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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Apple of My Eye

Everyone was raving about this Taiwanese movie when it screened. I hesitated watching it (thinking it was lousy) but glad i caught it at the eleventh hour before it stopped playing. I would buy the DVD and watch it again and again.

Written and directed by famous internet writer Giddens Ko, more widely known by his Chinese name Nine Knives 九把刀, the movie is based on his life's story and is one of his best selling novels.

He wrote in Mandarin,
"Adolescence is like a heavy rain. Even though you catch a cold from it, you still look forward to experiencing it once again. Everyone has those impetuous times, the time when every boy likes the same girl in class, rushing days with mischief and pranks. Then, youth departed without a sound."

The story played around the school belle whom every boy lust, likes, wants.
It brings back memories of my school time. This is the school belle (on the right, i am on the left). Though Dewi wasn't fair, she was thought to be the prettiest. She had a vivacious nature, playful, sporting, cheerful, friendly and she's a dancer. She can't get any more perfect. She had a heaving bosom, which boys loved to sit at the benches and watch her jump around playing netball.
Like in the movie, the prettiest girl in school always has a less pretty sidekick who doesn't get attention, if any at all. I was that sidekick.
 The school belle would get the cutest boys liking her while i get the weirdos.
I would plan study camps and hound the principal for approval so i could sneakily "live" with my school crush (the one sucking the bottle, it was a game). I remember this picture causing much "orgasms". I didn't know about masturbation until after graduation.

Later on, i became a little more popular and i got my own less pretty sidekick.

In the movie, it highlighted the relationship between youth and masturbation. The tagline below in the trailer even said, "So long as you are still masturbating, your youth has not left you."

Syed was the one who brought a blue tape to share in school. We all heard about the boys plans to go to someone's house after school to watch it together. I guess it wasn't weird for boys at that age to masturbate side by side, brotherhood bonding.

Arjuna was nicknamed the Pak Chiu Cheng King. Girls never understood what that meant. Later on, i learnt from my elder brother it meant 打手枪 (shoot water gun) which also meant masturbation. Arjuna had skinny legs like a stork and i remember i read from a book called Talking Cock by Richard Herring that showed an old photo of a malnourished man who overdosed on masturbation. He had skinny legs too.

Then the passing of notes. Girls do that more than guys. We write notes and plan for after-school. To get the boys involved, sometimes i write a line and get them to continue the story. The boys never did play along.
The antics demonstrated in the movie reminded me of the days where boys bully girls and people getting punished.

Boys pull bra straps and make it snap from the back, Syed took my watch and slipped it into his pants.
Ivena fell asleep in class and i whispered in her ear "Fire! Fire!"
She woke up screaming.

We both got detention.
Then there were the different courtship methods that boys deployed.

During courtship, i had Andy writing me a love letter every single day for 6 months. There was Sul who carved me a wind chime during Design & Technology class over a semester. He also did my art homework, made me pop-up cards and picked out red gummy bears from a mixed bag. Then there was Jeremy who used felt pen to colour a A3 art piece, every morning he would colour a bit over 2 months. Ailmer gave me a Swarvoski rose brooch which at that time, i didn't know was expensive.

Courtship was so innocent and sincere, remembering them makes me smile sweetly. No one was thinking about getting into your pants with that bouquet of flowers. There was no motive in the courtship, it didn't matter if the love was unreturned. Courtship would go on months and even years till graduation. Now, men drop you like a hot potato and move on to another potential if you don't reciprocate in 2 weeks.
There's a creepy classmate photo bombing us.
Like in the movie where the boys climax just seeing the apple of their eye tying her hair back in a pony tail, there was one boy who got wet just seeing me tie two.
We sit according to index numbers and teachers rearrange mischievous students to the front. It irritates the hell out of me when the boy sitting behind me loves kicking my chair to ask something he has missed. It was sweet revenge when he was asked to change seats and he got in front of me.
The movie had a hilarious scene where the boys masturbated to their teacher. When there is a hot relief teacher in town (usually the young girl who works interim while waiting for university), the boys plot to remove the mirror from round shaped sharpeners and put it on the floor. Near the edge of their table leg, they cross their fingers for the hot teacher to walk pass. The Internet wasn't a big thing then, but without it and the influence of the Japanese No Panties cafes, the boys then were still creative and imaginative.
Mrs Chia was however one of the better looking permanent teacher in school. She also had a heaving bosom, a pair we called papayas and she walked like a duck.
There were all sorts of punishments. Standing in the corridor, standing on the chair, standing on the table, those were the days. Now, teachers are not allowed to punish students nor scold. Teachers are graded by students instead. My teachers would throw dusters a metre away and uniforms will be dusted with chalk. There were also teachers who wouldn't allow us to go to the toilet and pass boys rubber bands to tie their cock (no one did it).

