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Sunday, November 26, 2006

What I'll Miss About Perth (1): His Flatmates

I'm currently chillin' in my friend, Amir's house after moving out from the Murdoch University Student Village, Flat 90, a place I've called home for the past 2 and a half years. And in less than two weeks, I will be leaving Perth for good.


Everything else about it is almost great. Here's a quick list of everything I loved about staying in the Student Village.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Blogging is depressing

Tifa Cosplayer 5

Justin says:
Blogging feels so hopeless
Swifty says:

More 'Girl Disconnected' Production Photos From The Corridor Scene!

Based on the test viewings thus far (test viewings amongst my teachers, fellow film students etc.) The 'Corridor Scene' from my latest short film, Girl Disconnected, is one of the most well-received scenes of the film. Some called it the turning point of the film, where it just elevated to another level of filmmaking (compared to the first half of the film). Another friend of mine just shook his head and smiled, saying that it was certainly 'trippy'.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bye Bye, Robert Altman.

Robert Altman with his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscars

Legendary film director Robert Altman is not someone most casual Malaysian film fans would have heard of, his films, many lauded as classics, are unseen by most. Therefore, his death two days ago wasn't much of a news for most. On the other hand, many film blogs that I read everyday are writing their own eloquent tribute to him, they are the people whose lives were touched by Altman's films.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Conversation on 'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan'

Poster of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Swifty says:
Borat left me slightly underwhelmed.

Yukio Mishima - The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea

I can't be bothered to review this in any real depth, so I'll just excerpt parts of it and laugh at them. Much like the previous review, you're pretty much aboard the train at this point or you're not. Despite overseas acclaim (it was even made into an English movie starring Kris Kristofferson...what the fuck?), this novel, about a doomed romance between a sailor and a widow offset by evil kids, probably isn't one of Mishima's major works. It feels almost like a novella or really long short story, something that could have gone in one of the collections Acts of Worship or Death in Midsummer (discussed here)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Received Some Awards Nominations for End-Year Murdoch University Film Festival.

Two of the short films I wrote and directed this year, Vertical Distance and Girl Disconnected, have been nominated for a few categories in the end year Murdoch Film Festival held on the 3rd of December.

Conversation on Matthew Barney's 'Drawing Restraint 9'

Bjork and Matthew Barney in Drawing Restraint 9

Watching Drawing Restraint 9, an art film by American artist Matthew Barney, is possibly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, mainly because Barney's films are only available in festival circuits, there will never be any DVDs, and it will not even get a limited theater distribution.

The film (along with Matthew Barney's previous works, the Cremaster Cycle) was screened in Perth because of the 10-day Artrage Festival held few weeks ago. Desperate to witness the film ourselves, Justin and I went for the screening at the RMax theater. Initially hoping to be blown away by watching this film on a huuuuuuge Imax (the RMax theater is an Imax theater... whatever that means), we were disappointed that the film was only projected upon a portion of the screen. Bah.

Anyway, Justin and my thoughts of the film are illustrated in the following MSN conversation. The film stars Bjork and Matthew Barney himself.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Silk Shoes 비단구두

Poster of Silk Shoes

Silk Shoes (비단구두), a 2006 Korean film directed by Yeo Kyun-Dong (a Korean who shares my surname? Incredible!) is about an elaborate hoax staged by a film director on a gangster's aging father to make the latter believe that he was returning to his home in North Korea.

Clint Eastwood's Flag of Our Fathers

Poster of Flags of Our Fathers

Prior to watching a film based on historical events, I would actually read up about the event, not because I'm the type who desperately seeks factual accuracies in such films, just that making comparisons between facts and fiction can be kind of fun. In the case of Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers, I went to read about the raising of the flag in Iwo Jima (and the personal history of the six flag-raisers, especially the surviving three) on Wikipedia, which is what this film mainly revolves about. You know, that iconic photo taken by Joe Rosenthal prior to the battle at Iwo Jima.

the flag raising in Iwo Jima

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Live-Action Prince of Tennis Movie

Poster of The Prince of Tennis live-action film

Prince of Tennis is a faithful adaptation of the popular manga and anime series. When I said faithful, I meant to say that characters perform superhero feats in tennis games, levitating thirty feet into the sky to return a serve, causing stormy clouds to gather above the stadium (darkening the skies, covering the sun) when one decides to concentrate, performing mid-air acrobatics, unleashing devastating serves that could engulf a tennis ball with flames, or creating some kind of vortex or force field which causes the ball to fly towards his direction no matter where the opponent was aiming.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Castle of Cagliostro

Lupin and Jigen in The Castle of Cagliostro

Justin: I've pretty much given up on anime; the combination of no time to invest in long series combined with the loss of the initial luster at having seen all the really necessary stuff means it's hard for me to get excited by it anymore. Throw in the tendency for new series to be incredibly derivative and it's not surprising I haven't watched anything in months.

