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Sunday, January 31, 2016

[Photo] Continuing my way to Penang.


Continuing my way to Penang.

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] Hanae had newfound fascination for French New Wave films


Hanae had newfound fascination for French New Wave films

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

[Photo] In Ipoh briefly for its famed chicken noodles.


In Ipoh briefly for its famed chicken noodles.

(Check out more photos from my Instagram account.)

RIP Jacques Rivette


The important French New Wave director Jacques Rivette passed away yesterday at the age of 87.



I felt a slight regret that I've never seen more of his films. Yet I remember very well the first. The very first Rivette film I saw would turn out to be his last, AROUND A SMALL MOUNTAIN. Caught this at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2009. It was a rather peculiar experience. Many of the film is set in a circus, where occasionally the line between reality and fiction is blurred, the theatricality of life is mirrored by the performances in the circus. I was a little confounded.


After that film I wanted to find out more about his previous films, and I was recommended two films that were considered his masterpieces. 3-hour CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING and the 12 1/2-hour long (!!) OUT 1 (Out 1, noli me tangere). I got hold of these films a few years ago, saw half of CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING, but didn't start with the latter. Perhaps I was intimidated by the length then, even though that was the particular period of time when I indulged myself in some of the longer films in history, like Bela Tarr's SATANTANGO, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ and a few of Theo Angelopoulos' earlier works. Committing to these long films can be a rather unique experience, like locking yourself in a room to binge-read a novel. You find yourself following not just the plot and characters, but immersing yourself completely in the world that was constructed, its particularly rhythm, and replaying earlier moments of the film in your mind which felt like an eternity ago.

Tony Rayns' open letter to the people of Busan supporting the work of Busan International Film Festival Director Lee Yongkwan


A few weeks ago, I wrote about the problems that the Busan International Film Festival had been facing recently. Basically the government had not been pleased that the festival had been screening a documentary about the sinking of MV Sewol in 2014. Since then, there had been one political attack after another, mostly attempts to force festival director Lee Yongkwan to step down, while the festival had to subject itself to censors.

It's horrifying to see a film festival become a pawn of politics. Film festivals exist as platforms for filmmakers to express themselves artistically, to show different perspectives, different cultures, different voices of different countries of the world, to educate the audiences, to educate the filmmakers. Film festivals exist for many things, therefore it's unsurprising that many directors and other film people have voiced their support for the Busan Film Festival over the last few weeks.

Yesterday, famed writer and festival programmer Tony Rayns wrote an open letter regarding this matter. This letter allows us to contemplate more on the value of film festivals, especially one as historic as Busan Film Fest. How the growth of a festival can affect the economy, culture and others of a particular country.


Tony Rayns writes an open letter to the people of Busan supporting the work of Busan International Film Festival...
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Thursday, January 28, 2016

I'm just gonna copy and paste the entire letter here, because this is necessary.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday, January 15, 2016

RIP Alan Rickman

It's tragic that every time I post here, it has something to do with a death.

Monday, January 11, 2016

RIP David Bowie // Space Oddities

David Bowie had just passed away. It's so sudden. I just got his latest album BLACKSTAR last night. I wanted to listen to BLACKSTAR in is entirety.

But for me, with Bowie, like most people, it started with Space Oddity. I'm posting his performance of the song, along with the various covers that I could find on Youtube. To help myself remember.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Trailer of Woo Ming Jin's documentary RETURN TO NOSTALGIA


I haven't been posting too much about RETURN TO NOSTALGIA since its world premiere last October. RETURN TO NOSTALGIA is a documentary directed by Woo Ming Jin as part of Busan International Film Fest's POWER OF ASIAN CINEMA series last year. For this series, 10 directors from 10 different Asian countries were each invited to make a 50-minute documentary regarding their own country's cinematic history. We were honoured to represent Malaysia.

Last night, we had the very first local screening of the RETURN TO NOSTALGIA, and the response had been immense, there weren't even enough seats for the audiences!

But before that, I would like to share with you all its trailer.


Wednesday, January 06, 2016

We Support Busan International Film Festival


The Busan International Film Festival had getting a lot of pressure from the city of Busan after the screenings of a documentary, DIVING BELL in Busan International Film Festival 2014. They had (unofficially) asked for the resignation of the festival director LEE Yong-kwan and exercised political pressure on BIFF, like slashing the festival budget last year (Busan International Film Festival 2014 also happened to be the 20th anniversary edition of the festival)

They believe that putting pressure on them is a political retaliation and interference, I believe the same to. All Korean filmmakers and groups are standing tall together to secure the freedom of speech and artistic expressions, and keep BIFF from any kinds of political intervention.

Filmmakers from the rest of the world are doing the same too.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

This was how I ended 2015 and welcome the arrival of 2016

Just a simple walk from Shinjuku to Yoyogi, through Meiji Shrine, and finally to Shibuya.

I was thinking of doing my countdown either at Meiji Shrine, or at Shibuya Crossing. But having done my countdowns in some of the great shrines and temples the past few years (went to visit the Big Buddha at Nara's Todaiji in 2008, watched the release of thousands of balloons into the air at Zojo-ji in 2011, checked out the food stalls of Senso-ji in 2012) I opted for the latter.

It was a slightly different experience...
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