River of Exploding Durians - Trailer 【榴梿忘返】 预告片
《榴槤忘返》主要讲述一群中六生面对即将袭来的稀土厂一阵慌乱，人生产生了变化之余，在反对稀土厂的过程中，这群学生产生革命情感和一些单纯的爱慕情怀。A coastal town is turned upside down by the construction of a radioactive rare earth plant. An idealistic teacher and a group of high school students find themselves battling for the soul of their hometown. Based on real-life events, River of Exploding Durians is a sweeping tale of Malaysian history and its youth, where people are enveloped by politics and sadness while searching for love. #riverofexplodingduriansStarring: Zhu Zhi-Ying 朱芷瑩, Koe Shern 高圣, Daphne Low, Joey 梁祖仪Written, directed and edited by Edmund YeoProduced by Woo Ming Jin and Edmund Yeo Executive producer: Eric YeoDirector of Photography: Kong PahurakProduction designer: Edward Yu Chee BoonMake-up and wardrobe: Kay WongSound: Minimal Yossy PrapapanMusic: Woan Foong WongPosted by River of Exploding Durians 榴莲忘返 on Saturday, October 18, 2014
Friday, May 22, 2015
And now, other articles, videos and posts about David Letterman's retirement. So that years from now, when I read this post, I remember.
Tonight, after 33 years on TV, the legendary David Letterman says goodnight one last time.Remember more of Letterman's greatest moments here: http://on.msnbc.com/1PXCpHxPosted by msnbc on Wednesday, May 20, 2015
A photo posted by Nuyou Malaysia (@nuyoumalaysia) on
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Has there not been update on this blog for that long?
It happens, when you are buried with work.
A month ago, RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS was shown at the Singapore Chinese Film Festival.
At the very same festival, I was able to meet Taiwanese directors like the legendary Li Hsing (considered a godfather of Taiwanese cinema), the influential Wan Jen (of the Taiwan New Cinema, a contemporary of Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Edward Yang's), and the much respected Yang Li-Chou (whose critically and commercially successful documentaries opened the way for Taiwanese documentaries to be shown in their cinemas).
I was very grateful that I had relatives and old classmates from primary and high school attending my screening. Meant a lot to me, even if I was unable to articulate them into words. Only thank you.
Now, aside from my own screenings, the beauty of film festivals is being able to catch great films.
The first night of the fest, I caught Yang Li-Chou's THE MOMENT - FIFTY YEARS OF GOLDEN HORSE, an exquisite documentary that covers fifty years of the Golden Horse Awards (known as the Chinese Oscars) and the sociopolitical situation in the region that shaped its cinema. It inspired me a lot for the documentary that I am now shooting.
The following day, after my own screening, I caught Wan Jen's latest film, the comedy IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO. A departure of style from his previous works.
And finally, Chenn Hsiang's directorial debut, EXIT 迴光奏鳴曲. Chen Shiang-chyi, who had been in most of Tsai Ming-Liang's films, won Best Actress at last year's Golden Horse Awards. It's unsurprising, she carried the entire film by herself.
Chenn Hsiang, by the way, is the great cinematographer of one of my favourite Taiwanese films of all time, BLUE GATE CROSSING. Tis a photo I took with him in Taipei back in 2011.
I also wanted to catch RUBBERS by Han Yew Kwang, whom I had the pleasure to meet at the Network of Asian Fantastic Films in Bucheon Film Festival. Alas, my time in Singapore was too short, and at that time, the film had yet to show. Nonetheless, I still like this photo very much.
Monday, April 20, 2015
The entire album is here.
Here are some of my favourites.
And this is my absolute favourite, in which I was heroically taking a bullet for the team.
Yesterday (19th April) was the last screening of RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS at the Malaysian Film Week, held in Roppongi. Thanks for organizing the screenings, Malaysia Film Week. And thanks to Ando-sensei for doing the Q and A session after the screening.
The Malaysian Film Week is a mini-film festival that was screening numerous Malaysian films in Roppongi Cinemart.
