Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tokyo sure felt pretty... normal.

I'm now leaving for Narita Airport in an empty shuttle.

Returning to Malaysia again after a whirlwind 4 days in Tokyo.

I genuinely expected the worst when I flew here, imagining every single scenario I've seen in post-apocalyptic films and novels, wondering in fear how the city of Tokyo would shrivel or crumble under the aftermath of the quake, or the looming shadow of the nuclear reactor situation in Fukushima. I expected people to hide at homes, or walked around in rubber suits and oxygen masks.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Receiving the Ono Azusa Memorial Award in Waseda University

So, you may know already that I arrived in Tokyo yesterday morning after taking the midnight flight. At first there was some suspense to know the fate of my room after the massive quake, to my relief, only my anime girl figurines suffered.

After that, I immediately changed and headed off to the Ono Azusa Memorial Award ceremony in Waseda University.

Here's an info from the Waseda website what this award is about.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The earthquake didn't make my messy room messier

When I reached my room and was about to open it, I feared the worst. So when I finally saw that my messy room was only slightly messier than when I left it 18 days ago, I felt relieved, and even incredulous. I expected to see my glass figurines, or plates, or books, or CDs on the floor, but nothing. Even my two bottles of half empty mineral water and green tea left on the floor were still standing upright.

The only casualties were, er, four of my anime figurines that I placed on my book shelf for decoration.

One of them fell onto the floor, that was it.

Anyway, I have an award ceremony to attend later.


Finding the truth in Tokyo

I'm now in Tokyo. In a bus from Narita Airport to my place.

Having been in Malaysia since March 7, I have yet to return after the massive quake.

I dread to see what my room has become. The worst case scenario I conjured in my mind is to see my TV flying off from where it was and crashing into the numerous external hard disks I placed on the floor, thus destroying many years' worth of invaluable data. I'm sure my books and CDs have fallen off their racks over my bed, and that some of my tiny glass figurines are probably gone.

My room had always been messy, will it be even messier? Another one hour left in my bus journey, gonna know soon.

The window seat

As a child, whenever I was flying, I would, of course, always pick the window seat. My dad was then working in both Malaysia and Singapore, so he had to fly off every other week, and sometimes my mom and I would follow.

I loved those moments when we were taking off, or before we were landing, where I would see everything spread out like miniatures beneath me. Cars, buildings, the land, becoming smaller as I fly, or seeing them reemerging into view as I was to reach my destination.

However, in recent years after I became a filmmaker, as I became flying with regularity, the aisle seat became my first choice. I've been taking 10+ hour flights almost every month nowadays. It's more practical to sit on a spot where it's easier for me to head to the toilet.

That's what growing up is like, the simple little pleasures in life replaced by practicality, hence they end up being forgotten, neglected, scoffed at as childish whims.

As I am writing this, I'm on a midnight flight to Tokyo. A trip I didn't really want to divulge much for the sake of quelling the worries of friends and family who are bothered by the situation in Japan now. I've been hearing enough of the word 'radiation' to last me a lifetime. Nor do I want to hear people who questioned the sanity of my parents who allowed me to fly.

Only 24 hours have passed since I flew back from Hong Kong, and I'm already flying again. As usual, I chose the aisle seat. The flight is somewhat empty, most passengers around me are Japanese returning to their own country.

The window seat beside me was empty, and as the plane took off, I glanced out at the window and noticed the night scenery below me, gradually becoming smaller, I looked at the surprisingly complex network of roads lit up by beautiful street lights, the moving dots of lights that are cars. It felt like an impressionistic painting that moves, and I found myself somehow remembering the child who once loved the window seat and its view.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Shooting the rest of my short 'LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER'

So, in the 11 days since I last updated the blog, I've gone through the grueling shoot for the rest of my short film LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER (March 15-18), and then rushed off to the Hong Kong International Film Festival on March 20 for the HAF (HK - Asia Film Financing Forum), and came back last night (March 24).

This blog post is about the grueling shoot.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thoughts on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami in Japan

Friends and family on Facebook regarding the 2011 Japan Earthquake

Since the devastating Sendai earthquake and tsunami in Japan last Friday, I've been receiving numerous text messages, emails, phone calls, Facebook posts etc. from friends, family, online acquaintances worried about my well-being. (most people didn't know that I returned to Malaysia a few days earlier)

I'm very grateful for their concern, and I thank them from my heart.

However, my being safe in Malaysia should not diminish the fact that a great tragedy has occurred in Japan, which had more or less became another home of mine in the past three years. I don't feel relieved, nor lucky, that I'm not in Japan when it all happened, since many of my friends and loved ones are still there. I also can't explain why a part of me felt a little uncomfortable, guilty even, that I'm here.

I'm returning to Tokyo in ten days. The Malaysian part of the shoot for my new short, LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER will begin tomorrow. Perhaps the most I can do now is just concentrate and finish what I started in Japan.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

6th of March 2011. An uneventful birthday suddenly turned suspenseful.

I'm back in Malaysia since yesterday morning.

Had a nice belated birthday celebration dinner with parents + sister + 'Ah Gou' (aunt in Teochew, dad's elder sister) and Kai Fai and cute fat Wai Kong (unofficially my mom's two godsons).

Sunday, March 06, 2011

My film shoot at Shirakawa-go

Yes, I've been busy the past few days shooting my new short film LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER. If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me tweeting some production stills.

It's now my birthday, and I find it rather fitting that I'm spending it in my editing room.