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Mieko Kanai 金井美恵子

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You might not have heard of the Japanese writer Mieko Kanai (金井美恵子), but she wrote the short story "The Moon" that inspired my short film "LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER". I stumbled upon her works by accident. It was September 2010. My uncle (father's younger brother) passed away suddenly, my parents, who were in Tokyo with me for my graduation ceremony, had to fly back to Malaysia immediately. I was left alone in the hotel that my parents were supposed to stay for a few more days. Overwhelmed by solitude, I went to my favourite Aoyama Book Center in Roppongi, hoping to distract my mind with literature. Going through the shelf, "THE WORD BOOK" by Mieko Kanai, a collection of her short stories, caught my eye. Maybe it was the cover. THE WORD BOOK came out in the 70s, but it only just got translated into English that year. I flipped through the book, went through some stories, and found myself captivated by the imagery of her dream-like tales. I d

Q and A session for WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER at CineMalaysia

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On the 30th of May, the screening of Woo Ming Jin's WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER was held right after the screening of my short films at CineMalaysia Film Festival (a film festival for Malaysian films held in Tokyo).

Q & A session for my short films screening at CineMalaysia Film Festival

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I have just spent three nights in Tokyo to attend the CineMalaysia Film Festival シネ・マレーシア , a great film festival organized in Tokyo to show Malaysian films. This was its inaugural edition. The film festival ran from the 24th to the 31st of May. I was around for the last two days.

James Lee uploaded his entire 2009 feature film, CALL IF YOU NEED ME 黑夜行路 on Youtube

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These days, the Malaysian director and independent film pioneer James Lee had been uploading his works on his Youtube channel Doghouse73pictures . Both short films and feature films, from his earliest to his latest. Last month, in April, he uploaded his 2005 breakthrough film THE BEAUTIFUL WASHING MACHINE (one of the seminal films of the Malaysian New Wave) in its entirety . Today, in conjunction with its screening at the CineMalaysia in Tokyo (a new film festival that is showing only Malaysian films), James has uploaded his 2009 gangster film CALL IF YOU NEED ME 黑夜行路 online for us all to see.

Set photos from the Buddyz 2 TV shoot

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(On the set of Buddyz 2, with the iconic kombi van and some yellow umbrellas. The guy in yellow and seated in the background is actor Shaheizy Sam, reading the script) Last year, I made a passing mention that I was involved in a TV shoot for a series of 5-minute episodes called Buddyz . The series started airing last June .

Discussing the short film medium

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Back in January, I was on Kenneth Chaw's The Star article "Short Films starting to appeal to a bigger audience", discussing about my thoughts on short films . Filmmaker James Lee and Youtube sensation Jinnyboy were interviewed too. Prior to that, Kenneth had actually done a very lengthy email interview with me in preparation for his article. While a number of my quotes were in the final article, I thought I would like to share our entire discussion with everyone. I'm doing it now, with Kenneth's permission. (In truth, I have wanted to do this since January, but, ah, I never had the time.) So, here we go. Kenneth's questions are in bold . My answers will just be... normal text.

WATCH: James Lee's award-winning film, THE BEAUTIFUL WASHING MACHINE

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The Malaysian director James Lee's Youtube channel, doghouse73pictures had become increasingly interesting recently. Not only is he uploading his short films online, both new and old, he's also uploading his full-length films online so that everyone can watch them.

RIP Roger Ebert

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I woke up to sad news of Roger Ebert 's passing.

Shibuya at dusk captivates me

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I was in Shibuya yesterday evening before I headed off to Haneda Airport for my flight back to Malaysia. Even though I have been in Tokyo for five years, I still find myself discovering something new all the time. And the joy and surprises of these tiny discoveries can sometimes accumulate into something wonderful. For example, I don't think I've ever seen Shibuya at dusk looking like this.

Spring Snow in Sapporo

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After my joyous Graduation ceremony , my family and I headed off to Sapporo, Hokkaido. The last time I went to Sapporo was 6 months ago, for the Sapporo International Short Film Festival. I was honoured to receive the Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Award for my short film, LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER . When I arrived at Sapporo, I was a little surprised that the place is still snowing. It's already the end of March, and in Tokyo, the cherry blossoms were already blooming.

My speech at GITS Commencement & Graduation Reception (26.3.2013)

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I just went through my graduation ceremony yesterday at Waseda University. For some odd reason, I managed to get myself a doctorate. I'm sure my secondary school teachers would have been mortified.