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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Visiting Tokyo Tower

Yesterday was Showa Memorial Day, so I went to visit Tokyo Tower with some friends.

My camcorder and my digital camera can never co-exist, if I bring only my camera, I am more likely to take some good photos, but when I'm busy shooting with my camcorder, the quality of the photos from my camera tend to suffer.

I was very surprised that only 20% of the photos I took yesterday were presentable. My camera is useless in taking night photos (it's an old Canon PC1226). Almost everything I took were blurry. Should have brought my mini-tripod.

Anyway, here are the photos:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Japanese Films vs The Rest Of The World

Nakama YukieI'm totally drained after going through a two-film marathon, both Japanese films (you can see I am trying hard to improve my Japanese language skills ;)), both two-hour long, the first was HERO, the second was STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES (the 2006 movie, not the old 2001 dorama, STRAWBERRY ON SHORTCAKE), one's a commercial courtdoom drama, another an arthouse film on loneliness and adult relationships, former's entertaining, latter's haunting. I'm now drained, yet not drained enough to not rant.

(I'll be peppering this post with photos of the awesome NAKAMA YUKIE, whom I've liked a lot since I first watched the TRICK series, and also in honour of Gokusen 3 being the top-rated dorama in Tokyo now)

Last night (or two nights ago, since it's past midnight), I read an article on Japan Times called FILM FESTIVALS: HOW JAPAN IS VIEWED FROM AFAR by Alexander Jacoby, and I find myself agreeing with the opening paragraphs:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Buying A New Jacket In Shibuya

My old black leather jacket can't be worn anymore. For some weird reason, whitish-looking powdery stuff have been coming out of it. For the past few weeks, I've been wearing the same black jersey the whole time (the one you see on the black and white photo I used for the Twitter window at the right sidebar) because my other jackets are way too thick to wear during the Spring.

Besides, I needed to take a walk, and I haven't been to Shibuya all these while either.

Shibuya is a colourful place, and I see lots of costumed musicians performing, and promoting something. The ones in the photo below were standing outside a pachinko shop.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Daihachi Yoshida's wonderful Funuke, Show Some Love You Losers! 腑抜けども、悲しみの愛を見せろ

Funuke, Show Some Love Your Losers

Been getting rather difficult for me to write any film reviews lately, but here you go:

Funuke, Show Some Love You Losers! is a film I knew nothing about when I started watching it, and I finished it feeling rather rewarded.

It's a film about a dysfunctional family, it's driven completely by the four primary characters and the relationship and interaction between them. The opening scene sets the tone for things to come, we see a gruesome traffic accident caused by a cat that's sickeningly funny.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Star's BMW Shorties Article and Eyeris' 'non-review' of Chicken Rice Mystery

An introspective moment

My dad just told me that today's The Star had an article about the BMW Shorties' 10 finalists. So I went to check out The Star Online.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

RACE: Four Original Short Plays

I had the pleasure of meeting actress (and self-described theater practitioner) Soefira Jaafar in the middle of last year, and I was asked to help her produce a stage production that her company, RPT (RATHER PECULIAR THEATER) was preparing. Although I was around for some preliminary meetings with her and the writers, I, unfortunately, had to leave RACE due to other commitments (the telemovies CINTA TIGA SEGI and KURUS), and also because I was well aware back then that I was possibly coming to Tokyo to continue my studies, thus making it impossible to stay around for the actual performance in the end.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY is up on BMWShorties.com.my

Chicken Rice Mystery
The film is really a comedy...

As I've mentioned last week, my latest short film, CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY, had been shortlisted for the annual BMW SHORTIES as one of the top 10 finalists . After watching the other nine finalists, I have to say that I'm in the company of many really good films. Therefore, to be nominated is already a victory for me.

You can watch CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY at the official BMW SHORTIES website (mine's the tenth film). After that, you can vote if you enjoyed my film, if not, then you can vote for other, more worthy candidates.

On the other hand, Suanie really has an awards-worthy cameo on CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY.

P.S. Thanks to Esther and Shadowfox (Suanie screenshot is from him too) for, ah, plugging my film.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Review of KURUS (aka DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY) by Yvonne Teh

Father and son bonding

I was pleasantly surprised that I found this review of KURUS (aka DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY) from Yvonne Teh's ('YTSL') blog yesterday:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cute Akihabara Nurse

Went to Akihabara in the evening. Got myself a laptop computer cooling pad, a USB-operated mini vacuum and table fan from the awesome Yodobashi Camera shopping mall. (didn't know about the place until today)

Before that, right when I stepped out of the train station, I saw many people taking photos with a girl in a nurse outfit, so I did the same:

Akihabara Nurse

Simple Japanese Essays I Wrote (... Like A 3-Year-Old Child) About The Twin Towers and Beautiful Women

After more than a week of Japanese Language classes, I find myself enjoying the essay-writing most. Naturally, since I've always liked writing, but a bittersweet affair, since my Japanese language skills is of a toddler's, I was incapable of expressing myself as eloquently and fluently as I do in English or Chinese.

Seeing how I could only write in simple sentences, I can only comfort myself by saying that I write like a Dadaist, foregoing the contemporary academic and cultured values of art by writing entirely without aesthetics and style.

So, here's to share two essays with you all that I wrote in the past few days during classes.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Review of KURUS (aka DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY) by Yeo Kien Kiong

Carmen Soo

I recently received a nice film review of the telemovie KURUS (known overseas as DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY) from animator Yeo Kien Kiong (no relation), who saw the film at the recent Hong Kong Film Festival:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Thoughts On The 27th Hong Kong Film Awards

Though I didn't get to catch the live telecast of the 27th Hong Kong Film Awards, I was eagerly following the results on Yahoo! Hong Kong. So here are some brief thoughts on the results. (list from Lovehkfilm.com)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY Chosen For BMW Shorties' Top 10

Mom (Kimmy Kiew) and Mysterious Handsome Man (James Lee)

On the 21st of March last month, right after I returned from the Hong Kong Film Festival, I immediately submitted a rough cut version of CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY, my latest short film, to BMW Shorties. I needed to beat the deadline, so I didn't have the time to really fix the short film as much as I would've liked.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Japanese Language vs My Legendary Ego

Sorry about the lack of updates. Parents were here for a visit in Tokyo.

Anyway, my Japanese classes started on Wednesday, and students were assigned to each class based on their results during the Japanese Placement Test on Monday.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Orlando Bloom's Japanese Uno (Hair Gel!) Commercial

I was at a shop yesterday accompanying a new friend from Hong Kong, Jason, to hunt for televisions. As he was doing that, something that was playing in all the snazzy flatscreen televisions in the shop caught my attention.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Miyazaki Aoi poster in the Subway

Everyday, when I walk through the Edogawabashi Station to catch a train, I see this Miyazaki Aoi poster:

Poster of Miyazaki Aoi

And always, I pause a little, struggling to resist this urge to tear the poster off the wall and run away with it.

I seriously need help. Anyone know where I can get these subway posters? Help anyone? People of Japan Probe?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Tokyo. A city of contrasts. Traditional cherry blossoms vs scifi-like architecture

As I was walking back from Waseda University this afternoon, I noticed that the river was filled up with more cherry blossom petals than yesterday.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tokyo Day 2: Clubs Recruitment Day in Waseda University

This morning, I decided to visit Waseda University for the very first time. When I crossed the bridge to the university, I saw this:

My Last Day in Malaysia. My First Day in Japan.

I tried to compare the day I left for Perth in 2004 with the day I left for Japan and both days couldn't be any more different.