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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Passions for times ahead - Interview with the Malay Mail

After returning from my quick Kansai region trip to welcome the dawn of 2009 (no photos, but videos coming up), I was pleasantly surprised to learn from a Facebook friend that I was on this Malay Mail article, PASSION FOR TIMES AHEAD. To be on the papers during New Year, what better way is there for me to start 2009? Thank you for the honour!

In this article, Gabey Goh asked Noel Boyd of A Tattooed Blog, Michael Hartley of Dr Mike's Math Games for Kids, Ng Eng Kuan of Driving Malaysia, and I about 2008 web discoveries and hopes for 2009.

My original rambling answer is quite lengthy, so Gabey made the right choice by cutting it down to the final version, but for those who are curious, here's the unnecessarily long, stream-of-consciousness-esque original answer:

Tsui Hark and II realised how my blog is really an extension of myself, so during its first few years of its existence, it lacked direction. Just like I was. It was the blog of an idealistic university student wondering whether he could fulfill a lifelong dream in filmmaking, its topics were both diverse and divisive, a torture for my own readers. It was about anything and everything, those who wanted to read about films would suddenly have to suffer through some random posts about pretty J-pop singers, and those who wanted to look at photos of J-pop singers were forced to endure my barely coherent thoughts on films and literature.

During that period of time, my blog felt like an art project for me to channel my uncertainties, and to satiate my thirst for writing. There was some amount of detachment, and I found myself often trying to disconnect myself from its contents.

But in the past two years, as I got more into filmmaking, my blog became more focused on films, be it my reviews on films, my own filmmaking misadventures or my film festival trips. I was allowed to share my glory and disappointment with my readers, thus making my blog much more personal than it ever was. There was more amount of interaction with the few loyal readers I have, and I am more comfortable with what I write.

Aside from that, the other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr gradually became a bigger part of my blog, their growth feeding off from each other. I am quite fascinated by their symbiotic relationship. They feel like separate entities when I first started my account with them, but the development of technology seemed to encouraging us to merge them all together into one major central for everyone.

For 2009, things will be pretty much the same. More stories and films to share, more great films to introduce, more friends to make, more ideas to exchange, and more photos to show!

New sites to point out is a tough one, but Don’t Forget To Validate Your Parking by Mike Le is a recent favourite. It's a web comic that may be autobiographical, centers on a screenwriter/producer’s adventures in Hollywood. Often funny, more especially if you like to follow the film industry (contains profanities though).

Twitch Film remains a great site for people to follow genre films and Asian cinema (lots of news and reviews of Malaysian cinema here, actually). And Golden Rock, provides useful links and news related to Asian cinema.

Happy 2009!

PASSION FOR TIMES AHEAD is the second part of a 2-part Malay Mail feature published on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. (The first part, OF BLOGS AND REFLECTIONS, featured the local literary bloggers like Sharon Bakar, horror writer Tunku Halim and Eli James)

You can also check out Gabey's August 2008 interview with me, CHICKEN RICE FOR THE WIN.

Or read my previous blog post for more reflections on the past year and my hopes for this year, Happy New Year 2009! Some thoughts on 2008

Full newspaper scan:

Passion for times ahead - Jan 1 2009 interview with Malay Mail