What if you could remember every event of your life? When I was a student in college taking psychology courses, the study of memory fascinated me. In particular learning about a certain group of people with ‘High superior autobiographical memory’ or HSAM for short who have extraordinary ability to remember nearly everything. Imagine being able to recall the details from “every painting, on every wall, in every gallery space, between nearly 40 countries” as one person with HSAM put it. I was intrigued and, as a sleep-deprived undergraduate, thought that having perfect memory can only yield upside.

But, those few…

Tenet is the “Full Nolan”, a spoiler-ish analysis of Christopher Nolan tropes

Every auteur has their particular style and Christopher Nolan’s latest epic, Tenet, is filled with his favorite tropes that have been used time and time again in his filmography.

#1. Non-Linear Plot. Some of the earliest film theorists argue that the revolution of cinema is its ability to manipulate time relative to the viewer. Arguably, no director has made time a central theme of his work than Chris Nolan, who, almost, as a rule, refuses to stick to a linear narrative.

Courtesy of Pexels

The coronavirus outbreak sucks. Three months into living with the virus in Hong Kong, I’ve never been so irritable or depressed wondering when things will get better — which is good since I evaluate economies for a living. So when a friend of mine forwarded me an article with the provocative title “America is Comitting Economic Suicide”, my interest was piqued. After reading the article, I was disappointed with not only how wrong I felt the conclusions were, but also how simplistic the analysis was to come to these conclusions — from the charts to its titular metaphor (Not doing…

Thanks, Shutterstock

More than a decade since the global financial crisis, the coronavirus outbreak is threatening to being the world’a economy to its knees.

Amidst the flurry of thought pieces and news articles, I’d thought I’d be helpful to write a primer on the potential economic impacts of the viral outbreak in today’s financial markets.

How is the coronavirus shock different than other natural disasters?

A viral outbreak represents a demand and supply shock to the economic system. Let’s take the US economy, for example. …

It may seem obvious but film, at its core, is a visual medium and the relationship between what’s in the frame and what’s out of the frame. Over the last decade, a couple of shots stood out to me and I thought I’d share it alongside commentary from the artists behind the camera.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

“In the lobby of the hotel, which was a sort of a department store that Wes found in Görlitz, Germany. It was no longer being used and it had this beautiful skylight. And Wes knew if we went to an existing hotel…

Dear Mena,

I can understand the frustration of not being able to get “a single audition” after starring as the lead in Aladdin, which crossed the billion-dollar mark earlier this year. It’s frustrating, especially when your co-lead Naomi Scott followed up Aladdin with another franchise movie later in the year. However, I think venting in such a public way, especially with a comment loaded with racial overtones, is a bit too premature, and you should slow your roll.

Some caveats. I’m writing this as an industry outsider. Also, I think your frustrations have some merit. Hollywood has not been the…

Another summer bites the dust. This year, as per every year, I, alongside 4,168 other film fans, participated in the Summer Movie Wager, an annual event run by the good folks at the SlashFilmCast where the hosts try and guess the highest-grossing movies of the summer, in the correct order.

A few rules, quoted from the official website:

The scoring of your list of 10 movies and your 3 dark horses goes like this:

  • Getting number 1 or number 10 dead-on gets you 13 points (each)
  • 10 points for numbers 2–9 dead-on
  • 7 points if your pick was only one…

Picture this film: a struggling factory in the US gets a lease of life from new Asian investment and management. Cultures clash as an economic reality brings about a new perspective and cooperation.

That premise was the basis of the (curiously-titled) 1986 Michael Keaton comedy Gung Ho. Keaton played Hunt Stevenson, the former foreman of a Pennsylvania auto plant who negotiated a deal with a Japanese car manufacturer to purchase the plant in exchange to save many jobs of his local Pennsylvanians. Hilarity ensues when the off-the-cuff blue-collar American workers work side-by-side with their more uptight Japanese counterparts.

But that…

Not my Mulan

When I was growing up, Mulan was my hero. The legendary story of Hua Mulan (“Fa Mulan” in the Disney movie), who defied traditional laws at the time to take her aged father’s place in military service, resonated with me, especially since she was the only Disney hero who looked like me. I watched the animated film together with my parents, who didn’t grow up in the U.S. …


An annual tradition. For the last couple years /Film crew — a movie and podcast website — try and predict the order of the top ten highest grossing domestic films. This year, fans of the website and podcast including myself could play along with a leaderboard site. The full rules for the game are here. Essentially, a player is rewarded for getting the order of the films right with particular emphasis on the top slot and the tenth slot. …

Paul Hsiao

Film Lover. Squash Player. Economist. Currently in Hong Kong.

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