River of Exploding Durians - Trailer 【榴梿忘返】 预告片
《榴槤忘返》主要讲述一群中六生面对即将袭来的稀土厂一阵慌乱，人生产生了变化之余，在反对稀土厂的过程中，这群学生产生革命情感和一些单纯的爱慕情怀。A coastal town is turned upside down by the construction of a radioactive rare earth plant. An idealistic teacher and a group of high school students find themselves battling for the soul of their hometown. Based on real-life events, River of Exploding Durians is a sweeping tale of Malaysian history and its youth, where people are enveloped by politics and sadness while searching for love. #riverofexplodingduriansStarring: Zhu Zhi-Ying 朱芷瑩, Koe Shern 高圣, Daphne Low, Joey 梁祖仪Written, directed and edited by Edmund YeoProduced by Woo Ming Jin and Edmund Yeo Executive producer: Eric YeoDirector of Photography: Kong PahurakProduction designer: Edward Yu Chee BoonMake-up and wardrobe: Kay WongSound: Minimal Yossy PrapapanMusic: Woan Foong WongPosted by River of Exploding Durians 榴莲忘返 on Saturday, October 18, 2014
Thursday, December 31, 2009
2009 had its ups and downs, but for me, they were mostly ups. Hopefully 2010 will be better, for me and you all!!!
This is lead actress Kiki Sugino in her uniform (in the film she works in a Pachinko shop).
It was fitting, and also entirely what I hoped for, to leave the ending as the last scene for the shoot. (although most film shoots are shot out of sequences, I generally prefer to leave the ending for the last).
So here's me, Torigoe the Sound Guy, Maiko the Producer, Kiki, setting up for the scene. Hayasaka the Cinematographer were off to get a different lens for the film.
I provided two options for the cast and crew: Either to do the scene with two different cuts, or go for a bravura long single take. They all opted for the latter. I was happy.
(It was the last day, and the scenes I shot were quite few, so didn't manage to take any more photos)
I have already checked the rushes after the shoot. Not going to make any pompous declarations, but I don't think the film will suck. :D
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
It was rather apt that, in a year which I would consider a breakthrough for my filmmaking career, I would end it while making a film.
As my team started setting up dolly tracks in the forest for the first scene of the day, I felt slightly overwhelmed by the scope of the production.
I've actually never seen real dolly tracks like that before. 3 years ago in my student film at Perth, GIRL DISCONNECTED, I used PVC pipes as tracks. It was the same earlier this year in Ming Jin's WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER, (which we used sparingly because the PVC pipes weren't even).
Then they were setting up the jib arm too, it was something I've definitely never used in any of my previous films before.
In fact, when all these while my filmmaking was about maximizing limited resources, it was hard not to feel bowled over by the sudden increase of possibilities opened up before me. And to think that I initially visualized the scene as handheld herky jerky shots because, I underestimated the resources that I had for the shoot!
In the second photo below, where I was pondering in a very ponderous manner while the team was setting up. I was actually thinking: "Wow, dolly, jib arm... what am I actually gonna do with them? Wow! Stay cool, stay cool, stay cool!"
The shoot lasted til the night.
And in the end, the toughest parts of the filming were done. It was pretty dark at night and I couldn't even see some of the team members posing for me when I took the photo.
It is 10:54 am now. The next shooting location is Shibuya. Gathering time is 3:30pm. Today I shoot the beginning and ending of the film, and a few short scenes. And then it'll be over. Can't say that I'm not excited!
Monday, December 28, 2009
Some photos from the film shoot today. I have only 4 hours to sleep before I get up at 5am for day two of the shoot.
The crew arrived at the location at 8:30am in the morning. Everyone started preparing.
As for me. I spent the time either going through the script and schedule with Maiko the Producer.
Or making fun of her height.
Occasionally I gave out manly screams to motivate the team.
Once my two main actresses, Kiki Sugino (also a producer of my film) and Shinohara Tomoe, were ready. I started giving abstract instructions.
"Both of you, when you speak... I want your words to simmer!!! SIMMEEEER!"
Friday, December 25, 2009
I kinda assumed that the same would happen this year. Perhaps I would just head off to one of the cinemas and watch AVATAR alone, but something else came up, and all of a sudden, I found myself at a Yakiniku restaurant called Buchi, in Shibuya.
... with An-chan (KINGYO production assistant, 3PM supporting actress), and Kong (who was celebrating the completion of his new short film that starred KINGYO main actress Luchino Fujisaki, and shot by KINGYO cinematographer Josha as well).
And Liu Jing (assistant producer of THE WHITE FLOWER).
Yakiniku, for the uninitiated, means 'grilled meat' in Japanese.
We order raw stuff for grilling.
Although I've been to numerous Korean BBQ restaurants in Japan since I've moved to Tokyo, I think this might actually be the first time I was in a Yakiniku restaurant!
I like it most when things burst into flames.
Click here for embedded video
Occasionally we have to put some ice cubes to cool things down.
