Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Battling The Entire Murdoch Uni Security Force (To Shoot A Scene)

Perhaps you remember me mentioning about wanting to do a short film that takes place entirely in a public toilet two weeks ago. It would've been a masterpiece, shooting would've commenced today, then the craziest shit ever to happen in my brief filmmaking career occured. Being the bad boy filmmaker I am, I had wanted to go on with my project despite not getting the proper permission from the authorities, yet I made a grievous error.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Don Bluth is underrated

It all happened during a conversation I had with Guestblogger Justin when we had dinner just now, about the animator, Don Bluth. Many people have already forgotten about him, all thanks to the evil Disney, and the rise of 3D animation (Pixar's stuff are great, but the Shrek movies are kinda overrated, and we also get such mediocre shit like Robots and A Shark's Tale).

But I remember, during my childhood, Don Bluth's animated masterpieces leave a much deeper impression than Disney films (before they reached the 'second Golden Era' with the likes of Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Lion King). And therefore, I will now revisit my fond memories of Don Bluth cartoons, which, all of a sudden, I have a strong desire to find their DVDs.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I combined an Australian student short film with Cowboy Bebop dialogue for mashup video

Well, here's another entry to remind you that I AM a filmmaker. Just a couple of days ago, I mentioned that during my editing assignment, I realized common themes found it the majority of my projects, you can now witness the editing assignment for yourself.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Now Everyone Knows My Fear For Dogs

Dawn Yeo, or Dawn Yang, depends what you call her, is perplexed by my fear for dogs

"My hatred for dogs extend to cartoon characters. I hate Goofy and Pluto because they are so freaking annoying. And I think Snoopy's a pretty condescending son of a bitch, even though he IS literally one. And Scooby Doo, goddamn Scooby Doo and his stupid cry, I can't freaking stand him."

"I hate dogs. I am supposed to be a manly man, but they made me seem unmanly, man. They make me feel exposed and vulnerable."

"When I was a toddler, and I wanted to get out of my house, my nanny told me that if I do thus, I would be eaten by dogs. Well, even if I don't believe that I'll be eaten by dogs now, I feel that they can still bite off my fingers easily."

"Crazy rottweilers. I remember reading the news about how this old woman was beaten to death by some crazy rottweiler many years ago, I never looked at the same way again."

"I always thought that by revealing my fear for dogs to a woman, she will appreciate my soft and sensitive side, and hopefully share this trait of mine as well, so that they would invite me home and that we can then... discuss about our mutual fear. Unfortunately, this had never happened."

My creative works seem to share a common theme...

Dawn Yang, or Dawn Yeo, returns to The Great Swifty Speaketh!

During the editing assignment, a raw footage from a short film is given to groups of two to edit into a watchable short film. The rushes weren't anything special. It's about this guy who works in the filming equipment room at the Media And Communications School of Murdoch University. It was late at night, someone called Monty phones in to book a camera, the main guy complied. Then, suddenly, a hot babe walks in, flirts with him, seduces him into giving her the last camera. Hot babe leaves happily.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

David Cronenberg's A History of Violence

Viggo Mortensen can still kick ass even if he's not Aragorn in A History of Violence

When I was in the cinema, many people snickered and giggled during the two much-talked about sex scenes of A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, and some wincing and groaning during the second staircase one. I felt that the scenes were pretty over-the-top, but someone in IMDB justified the scenes like this in reply to someone who made a remark similar to mine (and that the sex scenes were entirely unnecessary and slowed down the pacing of the film):

Friday, March 17, 2006

Jeff Lau's A Chinese Tall Story 情癲大聖 is underrated

Charlene Choi seriously didn't suck in this film

This film has received some rather mixed reviews, and it did only middling business in the box-office, but knowing that this Jeff Lau film is a quasi-sequel to Stephen Chow's Chinese Odyssey (which was also directed by Jeff Lau), I was looking forward to see this film, and was rather annoyed that I never had the chance to see it when it was showing at the cinemas, nor was I able to find anyone to watch it with me. It was already judged as a shitty film. Perhaps it had to do with the cast. Having guys from Boy'z as the Tang Monk's (Tripitaka) disciples doesn't really help matters. Nicholas Tse's once-promising acting career has been buried by one tabloid news after another, and Charlene Choi? Well, she's from Twinz. What more do I have to say? I can't even name a film which she doesn't annoy me... except, maybe that Andy Lau film last year. That's because SHE DIED IN THE BEGINNING OF THAT FILM.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My Sci-Fi Satirical Slapstick Becomes... An Emotional Love Story?

The Postgrad Diploma students are supposed to be working on two projects thus far. A self-reflexive (reflective?) documentary which involves all four filmmakers sitting before the camera talking about themselves. And also the toilet paper epic I mentioned few days ago.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My Graduation. Oh, and Annie Proulx's pissed that Brokeback Mountain didn't win the Oscars.

I spent the last few years doing my degree on Marketing Management, not entirely something I liked to do, but I did for practicality's sake. My minor was English Literature, to serve as a refresher to my course. Business units, for me, were always dry and boring, thus I needed something interesting from the literature units to challenge my mind, and constantly dove into my filmmaking and writing endeavours (like this site) for the sake of reducing the numbness I get when doing a business course.

