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My Short Films

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lost a friend on MH17

Yesterday, a Malaysian Airlines plane crashed in Ukraine. It was shot by a missile.

298 people were killed.

Just now, I found out that I someone I know was actually on the plane.

Her full name was Shubashini Jeyaratnam, but I knew her only as Shuba (Shuba Jaya was her stage name). She was on the plane with her husband Paul and her baby daughter Kaela.

I first met Shuba in 2007 when I was helping a friend out with his short film. Shuba came to audition for a supporting role. After it was over, I honestly thought she was good enough for the lead role.

The last time we met was early 2009, I was back briefly from Tokyo. She was hoping that I could cut out some clips from the aforementioned short film so she could use it for her showreel. We met for lunch so I could pass her the files. That was the last time I met Shuba in person.

However, back in May when I was in Tokyo again, I was suddenly messaged by Shuba on Facebook. I realized we hadn't kept in touch for half a decade. She was planning to do an action showreel with a couple of martial arts scenes, so she wanted to ask about the logistics of doing such a thing.

It became a long discussion about the equipment she could use, the amount of people she could hire, the budgeting. We discussed whether it should have been a showreel, or just a short film with action scenes. It was fun to throw ideas around. In the end I suggested that I could recommend her someone she could hire to shoot for her, and I could perhaps lend her my camera, and stay around to hold the sound recorder or something.

After that, our discussion veered to different things, about what we had been doing so far. I told Shuba excitedly that I had just finished my debut feature RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS, and showed her a few parts from the film that I secretly uploaded on Youtube.

She told me that for such a funny guy, I sure make very dreamy and melancholic films. She told me that her husband could still remember me, I was "the funny guy". It strangely flattering.

After that, Shuba showed me her new showreel, asking for my feedback. And I did.

She seemed happy. This was our exchange towards the end, a promise of coffee.

Shuba: "You're a sweet one. Next time you're back. I'll take you out for drinks. Or coffee."
Me: "Sure thing, I'll be around in June. Coffee. :) I don't drink."
Shuba: "Me too. Coffee it is."

She then told me that she'll be away most of time from June to August. Because she was going to Europe for vacation, and after that, she was going to go to Sydney for acting classes.

I was having a cup of coffee just now when I read about her being on the plane. Immediately, I reread the last conversation we had in May.

To remember her.

In an earlier part of the conversation, we discussed about chasing after dreams:

"You've been very consistently working on your dreams... it's admirable, man." Shuba said.

"Because I have nothing else." I said mirthlessly.

"That's everything!" She said.

Yes, you're right, Shuba. And I admired you for constantly chasing after your dreams too. It is indeed everything, isn't it? Our encounters were brief and sporadic, the last Facebook conversation was probably the longest "conversation" we ever had, yet I will remember you with nothing but gratitude and joy in my heart. Even though all I feel for now, is a faint lingering sadness.

Rest in peace. Shuba, Paul, Kaela. And all the passengers on MH17.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My memories of World Cup matches

The World Cup finals ended two days ago, and I finally got a good night's sleep. I can finally say goodbye to the days when I have to wake up at 4am with dad to catch a match, and go back to my normal routine (... of sleeping at 4am instead)

After a nice World Cup-less night of sleep, I woke up and read some articles on Grantland (it's one of my favourite daily reads these days). Ever since my mom discontinued subscription to The Star newspapers earlier this year, the internet became my replacement for "things to read while having breakfast", after all, it's hard to kick off a routine that I had for more than twenty years.

What caught my eye today was Brian Phillips' article, Full Time: Fading Images of the World Cup, which has one of the most beautiful paragraphs ever about sports-watching.

Watching sports is, among other things, a special way of experiencing time. Sport is like music or fiction or film in that, for a predetermined duration, it asks you to give it control over your emotions, to feel what it makes you feel. Unlike (most) forms of art, though, a game has no foreordained plan or plot or intention. The rules of a game impose a certain kind of order, but it’s different from the order of an artwork. A movie knows where it wants to take you; no one can say in advance where a game will go. All of its beauty, ugliness, boredom, and excitement, all of its rage and sadness emerge spontaneously out of the players’ competing desires to win. For however long the clock runs, your feelings are at the mercy of chance. This happens and then this happens and then this happens. You’re experiencing, in a contained and intensified way, something like the everyday movement of life.