This festival had some mini-focuses on the late Yasmin Ahmad, the works of James Lee (his award-winning CALL IF YOU NEED ME and the two editions of 3 DOORS OF HORROR he produced, which include a segment that I directed, FLOATING SUN) and a few of Pete Teo's stuff that he produced (the ever popular 15 Malaysia film omnibus), two shorts produced by actress Sharifah Amani etc.
Woo Ming Jin's THE SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES (which I produced and co-wrote) also made its Japan premiere here.
Feedback after the three screenings had been overwhelming. Thanks to everyone who took their time to tweet their thoughts on the film. ありがとうございます！
「破裂するドリアンの河の記憶」は初見の際に「歴史や民主主義はわたしたちの行動で作られる」ということを強く感じた。今回の再見では「肝心なことをすぐに忘れてしまう」という歴史教員の台詞が、数年前の震災や原発事故を意識から排除しようとする日本人にも向けられているような気がした。— Kawamura Makiko (@Sayakancil) April 14, 2015
「破裂するドリアンの河の記憶」の歴史教員は、レアアース精製工場の反対運動の行き詰まりで急進的になり、破滅する。その行動は正しいとは言えないが、記憶と夢の境界があいまいになる男子生徒や利発な女子生徒の内面に、忘れ去ることができない何かを確かに残す。新年の祭りでの出会いがそれを語る。— Kawamura Makiko (@Sayakancil) April 14, 2015
『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』は独特だった。提灯の形をずっと覚えておいてほしい、それを言う場面こそ記憶として残る。そういうことなのかな。むつかし！ pic.twitter.com/WN86pLopzR— aya (@scenethrough16) April 14, 2015
エドモンド・ヨウ監督『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』二度目。やっぱり素晴らしい。主人公ミンと映画館の会話をする女が『盗人の第二の人生』の登場人物ライの娘サンディだったことに気づく。二つは『タイガーファクトリー』と『インハレーション』のような関係なのだろうか？— モンキーK (@monkeek) April 17, 2015
間違えたから訂正、再送。マレーシア映画ウィークにようやく行った。『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』。若者の悲恋モノ、学園モノ、社会派サスペンスへと変遷。主人公も入れ替わる。残酷でありながら、優しさ、母性も感じる傑作。教えてくれた友達に感謝。— Yuta (@1980yuta) April 17, 2015
『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』、海、河、山、建物などの風景が人と同等の存在感を示す。窓からは光が射し、画面外から都市や風の音が聞こえる。人間の世界には恋愛や闘争などのドラマがある。だが閉じてはいない。確実に外部とつながっている。そこが残酷で優しい。— Yuta (@1980yuta) April 17, 2015
大阪アジアン映画祭以来の映画館だというのに、どうしても見たくて、一度見た『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』の2回目。自然の音、街の音、音楽、繰り返すイメージ、重なるイメージ、細切れの場面、詩のような語り、違和と調和。相変わらずキレキレの林老師がいい。ミンもいい。魅力の尽きない映画。— 石公 (@ishiko_t) April 17, 2015
続いてエドモンド・ヨウ『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』。工場建設によって反対運動が吹き上がり、華僑コミュニティの利発な少年少女もその流れに。『中国女』を彷彿とさせる歴史のデモンストレーションと、記憶を呼び覚ますドリアンとの対置。緑カッパの子ども達がまとう象徴性。— ゲロダク (@geroduction) April 17, 2015
4/17マレーシア映画ウィーク『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』エドモンド・ヨウ監督。やっと見ることができた。昨年の東京国際で見ることができなくて、予告編を見るたびに、絶対凄い作品だろうと思っていたが、実際やっぱり素晴らしい映画だった。— 革芸家 (@kakugeika) April 18, 2015
エドモンド・ヨウ『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』前半は甘酸っぱい青春映画で、もしかするとホウ・シャオシェンの「恋恋風塵」みたいな展開になるのかと予想してたら、後半は工場建設反対活動がエスカレートして、なんと最後の方はエドワード・ヤン「恐怖分子」みたいな場面もあり見てて大興奮。— 革芸家 (@kakugeika) April 18, 2015
エドモンド・ヨウ『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』工場建設反対活動家である先生の秘められた狂気性が静かに爆発する瞬間が『恐怖分子』のリー・リーチュンの狂気性に類似してて、二人とも拳銃を握り画面に緊張感をもたらす。先生が辿る末路も『恐怖分子』と似ているなぁと思いました。— 革芸家 (@kakugeika) April 18, 2015
