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Saturday, October 29, 2005

My SPEED mailing list is dead, I guess. Long live the SPEED mailing list.

The age of mailing list is over, message boards and forums are perhaps the best way to build a community these days. Or is it?


Despite being in Australia for almost a year and a half, I have yet to see an Australian film in the cinemas (but then, I haven't seen a Malaysian film in the cinemas at all throughout my entire life...). The fact is, hell, Hoyts (what it is in Australia is what TGV or Golden Screen are in Malaysia) don't bloody show Australian films much, just Hollywood. Well, there were some lame-looking comedies, and a Delta Goodren film during the first half of the year, but that's it. I could've seen the Delta Goodrem film if her goddamn duet with Brian McFadden hadn't made me hate her so utterly.

Anyway, I decided to remedy this drought of mine by checking out the newspapers, finding places where I can see a damn Aussie film. And voila! Turned out that there's actually a cinema at Fremantle which is hidden at the corner thus never really grabbed my attention throughout the thousands of times I've walked past it.

One Australian film I was looking out for was 'Little Fish', which isn't related to Tim Burton's 'Big Fish', but has Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving in it as recovering drug addicts. Galadriel and Elrond as recovering drug addicts, perfect.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Zen Mind Rape, Bitch!

zen mind rape

zen mind rape 2

zen mind rape 3

zen mind rape 4

Many thanks to Sonic Youth and Ludwig Wittgenstein (who is too dead to know about the existence of this blog).

Hitomi Kanehara and Risa Wataya. Young, pretty Japanese novelists.

This afternoon, while I was hanging out in a bookshop (New Edition Bookshop in Fremantle), killing time, I stumbled upon a book called 'Snakes And Earrings' by some chick called Hitomi Kanehara, which, according to the cover, was awarded the Akutagawa Prize in 2004... Japan's highest literary prize. I picked it up cos' it was thin, and I knew I could just finish reading the last two chapters easily. But looking at the back of the book, I gasped when I saw the author photo. The author was a YOUNG CHICK! And not a bad-looking one either. The blurb said that she was 21 when she received the award, and further research when I returned to my flat revealed that she, and this other gal, Risa Wataya, are currently the youngest Akutagawa Prize winners EVER.

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The left one is Kanehara, the right one is Wataya. Kanehara is a year older than I am, Wataya is a month older than I am. Both are yummy. Of course, when I read through the first chapter and last two chapters of 'Snakes and Earrings', I wasn't really blown away. Meditation on angst + minimalist + loneliness + solitude from the detached perspective of an emotionally stunted and confused young woman. Perhaps not my kind of thing.

Hm. But then, seeing how simplistic the entire novel was, I'm inspired to join NanoWriMo myself, after all, I could churn out 10000 words in one day (or 12 hours, to be more precise, since the other 12 was my partner posting up her pictures and illustrations) for the novel I wrote during Blogathon, 50000 wouldn't really be THAT hard. Right?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

NIGHT WATCH (Nochnoy dozor)

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'Night Watch' (Nochnoy dozor) is a Russian film, and it's much different from any of the other Russian films I've seen... oh wait, the only other Russian film I've ever seen was Russian Ark, which broke records as the entire film, 90+ minutes of it was filmed with ONE TAKE. The first film of a planned trilogy, this is a Gothic fantasy/action movie with vampires from opposing sides beating and killing the shit out of each other (okay, not really, one is supposed to be keeping tabs on the other like police), and was the top-grossing Russian film of all time when it was released last year (the record is broken by another film not too long ago). So yes, I've already heard a lot about this film long before it came out.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Chairman Mao Explains It All.

Chairman Mao explains it all
Chairman Mao explains it all 2
Chairman Mao explains it all 3
Chairman Mao explains it all 4
Chairman Mao explains it all 5
Chairman Mao explains it all 6
Chairman Mao explains it all 7

Special thanks to Mao Zedong, Lenin and Chiang Kai Shek, who are too dead to know about the existence of this blog.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Vlog: Hanging out with Kenny Sia

Updated (24/9/2006): Shifted the video to Youtube.com

Unlike most of my other vlog entries, this one will have a bit more words in it. So yeah, two nights ago, I was approached by Cynthia via MSN about a meeting up with Kenny Sia, who is currently one of the most famous Malaysian bloggers with thousands of hits a day and dozens of media coverage and such. So, I dragged Guestblogger Justin along for the thingie.

