"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Monday, February 26, 2007


"Thanks, Hollywood, you've uncovered a new way to simultaneously congratulate yourself while offending the basis of your success." -Brian Hu


everybody's talking 'bout the Oscars! all my friends have been asking for my film fan opinion on the results, and tho i don't feel inclined to go into depth on my disappointment in the Academy (who, let's face it, base decisions less on merit than industry politics), i will say that i was most thoroughly upset by THE DEPARTED's win for best screenplay adaptation.

i will concede that THE DEPARTED (TD) deserved its win for editing and directing. i thot Thelma Schoonmaker and Martin Scorsese's wins were a testament to what longtime partnerships and friendships can do for a film. (they were longtime NYU film school friends, and they've been working together for most of their careers (and with such wonderful results! TD really needed a female perspective, and how wonderful that the film was in some large part the vision of a woman!)

i'll even admit that i was intensely hoping Marky Mark Wahlberg would win for his role as Dignam, a short-tempered fiery wise-crack cop.

TD was really not a bad film. in fact it was great. i remember loving it. but what irks me is that in his Oscar acceptance speech, Bill Monahan remembers to thank everyone, but fails to acknowledge the original story writers, Wai Keung Lai and Siu Fai Mak, the ones whose work he basically co-opted and claimed as his own, whose writing saved him unquantifiable amounts of time and creative labor.

furthermore, when Monahan went up to take the Oscar, the announcer said that "THE DEPARTED is based on a Japanese film." err, wrong. it is based ("based" being a significant understatement) on the Hong Kong original, INFERNAL AFFAIRS. and in the fall, when i first learnt this, promised a more thorough comparison than the one currently here.

so, as promised, and in light of recent events, i present my comparison of THE DEPARTED and INFERNAL AFFAIRS...


remaerdyaD said...

stephanie-lee.blogspot.com broke this story for me, it is the only oscar conversation I have, being that I liked Internal Affairs so much (and that is not because I just like all things Chinese!).

The Japanese comment at the ceremony is pure racism. But I think it is possible to point out that so long as hollywood is held to account, the truth can stay out.

I am totally getting IA now. Rumours already that this is one of the greatest movies out of tinsel town - which can mean anything, but still... Kudos to you, and thanx.

2 questions - you happened upon the similarities that led you to find out the case of plagarism, or did you find out from someone else? Also, did you put together these panels?

stephan!e lee said...

thanx for the comment, R.

i found out about INFERNAL AFFAIRS from a friend, otherwise i wouldn't have known to watch it. but i didn't know how similar, both narratively and aesthetically, the two films were until i watched them.

so, the similarities i point out are both the ones most obvious after watching the films, and the ones i found particularly damning.

the panels are indeed my creation, and crafted from lots of internet database image dredging.

my particular favorites are the ones comparing the actors and the settings. so completely evident!

i'm not the first to point out this injustice, but i think i'm the first to do a thorough visual comparison.

remaerdyaD said...

P.S. What review of hollywood movies sans soundtrack? - very interesting...

For whom it may concern, the torrent network is looking for seeders, particularly for the third movie in teh trilogy.

Brian said...

I have to admit that I did not see a single movie that was nominated.

You did a fantastic job on this post, I am very impressed. :)

stephan!e lee said...

thank you, Brian.

i admire u for not seeing any of the Oscar-nominated films. they're not that important anyway. there's plenty of other things to do...


Brian said...

I do promise though, to see every movie you direct. :)

Hope you are doing great!!!

stephan!e lee said...

thanks, Brian.

i'll try to make them good, just for you! :-)


remaerdyaD the spammer said...

stephanie lee: Spam alert follows

A theory I have bandied about since sept11 2001 has been resurfacing for me since this story. Chalk it up to nervous conspiracy neurosis, but it stems from a story that I think got a lot of mileage with the neo-con fruitbars in the West. It concerned a video of the WTC destruction that was, so the story went, used in a way that somehow mocked the tragedy. This stood out in my mind, though I do not recall details, for reason apart from the obviuos propagandist ones common on the subject of China and Western news/propaganda agenices. That is, for me, "nine eleven" was a huge historical event of virtually zero strategic value. But a huge event, transgressing from what I think was just about the biggest event of our time (the turning over of Hong Kong sovereignty back to China in accord with English Treaty (not a group known for respecting treaties)), did come out near to the exact same time as the Saudi assault on New York and the capital. That was the entry of China into the WTO, virtually a non-story in media because of the terror sideshow, still, of course, on-going - now entering the dimension of military history.

I have been waiting for some kind of blow back for this "mocking indicent", true or not (likely blown out of proportion, so as to say "all Chinese think this way about us"), as a precursor to the obvious state of affairs that must arise from the entry of China into the (WashingtonDC) World Trade body. I also expect it to come from hollywood, with a history of anti-Chinese sentiment and tentacles deep into the american propaganda franchise. Also, not easy to anticipate, is the fact that all of the right-wingnut activities in opposition to China have been kept very hush. But every once in a while rumour spreads that there are a lot of big wigs with a lot of focus drive and interest in undermining China. Recall that Vietnam, much to the ending of the american empire (an empire whose existence same type of neocon publicly denounce but can only privately be fully a part of - signature of neo-colonial values, were you always talk the talk of peace maker but walk the walk of conqueror), started this row with "red" China, who ideally supported the North "communists" against "capitalist" USA.

Just a theory that half fits with the stuff of the day. Think it should make at least some sense at least to you.

P.S. FWIW, I became politically active in 1981 as a result of an event that I have since found was seminal in the creation of the al qauda group, indicating me is rather prone to lengthy conspiracy spells.
P.P.S. Sorry I do not know how to spell well.


R.A.Y "Raedien" Devine said...

Wow, I actually watched TD during the 3-day weekend (5 day for me) and loved it. I had no idea it was stolen from Infernal Affairs.

stephan!e lee said...

yeah, most don't. there's a reason for that.

remaerdyaD p.r. + morale pusher said...

Woke up to Mou gaan dou in my Inbox(sic) with _subtitles_ so no more dubbing for Daydreamer! Mmm, popcorn for breakfast.

And 2/3's of IA3 so far. Sigh. Being a illegal pirate thief copyright criminal is starting to have such a great storyline to it...

I saw you wrote once that you were looking at a job as a gaffer. Good place to start. I would go for being a grip myself with an eye on my experience as a lighting tech in local theatre. Well, that is if my health didn keep me out of work.

The Indymedia spot aired on G4 tech tv last nite - digi-cable television is NOT, repeat, not pure evil!

Anyways, sorry to ramble about on your blog... Keep it up and all that. You obivously have the skills.

Scraping camera tech still... ever seen the video capabilities on low-end Canon digi-photo-cameras? Prettty good 320x240, high frame rate, good indoors, okay mic, and operable to a 2Gig memcard (I think that translates to an hour or more out on one batter charge). Sort of a story I tried to break on my tech blog - they HIDE these video capability info. If you got any juice on this, it would be helpful as everyone even on the irc indymedia tech channel seemed oblivious to this info (which is shocking)...

remaerdyaD soon to be illustration blogger, original music videos to come too!

P.S. wasup wif your metube? Check out my other american friend maybe for inspiration?:

stephan!e lee said...

ugh daydreamer. i hope u're kidding about LonelyGirl15. she's naught but a hack. i think everyone knows that.

not that i was pissed like everyone on the rest of the bleedin planet seemed to be when that story was blown (of course she's a fake! aren't we all when there's a camera in front of us?!)

it's just that she's so... boring!

anyway, pardon the rant. i get fed up with silly children.