way. So its ni-kyuu, or N2 as it’s now known, in December, and continued efforts until then. I won’t quit- not yet anyway.
Still, even though I’ve had this feeling about Japanese before, I’m still surprised I got 64. I’ve average over 70 in all the practise exams, and over 70 in coursework. It’s really disappointing, even though I know many people would be happy with this set of grades. Competition is worst when its not against others but against yourself. Or maybe its best. I don’t really know. Anyway, I sit here typing this with a sense of melancholy and disappointment. Soon I will try to cheer myself up with gin and tonic and Die Hard 4.