I guess this is one of the main reasons I have been following the NBA for more than two decades, the relationship with time is apparent, watching players arrive, grow and then retire, being replaced by other younger players, it's a cycle that is both beautiful and horrifying, just like life. As a child, these NBA players are larger-than-life Greek gods, performing superheroic feats in a battle for eternal glory, as I grow older, I started noticing that the players are becoming younger and younger, and players I have watched in my teens are gone, one by one, some disappearing, some becoming coaches, I recognize some names, either from memories of watching them in rare telecasts during weekends, or through the NBA Live games that I used to play on the Playstation.

It is impossible not to notice the passing of time, when you witness the slow decline of a player.

Perhaps this is why people follow football, because they can create narratives within their mind. Who is the hero? Who is the villain? Who is the underdog? There is something mythical about sports, especially if you are well-versed in their history. You look back at players of yesteryears with nostalgia, you compare players of present to players of the past, hoping for familiar parallels.

I have never been a football fan, yet spending most of my lives in football-crazed countries like Malaysia and Japan, once cannot really escape from these non-stop discussion of football unless you are consciously taking a stand against it, unless you deliberately shut yourself away from everyone.

I have to confess that I belonged to the latter, so lonely it is to be a NBA fan in Malaysia, so annoyingly ubiquitous football is in the fabric of our everyday life, I viewed the act of following football as an act of conformity, to trivialize the passion that football lovers had for their sports, because my black heart is constantly overwhelmed by spite and anger. It is a feeling that I tried very hard to shake off.

I'm a man of contradictions, despite my non-interest in football, I DO watch it once every four years, during the World Cup. It's boring, and I struggled to keep awake during most stretches of a game (those 0-0 ones are lethal sleep-inducers for me), but it's the World Cup, and I want to witness the unfolding of history (like 7-1 semifinal games).

And somehow, watching the World Cup has provided numerous markers for my own memories.

Where was I when the four Rs (Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldino, Roberto Carlos) led Brazil to World Cup 2002 victory?
Where was I during Zidane's glorious headbutt?
Where was I when Senegal beat defending champs France in the opening match of World Cup 2002?
Where was I when Germany destroyed England and Argentina in World Cup 2010?


My earliest memory of watching a World Cup match was the 1998 finals. I was 14, I was indifferent to the previous World Cups that my father had been following all along. Curious to know about this Ronaldo guy that everyone had been talking about, I decided to switch on the TV and see what he was capable of.

I have missed most of the match, but I caught immediately was another man creating his own history, heading in the second of his two goals. Or maybe it was a recap. I'm not sure. The guy was Zinedine Zidane. The score was 3-0. France won. Fireworks.

It was crazy. I assumed that Brazil was an indestructible dynasty like the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, seeing them lose to France was like... I don't know, seeing the Bulls lose to the Toronto Raptors or something in the NBA Finals. That one match felt like a blurry distant dream.

I was at home. At that time, my home was the same home that I have been living in until now, the same house I was living in since I was 3. But 17 years ago, my home had just been demolished and rebuilt from ground up. So the house was new, so was the experience of watching a World Cup finals match.


Four years later, I was in Japan for a family vacation, it was then that I realized the World Cup was being co-hosted by Japan and Korea. The World Cup anthem was played everywhere, the streets of Osaka was covered in blue, people everywhere were wearing the blue jerseys of the Japanese football team.

Dad and I rushed back to the hotel to watch the opening match between Senegal and defending champions France on TV. Senegal, playing with exuberant joy and flair, pulled off a glorious upset. I remember the celebration, but most of all, I remember Zinedine Zidane's pain-filled expression at the sidelines. He wasn't playing due to injury.

A day later, still in the Osaka hotel, I watched Germany - Saudi Arabia. Germany won 8-0. I will always remember it because I never knew that such a scoreline was possible in a football game. "Who is that Klose guy?" "Wow, this goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is so badass!" "That Ballack dude looks like Mark Wahlberg!"

I liked telling people that I was in Japan during the World Cup 2002, even though I was only catching games on hotel TV.

I caught the remainder of the matches when we were back in Malaysia. Some of the dramatic ones remained in my mind. South Korea's dramatic win against Spain and Italy (the latter was particularly insane), Brazil vs England, and finally, Brazil vs Germany in the 2002 final. Dad and I were at the living room, watching Ronaldo cement his greatness, redeeming himself from the 1998 nightmare. I rooted for Brazil then, because it's a story of redemption.


