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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for January, 2014

Win a bag of school and office supplies on Lunar New Year’s Day (We have a winner!)

January 31, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Contest 24 Comments →

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The limited edition Year of the Horse Ang Pao Bag containing over Php2,500 worth of school supplies and office products is available today only for Php500 at selected National Bookstore branches.
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You can win this Ang Pao Bag in our Lunar New Year raffle. To join, just type the title of your favorite post in JessicaRulestheUniverse in Comments. All entries are eligible in the raffle at midnight.

This raffle is brought to you by our friends at National Bookstore.

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The winner of our Lunar New Year’s Day raffle, as picked by the white cat, is…entry #18, misterfreedom. Congratulations! Your Ang Pao Bag of school and office supplies is ready for pickup at the Customer Service counter of National Bookstore at Power Plant Mall Rockwell, Makati. Just give them your full name and tell them you’re claiming your prize.

Thanks to everyone who joined the raffle.

Six books in one, back to back

January 31, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books No Comments →

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From the National Library of Sweden’s flickr account, via io9.

Every Movie We See #10: Snowpiercer is brilliant and we won’t shut up till you watch it

January 30, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Movies 9 Comments →


The animated prequel to Snowpiercer. Movies #8 and 9 were Possession (Neil LaBute, 2002) and Conversations With Other Women, our Aaron Eckhart film festival at home.

While Snowpiercer, the science-fiction action movie adapted by Bong Joon-ho from the French comic book Le Transperceneige by Lob and Rochette, awaits a release date in the US—producer Harvey Weinstein is reportedly holding the film hostage until it is cut and voiceovers added (presumably so the slowest audience members can grasp what is unfolding onscreen)—it has quietly turned up in local cinemas. We caught it yesterday, opening day: an excellent decision because it means We Can Watch It Again.

It’s brilliant.

Snowpiercer is Marxist theory as thrilling pop cinema, adapted by a Korean director with a flair for action and economical storytelling, and powered by terrific performances by Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and the whole company.

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Snowpiercer makes us want to resume long-abandoned French lessons so we can read the comic book in the original, because if this is the adaptation, the source must be wonderful. French comic books sound amazing (Blue is the Warmest Color came from comics), could they all be translated, please?

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The film is set in the near future, after an attempt to fix global warming through geoengineering goes horrendously wrong and the earth freezes over. The last human survivors live on the titular train, which circles the globe once a year. All this information is dispensed efficiently in the opening credits, and questions as to whether a train would make the best Ark for the human race are answered shortly afterwards.

Of course the train is a microcosm of the world’s socio-economic structure: the upper class in front, with all the amenities; the underclass crammed together at the back, unwashed and subsisting on protein bars issued by the authorities. The upper class worships Wilford, the man who built the train’s perpetual motion engine and lives in the engine room. We are told that there have been previous revolts from the back of the train, but they were crushed by the police force of the people in front, led by Tilda Swinton as every hateful/laughable rich twit who’s ever existed.

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This time the rebels are led by Chris Evans, a hardworking, seriously underrated actor who makes us forget that he is Captain America. (Though several pounds of grime on his face do not obscure the eyes and lips. Poor him, too luscious to be taken seriously.) This rebel is not some perfect idealist: he’s had to do unspeakable things to survive, and he doesn’t want to be a leader of men. But it is precisely those experiences that have honed him, and his old mentor Gilliam (John Hurt) points out that he has no choice. (We like the homage to Terry Gilliam—Snowpiercer is the child of Brazil.)

Evans’s loyal sidekick is played by Jamie Bell (a fine actor who will always be Billy Elliot to us); Kang-ho Song is an engineer who agrees to open the sealed doors leading to the front in exchange for a drug called Kronole. (The language barrier is hurdled in a funny, clever way.) It’s a white-knuckle ride as the rebels fight their way to the front of the train, car by car, and the filmmakers don’t stint on the casualties. We see so much carnage at the movies that we no longer feel anything: thousands of people perish in superhero movies, but they don’t seem real. In Snowpiercer the close quarters combat is made especially brutal by our sympathy for the filthy underdogs: every time one of them falls, our rage at the oppressors mounts. We are the rabble, and we are roused.

But there are more vicious things than close combat, as the rebels discover in their progress to the engine room. There’s the lure of comfort (being able to bathe everyday, we’d imagine), and the temptation to become the very person one has sworn to overthrow. And there are the demands of leadership, of maintaining the fragile balance in a system perpetually besieged by nature, of respecting chaos. Snowpiercer is an action movie, but it lands its strongest punches as a critique of class and power.

When Benedict Anderson Met Lav Diaz

January 29, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Movies 1 Comment →

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Lavrente Indico Diaz is the director of Norte, The End of History and the keenest observer of Philippine society and politics in the cinema today.

Benedict Richard O’Gorman Anderson is the author of Imagined Communities (Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism) and the most influential historian on Southeast Asia today.

It was imperative that we bring them together for drinks and conversation.

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Between them, they have produced The Spectre of Comparisons; Melancholia; Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination; Death in the Land of Encantos; A Preliminary Analysis of the October 1, 1965, Coup in Indonesia; Siglo ng Pagluluwal (Century of Birthing); The Fate of Rural Hell: Asceticism and Desire in Buddhist Thailand; Batang West Side, among many others.

We were there to record this historic occasion.

It looks like Valentino is designing for Cersei Lannister

January 29, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing, Television No Comments →

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We spotted this photo in a magazine and thought it was an article about Game of Thrones.

Tiger Alert: Hassle-free transfers from Kalibo to Boracay

January 29, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, Traveling No Comments →

A word from our sponsor

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“With the Tigerair Transfer Service, your vacation begins the moment you board any of our daily direct flights to Kalibo from Manila, Clark, and Singapore,” says Olive Ramos, president and CEO of Tigerair Philippines. No more queueing up to buy tickets for multiple transfers from the airport to the boat port, no more getting hit with exorbitant “tourist rates”.

All you need is one ticket. As soon as you land in Kalibo, you are ushered to an air-conditioned bus for a scenic land transfer to Caticlan port, express boat transfer from Caticlan Port to Boracay Port, and land transfer from Boracay Port to your hotel—with your own priority lane.

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The Tiger Transfer Service voucher may be purchased on board before landing in Kalibo International Airport, and at the check-in counters at the Manila and Clark Airports. To facilitate the Tiger Transfer Service, Tigerair Philippines tapped Aklan’s tourist transport service pioneer Southwest Tours Boracay Inc.

Tigerair Philippines is the first commercial airline to fly direct between Kalibo and Singapore. The carrier also flies to Clark, Bacolod, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao and Puerto Princesa, and to international destinations including Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore.

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Tigerair offers one-way Domestic fares for Php88 and one-way International fares for Php888 if you book from January 27-29. Travel period for this promo is from February 1- March 29, 2014. For more information, log on to tigerair.com or visit any 7-11 Convenience stores or Cebuana Lhuillier outlets nationwide for bookings and payments.