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Showing posts with label River of Exploding Durians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label River of Exploding Durians. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Liliosa Hilao and the Martial Law (a scene from River of Exploding Durians)

I first read about Liliosa Hilao a couple of years ago. I cannot really remember how did I actually stumble upon her story then. I was in Tokyo, I was binge-reading the colourful history of Philippines on Wikipedia, and like a labyrinth, it led me to unexpected places, namely the sad story of Liliosa Hilao. The atrocities that happened to her during Martial Law were painful to read, and after I was done, I remained haunted by it.

A few years later, when I finally started making my film RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS, I decided to incorporate scenes of a high school class reenacting forgotten ASEAN history, because I was hoping to preserve these in cinema. The truth is, our education system, our history books, just like those in this region, are rather insular and limited, many things weren't allowed for discussion. How then, can we grow if we were kept constantly in a bubble?

One of the scenes in RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS is a reenactment of Liliosa Hilao's story. I decided to upload it a few days ago when I heard of the ongoing political situation in Philippines, where Bongbong Marcos, son of Ferninand Marcos, was running for vice president. A subject of great consternation for many, especially those who had to endure Martial Law. Since many were discussing about how the atrocities were being forgotten, I realized I had to share Liliosa's story to the public.

It took 2 days before it caught on, and to my surprise, the feedback and responses since then had been overwhelming. It's something I've never experienced before. What moved me most was to actually hear from the family of Liliosa Hilao. When I was reading about Liliosa Hilao's story all those years ago, I would never expect to do something that could reach her family. Life is full of surprises. I'm very humbled by this experience.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016


前几天在脸书发的帖, 今天再补充。 希望可以与大家分享。

7部不能错过的大马中文电影。 之前都一直不知道自己的River of Exploding Durians 榴莲忘返也列在名单里。 因为想到被点名的都应该是院线播放了的作品。 谢谢 The Rakyat Post对本片的注意与欣赏。其实马...

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Wednesday, March 2, 2016

7部不能错过的大马中文电影。 之前都一直不知道自己的《榴莲忘返》也列在名单里。 因为想到被点名的都应该是院线播放了的作品。 谢谢人民邮报对本片的注意与欣赏。
其实马来西亚中文电影电影还有很多不能错过的。 例如几位马来西亚新浪潮前辈们的作品。

胡明进的《大象与海》, 《遗情》, 参与康城的《虎厂》, 《The Second Life of Thieves 偷·情》 (他的作品我是当制片以及剪接, 所以推荐比较多啦!)



林丽娟的《理发师的女儿》 (片子没预告片, 我还是分享导演另一部短片好了)


李添兴的《美丽的洗衣机》, 《黑夜行路》与《当我们同在一起》, 等等

这些作品都比较文艺, 节奏, 风格与一般的商业电影不一样, 但也值得去看吧。

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The journey to the Jaffna International Cinema Festival in Sri Lanka

After I returned from Japan, I immediately flew off to Sri Lanka the next morning.

My film RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS had been invited to the Best Debut Film competition section of the inaugural Jaffna International Cinema Festival.

Naturally, I was excited.

Jaffna is at the northern part of Sri Lanka, so when I arrived at the capital city of Colombo, it was necessary to take a 7-hour train ride to Jaffna.

But before that, I was able to rest for a night at the YWCA International Guesthouse.

Arrived at the YWCA International Guest House Colombo. Building's been around for 200 years!

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Thursday, September 17, 2015

The building has existed for more than two hundred years, and it was converted into a guest house almost a hundred years ago. It's cool that you write your guest registration on a thick book.

My time in Colombo was quite short, I managed to visit the famed Gangaramaya temple. But only for a short while.

Buddhist statues in Gangaramaya Temple

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, September 18, 2015

I woke up at 4am the next morning, and prepared myself.

My train was supposed to be at 5:45am. I arrived at the station at 5am, I met the famed Sri Lankan director Asoka Handagama, who also taking the same train to the festival for a screening of his film.

Colombo train station at 5am

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, September 18, 2015

While I was in the station, I was reminded of a long train journey I had taken back in 2007, from New Delhi to Bodh Gaya, how long was that ride? I think it was around 15 hours. There were no air-conditioner, the journey lasted from afternoon to the next morning. It was an unforgettable journey. It was eight years ago, but it felt like an eternity.

I didn't mind reenacting such a journey again, until I realized that the train this time was absolutely brand new. (and with air-conditioner!!)

Beginning of a 7-hour train ride. The screen was showing the last Harry Potter film when I got in.

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, September 18, 2015

I slept through most of the journey, but sometimes I got to admire the nice scenery outside.

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, September 18, 2015

The screen was playing an eclectic mix of films. It was HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 when I got onboard, during Harry Potter and Lord Voldermort's climatic battle.

I drifted to sleep and woke up 2 hours later. This time, it was playing RIO, the very entertaining animated film which I have seen before. So I went back to sleep.

When I got up, I was surprised to see a kungfu scene happening onscreen (with Dutch subtitles!). This time, they were playing the 2010 film IP MAN: A LEGEND IS BORN by Herman Yau, which I have not seen before. Back then, I dismissed it as a cheap cash grab of the previous IP MAN films with Donnie Yen.

Thankfully, I was wrong, and the film turned out to be more entertaining than expected, and more ambitious than I thought. I wonder whether it had anything to do with the fact that I felt a strange warmth watching a familiar Chinese film in a Sri Lankan train. Nevertheless, in the 2 hours that I was awake during the 7-hour journey, it was mostly spent on watching this film.

Arrived at Jaffna during the afternoon. I got the director's pass and the festival catalog.