『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』シネマート六本木にて鑑賞。多用される、シーンとセリフがシンクロしない、あからさまな表情の変化を避けた画面が美しい。記憶なのか、美しく書き換えられた過去なのか、問題性と個人の思い出の重なり具合の難しさも感じさせる。— babby (@cipriani_s) April 19, 2015
『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』における、学生たちの寸劇発表は、『消えた画』の人形による表現と似たものを感じるが、当事者が演じるのではないため、『エス』的な実験効果も気になった。— babby (@cipriani_s) April 19, 2015
「破裂するドリアンの河の記憶」心に爆弾を抱えたような先生や、いつも哀しげな微笑を浮かべた彼女に置いてかれたミン君の青春のひとコマをまるで河の上をゆったりしたボートに乗って追体験した気分。そうか、主要女性キャストみな一様に美人なのはミン君にヨウ監督の過去が投影されているからなんだ！— くみ太 (@IKIEV77) April 19, 2015
「破裂するドリアンの河の記憶」授業で過去の痛ましい事件のロールプレイをさせる先生の目的には、将来、自分が攻撃されるだけでなく、する側にまわる可能性も示唆されたはずだが、先生自身がロールモデルにはならなかったんだね。それでもお祭りでの2人の再会シーンからは未来に対する仄かな希望が。— くみ太 (@IKIEV77) April 19, 2015
破裂するドリアンの河の記憶。前半は高校生の甘酸っぱい青春物語で、その裏にマレーシアの社会事情が絡みながらもメロドラマみたいな帰結を迎えるんだけど、後半は一転して主役すら変わり、体制への反抗が加速して破滅するような描写。まさに多民族国家で混沌とするマレーシアそのままという感じだった— みど☂ (@mdrichns) April 19, 2015
破裂するドリアンの河の記憶。後半は歴史と向き合うということがメインテーマになってくるのだが、過去を軽く考えて忘れてしまうこと、それにより現代に生きる自分が被るものの大きさ。それは今日本でも起こっている問題だと思った。この辺、野田地図のエッグを思い出したな。— みど☂ (@mdrichns) April 19, 2015
映画『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』。 安藤紘平の解説でようやくタイトルの意味が分かった。他の観点にしても。マレーシアの現実を表し発展の何たるかを問う姿勢はあるが、編集ゆえか物語が見えにくい。確固たる主人公の設置とテイストの一致性があれば。メイアンとホイリンが半端なくキュート。— ngskt (@ngskt) April 19, 2015
『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』を観た。これは一度観てしまったら、その後ずっと記憶の中で忘れようのない特別な存在として、思い返す度に焦がれるような気持ちにさせる唯一無二の作品。今後何かの上映特集のリストでそのタイトルを見つけただけで一気に歓喜で心が満たされる作品。本当に最高でした。— SunCityGarden (@SunCityGarden) April 19, 2015
『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』邦題の印象とは裏腹に、本当に美しい作品。どこまでも繊細にこだわり抜かれたカメラワークと示唆に富んだカット、作品の特徴でもある詩的なモノローグの多用に象徴される心惹かれずにいられない魅惑的な文学性…その全てが有機的に溶け合い、どこまでも詩情豊かな映画。— SunCityGarden (@SunCityGarden) April 19, 2015
『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』後半では青春純愛要素とは完全に異なる主題に移行し、そんなあまりに大胆な構成が適用されてること自体が本作に対する魅力的だけどやっかいでもある謎として観終えた後も心に残り続ける。どこか腑に落ちない点があってこそ忘れられない・また観たくなる作品になる典型。— SunCityGarden (@SunCityGarden) April 19, 2015
安藤氏のトークショーでは、映画後半で印象的な社会による言論弾圧と本というテーマについてトリュフォー『華氏451』との関連性、マジカルリアリズムというジャンルの魅力、ウー・ミンジンとの素敵な関係と作風の違い等、『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』の理解に近づける有り難いお話を沢山聞けた。— SunCityGarden (@SunCityGarden) April 19, 2015
@greatswifty こちらこそ『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』という隅々まで魅力的で贅沢な至福の時間を体験させていただいて本当にありがとうございました。印象的なカットやモノローグばかりで本当に充実した映画体験でした。次回作もとても楽しみにしています。— SunCityGarden (@SunCityGarden) April 19, 2015
『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』最初の女の子の工藤夕貴に戸川純を隠し味にしたような風貌がそう感じさせたのかもしれないけどなんだか『お引越し』とか『台風クラブ』あたりの相米さんを連想しました。あと『ザ・イースト』ねw。いつも女の子から置いてけぼりを喰っている男の子の映画。— masaki murakami (@bandeapart_xxx) April 19, 2015
I tried replying to some of the tweets, to various comedic effect.
