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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

SNAKES ON A PLANE is not as fun as the internet memes it spawned

Josh is a friend of mine who appeared in my two last short films, Forced Labour (look out for the guy who played rock, paper and scissors with Justin at the beginning of the film) and Vertical Distance (still unavailable to the public, alas) . He tends to go... overexcited at the movies.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Help Me Rename My Short Film!

Girl Disconnected is just the working title of my upcoming short film. Of course, originally, I was thinking of sticking with the title, but Yun Chin, my producer/ assistant director, felt that it doesn't seem appealing, or particularly memorable.

Location Hunting for GIRL DISCONNECTED

Was doing some location hunting for Brian The Cinematographer three days ago for my short film, Girl Disconnected. Went to University of Western Australia (first three photos are taken there), and then somewhere near the city beach (second three photos). Here are some photos for you all to ogle at. Once again, I used my usual blurry, dreamy effect from Photoshop, with varying degrees of success. They're all taken by Brian.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jason Reitman's 'Thank You For Smoking'

Saw this film with Michelle AKA My Favouritest Person In The World (Justin's too). Thank You For Smoking's a satirical comedy following the chief spokesperson of Big Tobacco, Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), as he spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his 12-year-old son who idolizes him. No matter how much you're against smoking (and I'm the kind of person who snaps at friends when they're smoking in front of me), you'll end up rooting for the smooth-talking, charismatic Nick Naylor.

Michael Mann's Miami Vice

I loved Michael Mann's previous film Collateral. I ranked it as one of my top ten favourite films of 2004. In an interview in American Cinematographer, Michael Mann said that as far as he was aware, Collateral was one of the first movies to attempt to make a "look" out of digital video rather than trying to make DV look like film. And to me, the city of Los Angeles at night had never looked more beautiful. Whoa.

That's why I was looking forward to Miami Vice (despite not remembering anything about the old TV show, nor being a fan of Colin Farrell), because I knew that Michael Mann's going to continue experimenting with digital filmmaking here.

Okay, and I also wanted to see it because I was eager to see how Gong Li would fare in a Hollywood film (I chose to skip Memoirs of Geisha).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Nanase Aikawa

Old school action. Nanase Aikawa was big in the mid-90's; she had kind of a 'tough' reputation (okay, this is relative 'tough' for what we're talking about here) and considered herself a serious rock singer. Marty Friedman from Megadeth also joined her crew and wrote a bunch of wanky guitar solos for her. (Remember him from the 'Rust in Peace' album? With that Hangar 18 song? No? Uhh...well...)


Check out previous entries of the Girl Disconnected Production Diary.

Introducing Girl Disconnected

In which I introduce Girl Disconnected by giving a brief summary of its plot.

The First Production Meeting
In which I talk briefly about my production team and the ideas that sprang out during the meeting that can hopefully finance the film.

Four Eyed Monsters. Slacking Off From Script Revisions. Conflicts. The Loneliness of Art.In which I feel a wee bit of PRE-creativity depression, and speaks about conflicts that destroyed group dynamics in previous attempts in filmmaking. Also voices out possible influences for upcoming film like Darren Aronofsky (whilst providing trailer of his upcoming film, The Fountain) and then plugging indie film Four-Eyed Monster's vodcasts and marketing via new media.

Anyway, time for me to keep you all updated on the production of my upcoming short film, Girl Disconnected, which I haven't talked about for nearly two weeks, I think.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Moon Kana ムーン香奈

"KANA is a fairy that lives in the forest, sings about humans, and makes stuffed animals and clothes. The forest is in space, on Saturn. Her hair color changes depending on the season and her mood. "

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Alternative Ending To Sepet

Well, not really MY alternative ending, it's really my friend's, who told me this when we were in a bus few days ago. But I couldn't help but share it with you all here.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Kim-Tae Yong's Family Ties 가족의 탄생 is a modern masterpiece

I knew nothing about Kim Tae-Yong's Family Ties, but was spurred to watch it due to Koreanfilm.org's (mostly) positive review. While it is called Family Ties in English, I believe its more literal translation is The Birth Of A Family, a title which seems initially meaningless until I gradually realized what was this ensemble film about, and it's really cleverly constructed, but I'll try to keep things spoiler-free.


Dreamworks' latest foray in 3D animation. Besides Antz and the (good but somewhat overrated) Shrek films, most of Dreamworks' 3D animated films had been rather mediocre. My greatest annoyance about these films had always been the pop cultural references. They are admittedly funny in the Shrek movies, but usually fall flat, or seem awkward in others. Seriously, these pop cultural jokes are so jarring that they really take away my enjoyment of the film, making me feel unnecessarily cynical whilst watching a children's film. What's the point? Oh right, score some easy laughs from older members of the audiences, but it removes the sense of timelessness that we see in most Pixar productions.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Perth Premiere of Murali K. Thalluri's '2:37'

Two days ago, right after I discovered this joyous event, I attended the Perth premiere of an Australian film called 2:37 at Leederville's Luna Theaters with Kelly and Agnes. I was eager to attend it because director Murali K. Thalluri (a bloke same age as I) would be there for a Q and A session hosted by my teacher of last semester's Directing Actors class, Annie Murtagh Monks (who innovated this rehearsing tool for actors called the Visual Thought Learning method that I wrote about here).