Then there were more inferno.
Click here if you can't see embedded video
We were stuffed.
25th of December, 2009. I was in a Yakiniku restaurant, with three of my friends.
I don't celebrate Christmas. But it was a great meal.
There was dessert.
Yes. Merry Christmas.
Just to share some good news. I picked up the Best Director Award for my short film LOVE SUICIDES at last week's China Mobile Film Festival in Shenzhen.
I was the only filmmaker with two short films in competition at the festival, LOVE SUICIDES and the more-heralded KINGYO.
Even so, I always felt that LOVE SUICIDES was a casualty of KINGYO's popularity. Despite having its world premiere at Paris Cinema Film Festival in July, and then being invited for competition at the Festival internazionale del cinema d’arte and Split International Film Festival, the media attention garnered by KINGYO after its Venice Film Festival selection turned LOVE SUICIDES into an afterthought, or a footnote, of my own filmography.
Kimmy Kiew in LOVE SUICIDES
And then, when FLEETING IMAGES unexpectedly won the Grand Prix earlier this month at the CON-CAN Movie Festival, I feared LOVE SUICIDES had been pushed even further into obscurity.
Therefore to be given the award was a very pleasant surprise. It's an unbelievable month to end an unbelievable year. Four awards for three different short films in one month? Wow, just wow. It also mean that all four of my short films had picked up an award of sorts since their release, it's inconceivable.
But I'll cherish this moment while it lasts.
Not winning awards, but that I can still make films.
3 days from now. On the 28th. I'll be shooting my new short film EXHALATION. My 7th short film of the year.
(will chronicle my adventure in the China Mobile Film Fest later, along with my brief exchange with Korean actress KU HYE SUN, actress of BOYS OVER FLOWERS)
The KINGYO team had a reunion party on the 15th of December, right after the CON-CAN Award Ceremony.
Actually, it's more like a 'wrap party' instead of a 'reunion party'. Although we finished the shoot for KINGYO almost a year earlier (principal photography was done by the end of January 2009), none of us had the chance to really had a 'wrap party'. None of us were able to be at the same city at the same time, so it was great to finally have something like that.
Here's part of the team.
(from left to right: me, Kawamura-san who borrowed us his house for the shoot, still photographer Zhang Xiaolei, production assistant Seki, lead actress Luchino, production assistant An-chan, Lia the Artist/ Assistant director, Maiko the producer and Linto the post-production technician)
Yup, I was holding the trophy fan that CON-CAN Movie Festival gave me.
With Slavek the composer (he also did the music for my upcoming short, AFTERNOON RIVER, EVENING SKY)
Don't think there'll be any more photos of me posing with the fan though since I've placed it (along with my other trophies) in the university lab for display.
And here's Takao Kawaguchi and Amane Kudo, who played the doomed husband and wife in KINGYO. Not so doomed here, happily.
Takao had never seen KINGYO prior to the screening that day as he had been busy touring around the world for his performances most of the year. He was actually in Venice during the Venice Film Festival in September, like most of us, but he also had a performance there. Good that he had finally seen the film!
Didn't really take that many photos that day because I was busy, ah, eating. But here are some videos.
(Click here if you can't see embedded video)
(Click here if you can't see embedded video)
Before the toast, I said that I was happy to be there with everyone again, and what a film we had a made together, and what a nice journey it had been going through in the festival circuits. In fact, I was going to head off to Shenzhen's China Mobile Film Festival the following day where KINGYO was in competition (... along with my often-overlooked short, LOVE SUICIDES) too. So hopefully we would have more parties and gatherings of this sort again.
The next morning I headed off to Shenzhen.
(KINGYO trailer. Click here if you can't see embedded video)
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
A couple of stuff happened, and my professor Ando, who was already planning for a public screening of productions from our lab, made this a joint event with CON-CAN Movie Festival.
The event was held last Tuesday (15th of December), just a day after the screening in Keio University.
Once again, the four award-winning films of the CON-CAN Movie Festival were screened. Along with six productions from the members of Ando Laboratory.
The event began with the Ando Laboratory screenings. The films screened were:
1) Kong's debut short film CENSORED (I took some really nice photos of the production)
2) Zifeng's short film BUBBLES (shot by THE WHITE FLOWER cinematographer Niklas)
3) My often-underrated and overlooked short film LOVE SUICIDES
Then there was a break. Then the rest of the films screened were:
4) MIURO by Erika Matsushita (cinematographer of my 'lost' short film, 3PM)
5) A documentary called SHAOLIN KUNGFU, edited by ZiFeng and Yang Yang that also picked up an award at the Eibunren Awards.
6) My KINGYO... not going to talk much about it.
That was followed by the CON-CAN Movie Festival events.
I managed to meet Junko, who did the wonderful Japanese translations of FLEETING IMAGES. Here's a photo of me and her, with Ando-sensei.