On replying whether it was a homage to Edward Yang's THE TERRORIZERS (it is, I went through the film, along with some of Hou Hsiao-Hsien's films, while preparing to shoot Durians):
@cipriani_s はい、恐怖分子オマージュです！— Edmund Yeo (@greatswifty) April 19, 2015
On RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS actress Joey Leong.
@SunCityGarden She looks a little like 蒼井優 and 池脇千鶴! (two of my favourite Japanese actresses)— Edmund Yeo (@greatswifty) April 19, 2015
On the similarities to Hou Hsiao-Hsien's DUST IN THE WIND and Edward Yang's THE TERRORIZERS.
@greatswifty わぁ～ありがとうございます。エドモンド・ヨウ監督ご本人様ですか。『破裂するドリアンの河の記憶』すごい傑作でした。エドモンド・ヨウ監督も「恋恋風塵」と「恐怖分子」好きだったんですね。これからも頑張ってください。次回作も楽しみにしてます。— 革芸家 (@kakugeika) April 18, 2015
Next stops for Durians in April?
Singapore Chinese Film Festival.
Los Angeles Asia Pacific Film Festival.
Sunday, April 05, 2015
Manoel de Oliveira, the oldest working director in the world, passed away three days ago, on the 2nd of April. He was 106.
Portugal paid its final tribute to him yesterday before his burial.
I have written about him on 2012 to commemorate his 104th birthday. In my post, I wrote about my experience of trying to catch his film at Berlinale 2009.
Frankly, I only knew about Oliveira when I was at the Berlin Film Festival in 2009. They were giving him a Berlinale Camera award (a lifetime achievement award), and was also screening his film ECCENTRICITIES OF A BLOND-HAIRED GIRL. (It's a 1-hour film)
Intrigued and curious (a lifelong virtue of mine, I humbly believe) to see the film of a then-101 year old director, I braved through the snow of Berlin city after going through the workshops of the Berlinale Talent Campus (which I was attending), hopping into one train after another, and then running around, trying to find the cinema.
I was lost, but I met a young nice couple who offered me a ride (no kidding) to the place. (Yep, I hitchhiked my way to a Manoel de Oliveira screening at Berlin Film Festival, this is tale I can always tell my kids, if they don't end up being ignorant and unappreciative to the arts)
I reached the venue just in time for him to give a speech before the screening. They also presented that Berlinale Camera award to him during the speech. Despite my exhaustion, I was absolutely delighted, elated, joyous that I was able to personally witness such a monumental event! And I was sitting on the third row! With, presumably, the media! (it was the only seat left)
I snapped a photo.
After that, Oliveira left, and the film began.
I marveled at the crisp digital cinematography. The film started in a train, a train conductor walking about clipping tickets in an immaculately-composed shot. The sound of the train was rhythmic, hypnotic, soothing...
... and so, I fell asleep.
(Okay, I woke up halfway during a scene when Debussy's ARABESQUE NO. 1 was played on a harp in the background... which lulled me back to sleep again)
Yes, all the hassle that I went through and I ended up sleeping through the screening. I woke up at the thunderous sound of applause.
The end credits were rolling. I was staring in horror, realizing that I had missed the entire bloody film. It really wasn't something I was proud of. So embarrassed by my own weakness that I sneaked away before the post-screening Q and A session began. I don't think I snore when I sleep, but what if I did? What if I had been snoring the whole time, to the utmost annoyance of those who were sitting next to me? I didn't want to take any chances.