First, the film summary (via IMDB because I am a lazy bastard, but at least I'm filling in the names of cast members, make sure to correct me if you find any errors):

Yumiko Kurahashi's The Woman With The Flying Head and Other Stories

This message is an urgent one, to alert you of something you, and the world, needs to know about:

A writer of great importance and originality, as yet more or less unknown -

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My short film Vertical Distance is shown to new film students in Murdoch university!

It all happened yesterday evening as I was walking out of my flat to attend the Perth premiere of Australian film 2:37 (will post about this in great detail on my next entry) when I ran into an acquaintance (our more appropriate relationship would be... he is the boyfriend of a friend's friend) who attended the screening of my short film, Vertical Distance (screenshots here) last semester. The conversation was like this:

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Four Eyed Monsters. Slacking Off From Script Revisions. Conflicts. The Loneliness of Art.

My course coordinator/ teacher/ lecturer/ supervisor, Melanie (whom I always known as Melanie Rodriga, but was apparently credited in films she's involved in as Melanie Read!), sent me an email few days ago after reading the latest draft of the Girl Disconnected screenplay. She loved it and was very encouraging, telling me that it has huge potential to be very magical, meditative and emotional. What struck me most was her description that Girl Disconnected was like a futuristic Alice In Wonderland meets Chungking Express. It's funny that throughout the past few months of developing Girl Disconnected, Alice In Wonderland was the LAST thing in my mind, even though I did draw ideas and influences from children stories and childhood imaginations ("I want to fly to the moon and see Chang Er, yippee!"). Guess it's a subconscious thing.

Friday, August 04, 2006

King and The Clown 왕의 남자 is a tearjerker bromance film

King And The Clown is currently the top-grossing film in Korean history, I would've had a lot to say. But I don't, everything that has to be said has already been covered by tons of websites and articles out there about this cultural phenomenon (but if you are interested, this special feature detailing the history of 90s Korean cinema that leads to the making of this film is worth reading). Directed by Lee Jun Ik (who did the great Hi, Dharma!), this film is regarded to many as Korea's Brokeback Mountain for its homosexual overtones. Yet unlike the stageplay it was based on, the relationship between the two male clowns Jang-sang and Gong-gil (Kam Woo-seong and Lee Jun-gi) is very chaste. So in truth, this film is not Brokeback Mountain gay, it's more Lord of the Rings Frodo and Sam gay. (Bromance)

Ssunday Seoul 썬데이 서울

Ssunday Seoul 썬데이 서울 is an omnibus film consisting three different stories. And well, I got it because it means getting three films for the price of one, and I vaguely remembered it being reviewed by Lovehkfilm.com and Koreanfilm.org. Unfortunately, what I forgot was that both reviews were rather negative.

My Scary Girl 달콤, 살벌한 연인

My Scary Girl is a surprise hit in Korea this year, shot in HD, and made with a budget of $800 000, it ended up grossing more than $2 million dollars in the box-office. (it was pretty much an experiment by two companies in low-budget filmmaking) Curious by its success (and this review here), and intrigued by its title (obviously a reference to my all-time favourite Korean romance, My Sassy Gal) I acquired the film in methods I won't divulge here.

The First Production Meeting for GIRL DISCONNECTED

Finally had our very first production meeting in the afternoon to finalize the roles in the production team of Girl Disconnected, my upcoming film. (read my previous production diary entry for info)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I almost appeared in an angsty incest-themed short film

Nearly a year ago, on August, I wrote in this epic entry (a MUST-READ if you want to read about how my dreams of becoming an actor were repeatedly dashed throughout my life, it was me in my eloquent best) about going for the audition of a Murdoch University 3rd Year Production by an all-Singaporean production team (it wasn't until the audition that I found out that the director, Jean Choong, coincidentally, was an acquintance).

A Mandarin-language film, the summary given to me and the script excerpt they allowed me to read were pretty vague. Just something about a girl committing suicide, her mom and brother grieving, and then the girl returning as a ghost on the seventh day of her death. I was auditioning for the brother. I never got chosen. I never heard about the short film after that.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Screaming Fields of Sonic Love

I was lucky enough to see Sonic Youth live when they came to Fremantle two years ago, and me, my friend Tim, and about a hundred other people were able to witness the legendary New York band's characteristic mix of songcraft and noise. SY was one of the bands that during my high school years showed me that you could do a lot more with guitars than just produce generic riffs and chord changes, a revelation which inspired me to form my own band. Following their example (and that of Big Black, Xiu Xiu, Mogwai, and numerous others) I soon became obsessed with wringing as many kinds of noise and feedback from anything I could find, be it guitar, bass, turntables, or even found objects and improvised instruments.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

'The New World' by Terrence Malick

Long ago, when Disney's Pocahontas first came out (that was 1995, I was only 11), I remembered doing some researches on the history of the indian princess, finding out that her tale's quite tragic, dying only in her early twenties, and marrying a bloke who wasn't John Smith after moving to England.