CON-CAN Movie Fest jury member and filmmaker Naomi Kawase left a video message commenting on each of the four award-winning films. Here's when she commented on FLEETING IMAGES:
(click here if you cannot view embedded video)
A (very) rough (and possibly inaccurate) translation:
"In 10 minutes, the director made it clear what his thoughts were. And the title gave an idea what the film was about as well. The images were very beautiful."
After that, jury member and film critic Chris Fujiwara came onstage to talk about the role of short films and film festivals. To him, the main purpose of film festivals is to educate audiences.
Here's Nishihara, winner of Best Fiction Film.
And here's Monica, Special Jury Prize winner.
I finally went up to retrieve my award.
And then I gathered myself to give an acceptance speech. Not realizing that I looked like an idiot then.
I finally revealed that I actually knew about the CON-CAN Movie Festival since 2005, during my days in Perth. At that time, I had just made my ah, home video, FORCED LABOUR (... you can watch it here, but it's not for the faint of heart), and thinking that I had just made a supreme gangster film, I went around to look for short film festivals that I could submit the film to.
That was probably how i found CON-CAN by accident. Yet when I looked at the films selected by the festival, I was shocked by their quality and production values, and I knew I wasn't ready. And that was why I decided to stay in Perth for another year to do a one-year course in filmmaking. Therefore Chris was right, I was indeed one of the people educated by this festival.
Since then I continued making short films, hoping that one day I could make a short film worthy of the CON-CAN Movie Festival. So it was a tremendous honour, and surprise, to be there, picking up the Grand Prix award.
FLEETING IMAGES was a one-man film, but I wouldn't have gotten it done without the help of my Chinese translators, but most importantly, it was my 2007 trip in India that gave me something to say. To see the school of the visually-impaired children and also the nursing home of the Tibetan refugees, I was reminded of the world's imperfection. We all live in an imperfect world, that's why we all have something to say, perhaps that is why we exist.
But saying that, I feel a little hesitant about my self-importance, therefore I can only assure you that I am humbly dedicated to my arts, and to be standing here, before others who are chasing after the same dreams as well, I am inspired. Therefore I will continue to make films.
So that was what I remembered about my largely-improvised speech. I don't have a video of it, but An-chan does, so I will get it from her later. (UPDATE: added video)
click here if you cannot see embedded video
And after that. A party was held. Many came. I was suddenly approached by a few people who turned out to be ex-staff members from CON-CAN 2005, they told me that they were very moved by my speech, not expecting what they did back then could lead to what I'm doing right now.
It was a great night.
Here's me with Juan the videographer and Yumi the photographer.
Then with CON-CAN Movie Festival director Tanimoto.
The CON-CAN logo
I then headed off for the (much-delayed) KINGYO wrap party. (couldn't have that because main actor Takao was always touring around for his dance performances, and I went back to Malaysia the day after the shoot back in January). More on that later, yup.
Last Monday (14th of December, 2009), I headed off to Keio University for a screening of FLEETING IMAGES (watch entire film here) organized by the CON-CAN Movie Festival. My film, along with 3 of the award-winning films of the festival, were screened. But that night, only me and Monica Gallab of Belgium (Special Jury Prize winner for NICE DAY FOR A PICNIC, film embedded at the bottom of the post) were present for the event.
This is Yumi the Photographer, she studied French literature.
There wasn't anything to do as they were setting up the screening, so I went out to check the rest of Keio University.
Keio University, and my university, Waseda, are arch-rivals, especially in baseball. The annual Keio - Waseda baseball match is usually a major event, I heard that if Keio wins it, Keio students and fans would flock in Roppongi (not sure) to celebrate, if Waseda wins, Shinjuku will be infested by the Waseda fans and students.
The screening was held in a classroom.
Keio professors Sugihara and Sato were here to give an introduction first.
That was the first time I ever got to watch the other award-winning films in their entirety. I was more surprised by the enthusiastic response for FLEETING IMAGES, since that and LOVE SUICIDES are among my most divisive films. People either liked it, or hated it. Poetic to some, pretentious to some others, unflinchingly sympathetic look at poverty to some, poverty porn to some others. Perhaps Sebastian said it best, it was a film that was more suitable for Japanese sensibilities.
Here's a video of the Q and A session held after the screening. Moderated by the two professors and with Tanimoto the festival director doing the translation.
(click here if you cannot see embedded video)
The following day, another CON-CAN Movie Festival screening was held in Waseda University, along with its awards ceremony. I'll get to that in my next post.
FLEETING IMAGES trailer
Monica's NICE DAY FOR A PICNIC
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Before that I went past the beautiful Tsukui lake.
Got carried away there.
Anyway, I felt a strange feeling of warmth and familiarity when i returned to the cursed and possibly haunted ruins of Sun Hills Hotel.
This time I felt good because I got to take photos of it with my more badass camera.
There was a bamboo forest nearby. Perfect for the epic martial arts scene that I haven't written into my script yet.
Continued exploring the town of Fujino because I didn't do that last time.
The Tsukui tunnel was built before World War 2.
"The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country."
No train and no snow though.
"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers..."