Saturday, April 30, 2011

Heading off to the Jeonju Film Festival

I am now waiting for the airport limo at Four Seasons Hotel.

I'm flying off to attend the Jeonju International Film Festival. (3.5 hours away from Seoul via bus) where my short film EXHALATION will be making its Asian Premiere. Screenings are on the 1st and 4th of May. I will be there for the question and answer sessions, along with producer/ star Kiki Sugino. It's going to be fun.

Aside from that, there are numerous films I intend to catch at the festival: the 5 hour film HEAVEN'S STORY, the Bela Tarr film TURIN HORSE, the animated film THE ILLUSIONIST, another 5 hour film MYSTERIES OF LISBON (I caught an hour of it in Rotterdam), and those Jeonju Digital Project omnibus etc


Thursday, April 28, 2011

A melancholic dream about dying once

I thought I had a strange enough dream during my afternoon nap, but when I went back to my place and finally slept, I had a stranger dream.

I dreamed that I was back in Malaysia again, doing something mundane at home. Then my mother revealed reluctantly that I died once, in Japan, but they brought me home, and I was alive again.

There were brief flashes of images, like a quick montage. I saw myself collapsing onto the floor somewhere at the streets, and was hauled back from Japan to Malaysia in a white body bag.

I didn't remember how I came back to life. Everyone around me were polite and nice to me. Did they know what happened?

I went through the entire dream feeling incredulous that I had died once and wondering how I died before. I also wondered whether I was to die again. Or just fade away. There were so many things I have yet to do. It was a melancholic feeling.

In the end I decided that "perhaps i will live forever."

Or "perhaps I will just live on, normally, until old age. Or something like that. As if the first death was just a dream."

And then I woke up.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A singer who became a Buddhist nun.

There are only two buses a day that go from Honjo to Tokyo, one at 11 in the morning, the other at 7:45 in the evening. Miss any one of them and I would have to take the Shinkansen train home (3200 yen for a ride). Obviously, I chose not to pay for such a fee (after taking one here two nights ago) after I was done with LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER, I decided to wait it out for the evening bus.

I had already made backups with my hard disk, made a HDcam, burnt a DVD, it was 4pm. I headed to the lab for a nap.

Suddenly I was in the courtyard of a Buddhist temple, there were a number of monks and nuns before me. A nun was introduced to me by a monk, she had plain features, seemed slightly older than me, late 20s, or early 30s?

Finishing the postproduction of LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER

I have just spent another night in the ARTS AND SCIENCE CENTER in Honjo, which has state of the art postproduction facilities and is where I was putting the finishing touches on my latest film LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER.

Monday, April 25, 2011


After spending the whole night finalizing the editing of my film and preparing it for sound work, I am now in the sound studio, having just woken up from a brief nap (I didn't sleep much last night, and there isn't much for me to do now)

I'm really going through 100 Years of Solitude

I ordered a copy of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE two nights ago, then I received the book a couple of hours later on a Saturday morning from Amazon Japan. I started reading the book around 11pm, and before I realized it, the sun was already rising and it was dawn already.

I slept at 6am and woke up almost at noon. Then I resumed reading, and finished the book a couple of hours later. I didn't expect to finish this great literary work in almost one sitting, in a lazy eventless Sunday.

Friday, April 22, 2011

KINGYO receives Silver Horse from 19th Mediterranean Festival of New Filmmakers - Larissa

Last week, just a day before I left for Tokyo, and when I was undergoing this interview with China Press (the one mentioned in the previous post) I suddenly received an email from the Mediterranean Festival of New Film-makers in Larissa, Greece, that my short film KINGYO had received the Silver Horse. (Golden Horse went to the Greek short CASUS BELLI by Yiorgos Zois).

I'm very honoured. It's been nearly two years since KINGYO (trailer) world premiered in Venice. Knowing that it is still being played before appreciative audiences is a joy, and it also validates the fact that the efforts put in by my cast and crew were totally worth it.

This morning, I finally received the trophy and certificate they sent me.

楊毅恆:電影是家人共同語言 Edmund Yeo: Film is my family's common language

It had been raining the last few days, all traces of cherry blossoms are gone, aside from some petals scattered on the ground.

Ever since I came back to Tokyo, I had been working around the clock to finalize the editing of my new film, LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER. Professor Ando (executive producer!) had hired the services of professional (and legendary) sound mixers and sound effects companies for the post-production, I'm very blessed.

Two nights ago, I was made aware by a former schoolmate of mine that the Malaysian Chinese paper China Press' interview with me (and my mom), which I did just a day before I left Malaysia, was available online (Chinese only).

Friday, April 15, 2011

At least there're still some cherry blossoms around

A couple of days ago, I tweeted a sudden desire to quote the ending monologue of my short film INHALATION delivered by Mei (played by Susan Lee Fong Zhi), even though I generally don't quote stuff from my own works due to my own modesty.

But then, I lamented the fact that I would miss the cherry blossoms this year. Ever a bittersweet sight for me, sweet due to its indescribable beauty, bitter because it signals the end of winter (my true love).

Thus the quote:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Maybank nasi lemak

I always thought that it is a cliche for a Malaysian staying in another country to lament about the lack of mamak stalls, yet alas this is what I'm going to do.

Not that I intend to whine about its absence when I return to Tokyo next week, but more on how fond I really am of these places right now as I am chilling, for a brief while, in Malaysia.

Original Kayu

The whole act of asking old friends out, going to a nearby mamak stall, ordering my favorite iced milk tea (occasionally I go for iced lemon tea), chatting our butts off about nothing can sometimes be such a mundane, yet strangely endearing lifestyle for us. I can never really understand why.

Location:Jalan Semangat,Petaling Jaya,Malaysia

首名外國學生獲小野梓藝術獎‧導演楊毅恆揚名日本 Filmmaker Edmund Yeo becomes first foreigner to receive Ono Azusa Memorial Award for Art

首名外國學生獲小野梓藝術獎‧導演楊毅恆揚名日本 (星洲日報‧2011.04.03)

When your internet connection at home is so bad, it's demotivating to even go online, hence the lack of blog updates in the past few days. (aside from occasionally checking emails, and Facebook, I've been mostly kinda "off the grid", for the sake of reducing frustration and agony over crap Internet connection. I remember having faster internet connection during my dial-up days)

Anyway, I was on Sinchew Daily 3 days ago, on the 4th of April (Monday). It's basically an article about me receiving the Ono Azusa Memorial Award on the 26th last month.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Buddhist ceremony for Qingming Festival

Tomorrow is Qingming Festival, also known as Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day. It is the day when people enjoy the beginning of spring (doesn't apply to tropical Malaysia) and tend to the graves of their departed ones.

A week-long Buddhist praying ceremony is held at the Cempaka Buddhist Lodge (I shot my new short there two weeks ago) that my mom had been attending. I've been to the place a few times in the past few years during the annual ceremony and I always liked how the praying hall is decorated.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Tan Chui Mui's YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER (Berkelana) press screening

I went to the press screening of Tan Chui Mui's sophomore feature YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER last night, which was held outdoors at the fields of Sri Petaling school.