So, in the end, ten people went. Cynthia, Cynthia's bf Kian (who kindly drove us to the cafe), Kenny, Nadia, Nadia's bf Bruce, Eunice, Jackson, Lena (who kindly drove us home, and has a secret, scariest thing is, she actually lived a couple of houses away from mine years ago before she moved away. A long lost neighbour!) and us. I had feared that this would be a 'bloggers meeting' where everyone would be talking about, er, blogging (kinda like attending a Trekkie gathering). Thankfully, my fears were unfounded. It was a decent meeting, with me straying away once the subject shifted to controversial Singapore celebrity blogger Xia Xue. (a better recap of the discussion can be found in Nadia's entry)

Unfortunately, just moments ago, when I saw Kenny's entry regarding this meeting, there was a photo of me that made me look SO HIDEOUSLY FAT that I almost wanted to gouge out my own eyeballs and crush them with my bare foot:

WHAT THE HELL?????????

How could I look like THIS just two days ago whilst guestblogging for Minishorts and become SOOOOOOO ridiculously bloated after that?

... and think that I actually PHOTOSHOP my own photos into making myself look skinny. Damn, I haven't seen myself look so freakishly obese ever since I came to Perth last year and lost 20+kg (yes, that's 40+ pounds). Oh well, at least I didn't look that bad in Cynthia's entry.

EDITED (31/10/2005): The video should be of higher quality than before as I've changed it from .mov to .mp4. Probably loads faster too.

Video 1: The Great Swifty And Guestblogger Justin Meet Kenny Sia

I'm rather satisfied with this video, since it featured some camera and editing techniques that I intend to use on my Hindi short film, and my experiment actually worked (referring to the scene where Justin and I were hunting for an ATM machine).

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Finding Meaning In Films

I had a rather lengthy MSN conversation with an aspiring filmmaker friend, Sebastian about my personal disdain when people start asking me about the 'moral' or the 'meaning' of a film, which I forgot to save... unfortunately. Take my own Forced Labour for example, I had to put up with people asking me 'hey! i've just watched it! sooo... what's the moral of the story? what's the msg?'.

Friday, October 21, 2005

My Friend Is A Reincarnation Of Xu Zhimo

I was exposed to the famous Chinese poet, Xu Zhimo early last year, and one of the eeriest thing about him is his striking resemblance to my friend (whose name is not really Alan Wong as mentioned in yesterday's post, in fact, he's Alex Yuen, he who worked with me on my novel years ago, but please don't let him know that his photos are being used on my blog).

Now, look at Alex's face in the comic.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Chubby Cheeks contest

(Updated: 23rd of October, 2005): This entry is actually posted on the day Malaysia's first lady, Datin Paduka Seri Endon Mahmood passed away after a four-year battle with breast cancer. The nation is in mourning, once again remembering the cold sting of mortality and the unpredictability of death's touch. My parents have asked me to write something related to this sad event, but I declined, believing firmly that everything kind to say about her has been said or written already by the media and and many Malaysian bloggers. If I have intended to say something kind about her, I would come off sounding too insincere as my knowledge about her is entirely too limited.

I have already alluded to the Datin's passing with the title of this entry. The following web comic, which may soon become a recurring theme on my blog, was pretty an attempt to 'cheer' the nation up. At a time of mourning, when sadness and gloom pervaded the air, a moment of laughter, brief it may be, can only be the best remedy for everything. That is all I have to say.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

MUST LOVE DOGS starring Diane Lane and John Cusack

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I am secretly a sucker for romantic comedies, although, come to think of it, it's really not THAT MUCH of a secret anymore these days. They are usually harmless fun, generic and cliched they may be. Of course, some good ones are really good, I still love the likes of When Harry Met Sally, Jerry Maguire, Sleepless In Seattle, My Sassy Gal (which is definitely THE ultimate Korean rom-com, EVER), the list goes on and on, which I don't want to continue sharing with you all since I still have a manly, macho reputation to protect.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Joss Whedon's SERENITY

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I saw this film on Monday, which is six days ago, and I should've reviewed this if I've not been so busy dealing with the issues plaguing the production of my short films, and also the two assignments I have to work simultaneously on for my Shakespeare class (a Titus Andronicus oral presentation and a Midsummer Night's Dream critical review). Look at the entries during the past week and you'll understand what I mean.

Serenity is by Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy and Angel, both TV series I like. However, I am sceptical about this when I heard about this movie few months ago because:

Friday, October 14, 2005

Both Aisyalam and Hindi Short Film Projects Have Been Postponed. I'm stressed out.

