Thursday, September 27, 2012

The 1st Tiny Pupil screening @ Nara International Film Festival 2012



Today, thanks to the Yxine Film Fest, TINY PUPIL by Teng Fei, which I produced, is available online for a brief period of time.

I find this the best time to share with you all the video of the post-screening Q and A session I did for TINY PUPIL at the Nara Film Festival on the 15th of September.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

楊毅恆 冬天、最后的碎片 北海道短片展獲獎 (中國報) Edmund Yeo's LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER wins award in Hokkaido (China Press, 22/9/2012)

Mom called me this morning as well, to tell me that Last Fragments of Winter's receiving of the award in Sapporo Film Fest is also on today's China Press.

冬天, 最后的碎片」在札幌国际短片影展获奖的事情也被登上中国报了。感恩。

楊毅恆執導短片‧日本獲獎 (星洲日報) Edmund Yeo's Short Film Wins Award in Japan (Sin Chew Daily, 21/9/2012)

Mom called me yesterday morning to tell me that news of LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER receiving the award in Sapporo Short Film Fest was on yesterday's Sin Chew Daily.

楊毅恆執導短片‧日本獲獎 (星洲日報) Edmund Yeo's short film wins award in Japan (Sin Chew Daily, 21/9/2012)

The entire article (in Chinese only) is here.

Now I switch to Chinese.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER receives Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Award @ Sapporo Short Film Fest

16th of September was my second day at the Nara Film Fest. Aside from having the second screenings of Last Fragments of Winter (sadly, I accidentally deleted the video from the Q and A session) and Tiny Pupil (I might upload that one later), I also revisited some places in Nara that I went to 4 years ago, like the Todaiji Temple.

The 1st LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER screening @ Nara Film Fest 2012

On the night of Sept 15th, my short film LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER was screened at the Nara International Film Festival.

Nara International Film Festival 2012, I muse about Nara and "Yuanfen"

On the morning of the 15th September, I left Sapporo for Nara, taking the local Japanese budget airline, Peach Airlines, for the very first time.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Short films about the March 11th earthquake and tsunami @ Sapporo Film Fest 2012

For my final night in Sapporo, I decided to attend the Sapporo Film Festival's "AFTER 3.11" Special Programme screening. And what a fine screening it was to end my wonderful Sapporo experience.

This program is a compilation of short films related to the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami that happened in March 11th, 2011. I will recap them one by one, along with my thoughts.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Exploring Otaru 小樽市

My Last Fragments of Winter screening at the Sapporo Film Fest on Sept 12th was actually attended by Yi Hua, a friend from primary and secondary school whom I haven't met for ten years. This had never happened before in all my few years as a filmmaker. She just happened to be in Sapporo.

After that, when we were having ramen, she mentioned a place that intrigued me. The port town of Otaru, just northwest of Sapporo, known for its beautiful canal, the sublime seafood and music boxes (there's a famed music box museum).

And then, hours later, when I attended the Hokkaido Selection program screening, and saw a short film set in the town (there was also a scene shot in the museum), I instantly decided to go there.

So, I went yesterday.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hokkaido Selection @ Sapporo Short Fest 2012

The beauty of a film festival is the opportunity to attend screenings of films that I might not be able to catch anywhere else in the world.

Over here in Sapporo Short Fest, I made sure I went to the "Hokkaido Selection" program screening, which featured short films that were either made by filmmakers from Hokkaido, or short films made in Hokkaido.

The 1st LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER screening @ Sapporo Film Fest 2012

An interesting thing about the Sapporo Short Film Fest catalog is that it includes photos of composers too. The only film festival I know which does such a thing, which is cool, film composers deserve a lot of love. So you can see the photo of my long-term collaborator and high school pal Wong Woan Foong in the Last Fragments of Winter entry.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Arriving at the Sapporo Short Film Fest 2012 opening ceremony

Yesterday morning, I made my way from Narita to Sapporo. My dad has joined the fun as well.

My eloquent tweets pretty much covered most of the trip.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Off to Hokkaido, a place I often fantasize and romanticize

While I am writing this, it is already 4am in the morning. At 11:30am, I will be flying off to Sapporo in Hokkaido for the Japanese premiere of LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER in Sapporo Short Fest.

Friday, September 07, 2012

This mysterious pile of CDs I have been going through...

Been writing the past few nights. I cannot stand the silence, therefore I always need to be accompanied by music.

I have a rather extensive playlist on my iPhone, but for the sake of not getting distracted, I usually chuck my phone aside whenever I go somewhere else for a writing session.

Which means that I was left with the music that I have in my computer. Sadly, they are not as extensive. After a few nights of listening to just the Cocteau Twins, I needed some alternatives.

Last night, I decided to go through the pile of CDs I have accumulated in the past four years since I came to Tokyo.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

On Borges, Eco, Calvino, Marquez... and McDull

I never forgave my secondary school for banning us from bringing novels to school. That is why I constantly speak about it.

Back then, unable to accept such a rule, I occasionally brought a book to school for some reading pleasure. Alas, the school prefects deemed me, a guy who was just sitting at the corner, quietly reading a book, a threat to school safety, thus my books were sometimes confiscated.

I had to write eloquent letters to the prefects just so I could get them back.

That is why, in some of my angry rants over the years, I couldn't stop blaming the local education system for not emphasizing the importance of literature and culture to its students, that we lived merely to score well academically, that our education was more on learning how to deal with exams, instead of preparing us properly to contribute to society. That our country is full of highly-educated folks who don't give a crap about literature.

Many years ago, back in Perth, Justin (who used to contribute to this blog but had since became a published novelist himself) once said this:

"I cannot imagine anyone not picking up a novel in their entire life. What sort of existence is that?"

I shrugged. "A typical Malaysian."

Being in love with literature is just as lonely as being passionate about films. Or maybe a little more so. At least most Joe Blows do go to cinemas for films as some social exercise. Any attempt to have a meaningful or deep discussion about the film will be futile. People will look at me as if I had farted loudly in a funeral.

Because they rarely happen, being able to go into in-depth discussions about films, filmmakers, or literary works, authors, can be a very pleasurable experience. Perhaps that is why I am often on Facebook and Twitter. Or why I often surf film websites and go through the comments section. Just to find and read about discussions that I can never seem to have in real life.

(Perhaps if I were a banker, I wouldn't have to deal with such a dilemma, no?)

Yesterday, Maggie Lee, film critic of Variety, tweeted this link to a book review: