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Monday, October 27, 2008

Waiting at the Dubai International Airport

I've reached Dubai.

Currently waiting at the gate. People are boarding onto the plane now.

The Dubai International Airport's pretty awesome.

Dubai International Airport

Dubai International Airport 2

Dubai International Airport 3

Dubai International Airport 4

Dubai International Airport 5

Dubai International Airport 6

Zahir: Casino Royale, bitch!

Me in Dubai

Maha and Ida Nerina in Dubai


I have three traveling companions with me, one's Maha, who also won an honourable mention for her film at the BMW Shorties, and the other two are Zahir (last year's BMW Shorties winner) and Ida Nerina the actress. They were both judges of this year's BMW Shorties.

I am now minutes away from going in. Heya, Rome!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

BUY MY WRITING



Hello, Justin here.

If you've been reading this blog for a long time, you're probably familiar with me.

Anyway, I'm here to do a bit of self-promotion.

First off:

Quentin S. Crisp kindly whores out my writing.

Next up, be sure to buy Postscripts #17, which contains my story "The Plot."

Or better yet, buy the hardcover version, which is signed by me.

Okay, that's all.

Wait, I forgot. Keep reading Chomu.

Thank you.

Creating Gems on Screen - Interview with The Star

Just a few hours from flying to Rome. Taking the midnight flight. Will stop by at Dubai. Going for dinner after posting this.

I was interviewed by Nicole last week while I was in Tokyo, and her column, CREATING GEMS ON SCREEN, came out on the Metro section of The Star yesterday. Unfortunately, she didn't have enough space to squeeze in my answer to her last question, so I'll put it here instead.

Q. What advice do you have for passionate people who want to become film makers?

I won't say 'watch more films', or 'pick a camera now and start recording what you see' because they’re all been said before by more qualified individuals. But I definitely suggest reading more, I think literature is often overlooked as an important source of inspiration for filmmakers, especially when there are so many storytelling possibilities one can be exposed to. Many great directors are voracious readers.


Creating gems on screen (The Star Column on 25th of October, 2008)


Go read the entire column.

Friday, October 24, 2008

HOPELANDER at the Tokyo Project Gathering 2008

I've just returned from Tokyo a few hours ago. Haven't been able to update the blog during the past few days because I've been busy with the Tokyo Project Gathering, a co-production market held in conjunction with the Tokyo International Film Fest and TIFFCOM.

My TPG name tag

HOPELANDER in TPG


A while ago, Ming Jin and I submitted a project, HOPELANDER (working title) to this year's Tokyo Project Gathering and we got selected. In co-production markets like this, projects are selected and listed on a catalog so people (potential investors, distributors, sales agents, co-producers, collaborators etc.) can set up meetings with the producer/filmmaker and see whether they can work together. Aside from being able to do business, these places are good opportunities to exchange ideas, build relationships and networks.

All these projects are in various stages of development. But most are in their infancy (like our HOPELANDER) and producers are just looking for funds and collaborators to kick start the project. (But there are also projects that are already being shot, or have already been completed, and the filmmakers merely needed help with postproduction, or distributing the films.)

Ming Jin came to Tokyo on the 20th, and then, the next morning, we had the TPG Networking Reception. This event allowed all project exhibitors to mingle and socialize during lunch. Aside from being able to chat with a few other exhibitors, I managed to meet up with Jason Gray too (the bathrooms were indeed full of toilet paper that day! Great job, Jason!)! You can read about Jason's account of TIFFCOM here.

In previous years, each participant of TPG has to go onstage to give a brief presentation about their project to everyone else. I assume the organizers had learned the hard way how time-consuming this would be (imagine: there are 34 projects this year, if each takes 10 minutes to present their stuff, it'll be nearly 6 hours before the whole thing's over!)