My memories of World Cup 2006 were less clear, perhaps I watched less games. I was studying in Perth then, but came back to Malaysia for a break. I was at the same living room with dad, watching France - Brazil, and the France - Italy final. I guess the main narrative then was France's fairytale run into the finals with the guidance of an aging Zidane. His last hurrah, the swansong of a legend etc.

Of course, in the end, I would remember The Headbutt most.

In fact, I remember The Headbutt more than the rest of the match. Italy won, but most people were talking about The Headbutt. My cute round-faced sister imitated it too.

(Writing this post made me remember that I actually wrote quite a lot about the headbutt on this blog, sometimes it blew my mind to know that this blog's been around for ten years already) That was my defining memory of World Cup 2010.


July 2010, I was in Brignogan, France for a script workshop. I saw some beautiful sights that would stay with me forever. I also missed my flight back to Japan and was stranded in Brest for two more nights.

At the Brest hotel, I was desperately talking to the staffers, trying to find a way flight back to Paris, but there weren't any flights throughout the weekend.

Crestfallen and traumatized, I went to the nearby sports bar for some food, and stayed there when the Germany - England game was happening. Germany won 4-1. Lots of German supporters around me then.

But I remained crestfallen and traumatized that I missed my flight, I managed to find myself a hotel to stay for two nights. That same night, I think I caught a bit of an Argentina match too (checked Wikipedia, it was an Argentina-Mexico match. Argentina won 3-0)

I was back in Tokyo on the night that Argentina lost to Germany 0-4. I don't remember watching that match, but I heard a lot of cheering and roaring from the people in my dorm.

The rest of the matches were a blur. I remember that I managed to catch the Spain - Netherlands final, but was I in Japan then? Or in Malaysia? It is odd that my memories from the 2002 World Cup seemed easier to "mark" compared to one that happened merely 4 years ago. It took me a while, as I was writing this, to confirm that I was in Tokyo when it happened. Nothing special, it was a solitary experience, I was merely watching the game on TV in my small tiny room in Tokyo. I've almost forgotten about the old plasma TV in my room, before Japan phased out all of them for digital TVs, for 3 years after that, my TV remained in my room a mere decoration.

So it seems that I watched the 2010 World Cup in a room that isn't mine anymore, on a television that became obsolete shortly after the tournament. It would be the only World Cup Final match that happened when I was in Tokyo. The only Final match I watched without my dad.


Once again, I wasn't entirely interested in the games. My mind was mostly on the NBA Finals, when the Finals were over, it became impossible to avoid the games. A few times in Mamak stalls at night, the games were playing, the people were cheering.

And I gradually gave in to the World Cup fever that swept through the whole world. Here are a few games that remain in my mind.

During the group stages, I was staying at the Mamak stall until 3am as the France-Switzerland was about to begin. And suddenly, there was blackout. The entire place plunged into darkness. I've never experienced that in a Mamak stall before. I tried to go home, but due to the power outage, my electric gate was unable to work. So I ended up having to climb over the gate (with the help of stools and chairs) to get back into my house. It felt more epic than the match itself.

It was only during the knockout stages that my dad started joining me to watch the games with regularity. Although we were mostly watching the midnight games. And then, as the tournament progressed, the games were all held later in the evening (which was 4am for us). Because the games were all at 4am, the routine became like this:

Dad would go and sleep earlier, and then I myself would catch around 2-3 hours of sleep. Wake up at 3:55am, wake dad up, and catch the game on the TV at the living room, where we watched the matches in 2002 and 2006.

Some matches were difficult for me to stay awake, and I would drift to sleep during certain stretches of the game (just like previous matches in previous World Cups) and wake up just in time for a goal, or penalty kicks. It really depended on the commentator of the night, some are really funny and could sustain your interest throughout the match, but some would remain quiet most of the time, doing nothing but yelling the names of the players who were controlling the ball.

I will always remember the "7-1" semifinals match between Brazil and Germany. My Facebook feed was absolutely busy, and I was Whatsapping with friends about the match. Brazil! BRAZIL! I expected a 3-0 or at most a 4-0 for Germany, but not 5-0 in 30 minutes!

