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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weddings of old friends

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.

Today, my pal Jasmine Khew got married. I knew her since Standard 1. A great day indeed. Wish you and Kelvin Yap a...

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Saturday, March 21, 2015

For the second straight Saturday, I attended an old friends wedding. Iong Ying is a pal from primary school. Congrats pal.

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Saturday, March 28, 2015

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. :)

Today, I went to my old primary school Puay Chai to meet up with the standard 6 kids and give a brief talk (also took...

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

On Macbook Pros dying and then coming back to life

My 3-year-old Macbook Pro died last week. It was a major tragedy, it inspired me to write a eulogy.

Back in the day, when my comps died, it would take weeks to get it back. Usually, there wouldn't be any good news, either I've lost all my data, or repairing it would cost more than buying a new computer etc. etc.

My horrible experience with a Lenovo laptop bought in 2010 drove me to the edge. It started having HDD problems a few weeks after I bought it, constantly wiping out whatever I saved. Couldn't even let me get back into Windows etc. It was insane, and I was unable to diagnose what was happening with the computer then. I would have long trips in different places where the laptop was practically useless, couldn't switch on, couldn't get onto Windows, data all gone etc.

Replaced the HDD, other things started falling apart. The fan started making weird rumbling sounds, it stopped detecting Wifi networks, it was a major pain in the ass. After a year and a half, I reached the point where I went "screw this, you know what? Even though I have been using Windows and PC for the past 15-16 years, ever since I first used a comp, and even though Apple fanatics generally annoy the crap out of me, I'm going to make the switch to Apple. And so I bought my Macbook Pro on Valentine's Day 2012. I was making a new film, I needed a new start.

I guess this was my Valentine's Day gift to myself.

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Tuesday, February 14, 2012

3 years later. After writing and editing countless projects with this laptop, it finally bit the dust.

I thought it was over. I knew that all these years of heavy lifting probably murdered it.

So I immediately ordered an iMac. It's been a while since I actually had a desktop anyway. (shifted entirely to laptop in 2004, when I went to Perth for my studies). Needed something strong enough to do my future editing.

Surprisingly, my Macbook came back 2 days after repairs. Before the new iMac has arrived. I was stunned.

The whole plan, of course, was to have one to travel, and one to do work. At least there's a backup. The iMac arrived yesterday.

March 21, 2015. My Macbook Pro just died. I kinda knew it was happening in the last few days. Made some preparations,...

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Sunday, March 22, 2015

The irony though, is that now I cannot install the old Final Cut Pro 7 onto either of these two computers thanks to Yosemite.

Perhaps it's really time for me to move to Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro...? (it's easier with Adobe, but FCPX seems tricky since it looks entirely different from whatever editing softwares that came before it!!!!)

Reports of my Macbook's death have been greatly exaggerated. 3 days after my heartfelt eulogy, my old Macbook came back...

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, March 27, 2015

Monday, March 09, 2015


I've been trying to find the term for this. A series of tweets in a row about the same thing, usually to alleviate the 140-character limit.

Multi-tweet essay? Multiple-tweets?

Apparently it's called a Tweetstorm.

Since RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS' premiere in Tokyo last October, the film has gotten some Tweetstorm from viewers in Japan. Their thoughts had been very insightful and invaluable, so I always wanted to put them here. To help myself remember.

This one's from Wanda (@Patrick_Orouet)

After that, there is also a series of tweets from ロジオン・ろじお (@boxineman) who saw the film twice, during the festival in October, and again, at the encore screening in Feb 28. These are his tweets, from his first viewing to after his second viewing:

And finally,by Hato (@hatoincident).

Sunday, March 08, 2015


RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS continues its festival tour. This time making its way to San Francisco!

CAAMFest (formerly known as San Francisco International Asian Film Festival) will be screening RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS on March 15 and 19!

4 years ago, my short film INHALATION played in CAAMFest too. I wasn't able to attend, but my composer Woan Foong went instead. This time, once again I can't go, but Woan Foong's mother-in-law-to-be will be going instead. Awesome.

Here's the trailer.

My birthday celebration 2015

My birthday was two days ago.

Unlike last year, where turning 30 made me reflect upon the past decade that I had, this so-called "twenties" that I doesn't belong to myself anymore.

This birthday started out more or less like a few birthdays I had before, I was working by attending a production meeting for an upcoming documentary shoot.

The fun started after the meeting, when Hanae decided to prepare a present for Uncle Edmund!

Of course, we had such a conversation before that:

Me: It's Uncle Edmund's birthday!
Hanae: Whaaaat? Are you joking?
Me: No, I'm not! It's my birthday!
Hanae: But there are no balloons! And cakes! And presents
Me: Uncle Edmund is a big boy, he doesn't need a party! Are you going to give Uncle Edmund a present?
Hanae: Okay.

And so she made me those presents.

Followed by a surprise birthday celebration thrown by Hanae's parents and Wey Yinn!

For dinner, I had it with my family, and also my childhood friend Joseph and his girlfriend. Joseph's been around in most of my birthdays. The rather new Thai restaurant near my house, Thai Camp, is pretty kickass. In fact, I just went there again with parents just now, two days after my birthday celebration. That's how great it is.

After that, I went off to another celebration of sorts at the nearby Mamak Stall with my film friends. TK, Joe (who shares my birthday and was prepping for a short film), actor Jonathan and actress Mayjune :D

It's a great birthday. The birthday greetings were pouring in from all over the world, family, friends from different stages of my life. I'm grateful.

The following day, I had lunch with my pal Yuan Yue (we collaborated together on this novella 10 years ago), and she also managed to buy me my most beloved Black Thunder!! That's one of the things I miss most from Japan!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Four of my short films played on Astro A-List channel on February

As February is about to end, I would also like to thank Astro A-List (channel 450) for playing four of my old short films, KINGYO (2009), EXHALATION (2010), INHALATION (2010) and LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER (2011) throughout the entire month.

These were films I made during a different stage of my life, when I was in my mid 20s, when I was still based in Japan. I never imagined having these short films play on local Malaysian TV.

And having been so used to watching these shorts on DVDs, and having not watched them for so long, it was quite a strange experience to see these films in full HD!!

Here are the trailers for these short films.




You can watch the entire LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER here.

RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS and SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES on the front page of Daily Tiger @ Rotterdam

One of the most surprising parts of the Rotterdam Film Fest is being on the front page of the Daily Tiger! Very honoured!

Can actually read this particular edition of DAILY TIGER here.

RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS and SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES photos @ International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015

Thanks to being suddenly overwhelmed by numerous film projects (webseries, TV series, documentary, feature film) and the ongoing Chinese New Year, I realized that I haven't updated this blog for more than a month! Not since I went to Rotterdam!

If I still don't update anything by tomorrow, this will mark the first time in its 10-year existence that the blog isn't updated in an entire month. Not exactly something I want to do!

So here are the (very much postponed) photos from the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the premieres of both the film I directed, RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS, and the film I produced, SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES.

Both films had their European premieres exactly a month ago. On Jan 27. And had 3 more screenings from Jan 28 to Jan 30.

Aside from being busy with our own screenings, we also got to hang out with old film friends from around the world, whom we only get to meet during festivals! Or visiting art museums.

Here are the trailers of both films, in case you have never seen them before.

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