Sunday, August 31, 2008

SPEED's reunion segment at Nippon Television's 24 HOUR TELEVISION / LOVE SAVES THE EARTH

UPDATED (1/9/2008): I've added the videos of yesterday's reunion. Incredible that it's on Youtube that soon.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Things to do when I return to Malaysia on the 3rd of September

I'm going back to Malaysia next Wednesday, but I'm only going to be back for 16 days. I haven't been updating the blog much this week because I've been doing some preparations for my return, along with some last-minute shopping as well.

I intend to shoot a short film (tentatively titled 'POSTCARD AND BALLOONS') when I come back, that's why I've been spending most of the past week sitting in cafes, writing my script. Initially, I was doing my writing at the Starbucks in either Shibuya or Shinjuku, but realized that going to either of these two places take away too much of my time, especially since it's been raining everyday, so I've shifted to the uni cafe instead. It's been great, I actually finished the first draft of my new script yesterday, and I'm hoping to get Kimmy to act again since our collaboration in CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY had been so successful. :D

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Is THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM the Jackie Chan / Jet Li pairing I've been waiting for?

Pardon the lack of updates, been busy writing a 400-word short story, having a MELANCHOLY OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA marathon, pondering the ending of my new script, and, well, some other stuff. So, here you go, a review of THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM I watched this morning.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Liveblogging the Beijing Olympics Closing Ceremony

Just like what I did with the opening ceremony, I'm going to try to liveblog the closing ceremony as well. But instead of flooding my Twitter like before, I going to try something new. Hence the window below.

TOKYO! omnibus film by Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Bong Joon Ho

I was in a cafe at Shibuya two days ago, struggling to write the script for a new short film. It went well except for the fact that I just couldn't figure out the damn ending.

After sitting there for three hours, I thought I needed a break, and most probably inspiration. So I headed off to see TOKYO! An omnibus film featuring segments done by French filmmakers Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho. The only connection between the three half-hour segment is that they're all set in Tokyo.

THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA in cinemas now!

I know some of you folks don't follow my postings at THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA blog, so I'll announce here:

Yup, THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA had opened at Cathay Cineleisure since Thursday and will be around for two weeks! So please check it out! Then you can check out my very first (and probably only) attempt at composing. (aside from serving as co-producer, I did the additional editing and music for the film's theatrical release)

Here are three reviews of the film that have popped out recently.

You can read The Visitor's interview with director Ming Jin as well.

Thanks for the reviews, guys.

Once again, here's the trailer.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oh wow, SPEED is getting back together!



Got this from Tokyograph.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

'The Sky Crawlers スカイ・クロラ' by Mamoru Oshii


I went to see THE SKY CRAWLERS, the latest film by Mamoru Oshii yesterday.

I've completed my novel

Back in February, I said something about dusting off my Nanowrimo 2005 novel. Just to summarise what I posted then: I participated in the National Novel Writing Month back in 2005, I reached 50 000 words but never completed the story. I wanted to finish it one and for all.

The fantasy/scifi novel was based on ideas, concepts and characters I was working on since my secondary school years, one of those rare periods of my life where the childhood dream of filmmaking was put aside for something else. I wanted to write an epic fantasy story so epic that it would probably take 4-5 books to complete. Through those years, I was collaborating with a friend on it. What filmmaking is to me now was what the story was to me then. Almost everything.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Chacun son cinéma (To Each His Own Cinema)

Chacun son cinéma

I was originally planning to see SKY CRAWLERS or anything offered at the Shinjuku cinemas after meeting up with Maiko the producer regarding the status of our short film, YUKI (she's going to Kyoto end of this month for a 2-month internship at Toei, so had to see what to do next). But then she mentioned about her watching 'Chacun son cinéma' sometime ago at Shibuya. 'Chacun son cinéma' is an omnibus film commissioned last year to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Is FINAS really helping to develop the Malaysian film industry?

This was forwarded to the Malaysian Cinema mailing list yesterday. It's from a filmmaker named Ahmad Yazid:

Hiking in Nasu

This happened more than 3 weeks ago, when I was at the ESC (English Summer Camp) in Nasu.

The ESC is held throughout the end of July to early August. Each round lasts for 3 days 2 nights, I think there were a total of 6 to 7 rounds. I went to the first round, and we had Japanese kids in the first year of junior high (13 year olds). They have just started learning English this year, I was there, along with numerous international students, as 'team captains' to help interact with them in English.