The next morning, Mom asked why Dad and I had been so quiet while watching the match. In her room, all she could hear was me exclaiming "wait, was that a goal???"

I told mom that we were both too shocked to react at all.

I will also remember this match because someone in my country chose to be a fool about it.

And finally, the Germany - Argentina final. I rooted for Messi and Argentina because they were more like the underdogs, and I always automatically root for the underdogs. I also wanted to see Messi cement his place in football history. It didn't happen. the German team was too good.

While the goal was beautiful, the images that lingered in my mind in the last two days was Messi receiving his Golden Ball award, and walking down the stands again, a forlorn dejected figure, he was seething inside. Even the best footballer now has to deal with crushing disappointment.

The very interesting thing about the World Cup is that, throughout all these years of following them, they never ever seem to convert me into a football fan. Maybe I would click a few football articles when I were on a sports site, with passing interest and curiosity, to see what sort of narratives and mythologies have made their ways into the game, yet there would never be any urge to catch a game on TV. It would just be another 4 years of non-interest in football before I get sucked into this crazy World Cup fever again.

And then, just as I watch those World Cup games in the far future in unknown places during unknown times, I am sure my mind will once again stretch to these moments, deceptively brief intervals that mark my life, those moments in the airport, in a hotel room in Brest, in my tiny room in Tokyo, in the living room with dad, in a Mamak stall with some friends. These tiny little moments that accumulate into a kaleidoscope of images to mark my own memories during the passing of time.

This blog, when I started it in 2004, was more about something to chronicle about the "now". What am I doing now? What did I do yesterday? How do I feel about something that was happening today? I guess all these had been replaced by the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

This blog is gradually becoming something that help me remember the past.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Rediscovering productions photos from CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY, my first ever short film in 2008

Kimmy Kiew in Chicken Rice Mystery

In the last few months when I worked on my debut feature RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS, I couldn't help but remember my own experiences of six years ago, when I was shooting my first ever short film, CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY, in 2008.

It's been six years, and I've done countless projects since then. But the fresh feeling of working with a professional cast and crew for the very first time continues to linger in my mind. Nothing makes me feel more excited than a film shoot, and it's a good thing that nothing has changed in these six years.

A few days ago, when I tried to clean up an old hard disk, I found old photos that were shot by Nikki during the CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY shoot. Seeing them again make me feel nostalgic, it was funny to see that my sister and my cousin (the real Cousin Choong, I named a character after him in DURIANS) were both involved in helping out.

I generally have a lot of disdain for people clinging on to past glories. I feel that they do that because they didn't achieve much recently. When life is like climbing a mountain, should I even bother telling everyone about my adventures on the foot of the mountain? My "next" film is my "best". This is all I want to believe, otherwise, what is there to fight for?

Even so, because CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY was my first, I will always remember it, and also remember it for helping me win my first awards as a film director. I'm a walking contradiction.

While a few photos from CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY were uploaded on my Flickr account long ago, I decided to upload more photos yesterday on Facebook, to help everyone reminisce of happy old times, to remember the nice connection we had during the shoot, the friendship that were forged or reinforced then. It's hard to explain the unique experience of a smooth film shoot where everyone was there for passion and fun.

I rather enjoyed the wacky photos of me directing.

Mei Fen, my assistant director from back then, had become a regular actress in numerous local TV series, and was nominated twice for Best Actress in the last two editions of BMW SHORTIES, for her amusing performances in the short films DA CAPO and THANKS FOR SAVING ME by young director Tan Ce Ding. I actually introduced her to him. I'm glad they had such a fruitful creative partnership.

Yet six years ago, she was the only one who answered my call when I was desperately searching for an assistant director.

These days, I see her in Ah Huat White Coffee ads everyday during the halftime of World Cup matches on Astro. Whoa.

The actual cast of CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY was absolutely colourful for a first-time director like me. Never had I imagined that I would have a screen legend like Lai Meng cameo-ing in my film (this was shortly before she flew of to Singapore to shoot her Golden Horse-nominated role in Jack Neo's MONEY NOT ENOUGH 2)

I wrote the CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY script shortly after I saw James Lee's film BEFORE WE FALL IN LOVE AGAIN. In my mind, I thought the lead in that film, Chye Chee Keong, would have been perfect in my film.