But that ended last year. I've already finished my degree since then.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Stephen Gaghan's SYRIANA

George Clooney's substory is the most interesting, to me.Syriana is, well, not an easy film to follow. It's about the global oil industry, terrorism and Middle-East politics. So many characters, so many different locations, so many subplots were going on that despite my brilliant mind, I had trouble following the film, then the trouble started subsiding, then, it came back, then it subsided again, and then came back, and subsided, until I was shifting from full understanding of the plot to slight confusion within minutes. Yet in the end, I knew enough to know that the ending was a depressing one. The CIA were portrayed as bastards whilst the business world was shown as a cesspool of immoral, manipulative rich men.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Woody Allen's MATCH POINT

Scarlett Johansson... mmmm, Scarlett Johansson...Match Point is Woody Allen's much-lauded latest flick. Much-lauded because it is entirely unWoody Allen, it's not a comedy, it doesn't have Woody Allen in it, it doesn't have Woody Allen getting it on with some young actresses, it doesn't have some guy like Will Ferrell trying to imitate Woody Allen, it doesn't take place in New York. Critics were excited to see Woody Allen doing something so different from his usual stuff, it's the equivalent of seeing John Woo tackle a romantic comedy (without pigeons in it), or George Lucas attempting an erotic thriller, or Uwe Boll doing a serious biopic about James Joyce, or Michael Bay doing an explosion-less family drama, or... well, you get the idea.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Doing A Short Film About... The Importance Of Toilet Papers?

Progress Report of Swifty's Untitled Sci-Fi Project

The problems with the previous version of my postapocalyptic satirical sci-fi epic are rather apparent. It's too complex and confusing to be put in a 10-15 minute SHORT FILM, combining satire (poking fun of people’s overreliance on the internet by showing those homeless bums) with sincerity (romance between Edward and Maya) is not a good choice, one has to be chosen over the other.

(Read the idea here. And read my pitch here.)

And to have so many themes in a short film is dangerous as well... the themes I had in consideration were:

• Technology becoming an extension of humankind.
• Humanity’s overdependence on technology (and the internet).
• Machine vs. humanity
• The line that separates humanity from machine is blurred.
• Human interaction ruined by technology
• Technology substituting human emotions

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's My Birthday! + Some Brief Oscar Thoughts.

Ang Lee was robbedOn the 6th of March, 1984, in Singapore, I was born. That was two decades and two years ago. How do I feel? No different from when I turned twenty one, which was no different from when I turned eighteen, still the most eligible bachelor in Malaysia. Perhaps there will be a time when I throw huge and garish parties for my birthday, inviting politicians, celebrities and members of the media to celebrate with me, but that day hasn't arrived, and I remain merely a low-profile film student who keeps his birthday to himself. No parties were thrown, so I will not cover the entire entry with photos of people you barely care about in a party you don't even wish of being there.

Perhaps a quick recap on how this site has evolved since going 'public' on July 2005?

Unfortunately, that will most likely be a snoozefest. What is worth reading on this site has already been archived and can be accessed via the numerous links at the left sidebar. My film reviews, literary articles, webcomics and other miscellaneous stuff. After all, it is always rather unfair to count the 'highlights' of your life, since some will be unhappy that I left them out of the 'highlights'. Hence they will start disputing my choices, and because I am such a nice guy, I will put them in as 'highlights', even though they aren't exactly my 'highlights', which will render things pointless.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Stumbling Into The World of Robert Altman

Robert Altman is such a cool-looking old dudeA short film idea I had in 2004:

It takes place within the span of a night in a mamak stall. (note to international readers: Mamak stalls are indian restaurants opened for 24 hours that can be found anywhere in Malaysia. It's a favourite hangout place for all kinds of people. People are there for the great curry dishes, the fried noodles, the roti canai (indian pancakes), the drinks (just milk tea, coffee etc. nothing alcoholic). A hangout place where people can just chit-chat, or watch the latest English Premiere League match. It's a subculture in Malaysia) An ensemble flick where a colourful cast of characters will be involved in various kinds of subplots while they were at the mamak stall. A bunch of football-crazed fans mouthing off while watching a game on TV, a man whining about his work with his buddies Clerks-style, a bunch of high school girls trying to entertain a Japanese person (from a student exchange program) with the mamak food, leading to comical results, a young couple confronting each other for their infidelities, a wealthy couple complaining about the less-than-satisfactory condition at the restaurant, a bunch of old men speaking about old times, two policemen resting from their duties, a pirated DVD peddler comes over to display his stuff.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Times When I Felt Betrayed By The Oscars.

Despite having followed the Oscars since I was a mere child (the earliest Oscar I recall is the one when Dances With Wolves swept through everything), I've never been truly passionate about its results, merely make notes on the films I would watch after they've won an Oscar. Some would say that the Academy Awards are meaningless, and that no one gives a shit about it because it's like some meaningless awards show meant to reward highbrow arthouse films (of course, people only gave a shit when films that actually appeal to the masses were nominated, like Titanic, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and the LoTR films, these films made such a huge impact that everyone would start tuning into the Oscars, rooting for it to win).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Wrestling with my short film screenplay

Before even directing an actual feature-length film, I feel I am becoming one of those tyrannical, egoistic, obsessive, power-mad and most of all, stubborn filmmaker desperate to do whatever it takes to preserve his own vision despite everyone else telling him to do otherwise (something like James Cameron... while making Titanic). A week has past since I developed the concept for my upcoming short film, its concept is, as I've mentioned before, loosely based on the three chapters of Tales of the Blogosphere I have written back in January (which, in turn, was based on a short sci-fi tale recommended by my archnemesis, BoingBoing).