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Sunday, November 01, 2015

Goodbye, Grantland

A favourite site of mine, Grantland, just got closed down yesterday.

Urgh. ESPN is closing Grantland. I'm depressed. It's usually one of the first sites I go to everyday. For its great articles on films, music and sports.
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, October 30, 2015

After a day, things started sinking in. Its absence more strongly felt. Overwhelmed by a feeling of numbness, I tried to eulogize it on Facebook while sharing a link which listed a number of great Grantland articles that had accompanied me over the past few years.

Grantland just got shut down yesterday. It's been long time since I felt so much sadness for the closing of a website,...
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Sunday, November 1, 2015

This was what I wrote:

Grantland just got shut down yesterday. It's been long time since I felt so much sadness for the closing of a website, therefore I feel that I should be writing more about it...

When I was reminded that it started in 2011, I was couldn't believe it. Has it only been 4 years? It felt so much longer, maybe because I've been visiting the site everyday. At first, I was there for the sports stuff, the NBA articles were great. But gradually, the great film, television and other pop culture articles begin to appear. The writing is exquisite, and being in longform, it was absolutely a pleasure to go through them, immersing myself in the fine writing, the great content. Zach Lowe's intricate coverage of the NBA, Brian Phillip's almost-mythical tennis articles (his "Sea of Crises", which covers sumo, Mishima Yukio's seppuku during a trip in Japan is a delicious piece of writing which is as good as any literary work I've read), Wesley Morris' wonderful film reviews (I found myself nodding happily last year when he lauded Lav Diaz's NORTE as an "honest-to-goodness masterpiece"), Rembert Browne's coverage of Ferguson, Molly Lambert's illuminating album and TV reviews etc. Reading them had given me so much joy, it's probably the website that I visit most daily (aside from Facebook). Because it is exciting whenever they have new articles online.

And now it's all gone. Since then, numerous websites have shared their list of all-time favourite Grantland articles, and rereading them is giving me such a bittersweet feeling. The NBA season had just started, and sadly, strangely, I find myself at a loss.

What do I do now? Finish the last few pages of Murakami's WILD SHEEP CHASE, go through another few stories from Italo Calvino's ITALIAN FOLKTALES. Start my writing. Finish my editing. Perhaps make a longer list of things to do, just to distract myself from the growing void.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A 3-minute excerpt from Woo Ming Jin's THE SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES

While I'm hanging out at the Tokyo International Film Festival, Ming Jin is in Taipei for the Taiwanese premiere of THE SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES tonight at the Taiwan International Queer Film Festival.

To commemorate that, we have uploaded a 3-minute excerpt from the film, which shows the beginning of Lai and Mrs Tan's steamy love affair.

More related videos of THE SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES can be found on this playlist.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Remaining notes and photos from Busan International Film Festival 2015

All right, I'm so lagging behind that even though I'm already in Tokyo for the Tokyo International Film Festival, I'm still trying to wrap up my Busan Film Fest experience.

Okay, this will be my last post about this year's Busan Film Fest!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

[VIDEOS] Buskers in Tokyo

During my time in Tokyo from 2008 to 2013, I had enjoyed walking about at night, and stopping to watch and listen to buskers performing at the streets. I have shot a few videos, and posted all of them on this blog back then. Sadly, I've not shot any videos of them since 2011, I think. I guess once I picked up the habit of wearing my earphones all the time outside, I ended up walking past these performances without noticing. And mostly because I stopped carrying my Canon 7D with me all the time.

My Youtube account had been abandoned for quite a while, but nevertheless, looking through it a few days ago, I had a lot of fondness of these busker videos that I shot, so I decided to compile them into a playlist. Some of these musicians are still active, and it's worth rediscovering them.

Woo Ming JIn's RETURN TO NOSTALGIA @ Busan International Film Festival 2015 + its media coverage

Been back from Busan for more than a week, and immediately dove into the production of a music video (well, if you are still following this blog, or my Instagram feed, you'll see the photos), hence the lack of recaps.