And so, I missed the opportunity to catch my very first Oliveira film on the big screen. :(
So forever, this would be how I remember Manoel de Oliveira. With a tinge of regret, and some hint of humour. Just like his films.
I never had the chance to catch a Manoel de Oliveira feature film on the big screen, but I have twice seen his works in an omnibus film, both in Japan.
The first was the Recontre Unique (Sole Meeting) segment in the 60th anniversary Cannes Film Festival omnibus, Chacun son Cinema (To Each His Own Cinema). Although I didn't exactly follow his segment at all because I couldn't keep up with the Japanese subtitles due to my rudimentary Japanese skills. His segment was a silent movie. There's a pope. Also accompanied by Debussy soundtrack.
Manoel de Oliveira - Rencontre unique by Moonflux
Alas, still no English subtitles.
The second was his rather funny segment that concluded the HISTORIC CENTER (Histórias do cinema) omnibus film, which featured him and three other directors: Aki Kaurismaki, Pedro Costa and Victor Erice.
Therefore, the very first Manoel de Oliveira film I really saw in its entirety was THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA, which is arguably his most famous film internationally during the past decade. The film was whimsical, but also coloured by undercurrents of melancholy. A protagonist who falls in love with a ghost, and finds himself perpetually disconnected from the rest of the world, his fascination is only with the past.
I couldn't believe that it was a film made by a director who had lived for more than a century, but then, perhaps it was because he had lived for a century that the emotions of the film felt genuine, and you could suspect that the photographer protagonist (played by his grandson, Ricardo Trepa) was a surrogate for Oliveira.
Oliveira had lived through it all: Silent movies. German Expressionistic cinema. Gone With The Wind, Citizen Kane, Casablanca. The French New Wave. Antonioni. Fellini. Tarkovsky. Kubrick. American New Wave. Taiwan New Cinema etc. His career spanned 75 years. His first film was a silent documentary, his last few films were shot digitally.
It blows my mind when I realize that many of the long-departed legendary directors I mentioned above were actually even younger than Oliveira!
For me, he's an inspiration. To think that he became supremely prolific beginning from the 1990s (after he reached his late 80s) and was averaging at least a film a year. There wasn't any slowing down, he just continue doing what he loved, for cinema. What a life!
In the past few days since his death, there had been many great tribute articles about him which made me wish that I've seen more of his works. I can always start now. The beauty of cinema is that there will always be countless great films from past, present and future waiting to be seen.
The NYT obituary for Manoel de Oliveira, a Portuguese filmmaker who was almost as old as cinema itself http://t.co/sIcj5gFFh0— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 3, 2015
RIP Manoel de Oliveira, Dead at 106, Who Left One Mystery Film Behind (Clip Highlights) http://t.co/l9GGZ2Ot3x— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) April 2, 2015
Manoel de Oliveira, a hero of the French cinephile world, died Thursday at the age of 106: http://t.co/MAK931Kqh2— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) April 4, 2015
For me, what lingered more in the past few days were videos him dancing.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
During the past two Saturdays, through some stroke of coincidence, or maybe because they were fortuitous days, quite a few weddings were held.
So, for two consecutive Saturdays, I attended weddings of old friends from primary school. One was Jasmine, a dear friend from then to now, another was Iong Ying, a friend whom I kept in touch with intermittently, but he had done a lot trying to keep us all connected.
After all, at this day and age, I guess it's quite rare to still be able to remain connected with friends from primary school! That's even harder than high school! Yet we did, with our teacher Tu Lao Shi (Lao Shi as in "Teacher", Tu as in her family name, although her actual English spelling is Thor, which gives her an even cooler name, Teacher Thor), starting from Friendster groups to Facebook groups to Whatsapp groups, whatever it was, we kept up with times.
It's not that we communicate that much, but the line of communication is still there. No one is lost forever. Perhaps that's the beauty.
The truth is, I've become increasingly fascinated by this connection of ours. 18 years after we have left primary school, all of us 30-year-olds connected by collective memories of ourselves when we were 11, 12-year-olds.