All we had to do now was to go onstage for a while when each of us (and our projects) were introduced, and that was it. Unfortunately, my camera batteries died when Ming Jin and I were onstage :( But here's what the reception was like:

TPG Networking Reception

TPG Networking Reception 2


Legendary Japanese director Seijun Suzuki came onstage to give a speech as well
(You know the famous YUMEJI'S THEME used in Wong Kar Wai's IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE? It's actually borrowed from Seijun Suzuki's 1990 film, YUMEJI.). The 85-year-old filmmaker also had a project in TPG.

Legendary Japanese director Seijun Suzuki


It was inspiring. He was saying that despite his current health condition (suffering from emphysema, failing eyesight etc.) he was going to continue directing movies. So I knew I had to take a photo with Suzuki.

But that would be difficult. And too fanboyish.

So Ming Jin took a photo of me with Seijun Suzuki in the background instead.

Seijun Suzuki and I


We left the reception early because we had to print out copies of our treatment needed for business meetings during the following day (on the 22nd), but the business center wasn't open yet, so we made a mad dash to my university to make use of the free printing facilities.

My professor's lab had a colour printer.

Unfortunately, that day was a school holiday because it was my university's Founding Day.

We went to my dormitory's office to print a copy instead. Each page cost me 10 yen, the entire treatment was 12 pages, we wanted to do 15 copies of the treatment, that would be around 1800 yen, not horrible. But because the office had a regular printer that worked very slowly (it took nearly 5 minutes, or more, to print out one copy of the treatment), and because I knew the printer would die if I were to do 15 copies, we ended up going to a 24-hour computer lab in the university building where I learn Japanese to do the rest of the printing. That was much faster, but they were all in black and white.

There was a lot of urgency to get these treatment printed because we had to be fully prepared to give them out to each person who wanted to meet us for HOPELANDER during TPG. Some people were fully-prepared: They had posters, banners, postcards, video presentations for each meeting, but we hadn't really started with our script, so we could only make do with our (very detailed) treatments. But a note to any others who were going to get involved in markets such as these, it is highly recommended that you have a screenplay with you because that's always what people will ask for.

The first day of TPG, held at the 49th floor of Roppongi Hills, was the most busy one. We were given 30-minute blocks for each business meeting. A table was assigned to us every time before a meeting. (Unlike most other markets, we weren't given a booth where we could stay all day waiting for people to meet up with us.) Once we had a break, we had to exit the room and either hang out at the lounge, or visit the TIFFCOM at the 40th floor. We had mostly back-to-back meetings (the day ended with a 2 and half hour stretch where we had to meet 5 consecutive companies!), and we only had two one-hour breaks, so it wasn't enough to catch a film. We barely managed to have a quick lunch with Ming Jin's buddy, Thai filmmaker Aditya Assarat (but we call him Juke).

We were exhausted when the day ended. But being my first time in such a market (it was Ming Jin's second time), it was a very educational experience, and yes, I managed to meet a lot of different people from different countries as well.

I was supposed to be at TPG for 3 days (22nd, 23rd and 24th), but I have to catch a morning flight back to Malaysia yesterday (the 23rd)) in order fly off to Rome this Sunday. So I left for Narita Airport at 5am yesterday, taking the earliest train from Roppongi. Leaving poor Ming Jin to deal with the rest of the meetings, feeling a twinge of regret... oh well, let's see how the Rome Film Festival's gonna be like.

Monday, October 20, 2008

[Tokyo International Film Festival] Swifty Reviews 'Kill 斬'

[Tokyo International Film Festival] Poster of the Mamoru Oshii-supervised KILL
poster of KILL


I saw two films at the TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL today, the much-anticipated KILL (official site), and THE CLONE RETURNS TO THE HOMELAND, both Japanese films having their world premieres, I couldn't resist. Normally, I have a personal rule NOT to review films from film festivals I'm invited to (that's why I didn't review a single thing I saw at the SANTIAGO or HONG KONG film fests). I don't want to diss films that my own production is competing against because it'll make me look classless.

However, while both Ming Jin and I are guests for this year's TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FILM FEST, we're only involved in the TIFFCOM2008 ~ Asia-Pacific Entertainment Market (more on that later), and not because we have a film in competition. So I'll get to write my thoughts on the films I saw in this fest.

