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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shocked to see old high school friend in a short film!

A few nights ago, I had a really bizarre dream.

I was with Chewxy, and he decided to show me his latest short film. He told me that after his attempt at film noir with WEB OF LIES...

WEB OF LIES trailer
... he shifted to doing a kiddie fantasy film. I nodded. He switched on the TV. I was assaulted by images and colours, and stuff you normally see in student films, like fast-mo city montage, rapid cut editing. My memories of what he showed me were vague, because it is hard to retain memories of a dream, I remember what he showed me wasn't too different from WEB OF LIES, except more colourful, and people were dressed in fantasy costumes. Then two young women appeared in the film, staring straight at me, delivering their nonsensical dialogue. My heart skipped a beat. They were two of my high school friends. "What are Siah [redacted] and Wong [redacted] doing in this film?" I muttered softly to myself, staring in disbelief. They laughed, and then they were gone, it was almost like David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE. A little girl popped out and said she wanted to continue her quest to save the world. And I woke up. I was welcome by the sight of my glowing laptop screen, and remembered that I had spoken briefly to the two friends on Facebook chat the day before. There was also an equally brief MSN conversation with Chewxy as well. I was slightly amused that I managed to connect the dots and figured out how I came up with a dream like that. Days later, I told Justin about my dream. "People from high school never fail to appear in our dreams." He remarked. I agreed. By then, I was already feeling slightly melancholic. I wondered whether it had anything to do with nostalgia. I wasn't entirely fond of my high school years, yet somehow, most people from that period tend to leave the deepest impressions. There are times when I'm reluctant to attend high school class reunions. I am apprehensive of the idea of clinging to the past, maybe because it constantly haunts me and I don't want to compound the problem. Sometimes when I strive to achieve something now, especially with filmmaking, I wondered whether I was trying to disprove judgments and perception people had of me from high school. A way of saying "I am not just a fat ugly nerd anymore!" But most times, these thoughts are fleeting, and easily dismissed. An hour ago, I decided to eat some potato chips that I just bought at the convenience store nearby when I did my grocery shopping. Potato chips are best eaten when one is watching something, so I decided to find something short to watch as I munched through my chips. I found one of the three DVDs given to me by Vincent The Cinematographer back in March, shortly before I came to Tokyo. They were all short films that he had served as cinematographer (and one was also directed by him). I've already seen the other two long ago, but never felt like watching the last one, so I decided to honour him and watch this 30-minute short film, TRUE, directed by his former lecturer Patrick Lim (whom I've spoken once via email before, long ago). I heard it was a test shoot meant for an intended feature-length film project. The short film's about a blind film student trying to make a film, and she decided to enlist the help of a perpetually pissed-off constipated cinematographer classmate to help her out. The perpetually pissed-off constipated cinematographer classmate (PPCCC) is a maverick and aspiring artist who is pissed with the mundane classes he had to go through, the silly film rules his lecturers are talking about, because PPCCC is an avid fan of Wong Kar Wai and he wants to break film rules. Definitely a misunderstood artist.
As for the heroine, the tragedy of her blindness was made even more tragic because she navigates without a walking stick, and resorts only to stumbling around, feeling for objects around her with her hands.
She is absolutely very vulnerable and sensitive.
Towards the end of the film, a new female character popped out. At first, she was wearing a cap.
Then, her cap was removed. And my heart skipped a beat.
On AIM, I typed a message to Justin: "Dude... remember the dream I told you about? Of seeing high school friends in a short film?"*
"It really happened." ** * the original message had more profanity, but just let me just take some creative liberties here, okay? ** Kylie Chan Kai Xuan, my classmate in form 4 and form 5