Perhaps there is nostalgia for simpler funner days, perhaps there is a feeling of fondness of seeing how all of us have chosen disparate paths in life. Some married, some single, some corporate, some artistic, some in the country, some out of the country, yet for a few years in our childhood, we all spent everyday together in a tiny little classroom.
I have always been fonder of my primary school days than secondary school. Things were simpler, people were nicer, I was less angry, less cynical, less bitter. Perhaps that is why I connect less with people from secondary school. Perhaps the feeling is mutual, based on my current contrasting relationship with my secondary school and primary school,jeez.
I openly feuded against my old secondary school because they almost jeopardized my film shoot. On the other hand, I remain forever grateful that my primary school had listed me as a notable alumni during their 100th anniversary and invited me to meet up with the kids. Yup, primary school is nicer. :)
This was a conversation from after a wedding, with someone who is skeptical about attending weddings of people he haven't kept in touch for years, it made me thing. This is not an accurate transcript, because I don't have a photographic memory, thus it is dramatized for poetic effect:
Him: I find it odd and awkward to attend wedding dinners of people I have not kept in touch with for years. In truth, we have all drifted apart. Why invite old classmates from a long-ago life?
Me: I too, am always reluctant to attend wedding dinners. Or rather, things generally happen during past weddings of friends. A film shoot, a preparation of film shoot, being in Japan, people assuming that I were still in Japan, being in a film festival etc. I generally have no interest in attending weddings if it's from a Facebook Event invitation. But if I were personally contacted, then there's cause for consideration.
Him: We are no close anymore, or ever, therefore, to me, it's rather odd to attend these things. Life goes on.
Me: (Musing) As much as I build my life in chasing after an unknown future, I often find myself sifting through memories. His wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, we, as primary school classmates, were parts of his childhood memories. There is nothing wrong with him trying to reconnect with his past in such a special day. The day belonged to his, and we are there because we are bridges to more innocent time. There is nostalgia, there is fondness. He is who he is now because of his encounters and interactions with us, the past is bloody annoying, so are memories, but then, they define who we are now. Perhaps that's the beauty of these things. The wait can be insane, but if your presence means something to those who are there, then why not?
So ultimately, it's really about the convalescence of past and present.
I found myself remembering something I posted on this blog in 2013. About someone who was reluctant to attend weddings. It started like this.
The idea of attending a friend's wedding had always been a scary one. They remind him of the passing of time, or his inability to find love.
Yet this was an invitation that he was unable to turn down.
He knew the groom since Standard 1 (they were both seven), at primary school.
He knew the bride since he was in Form 4 (they were both sixteen), at secondary school.
The bride and the groom were high school sweethearts, having been together for eleven years.
Thus, he decided to attend his first wedding of friends, which were seemingly different from the wedding of uncles and aunts in his memories, different from his cousin's weddings, different from the weddings of his parents' friends, or the children of his parents' friends.
When he arrived at the venue of the wedding dinner, he saw a sea of familiar faces, either from primary school or from secondary school.
Happier than he expected himself to be, he said hi to everyone he could recognize, and hi to those he thought he recognized, and hi to those he didn't really know but were either friends of the bride or the groom.
The post went on and on from a supposedly detached, third-person perspective that had probably alienated the majority of its readers... but it ended like this.
A few hours earlier, when he was on his way to the wedding dinner, he recounted the whole thing to the driver (one of the best friends of the bride, and also someone he himself knew since they were both seven).
"The feeling of having people from my past attend my screening is a very strange thing. I think this whole filmmaking part of my life had separated myself from my past, everyone had gone on to live their lives. Mine is one of solitude. To see both of them drive all the way to Kuala Lumpur for my screening, the gratitude I felt was indescribable. I was moved." He said, without irony or sarcasm.
And without noticing, they became part of his life again. An unexpected convalescence of past and present.
A few hours later, "Old Wolf" was the one to give him the ride home. Looking out through the window, the night view of Kuala Lumpur city passed him by, streetlights, buildings, the Petronas Twin Towers.
The idea of attending a friend's wedding had always been a scary one. But somehow, after being to one, for reasons he was unable to comprehend, he felt at peace.