I ended up having BOTH Chye Chee Keong and James Lee in CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY :D

My friends, blogger Suanie and film producer Aron were there to cameo in my short film too.

Ming Wei, the child protagonist of my film, was previously in Liew Seng Tat's award-winning FLOWER IN THE POCKET.

Lead actress Kimmy, who later won an award at BMW SHORTIES for her performance, is actually more of a theater director.

We would collaborate again, a few months later, on my short LOVE SUICIDES (2009).

So yeah, looking at these old photos of the CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY shoot again, I was overwhelmed by this strange feeling, of how much things have changed, and how much things have stayed the same too. It's indescribable.

You can watch CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY here if you want to, it's very very different from my subsequent works.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Yangsze Choo's THE GHOST BRIDE (and my dream cast for its hypothetical film adaptation)

Last July, my friend Lydia sent me an article about a US-based Malaysian author Yangsze Choo, whose debut novel THE GHOST BRIDE had just been released.

The author was a family friend from Lydia's childhood.

In the book, its protagonist Li Lan receives a proposal of marriage from the wealthy family of Lim Tian Ching, a young man who died of fever a few months earlier.

After I went through the article, I was immediately curious about the book, especially because I've always been interested in the Chinese tradition of "ghost marriages", a marriage which either one or both of the parties are deceased.

I think I first learnt about this tradition in a 2002 Hong Kong TV series called COUNTRY SPIRIT 酒是故鄉醇 (yes, back in the day, like most Malaysian Chinese folks, I followed Hong Kong soaps with regularity and without irony), which depicts the love story between a widow, who is a part of a ghost marriage, and her house servant, in pre-WW2 Hong Kong.

As you can see from the music video of its opening theme, it's INTENSE stuff. Lots of slow-mo running and weepy faces.

In the one year since then, THE GHOST BRIDE grew in acclaim and popularity, I started seeing it in bookshelves everywhere. A heartening sight, to know that a book set in colonial Malaya is capturing the imaginations of the foreign world.

The reviews were great. (Kirkus Reviews, USA Today, Dear Author, It was nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal. It was featured as Book of The Week on with a great blurb.

The Ghost Bride begins as a historical novel but takes an unexpected turn into a fantastical, ghost-and-murder mystery. What makes all this work is the sumptuous world of Chinese émigré culture and the love story that flows under it all—the kind so full of longing, the pages practically sigh as you turn each one.

Ever since I was on the verge of finishing RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS a few weeks ago, my mind had started to wander again, grasping for new ideas for a follow-up film. I'm too in love with the process of creativity and filmmaking to let myself rest.

During moments like these, I started to read again, with ferocious speed, trying to devour as much as I could for inspiration. Since April, I've read Robert Bolano's THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES, Charles Yu's THIRD CLASS SUPERHERO, Natsuo Kirino's REAL WORLD and GROTESQUE. I took a break after GROTESQUE because it was heavy, and I was involved in the reshoots of SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES and RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS earlier this month.

After that, I started reading the first few chapters of Tao Lin's TAIPEI, Mo Yan's LIFE AND DEATH ARE WEARING ME OUT, and Yangsze Choo's THE GHOST BRIDE, wondering which one I should commit to finishing first.

Two days ago, Yangsze Choo was in town for a book talk at the Kinokuniya KLCC.

I was there.

After that, I finished THE GHOST BRIDE in a day.

It was a compelling read, and despite numerous comparisons to SPIRITED AWAY and mentions of Hayao Miyazaki's influences in some book reviews I came across, I wasn't expecting the story to veer towards the fantastical. (I, ah, genuinely expected THE GHOST BRIDE to be a dreary depiction of a poor young woman tragically trapped in a Ghost Marriage.) The blending Chinese tradition, mythology and the lives of Chinese emigres in a non-entirely Chinese setting is very inventive and fun.

I'll keep this post spoiler-free, but I enjoyed it enough that I read it through the Chile - Brazil World Cup match.

If this were made into a (big-budget) film (with Chinese actors speaking in English).

This is my dream cast:

LI LAN the heroine:

Zhou Dongyu
(The actress in Zhang Yimou's THE LOVE OF THE HAWKTHORNE TREE and this year's smash hit MY OLD CLASSMATE)

Ni Ni
(The actress in Zhang Yimou's FLOWERS OF WAR)

(the Korean pop star)

TIAN BAI (the dude Li Lan pines after):

Daniel Henney

Daniel Wu
(because men named Daniel are generally handsome huh?)