KILL (official site) is an omnibus film supervised by famed animation guru Mamoru Oshii. I've been looking forward to this since TWITCH first mentioned the film.

What intrigued me most initially was its concept, based on TWITCH's description, the directors (Oshii and three other much younger directors whose age range from 32 to 37 years old) of the four-part anthology are to present climatic battle scenes of films that don't really exist, so we don't have the 'tedious plot or character development'. Hell yes! I was desperate for some non-stop chop-socky action!

Unfortunately, the concept mentioned above was inaccurate. Each segment isn't only a major action sequence, but are actually standalone 20-minute short stories (of varying quality) that end with, yes, a climatic action scene. Therefore, the tedious plot and character development remains. :( It wasn't what I was expecting, but I wouldn't have had any problems with that, unfortunately, I ended up walking out of the cinema feeling quite underwhelmed.

Maybe my expectations were too high.

Maybe my seat wasn't that good (I was sitting third row from the screen, so limitations of the digitally-shot film, along with its pixels, were gloriously apparent to me), but at least I got to snap some photos of the directors (all 3 except Oshii, who didn't come) and the cast members (Rinko Kikuchi didn't come either).

[Tokyo International Film Festival] Directors and cast members at the world premiere of KILL

[Tokyo International Film Festival] Ayako Morita 森田彩華 speaks during world premiere of KILL
Ayako Morita, main actress of KIRIKO, speaking. She's standing between Yoko Fujita, (main actress of ASSAULT 2) and Yuma Ishigaki (main actor of YOTO SHATEI)

[Tokyo International Film Festival] Directors and cast members at the world premiere of KILL 2
The blonde lady in kimono whose name I missed (help?) is a voice actress who narrated and did all the voices for KODOMO SAMURAI (translated as Kid Samurai, or Child Samurai)



Here are my thoughts on each segment:

KIRIKO キリコ(directed by Takanori Tsujimoto)



The film started with a bang. I enjoyed this segment because it's like a cheap chop-socky B-movie in the vein of the recent THE MACHINE GIRL (but with less gore). We have a cute girl in high school sailor uniform (Ayako Morita), carrying a big katana, crossing the familiar streets of SHIBUYA to find the killer of her sister, and not a single other pedestrian around her batted an eyelid. Overwrought and melodramatic without taking itself too seriously, it also tries to throw in a shocking plot twist that I saw from miles away, but it didn't matter, since the segment spends most of its time only on the swordsfighting, I was already looking forward to more campy goodness after this segment ended.

KODOMO SAMURAI こども侍(directed by Kenta Fukasaku



This segment is quite interesting at first because it is done like a silent movie. Imagine BRICK, but instead of a film noir in high school, we have a samurai story set in a normal primary school. The Year 6 hero carries a katana to the classroom but never draws it because of an oath to his late father. Things become complicated when he has to deal with the class bully.

As it's supposedly a silent movie, the segment is narrated entirely by the lady below, and she also, amazingly, did the voices for everyone. Amusing at first, with its play of the conventions from the samurai film genre, and the interesting execution, the director of the much-maligned BATTLE ROYALE 2 repeats his previous mistake with pacing problems. It is also uneven in tone, and the material isn't as witty and campy as I hoped. The segment gradually wore out its welcome shortly before it ended.

YOTO SHATEI (romanized title) 妖刀射程 (directed by Minoru Tahara)



This reminds me of an early Ryuhei Kitamura film, but without the giggle-inducing outrageous violence and audacity, and thus it's unable to hold my attention for long even though this one is entirely devoted in the fighting. Two guys managed to inherit the spiritual power of ancient katanas, and thus their guns could morph into swords. It's also like the gunblades in Final Fantasy 8 (... but less cool) where the combatants get to, er, pull the triggers when they fight. Maybe it had been a long day, and I wasn't sustained by caffeine. I found myself struggling to keep awake throughout this segment.

