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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Creative Spotlight: Episode #96 – Edmund Yeo (JAPAN CINEMA interviews me)

The awesome Japan Cinema had posted a very in-depth interview I recently did with its editor-in-chief Marcello as part of their "Creative Spotlight" series.

In this interview, I spoke about filmmaking, my own storytelling approaches, my interest in adapting the works of Yasunari Kawabata (my short films LOVE SUICIDES and KINGYO were loose adaptations), the creative processes of my short films, EXHALATION and INHALATION, the state of Malaysian and other Asian cinema, and also, Hayao Miyazaki's LAPUTA.

On whether I feel Malaysian writers and filmmakers aren’t getting enough credit in the Asian film society...

"Not really, our industry is quite young, so I think we’re getting the sort of credit that we deserve. It’s only in the past decade, beginning from the early 00s that Malaysian writers and filmmakers were getting their films shown beyond our own country thanks to a movement that is called by some as the ‘Malaysian New Wave’. (The Tokyo International Film Festival was one of the first few prestigious international film festivals to support these films.) Many of these filmmakers are relatively young and have only 3-4 films in their filmography, so there are still much more for us to work around with, and much more for audiences to discover in the future."

And on Hayao Miyazaki's LAPUTA.

" I will name a film by a filmmaker whom I’ve often neglect to mention as an important influences to me. I first discovered Laputa by Hayao Miyazaki when I was eight, I was already watching anime by then (Doraemon, Dragon Ball Z etc.), but I was so blown away by Laputa, the fact that the film was so rich and had so many things in it, romance, steampunk, adventure, a melancholic meditation in loss, I ended up rewatching my VHS for three straight nights. First, with my little sister, the second day, with my grandma, and then, finally, by myself. It was through Laputa that I discovered the rest of Studio Ghibli. But you can never forget the first, and that was Laputa."

I think it was the opening song that did me in. I was 8, the song was so beautiful to me then that I was stunned. It's good to know now that even as a child, I had some appreciation for music then.

Here's a video of Joe Hisaishi performing a Laputa medley with an orchestra.