One of the more enjoyable aspects of the camp, to me, was the hiking. It was horrifying to see how quick the kids were as they just sped through the hiking trails in the forest while we, the team captains, were trying to keep up with them. I doubt the 13-year-old me would have survived the hiking, being the fat nerdy kid I was.

I'll be posting up some photos from the summer camp in the next few days. But here
are the hiking ones. I can't really remember the name of the place though. :(

Photos of us beginning our journey:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

'The Incredible Hulk' isn't better than Ang Lee 'The Hulk'

THE INCREDIBLE HULK poster directed by Louis Leterrier, starring Edward Norton

Just saw it today.

When I first heard the news of this 'reboot' of the HULK franchise, I had mixed feelings. Firstly, the HULK, being such a well-known Marvel character, might have the potential to become a franchise, so I understood the need to do a more commercial and action-packed HULK film for the masses so they can erase the bad taste from Ang Lee's 2003 film.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Organizing THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA press premiere

The press conference of THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA
(From left to right) Ming Jin the director, Berg Lee, Ng Meng Hui and Chung Kok Keong

THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA finally had its press premiere yesterday morning. I was so excited that I called Ming Jin just before it started to check out on things, and to remind him who were to attend it. But now that I've already read Ming Jin's post about the premiere, I felt only relief. The past week of putting this together had been hectic. Especially when Ming Jin had to head off to the Brisbane International Film Festival for the screening of KURUS (aka DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY) and I was left to handle things.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


The Dark Knight poster

THE DARK KNIGHT premiered in Tokyo yesterday. I finally got to see it. The wait was excruciating! The hype of the film had been colossal, it's been breaking one box-office record after another and judging by its momentum, it is most likely going to be the second top-grossing movie of all-time in the US (behind Titanic, before adjustment to inflation).

After seeing the film, I'm a little baffled by the crazy amount of money it's making. It's quite a dark and intense film, not as cheery as the Spidey films, not as family-friendly as Shrek 2 or Pirates of the Caribbean 2), yet in just 3 weeks, it made more money than the likes of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and Spider-man 1 etc.

I think it's probably due to a few factors, like this being Heath Ledger's last complete role, the goodwill from the previous film Batman Begins (read my review here), the insane hype generated from fan anticipation, marketing campaign etc. And this film's proving to have legs because of the extensive media coverage it had gotten with each of the box-office record it had broken, sparking curiosity from people who weren't initially interested in superhero films, and even those who didn't see the first film.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Liveblogging the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

The ceremony was spectacular. But I wasn't very coherent.

(Start from the bottom)

Liveblogging the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony 2
Liveblogging the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

(Some really awesome photos of the Opening Ceremony at Too bad they don't have the one where Li Ning lit up the Olympic Torch. That one gave me the goosebumps)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Watching Kahimi Karie (and Rei Harakami) live at Liquidroom

[Unrelated note: I found out that KURUS was on TV again yesterday. Ming Jin is currently in Australia for the Brisbane International Film Festival, where KURUS ('Days of the Turquoise Sky' to the foreigners) is screening. Interested to know what the Aussies think about the film.]

Kahimi Karie
Kahimi Karie

I went to the Liquidroom at Ebisu for one of their 4th year anniversary events on Wednesday night, a live performance by Kahimi Karie and the electronic musician Rei Harakami. I first read about this from Japan Times two weeks ago, and immediately decided to go even though ticket price is a little steep.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Chicken Rice For The Win - Interview with The Malay Mail

Last week, I did an email interview with Gabey Goh of The Malay Mail. The article, Chicken Rice For The Win, came out on the newspapers yesterday, but it's online now! I talk about filmmaking and blogging.


Or you can just scroll down and read the interview below:

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Koki Mitani's really funny The Magic Hour ザ・マジックアワー

Magic Hour poster

I saw this some time ago but haven't had the time to write my thoughts. So I'll do it now.

Monday, August 04, 2008




Guess it's time for me to make this announcement too.

All righty folks, we (that's Greenlight Pictures) have officially begun pre-selling tickets for the award-winning film THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA!

I was involved in the film as associate producer, also did some additional editing and composing for its Malaysian version (the music you hear in the trailer is mine).

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea 崖の上のポニョ is beautiful

A confession. When I was watching Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea at the cinema yesterday, I was a little choked up during one scene. And yes, damn it, I teared up too. I was so awed by the exuberance and beauty of a scene that I couldn't help but find a single tear trickling down my face. I won't spoil that scene, but it involves the storm, and a girl running frantically ON the crashing waves.

Yes, I went 'Wow' and teared up.