ASSAULT GIRL 2 (directed by Mamoru Oshii)



For most people, this is probably the 'main event' of the film, the one segment everyone's waiting for. After all, the film poster IS of Rinko Kikuchi and Yoko Fujita battling it out. Even I myself was a little excited when this segment started. Quietly, I prayed for this to be the mind-blowingly awesome segment that makes the entire film worth watching. The one that can make me go around and say "well, yeah, the last segment of KILL redeems the entire film AND MORE!!!!"

Unfortunately, this film, while somewhat entertaining, also collapsed under the colossal weight of my expectations. The film, in a nutshell... (skip the next para if you want to avoid spoilers)

A montage of nice images: Clouds moving in fast mo, swaying flowers and grasses, a lady dressed in white (Fujita) lying on the ground watching the sky. Then more poetic images of nature, then there's rain, and then Fujita is crouching position, holding her sword. Rain stops, Fujita unleashes some powerful energy wave thing with her sword. A black tank appears, charges at her, Fujita cuts the tank into pieces. Then a figure in sexy black outfit appears. International star Rinko Kikuchi making her 2-3 minute appearance (she has no lines, the entire segment has no dialogue). Chick in white and chick in black start to fight for a (really) short while... towards the end, camera swirls around them when they are leaning back to back against each other. One again, it's just like a scene from Ryuhei Kitamura's VERSUS. Lady in white seems to have won. Lady in black sprouts out black wings and flies off. Lady in white sprouts out white wings too. The end.

Yeah, that's it.

Visually, it looks similar to Oshii's live-action flick, AVALON. With the sepia tone and all. And the two stars look good in it, especially Fujita's soulful eyes. Veteran composer and frequent Oshii collaborator Kawai Kenji's music here is pretty good too.

Other than that, I really find it difficult to recommend this to others. Maybe I need to watch ASSAULT GIRL 1 or something.

Here's the trailer:



GRINDHOUSE this ain't. And no, it's not even as entertaining as those faux trailers too. Toronto J-Film Pow Wow's Chris MaGee's hunch after viewing KILL's trailer was correct. There aren't a lot of positive things I can say about this film (mmmm.... oh yeah, Mell's songs are good), I wish there really was an anthology that really deliver what most of us had thought KILL was going to deliver. If you want Mamoru Oshii's, go watch his animated film, SKY CRAWLERS instead. (I reviewed back in August)

Anyway, I can answer questions if you have anything to ask about the film.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Two reviews of DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY (KURUS)

Ali (Arshad Zamir) giving Miss Carol (Carmen Soo) a ride on his bicycle


KURUS, or DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY, continues its festival run. Here are two recent reviews of the film from our Southeast Asian neighbours.

The first one is a capsule review from WISE KWAI'S THAI FILM JOURNAL when he attended its screening at the Bangkok International Film Festival last month (our film won the Special Jury Prize under the Southeast Asian competition).

Rushmore without the quirk - not necessarily a bad thing - this is a sweet tale of a schoolboy's crush on his pretty new English teacher (Carmen Soo). It's not quite coming-of-age, because it's all very innocent.


Link here.

The other one is written by Francis Cruz on his film blog, LESSONS FROM THE SCHOOL OF ATTENTION. Thanks to him, I just found out the film was screened at the 2008 .MOV International Digital Film Festival in Philippines. Haven't been keeping track lately.

Adult concerns are dealt with but mostly with subtle brushstrokes, like in the suggestive discussions about the father's incurable gambling problem in Woo's film or the parental concerns in the backdrop of Hou's film. Attention is given to the concerns of the youth, through their quaint interactions they share with each other, reflecting on their volatility in the midst of slow and steady change.

Days of the Turquoise Sky is a collection of familiar facets of growing up, nuanced but never to the point of them calling attention to themselves. Woo keeps the narrative minimalist, skirting away from drama and histrionics and instead, maintaining an observant, if not reminiscent, stance on these commonplace eventualities.


Link here.

Aside from the reviews, both blogs mentioned above are recommended reads if you're interested in the films from their countries.