Director pass and Jaffna International Cinema Festival catalog

Posted by River of Exploding Durians 榴莲忘返 on Friday, September 18, 2015

Director pass and Jaffna International Cinema Festival catalog

Posted by River of Exploding Durians 榴莲忘返 on Friday, September 18, 2015

In the evening, I even took a Tuk Tuk with a large TV on it!

Took the Tuk Tuk to University of Jaffna with director Asoka Handagama ( was going to his screening) There's a TV in the Tuk Tuk! Showing epic Tamil films.

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, September 18, 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rest in peace, Fat Yau 肥耀, 一路好走


几天前知道他得了骨痛热症进了院。 没想到昨晚就走了。

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Two weeks ago, RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS was screened at the Green Film Festival in Seoul... which was in Seoul. Based on its official website, the Green Film Festival in Seoul (GFFIS) "is the film festival to seek the co-existence between humans and the environment through cinema. Green matters have become one of our common issues, but we still want to meet more people and share the green messages together. We are still living in the age of reckless development, environmental destruction, climate change and poverty. The GFFIS dreams of the co-existence between humans and nature, the alternatives for the future, and the ways to put ideas into action through films. Until the day all these dreams come into reality, we will be here with you and do our works.".

Thursday, May 21, 2015

RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS @ Singapore Chinese Film Festival 2015 + Films I caught at the festival

Has there not been update on this blog for that long?

It happens, when you are buried with work.

A month ago, RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS was shown at the Singapore Chinese Film Festival.

At the very same festival, I was able to meet Taiwanese directors like the legendary Li Hsing (considered a godfather of Taiwanese cinema), the influential Wan Jen (of the Taiwan New Cinema, a contemporary of Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Edward Yang's), and the much respected Yang Li-Chou (whose critically and commercially successful documentaries opened the way for Taiwanese documentaries to be shown in their cinemas).

Monday, April 20, 2015

RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS 破裂するドリアンの河の記憶 @ Malaysian Film Week マレーシア映画ウィーク

Yesterday (19th April) was the last screening of RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS at the Malaysian Film Week, held in Roppongi. Thanks for organizing the screenings, Malaysia Film Week. And thanks to Ando-sensei for doing the Q and A session after the screening.

Monday, March 09, 2015


I've been trying to find the term for this. A series of tweets in a row about the same thing, usually to alleviate the 140-character limit.

Multi-tweet essay? Multiple-tweets?

Apparently it's called a Tweetstorm.

Since RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS' premiere in Tokyo last October, the film has gotten some Tweetstorm from viewers in Japan. Their thoughts had been very insightful and invaluable, so I always wanted to put them here. To help myself remember.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS and SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES on the front page of Daily Tiger @ Rotterdam

One of the most surprising parts of the Rotterdam Film Fest is being on the front page of the Daily Tiger! Very honoured!

RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS and SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES photos @ International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015

Thanks to being suddenly overwhelmed by numerous film projects (webseries, TV series, documentary, feature film) and the ongoing Chinese New Year, I realized that I haven't updated this blog for more than a month! Not since I went to Rotterdam!

If I still don't update anything by tomorrow, this will mark the first time in its 10-year existence that the blog isn't updated in an entire month. Not exactly something I want to do!

So here are the (very much postponed) photos from the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the premieres of both the film I directed, RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS, and the film I produced, SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES.

Both films had their European premieres exactly a month ago. On Jan 27. And had 3 more screenings from Jan 28 to Jan 30.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS and THE SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES @ International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015

I'm actually at the airport now, waiting to fly off to Rotterdam within the next two hours.

On the 27th, RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS will be having its European premiere there. So is Woo Ming Jin's SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES (which I produced and co-wrote). I guess both films are linked in many ways, so it's unsurprising that they will both have their European premieres on the same day.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS @ Cambodia International Film Festival + Kulikar Sotho's THE LAST REEL + Opening Ceremony

I'm currently hanging out at my hotel room in Phnom Penh. In a few hours, RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS will be screening. Technically, this is the first film festival for DURIANS after Tokyo International Film Festival, I'm pretty thrilled, this is my first time in Cambodia.

Monday, November 24, 2014

3rd screening of RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS 破裂するドリアンの河の記憶 @ Tokyo International Film Festival

So, here I am, a weeks since I have returned from Copenhagen, and 5 days into a TV movie shoot.

It's been a month since the world premiere of RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS at the Tokyo International Film Festival. And three weeks since the third (last) screening of the film at the festival.

I have written about the first screening and the second screening of the film, so I figured I'll wrap things up. I'm writing all these mostly to help myself remember.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Sunday, November 02, 2014

RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS 破裂するドリアンの河の記憶 red carpet and world premiere @ Tokyo International Film Festival

I finally got back from Tokyo.

The Tokyo International Film Festival in the past 10 days had been absolutely emotional, and inspiring. I will now take the time to update the blog with Facebook posts (not just mine, but others too) of the wondrous journey RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS had taken during its world premiere in this grand, prestigious festival. It all felt like a dream.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014


Ever since the announcement of its nomination in the Main Competition section of Tokyo International Film Festival late last month, the local media had been very generous with their coverage of RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS. For that, I am very grateful.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I was on TV to talk about RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS (Agenda Awani)

A week from now, I'll be flying off to Tokyo for the Tokyo Film Festival, where RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS will be making its world premiere.

Two weeks ago, before going off to Busan, I was on Agenda Awani to talk about my film. It was a great chat with host Kamarul Bahrin Haron. Thanks for having me there, Astro Awani.