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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Is FINAS really helping to develop the Malaysian film industry?

This was forwarded to the Malaysian Cinema mailing list yesterday. It's from a filmmaker named Ahmad Yazid:

Hiking in Nasu

This happened more than 3 weeks ago, when I was at the ESC (English Summer Camp) in Nasu.

The ESC is held throughout the end of July to early August. Each round lasts for 3 days 2 nights, I think there were a total of 6 to 7 rounds. I went to the first round, and we had Japanese kids in the first year of junior high (13 year olds). They have just started learning English this year, I was there, along with numerous international students, as 'team captains' to help interact with them in English.

One of the more enjoyable aspects of the camp, to me, was the hiking. It was horrifying to see how quick the kids were as they just sped through the hiking trails in the forest while we, the team captains, were trying to keep up with them. I doubt the 13-year-old me would have survived the hiking, being the fat nerdy kid I was.

I'll be posting up some photos from the summer camp in the next few days. But here
are the hiking ones. I can't really remember the name of the place though. :(

Photos of us beginning our journey:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

'The Incredible Hulk' isn't better than Ang Lee 'The Hulk'

THE INCREDIBLE HULK poster directed by Louis Leterrier, starring Edward Norton

Just saw it today.

When I first heard the news of this 'reboot' of the HULK franchise, I had mixed feelings. Firstly, the HULK, being such a well-known Marvel character, might have the potential to become a franchise, so I understood the need to do a more commercial and action-packed HULK film for the masses so they can erase the bad taste from Ang Lee's 2003 film.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Organizing THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA press premiere

The press conference of THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA
(From left to right) Ming Jin the director, Berg Lee, Ng Meng Hui and Chung Kok Keong

THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA finally had its press premiere yesterday morning. I was so excited that I called Ming Jin just before it started to check out on things, and to remind him who were to attend it. But now that I've already read Ming Jin's post about the premiere, I felt only relief. The past week of putting this together had been hectic. Especially when Ming Jin had to head off to the Brisbane International Film Festival for the screening of KURUS (aka DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY) and I was left to handle things.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


The Dark Knight poster

THE DARK KNIGHT premiered in Tokyo yesterday. I finally got to see it. The wait was excruciating! The hype of the film had been colossal, it's been breaking one box-office record after another and judging by its momentum, it is most likely going to be the second top-grossing movie of all-time in the US (behind Titanic, before adjustment to inflation).

After seeing the film, I'm a little baffled by the crazy amount of money it's making. It's quite a dark and intense film, not as cheery as the Spidey films, not as family-friendly as Shrek 2 or Pirates of the Caribbean 2), yet in just 3 weeks, it made more money than the likes of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and Spider-man 1 etc.

I think it's probably due to a few factors, like this being Heath Ledger's last complete role, the goodwill from the previous film Batman Begins (read my review here), the insane hype generated from fan anticipation, marketing campaign etc. And this film's proving to have legs because of the extensive media coverage it had gotten with each of the box-office record it had broken, sparking curiosity from people who weren't initially interested in superhero films, and even those who didn't see the first film.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Liveblogging the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

The ceremony was spectacular. But I wasn't very coherent.

(Start from the bottom)

Liveblogging the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony 2
Liveblogging the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

(Some really awesome photos of the Opening Ceremony at Boston.com. Too bad they don't have the one where Li Ning lit up the Olympic Torch. That one gave me the goosebumps)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Watching Kahimi Karie (and Rei Harakami) live at Liquidroom

[Unrelated note: I found out that KURUS was on TV again yesterday. Ming Jin is currently in Australia for the Brisbane International Film Festival, where KURUS ('Days of the Turquoise Sky' to the foreigners) is screening. Interested to know what the Aussies think about the film.]

Kahimi Karie
Kahimi Karie

I went to the Liquidroom at Ebisu for one of their 4th year anniversary events on Wednesday night, a live performance by Kahimi Karie and the electronic musician Rei Harakami. I first read about this from Japan Times two weeks ago, and immediately decided to go even though ticket price is a little steep.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Chicken Rice For The Win - Interview with The Malay Mail

Last week, I did an email interview with Gabey Goh of The Malay Mail. The article, Chicken Rice For The Win, came out on the newspapers yesterday, but it's online now! I talk about filmmaking and blogging.


Or you can just scroll down and read the interview below:

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008




Guess it's time for me to make this announcement too.

All righty folks, we (that's Greenlight Pictures) have officially begun pre-selling tickets for the award-winning film THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA!

I was involved in the film as associate producer, also did some additional editing and composing for its Malaysian version (the music you hear in the trailer is mine).

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea 崖の上のポニョ is beautiful

A confession. When I was watching Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea at the cinema yesterday, I was a little choked up during one scene. And yes, damn it, I teared up too. I was so awed by the exuberance and beauty of a scene that I couldn't help but find a single tear trickling down my face. I won't spoil that scene, but it involves the storm, and a girl running frantically ON the crashing waves.

Yes, I went 'Wow' and teared up.