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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nationalistic Pride?

I returned to Tokyo 3 nights ago and resumed my usual quiet, solitary lifestyle, kinda like Colonel Aureliano Buendía during the twilight of his years.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Korean movie LATE BLOSSOM left me a blubbering wreck

Me: I'm glad I wear sunglasses in the plane. I was watching this Korean film, LATE BLOSSOM (그대를 사랑합니다), during the flight and it made me cry like a little girl. Jeez.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Asian New Talent 2011 Award Ceremony

Yup, got back from Shanghai last night.

The Asian New Talent Award Competition was established in 2004 by the Shanghai International Film Festival for Asian filmmakers making their first or second film, kinda like Pusan's NEW CURRENTS competition, or Rotterdam's Tiger Awards.

The award ceremony was held on the 17th of June. (here are the results)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Back on Sunday, 12th of June, which was my second day in Shanghai. I went to the WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER screening. I was accompanied by an old friend of mine, Joey, who used to study in Tokyo and whom I met in Japanese Language classes 3 years ago. She graduated this year in March and had since returned to her hometown in Shanghai.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Conversations between Iwai Shunji and Tan Chui Mui

Shunji Iwai and Tan Chui Mui video conversation

An early phone call from Malaysian filmmaker Tan Chui Mui woke me up this morning. It was 7 in the morning, her assistant passed me stuff before I came to Shanghai so I could pass it to her.

So I met her 20 minutes later for breakfast. She told me she was going to have an interview of sorts for Japanese filmmaker Iwai Shunji's official website.

Like many of my Japanese film lovers of my generation, I was captivated by his works like LOVE LETTER (still a personal all-time favourite) and ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU during my youth. I fell in love with LOVE LETTER when I was 13, that was 14 years ago, and my love never wavered. It was through his influences that I make my films that some have considered visually poetic and sensitive.

Thus I followed Mui along for their meeting.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Feng Xiaogang - John Woo Masterclass

12th of June. Second day in Shanghai. I attended half of the John Woo - Feng Xiaogang Masterclass where both filmmaking heavyweights dissect and analyze the 8 projects of the CFPC (China Film Pitch and Catch) of the Shanghai Market.

What I remember most was something John Woo said. He commented how most young filmmakers and arthouse ones are very into casting amateurs and non-professionals in their films to preserve some authenticity and purity of their story, since some things are really hard to be replicated. It also helps to minimize budget.

However, he asked these filmmakers to consider the possibility of casting name cast members for their projects if opportunity arises. After all, why not try to allow your own works to reach a wider audience? Why not aim higher? Aim bigger? Great actors all around the world are waiting for a good script anyway...

Location:Zunyi Rd,Shanghai,China

My first day at the Shanghai International Film Festival 2011

So, here I am. Having spent two nights in Shanghai. I'm deprived of Facebook and Twitter and also Blogger. I'm now using the BlogPress app on iPhone to post, not sure whether it will work properly amidst the Great Firewall.

11th of June. I arrived at Shanghai just in time for the opening ceremony of the film festival. It was raining heavily and people walked through the red carpet holding umbrellas.

The ceremony was held in this nice hall.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Film shoot of a Danish-Malaysian co-production 2

After going through the first three days of the shoot from the 3rd to the 5th of June (chronicled yesterday). We all knew that the worst was over. It was an exhausting shoot, insanely high temperature, merciless mosquitoes, seasickness, unpredictable conditions and the like. Filmmaking, some should remember, is a high-stress job that involves a lot of dealing with people, especially if you are shooting under circumstances where you need the cooperation from the locals at the locations of your shoot.

6th of June came. This was scheduled to be the last day of the shoot.

Fern the lead actress drew a caricature of me.

It's not everyday you have the lead actress of a film you're doing drawing a caricature of yourself.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Film shoot of a Danish-Malaysian co-production

I was at Cherating in the past week for the film shoot of the tentatively-titled GIRL X (or GIRL IN THE WATER), a Danish-Malaysian co-production co-directed by my regular collaborator, Malaysian filmmaker Woo Ming Jin, and the Danish filmmaker Jeppe Ronde. (you might remember from here and here that I was doing some location scouting two weeks ago)

We even imported the Thai actress Sajee "FERN" Apiwong (last seen in Aditya Assarat's HI-SO) to do the main role. It was a short film, but it was a short film with sky-high ambition. After all, I wouldn't involve myself in anything less than awesome anyway.

Tuesday. 1st of June. Jeppe arrived in Malaysia at night.

Wednesday. 2nd of June. Ming Jin, Jeppe and I picked up Fern and her friend So from the airport before heading straight to Cherating.

After a looooong 4-hour car ride, we reached the location, and immediately we headed off to check out the spots.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

My late uncle's record collection

Dad going through Zeg Zeg's record collection

My father's youngest brother, my uncle whom I called 'Zeg Zeg', passed away last September. Last Sunday, my father went to his house to go through his large record collection. My iPhone, alas, was unable to capture the collection in its entirety.

My uncle, just like my dad, was a music lover and connoisseur. When my father and he were both young, they used to collect music albums together, sharing them. From their childhood to their teens to becoming adults.

And then decades went by, Zeg Zeg continued collecting, but he never regarded each album to be his alone.

They belonged as much to him as they were to dad.

Now that he is gone, his wife believed that my dad is the one and only person who should inherit the collection.

So my dad was there, looking through my late uncle's record collection that belonged not only to my uncle but also to my dad. Just to remember.