I also noticed a sudden spike in traffic for my old KURUS/ DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY-related posts (and the photos on Flickr) in the past two weeks, especially from Philippines. I think the majority of the interest was generated by Carmen Soo, whose popularity in the country had skyrocketed thanks to the TV drama, KAHIT ISANG SAGLIT (A Time For Us), Malaysian-Filipino co-production (trailer's... intense).

Well, Carmen's popularity is well-deserved, since she's genuinely nice. On the day I left for Tokyo in April, she was one of the few (along with DAY OF THE TURQUOISE SKY co-star Mislina) who called to say goodbye (of course, she wanted to make sure it wasn't an April Fools' prank. It was unfortunate that I left Malaysia on the 1st of April -_-)

You can view more DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY-related blog posts here.



Monday, October 13, 2008

The Girl With A Melancholic Face

Maybe it was the booth girls, or the cosplayers.

But when I went back to bed after breakfast this morning, I dreamed of a girl with a melancholic face.

Sitting in a car in the middle of night, I watched her head being shaved bald by another. It was either for art, or for political activism, I cannot remember.

When it was done, she returned to her seat next to me and wept in silence.

"It's no big deal. I like the punk look." I said flippantly. I don't think I was even looking at her then.

She took hold of my hand suddenly and smiled through her tears. My fingers stiffened at her cold touch.

Maybe my mind was filled with thoughts of another, maybe I feared the unpredictable future, maybe I didn’t know her well, maybe I was just surprised by her reaction. Whatever the reason was, the only thing I felt like saying then was:

"... oh shit."

But she had already stepped out of the car and danced by herself in joy.

A few other things transpired in the landscape of my dream that I cannot remember either. But I saw the girl with the melancholic face again, standing a few feet away from me. The sun was either rising or setting. She was bathed in a golden hue.

"You aren't really comfortable about this huh?" She said with a sad smile.

I said nothing.

She was gone.

When I woke up a few minutes before noon, I felt relieved. Yet I was also flabbergasted that I could have such vivid dreams in a sleep that lasted for less than three hours.

The girl with a melancholic face was a stranger whom I've never met in my life, but somehow, I felt sorry for her. For one like me whose life is devoid of romance, she left an impression with her fleeting display of affection. Thus I decided to write all this down before she fades away from my memories as well.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Babes of Tokyo Game Show 2008

[WARNING: Lots of photos in this entry, may take some time to load.]

I went to the Tokyo Game Show 2008 today.

Me and two elf girls at the Tokyo Game Show 2008


Although I don't mention it much in this blog, but I'm an avid gamer ever since I was a child. While film will always be my one and greatest love, video games and literature might tie for second. In fact, when I'm in Malaysia, during down periods (no film shoots), I actually spend more time playing the PS2 (I'm always in some RPG marathon, I've completed all the Final Fantasy games except the first 3) than reading a book.

For many years, I've been buying video game magazines like ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY (but stopped because it's faster to get gaming news online). And it's through gaming magazines that I know about those gaming expos like Tokyo Game Show or E3. Back then, like most hardcore video gamers, of course I dream about attending these events, but E3 was impossible because it was open only to the press.

Tokyo Game Show, on the other hand, is a different matter. During its first two days, it's open only for the press, but then it opens to the general public on Day 3 and 4. So when some of my dorm mates said they wanted to go today (it's the last day of the show), I immediately decided to tag along. How can I miss this opportunity?

When I say Babes of Tokyo Game Show, I don't really mean the booth babes, because I am not that shallow, and I won't splurge my blog entry with photos of yummilicious booth babes like this:

I don't know which booth she's from

Ambi (?) booth babe

cute cowgirl, not sure which booth


Because that's a very shallow thing to do. And I'm not that shallow. I'm a brooding filmmaker who just happened to, on this one special day, reconnect with his own inner child. The 'babes' in my blog title is actually referring to myself.

Me wearing the Vuzix Video Eyewear

Me and the Mario brothers


See how I smiled like retard when I saw the Mario Brothers? That's how giddily joyous I was! It had nothing to do with the gazillion amount of booth babes I took photos of. Did you seriously think I would do that? Line up like everyone else and take photos of booth babes?