Lee Byung Hun

LIM TIAN QING, the ghost husband:


Justin Bieber


Shawn Dou (the main actor in Zhang Yimou's THE LOVE OF THE HAWKTHORNE TREE)

Godfrey Gao

Nicholas Tse


My Instagram photos from RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS

Patriotic intellectuals having philosophical discussion while looking after a pile of durians #riverofexplodingdurians

Over the past half a year since I was location scouting for my film RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS, or during its production, I had taken quite a lot of photos. Some were uploaded immediately, some I uploaded only recently.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Doghouse 73 Pictures - James Lee's attempt to bring Malaysian independent cinema to all

A few days ago, filmmaker and pal James Lee won an award for Best Content at the DiGi WWWOW Awards with his brainchild, Doghouse 73 Pictures.

This is quite a big deal because the WWWOW Awards is the Malaysian equivalent of the Webbies, and it is recognising James' efforts in the last year and a half to bring Malaysian independent cinema to the internet for everyone.

James, as some of you might know, is one of the pioneers of local independent films, having made his own self-financed films in the early 2000s when digital filmmaking technology started becoming attainable for the public. What he did then would lead to the attention of international film festivals, and a movement that was then known as the "Malaysian New Wave" with other filmmakers like Tan Chui Mui, Liew Seng Tat, Yasmin Ahmad, Ho Yuhang and my regular collaborator Woo Ming Jin. Regardless of what people in the country would think, James' place in the history of Malaysian Cinema is more or less assured.

Early last year, when James told me about his desire to utilize the online platform and social media for his works, I was intrigued. Not only was he releasing all of his earlier films online, he was starting to make films exclusively for the internet. In the early 2000s, during the beginning of Malaysian independent cinema, films were shown either in underground or university screenings, or in film festivals outside the country, not everyone had any access to these films.

Unlike most other countries, we lack the infrastructure or official support for these films, to archive them, to make them part of Malaysian cinema canon. DVDs of independent Malaysian films were mostly distributed and sold overseas, and of course, due to lack of interest or awareness, the splash that we tried to make amounted to perhaps a mere ripple to rest of the world (... and even in our own country). It's heartbreaking.

Therefore James wanted so much to make sure these films can endure, by putting them on the internet. Since then, this blog had shared many of the films that James uploaded on the Doghouse 73 Pictures Youtube channel. Like his 2000 debut feature SNIPERS, his 2005 international breakthrough film THE BEAUTIFUL WASHING MACHINE, or his most recent short films like THE GIRL FROM TOMORROW and ALL FOR LOVE.

Of course, you might also remember 3 DOORS OF HORRORS, this horror omnibus film that he masterminded last year, which my last short film FLOATING SUN was a part of (along with segments by directors Leroy Low and Ng Ken Kin).

Yes, I think it's quite exciting that James is doing this, look at the amount of films you can actually check out, if you are free, and curious about the short films.

Or the feature-length films.

They are all here for free.

It's an embarrassment of riches.

Waiting to be accessed, to be seen, to be shared with others, you can either love it or hate it, they are all there.

The reason why I'm writing this isn't really just to promote James' Doghouse 73 Pictures. During the past few days, on websites I frequent, on my Facebook and Twitter feeds, I have been seeing many complaints about the overexposure of the TRANSFORMERS franchise, how evil Michael Bay is ruining cinema, when there are "smaller" films to be discovered, smaller films like... Bong Joon Ho's SNOWPIERCER (!!?) That's sweet, it's quite commendable to champion the underdog, to rescue certain films from obscurity before it is drowned off by the overwhelming cacophony of noises from a Hollywood blockbuster. (SNOWPIERCER is quite good, but it's a little hard for me to call the most expensive Korean film of all-time "obscure", when it's been wildly popular in other countries outside of US...? Note, SNOWPIERCER, which is opening in the US the same weekend as TRANSFORMERS 4, was already screened in Malaysia in February)

But what about the smaller, less-trendy films that really needed to be explored, to be discovered?

I am merely hoping that what James had been doing could gain a bit more attention.

I just wish that people can be a bit more curious about things.
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