One adversity after another.

The last few days have been exhausting and stressful. My oral presentation for Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and critical review for Midsummer Night's Review may have been completed yesterday, and my attention shifted upon the film projects, particularly the Hindi sci-fi short film (as Aisyalam is officially postponed).

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Aisyalam Project Is Jinxed.

Never, when I made Forced Labour, did I have to face such adversity. As I've mentioned few days ago, I lost my actor for Hang Tuah (one of the two main guys), thus jeopardizing the fate of this ambitious sci-fi project.

I acted quick, and immediately contacted Johan's (my other main guy) sister's boyfriend to replace Abu, the original actor for Hang Tuah. On Monday night, he sounded interested, thus I sent an email to him immediately. No reply from him, so I waited until Tuesday, no reply either. Yesterday, I finally called him to speak to him in person (it was stressful, since I was at the same time working on an oral presentation on Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, and an essay on Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream). Guy seemed unsure, told me to wait as he would return to me. Another night went past.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Almost lost my eyesight. I Now Appreciates The World More.

I woke up at 8:45am today, by the sound of my insanely loud ringtone of my mobile phone that doubles as my alarm clock. There will be a flat walthrough today, which is carried occasionally to ensure that students have kept their flats clean enough. I had to wake up and mop the floor.

Drowsily, I reached for the table next to my bed, trying to get my glasses... until I realized that it wasn't there. Opening my eyes in confusion, I started looking blindly for my glasses. It was all in vain because of my weak eyesight, well, not entirely THAT weak, just that all I see without glasses, is a blurry haze, where I can still see the shapes and forms, but not its details.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Preparing To Shoot Hindi Flick This Weekend.

While I'm still uncertain of the fate of Aisyalam, my upcoming ambitious sci-fi flick in Malay. Its spinoff might endure a much kinder fate.

The Hindi translation of my short film (the side project I mentioned here) is done. Will most probably begin shooting this weekend, as it is only going to be a couple of minutes long, the whole thing will probably be completed within days, I hope.

Lost my Hang Tuah. 'Aisyalam' Project Might Be In Development Hell.

It happened so quickly.

Abu is a friend of Johan's (my Hang Jebat), he was supposed to play Hang Tuah in my Aisyalam (in case you've missed my early entries, it's my upcoming short film which is based on a famous Malay folklore, but with sci-fi and noirish settings). He's rather big, bearded and seemed suited for the role of Hang Tuah. I first met him when he was doing this short film with a friend of mine, and then I met him again when he went to Johan's flat to play Tekken 4. Being quite a big guy, he left an impression. And when Aisyalam was developed, I was more than eager to ask him to play the role of Hang Tuah.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Trasharama A-go-go Film Festival

The Trasharama A-go-go is a short film festival held over here in Australia which showcases, according to its site, 'the cream of Australian Horror, Sci-fi, Bad Taste Comedies, Dodgymentaries, Sick Animations, B-grade Schlock and other Filmic Disasterpieces!!'. Basically, really low-budget B-movies, or even Z-movies.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

An aborted fantasy novel project

No, this isn't an entry about world domination. This is more about a dream I had ever since I was 13, a dream that had lasted until today. Eight years ago, when I was 13, the very first day when Internet was installed in my home, I immediately came up with the name Eliar Swiftfire (!!!!) to join a role-playing chatroom.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I intend to make a Hindi short film

The production of my upcoming Malay-language sci-fi epic, Aisyalam, will most likely be postponed to next year as the end of the semester is near, and everyone will be too busy to get involved in such a massive project.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Just came back from '40-Year-Old Virgin' with Justin. This is one of my most-anticipated movies especially after seeing the raving reviews it had been getting (84% in the Tomatometer of Rotten Tomatoes) and the unexpected domestic box-office success (101 million thus far, very good considering that this is Steve Carrell's first leading role in a film), and no, it doesn't disappoint.

Like most other reviews have said, this is a very good-hearted raunchy sex comedy, with lines and scenes that cracked me up so much that I had tears running down my cheeks towards the end of the film, but none of them I will reveal here because it is better for you to find them out yourselves.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Are We TRULY HONEST When Judging Artistic Works?

This will be a serious entry. So before going into it, I'm wishing Guestblogger Justin, Blogathon partner Lune and longtime net (occasionally real-life) pal, Aik 'Egg' Tiong a very happy belated birthday. The first two are now 21, the latter is now 20.