CDNetwork booth babe

3 booth babes


Nuh-uh. Of course not.

Anyway, let me rewind to the beginning.

When I was on my way to the Tokyo Game Show, which was held at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Tokyo.

On the way to Tokyo Game Show 2008

Tokyo Game Show 2008 sign

Large statue outside Makuhari Messe


The ticket costs 1200 yen.

Tokyo Game Show 2008 Ticket Booth

Tokyo Game Show 2008 ticket


When I entered the hall, the tall lady below was the first person I saw, so for courtesy's sake, I took a photo of her. No, I wasn't lining up with everyone else just to take a photo of her. That would've been sad!

First booth babe I saw at Tokyo Game Show 2008


First, I saw the Koei booth.


The Koei booth

The crowd in Tokyo Game Show 2008


Then, the Taito booth, promoting Cooking Mama 2. Knowing that my little sister is a fan (because her head is shaped like Cooking Mama's), I snapped some photos.

Cooking Mama 2 booth

Cooking Mama 2 booth 2


When I saw the Square Enix booth, I giggled giddily like a girlish fangirl.

Square Enix booth

Dragon Quest Slime and chocobo


They were promoting the new Valkerie Profile and Star Ocean Story games. And then, there was a notice saying that they'll be giving a sneak preview of FINAL FANTASY 13 at 4pm!

Being a lifelong FINAL FANTASY fan (it all started with FF6, when I was 11 years old, yes, my love affair with the series actually lasted for thirteen years, and I've completed every single FINAL FANTASY game since FF6, yes, including FFX-2, damn it!) I was excited, but I knew I wouldn't hang around for that long (it was 11 something when I got there)

I hurried along.

Saw the GYAKUTEN KENJI booth. I snapped more photos because, you know, my sister's a big fan of the Ace Attorney series too.

Gyakuten Kenji booth

People playing Gyakuten Kenji

People playing Gyakuten Kenji 2


And of course, horrors of horrors, a pretty Capcom booth babe came over to let me take a photo of her. Feh? As if I came to the booth merely to take a photo of her. But I was a gentleman, so I complied. Really!

Capcom booth babe


When I moved from one hall to the next, I saw Ken.

Ken from Street Fighter 2


And Chun Li.

Chun Li

Chun Li 2


No, once again, I didn't line up to take photos for her and asked her to pose for me like everyone else. She just did a few poses for me and I just politely snap photos of her, that's it.

I saw Zero from CODE GEASS too (I just finished the series, both part 1 and part 2 recently, really good stuff)

Zero from Code Geass


There's also Papas from DRAGON QUEST 5 (I'm not sure who the other guy was, I didn't play DQ5).

Papas from Dragon Quest 5

Dunno who he is


I didn't know whether the Link cosplayer was a guy or a girl. Didn't dare to ask. What do you all think?

Link


Then there's Haruhi Suzumiya. Aain, I didn't line up and ask her to pose repeatedly for me. I thought the first photo wasn't that clear, so I took another one, it had nothing to do with me seeing that she's cute and I wanted her to strike another pose for me. Yup, turned out I was wrong and the first photo was clear. Better safe than sorry, right? After all the efforts she placed on posing for me, I wouldn't want to disappoint the poor lass, and it's really not because I was in this long queue with a group of other otaku photographers waiting to take photos of her.

Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi Suzumiya 2


I saw a chick whom at first I thought was playing PAINE from FFX-2, but looking at her closely, I realized she was playing ZACK from FF7. And I assumed the other chick was AERIS. I was wrong. My sister pointed out that the other one was MARLENE, Barrett's adopted kid.

Female Zack and Aeris


A sicker person would've thought of asking them to, you know, kiss. Since the two ladies were playing lovers. But because I'm not THAT disgustingly sick, so that impure thought had NEVER crossed my mind.

Since she was Marlene, the above paragraph is irrelevant.

