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Sunday, January 25, 2015

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

I'm actually at the airport now, waiting to fly off to Rotterdam within the next two hours.

On the 27th, RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS will be having its European premiere there. So is Woo Ming Jin's SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES (which I produced and co-wrote). I guess both films are linked in many ways, so it's unsurprising that they will both have their European premieres on the same day.

Blurb from the Rotterdam website for RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS:

"Edmund Yeo prepared thoroughly for his first film. He first made a series of short films, some of which were also seen in Rotterdam; he studied for a long time in Tokyo and became an erudite young filmmaker.

For his feature debut, he returned to Malaysia - maybe the Malaysia of his childhood, because the film is set at a secondary school. There is a romantic story about two students, but also an element borrowed from the recent political history of the country. The government of Malaysia gave an Australian company that processed ‘rare Earth metals’ (a process that is potentially radioactive) permission to set up their factory on the East coast of Malaysia. In its own country, the company had been banned because of its environmental effects.

The secondary school pupils and their teacher are suddenly confronted with a threat to their surroundings and have to make a political choice. In an ambitious story with many dramatic twists, Yeo shows the disturbed order in his country."


Monday, January 19, 2015

Ode to KLIA 2

The Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) opened in May 2014. Since then, it became the place I always had to go to whenever I fly to Tokyo. I have been there a couple of times, flying to Bangkok, Busan, Phnom Penh etc.

It's pretty flawed, but I'm quite fond of it. Took some photos of it a few days ago, when mom and I went there to pick dad up after his brief trip in Penang. Had dinner at the Nanny's Pavillon, which has some really good pasta and pancakes (I wrote about it last month).

That's mom, hanging out at Nanny's Pavillon.

That's dad.

And that's me, writing about my fondness for KLIA2 on Facebook, to the consternation of many.

I'm rather fond of the KLIA 2 (Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, to the uninitiated). It might actually be one of my favorite airports in the world.
Last year, after KLIA2 has just opened, a Buddhist monk visiting from China told my mom (who hadn't visited the airport then) that the place is so huge, and so many shops, you can just do your grocery shopping.
My mom assumed it was a metaphor of some sort, until she got there a few days ago and realized that there is indeed a supermarket in the airport, where you can even buy stuff for them to cook for you immediately. KLIA2 is pretty much a shopping mall which happens to have an airport in it. Definitely beats LCCT.
There are even special parking spots for hybrid cars, which made her even happier.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A stroll through Yanaka Ginza

I've returned from Tokyo yesterday.

Once of them most pleasant experiences I had was visiting the Yanaka Ginza Shopping District 谷中銀座商店街 after having afternoon tea with a friend. The street made me feel as if i were transported to the Edo period, as if I were worlds away from hypermodern areas of Shinjuku and Shinuya.

It was my first time there. That's the beauty of Tokyo, I have lived there for 5 years, yet there's always something new to discover.

Towards Yanaka Ginza

A photo posted by Edmund Yeo (@edmundyeo) on

A row of traditional Japanese shops.

A photo posted by Edmund Yeo (@edmundyeo) on

Cat statue lurking on a bookshop.

A photo posted by Edmund Yeo (@edmundyeo) on

I'm back in Malaysia, yet I'm sifting through more photos I took of Yanaka Ginza

A photo posted by Edmund Yeo (@edmundyeo) on

Chilling at Yanaka Ginza

A photo posted by Edmund Yeo (@edmundyeo) on

I'm also going to share some photos from its official Facebook page. Mostly festive photos of New Year celebration at Yanaka Ginza.

It also looks really cool during those summer festivals in August.

Friday, January 09, 2015


The SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES 偷·情 trailer is up!

The film, which I produced, co-wrote and edited, were screened at the Busan International Film Festival and the Singapore International Film Festival. It will be making its European premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam later this month.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

How I celebrated New Year in Japan

First post of 2015!

My New Years of 2010 and 2011 were spent with Maiko the Producer (she's a Director in NHK now) and her family. Which I have written about in detail, and taken great photos, here and here.

The years after that, I have gone to Zojo-ji Temple in 2012 (where people released thousands of balloons in the air after countdown) and the familiar Senso-ji Temple in 2013. Last year, I had to shoot RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS and had a production meeting on New Year's Day, so it was the first New Year in six years that was spent in Malaysia.

This year, I got to return to Maiko's house for New Year Countdown.

Although getting there was an adventure in itself, having a delayed flight, and being stuck in the airport, and discovering a capsule hotel in Haneda.

31 Dec 2014. I just saw the last sunset of the year, I guess. At Nakakido Station

A photo posted by Edmund Yeo (@edmundyeo) on

At Maiko's house with her sister Kanako and their parents, I could once again have my favourite favourite (yes, the multiple "favourites" is deliberate) Sukiyaki in the world!!!

Of course, we were watching Kohaku (The Red-White Singing Competition). I was pleasantly surprised that Sheena Ringo was invited this year as well. The fact that she had only appeared twice before is a travesty!

On New Year's Eve in Japan, even cats watch Kohaku (Red and White Song Battle)

A photo posted by Edmund Yeo (@edmundyeo) on

And then, as the year was about to end, we had soba, of course.

The next morning, we headed to Yamanaka Lake at around 5am, just so we could catch the beautiful sight of Mount Fuji, and also the first sunrise of the year.

Went back home and had Osechi for lunch. The traditional Japanese New Year meal, where each ingredient symbolizes something. As we were eating, it suddenly started snowing.

I have never experienced snow on New Year's Day before, not in these regions. It's going to be a great year.

January 1, 2015. An unexpected snowfall.

A photo posted by Edmund Yeo (@edmundyeo) on

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