Under 18, we weren't allowed in the clubs yet. So on Racial Harmony Day, Teachers or Children's Day, it is usually a cause for celebration and we would party in a classroom. Just loud music and no alcohol.
 And yes, romance blossoms between the weak students and their tutors.
 Like the movie enacted out, Jing Ting hated Kenneth's guts and they were often at loggerheads. Two opposite poles, she was the student who cries when she misses 5 to 100 and he was the prankster who didn't care two hoots about studies.

The teacher appointed her to tutor him and the many afternoons spent together after school brought forth a relationship. They were the first official couple in my class.
The movie was about youth, about friendship, about dreams and hopes. There were different types of students back in school. The ones who studies the hardest don't necessary turn out champions in life. The ugly ducklings became swans. Most importantly, it talks about the first love that never fades.

It reminds me of KC who held a torch for me since 14. He was the suitor who nicknamed me Chrispy. He irritated me alot with his endless questions. Boys were really immature at that age. He courted the school belle first, and when she spurned his affections, he gave me the Swatch watch which i believed was intended for her.

Though he courted the school belle first, i believed his affections for me were stronger. He always flitted in and out of my life, and i often hear him asking about me even 10 years after graduation.
If you've watched the movie, here's the MTV to reminisce moments of the awesome movie. My favourite scene was the last part where the school belle finally got married to none of the boys who courted her back in school. Her first love (thought nothing official really happened between them in their youth) felt it was a pity and asked to kiss the bride. Her new husband jokingly said he would have to kiss him first in the manner they want to kiss the bride. The first love rushed forward and gave her husband a hot wet tongue twisting kiss.

Below is the movie trailer and i attempt at a very lousy translation of the snippets.

Boy: " Shen Jia Yi, i like you. I like you very much. One day i will get you."
Boy: "In every boy's heart, there is a girl like Shen Jia Yi. I am Ke Jing Deng, i was16 that year.
Although Shen Jia Yi has been in the same class as me for 3 years, the disparity between a good and a bad student, our distance is always there."

Teacher: " Who did not bring the textbook, stand up!"

Bad boy student sacrificed himself and saved the perfect girl student from humiliation where she forgot to bring her textbook for once.

Girl: "why do you not study? I do not like boys who are stupid."

Boy:" I always thought i am very confident but i realised that in front of the girl i like, i am a coward."
I want to become super. So that with me in the world, it can be different."

Girl: "why are you so stupid to fight in a competition! Now you are injured, you are so immature!"

Boy: " Yes, i am stupid! That's why i will court you for so long. I don't know anything!"

Not like an exam, not every difficult question has an answer. This is life's mystery, there are sometimes no answers.

May our youth be continued.

Apple of My Eye, the novel made a sensational sucess with its debut screening because it's a story of youth, hope, love and dreams. The battles and the triumps in life, how you will never guess what the future holds.
Based on a personal account, here is Gidden Ko and the school belle whom everyboy wanted.
and the other movie characters VS real life.

As for my story?

Syed became a roti prata stall owner.
Arjuna went on to win university beauty pageants.
Kenneth became an Airforce pilot.
JingTing became a professional dancer but they didn't end up together.

as for Dewi the school belle? She grew fat.


Totoro said...

Thanks for your great sharing. I watched this movie over and over again till I realized I’ve watched for 10th times !

I don’t think I’ll do this amazing stuff in my life, but this “apple” just can’t stop to let me keep biting it.

It’s indeed a nice one which brought back lots of our memories, though our schooling or education systems might be different from Taiwan, but, we all grow up the ’same’ way, undergoing a process which every youth will indeed face it ^.^

Last but not least, thanks for your support in this “apple” movie too, I’m not fans from Giddens, but after watching this movie, I started to chase most of his books

Anonymous said...

Love this post! Very real.

Xtine said...

hey Totoro, thanks for leaving a comment! kudos to you who can read an entire Mandarin book! hahaa..i have no patience ;p

yea, i was pleasantly surprised with this film too! Searched high and low for the DVD. you found one?

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