Ahem. There was a pretty good Cloud cosplayer, and then there's Zidane from the underrated FF9, cosplayed by a girl. FF9 main baddie Kuja, a dude who looked like a chick, was fittingly played by a chick too.

Cloud (FF7), Zidane (FF9) and Kuga (FF9)


I don't know which Mecha this is.

What Mecha is this? Mazinger?


As I entered the other hall. I was greeted by a Docomo booth babe.

Docomo Booth babe


Then I was give a fan by the Hudson booth girls.

Hudson booth babe


I, ah, liked the fan they gave me, so I decided to take photos of the Hudson fans. The hall was suffocating, but the fan was a life-saver.

two Hudson booth babes


There was another Hudson showgirl:

Hudson booth babe 2


But my attention was really on the booth, not the showgirl.

Hudson booth 2

Hudson booth


I saw the AU cats.

AU cats


A singer songwriter, Mai Suida, was performing at the 絶対絶命都市 booth.

Mai Suida

Mai Suida performing


She has a wonderful voice, and her songs were for this game about earthquake. But my limited Japanese skills weren't enough for me to know more about it. I think 絶対絶命都市's by IREM, represented by the girl below.

IREM booth babe


I saw the Konami booth, which was promoting many games, like this new fighting game with CASTLEVANIA characters, METAL GEAR SOLID ONLINE, and SUIKODEN TIERKREIS for the DS.

Suikoden Tierkreis booth


I've loved Konami since as early as I can remember. The makers of Suikoden (I've completed Suikoden 1,2 and 3, yes, and found the 108 Stars too), Tokimeki Memorial, Castlevania, Winning Eleven and Metal Gear Solid. So I thought I'll give them more props by snapping more photos of the booth.

It's just unfortunate that the showgirls got in the way every time I was taking a photo.


Konami booth babe

Konami booth babe 2

Konami booth babe 3


I gave up and continued walking. Why can't they understand that I was hear for the video games and reconnect with my inner child, and not solely to take photos of beautiful women? Who do they think I am? Kenny Sia? I'm really a self-serious and sensitive filmmaker. I don't objectify women!

Yet my silent cry was in vain, as every time I took a photo, there was a beautiful booth babe standing in my way.

I mean, come on, of course that's the only logical explanation. Would I really go around and ask each of them whether I can take a photo of them? HAH! Never!

Level 5 booth babe

Two Level 5 booth babes

Nihon Kogakuin College booth maid


They may have been cute and tempting. But I am as swift as one who calls himself the Great Swifty, so I was like, you know, grumbling quietly when I unintentionally snapped a photo of a beautiful woman, and just moved on.

There was a performance going on at TECMO booth.

Performance at Tecmo


So I went and watch. I also wanted to try out one of the games, and not because it was attended by scantily-clad booth girls, but because I was interested in playing the game!

Tecmo booth babe giving instructions


But I noticed a huge group of people gathered at the side of the booth, in front of this pink car.

People crowding around Tecmo booth babe


I was curious and went to see what was going on. And turned out that the large crowd was trying to take photos of a showgirl. I went closer to take a look, not because I was lusty, but because I was inquisitive.

The girl was rather good-looking, I conceded. So I just absently snapped a photo or two of her.

Tecmo booth babe A

Tecmo booth babe A 2

Tecmo booth babe A 3

Tecmo booth babe A 4

Two Tecmo booth babes

Two Tecmo booth babes 2


Because I was, ah, testing out my camera. So I just happened to take a few more than expected.

I left for a while and came back a while later. The crowd was getting bigger than before. I seriously didn't get what the fuss was all about.

Tecmo booth babe B drives the crowd nuts


Then I noticed it was another girl. And I had also conveniently gotten stuck within the crowd, so I had no choice but just to take some photos of the Tecmo booth babe and humour her. After all, what else should I be doing? Take photos of the fat photographer on my left? Or the short balding old photographer on my right?

Tecmo booth babe B

Tecmo booth babe B 2

Tecmo booth babe B 3

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