The solution? Go back in time...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Shooting of Girl Disconnected Wrapped!

Shooting of Girl Disconnected wrapped on the 12th of October November, 2006, two nights ago, and I pulled an all-nighter to piece the entire film together. Things are looking well, I'm doing sound recording and everything to finish this up, submission is on 16th of October November, Thursday. A day before my mom's birthday (and the world premiere of the latest Bond flick, Casino Royale)

I generally edit the footages not long after a shoot, for the sake of lessening my post-production work, but because of this, I am incapable of doing my shoots in consecutive days (two back-to-back days is fine, but anything more will kill me... but then, since we've been a 3-men crew, it's a miracle that I'm still alive). Anyway, I'm excited that everything's going to be finished soon. For the time being, I'll share with some of you more screenshots of my film. (these scenes, from the last few shoots, definitely display Brian the Cinematographer's mastery with lighting)

There were lots of frustration involved in this production. Desperation leading to creativity. People bailing out and not honouring their verbal promises. A supposed big production where costume design and special effects teams were expected turned into yet another indie guerilla filmmaking endeavour with the support of volunteers and friends. I look at other groups and marvel at the amount of money they pour into their films, some nearly a thousand, some nearly two thousand, with a major crew and the help of outside professionals. They raise the stakes, and they are good motivation to ensure that despite the limitations we face, Girl Disconnected can still remain a work of quality (otherwise, it'll suck if this film does not accompany my previous film, Vertical Distance, to compete at the end year Murdoch University Film Festival). But I would never have achieved this if I hadn't had a great cast and crew that helped me realize this dream project (well, contrary to most dream projects, this one was just something that I had been working on for a few months, I rarely have anything that I spend years working on, having a short attention span and all)

Anyway, enough with that. Will go back to editing after finishing this entry.

I'll give everyone a proper shoutout when everything's really done.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Stephen Frears' THE QUEEN

helen mirren as queen elizabeth II in the queen

Have I ever spoken about my personal interest of the British Royal Family? Especially those of the early 20th century, a generation before Queen Elizabeth 2, we have the Abdication of King Edward VIII (for a commoner woman he loved, Wallis Simpson, how romantic and dramatic! ... of course, there were more than that, with her having Nazi connections and all, but that's a tale you should go read on Wikipedia, not here) King George VI (father of Elizabeth II) taking over reluctantly and then with World War 2 taking a toll on his health, indirectly causing him to die at the age of 56 (similar to how King George V's health was affected by World War 1). I'm even kinda intrigued by Prince George, Duke of Kent (younger brother of King George VI), who died in a mysterious plane accident and had a colourful personal life (long string of affairs with both men and women before his marriage... good-looking guy, he), or the youngest Prince John, who died from epilepsy when he was only 14, and since then, no members of the royal family will ever be named John because it's bad luck.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Short Fiction of Yukio Mishima

Mishima is a writer associated with scale and grand gestures. Apart from his colorful life and the obviously theatrical nature of his public suicide, his novels are full of, to put it bluntly, action - in a 'literary fiction' genre often filled with tepid introspection and obsessive minimalism, that Mishima's books are full of swordfighting, arson, suicide, and desperate tragedy is definitely part of his appeal. Although his writing is capable of great subtlety, restraint, and delicate beauty, these qualities usually form one half of a chiaroscuric contrast, shadowing the dense psychological monologues and eruptions of violence.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Alfonso Cuaron's 'Children of Men'

Children of Men poster

Alfonso Cuaron's dystopic, post-apocalyptical sci-fi Children of Men, starring Clive Owen and Julianne Moore, is unlike most sci-fi films. While it takes place in 2027, the world in that film is very much like ours right now, just perhaps with larger LCD screens, and well, more chaotic, with London city itself becoming a warzone. No flying cars, no fancy technology gadgets, no holographic images, or skyscrapers that reach the skies, thus making the film disturbingly realistic, and plausible.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Onyanko Club

I'll be honest: most everything I know about Japanese music has come as a result of the tireless efforts of Taka. If it wasn't for his more-euphony-than-James-Joyce command of the English language and his unquenchable passion for "80' electorical dance sounds", I'd probably still be listening exclusively to mid-90's NYC metallic hardcore (Orange 9MM, Helmet, Quicksand, etc.).

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Brief Hiatus To Finish Short Film, Girl Disconnected.

I'm near the ending stages of my film, Girl Disconnected, which is due on the 14th of November. (I have to finish it in time for the uni film festival) So there won't be much time for me to post here.

Will be spending my time editing, planning the last shoots, and more editing. For the time being, here are some screenshots. Shot the scene at Fremantle Beach. Click thumbnail for bigger versions.