On the 4th of October, Ming Jin's documentary RETURN TO NOSTALGIA finally had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival.

RETURN TO NOSTALGIA is part of the POWER OF ASIAN CINEMA program, in commemoration with the 20th anniversary of the Busan Film Fest, 10 Asian directors were each commissioned to make a 50-minute documentary about their own cinematic history.

Ming Jin chose to make a film about the search for SERUAN MERDEKA, the very first post-war Malay film which is missing.

Before the screening of RETURN TO NOSTALGIA, however, I went to catch the first two volumes of Miguel Gomes' sprawling three-part ARABIAN NIGHTS. The films began with a disclaimer that they are not adaptations of the novel (more like a film that's very loosely inspired by the novel)! Structurally they are similar, they are mostly tales of modern-day Portugal, being told by Scheherazade to the Sultan. So there are least 3-4 different stories of different genres in each film, done in very different styles.

If it weren't for the RETURN TO NOSTALGIA screening, we would have been able to finish Volume 3! (or go to the gala screening of Hirokazu Koreeda's OUR SISTER) Never have I felt so sad during a screening of my own production.

I jest.

The screening of RETURN TO NOSTALGIA went on pretty smoothly. It was good to present a small glimpse of our country's cinema history to a foreign land.

The local media had kindly covered this documentary since then.

Thanks, Malay Mail Online, for sharing the news! Yup, RETURN TO NOSTALGIA by Woo Ming Jin will have its world premiere...

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Saturday, October 3, 2015

感恩中国报的报导。 希望有那么的一天能与马来西亚的观众们分享《眷念重来 RETURN TO NOSTALGIA》。

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Many thanks to THE STAR for covering Woo Ming Jin's RETURN TO NOSTALGIA. It's the documentary that was in Busan last...

Posted by Edmund Yeo on Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday, October 05, 2015

Busan International Film Festival 2015 Day 2 recap: Experiencing the past, present and future of Taiwanese cinema

Oct 3, Ying Xian (producer) and I were invited to eFM 90.5, Busan's one and only English radio station, to talk about RETURN OF NOSTALGIA. Ming Jin was only going to arrive a day after, so we had to handle promotional duties :)

Whoa, I was on a radio show in Busan! We are talking about Woo Ming Jin's RETURN TO NOSTALGIA, which is the only Malaysian film screening in Busan Film Fest this year!
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, October 2, 2015

Right after that, I got to catch the restored print of Edward Yang's monumental masterpiece BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY.

I didn't expect this but I finally managed to catch Edward Yang's masterpiece BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY on the big screen just...
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Saturday, October 3, 2015

Yes, I was absolutely excited to catch the film in its full glory, after having already watched it a few times in low-res. So many details missed. Prior to this screening, I already believed that BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY is one of the greatest films of all time, yet improbably, the big screen made me love the film even more. Now I will share the obligatory film excerpts.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Busan International Film Festival 2015 Day 1: Catching up with the Cannes Films

I'm at Busan for the Busan International Film Festival. Ming Jin's documentary RETURN TO NOSTALGIA, which I served as executive producer (and final editor, and colorist, among others, as usual), is going to have its world premiere tonight.

Thanks, Malay Mail Online, for sharing the news! Yup, RETURN TO NOSTALGIA by Woo Ming Jin will have its world premiere...
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Saturday, October 3, 2015

So, today's my third day. It wasn't exactly easy to get to Busan this year. On the day of the opening ceremony, there was a typhoon, and our plane was unable to land, so we ended up in Incheon Airport for a while.

Urgh, arrived at Busan. Finally. Flight stopped by at Incheon for a couple of hours because of bad weather. Looking forward to another great festival!!
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Thursday, October 1, 2015

The next day, I decided to catch up with the Cannes films. The first I saw was Jacques Audiard's Palme D'Or winner, DHEEPAN.