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Monday, March 16, 2009

WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER shoot begins, tentative Chinese title

Well, today's my dad's birthday, so happy birthday, dad. Too bad he's KO'd by a bad case of flu and had been sleeping the whole time in his room.

I'm heading off to Kuala Selangor in a few hours for the WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKING FOR WATER shoot. The shoot will begin tomorrow, and will last until the 30th. However, there will be 2-3 days of break, so I'm looking at a 10 to 11-day shoot instead of a non-stop 14-day one. I'm quite excited, but I feel a little regretful that I have to, once again, miss ANOTHER local screening of CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY (well, if they're still screening it despite my absence) I'm not THAT elusive, but it's just unfortunate that all these tend to happen while I'm not in Malaysia, or when I have something else to deal with, like this film.

I've posted on Twitter and Facebook asking for help with translating the film title, WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKING FOR WATER, into Chinese... because it is, after all, a Chinese-language film. Most friends translated it literally and I got some really amusing titles, like:

欲女止渴记 (sounds like a Hong Kong Category 3 film)
火烧女郎寻觅水 (totally literal translation, funny)
火女求水记 (also a cute and literal translation)
猛女灭火 (feels like another Hong Kong exploitative film, like Chicks in prison or something)

So, ah, noticing that most Chinese film titles aren't literal translation of the English titles, I eventually settled for something simpler and more relevant to the story. So the film's Chinese title, for now will be called 遗情.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The pain of replacing an actor

An excerpt from the journal I wrote in 2006 during the making of GIRL DISCONNECTED, my student short film.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

20th Century Boys: Chapter 2 - The Last Hope 20世紀少年<第2章> 最後の希望

20th Century Boys: Chapter 2 - The Last Hope film poster

I made sure I was able to catch a film in Tokyo when I went back, and I ended up seeing 20TH CENTURY BOYS: CHAPTER 2 - THE LAST HOPE, the second film of the planned trilogy directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi. I saw the first film last September, which I rather enjoyed despite its flaws (read my review).

Set 15 years after the events in the first film, the protagonist of this film is the now-adult Kanna, played by Taira Airi, whose hairstyle in the film made me gape in awe.

Why did you bring your kid to the WATCHMEN film?

Watchmen movie poster

To the woman sitting behind me with her kid when I saw WATCHMEN two days ago:

Normally, I don't give a crap about the Malaysian rating system. Films that are rated 18 and above in Malaysia are mostly heavily-butchered, and tamer than most films that are rated PG in other countries. So I'm unsurprised that you overlooked the fact that this film is rated 18-PL (for overseas audience, this rating is reserved for films contain more than one element, either violence, sex or political/ religious content) and brought your kid along to see the film with you.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


I've returned to Malaysia last night. The postproduction of my Japanese film, KINGYO, has to be postponed until April.

The main reason why I'm in Malaysia right now is because I'm producing Ming Jin's new feature film, WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER (good title huh?). This is his official feature film since THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA (KURUS and CINTA TIGA SEGI were TV movies).

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Production stills from my Japanese film, KINGYO

I've spent the last two days editing my Japanese film, Kingyo, which I finished shooting end of January a day before flying back to Malaysia for Chinese New Year, I have posted some stills from the dailies few weeks ago ('dailies' is the term used to describe raw, unedited film footage, it's known as 'rushes' in UK and Aus, I normally call it 'rushes' too). I only have two more nights left in Tokyo, so am trying to do as much as possible. It took me a while to familiarize myself with Final Cut Pro, and also the Mac, since all these while, everything I've done have been edited on Adobe Premiere Pro. Thankfully, it didn't really take that long for me to get used to things.

Progress is smooth, although I'm unlikely to finish anything until I return to Tokyo again in April. For the time being, I'll just share some production stills taken by Chou-san (he's from China, the surname 张 'Zhang' is read as Chou in Japan, which is what everyone calls him). My last post only had a single picture of my lead actress, Rukino Fukisaki ("Hellevator: Bottled Fools"), so I'll put some here.

An odd, unexpected dream

On the first night I returned to Tokyo, I dreamed of someone I never thought I would dream of again. The last time I dreamed of her was two years ago, which I had chronicled in painstaking detail to my friend Sebastian during a melancholic rant in Valentine's Day 2008.

In my dream, she and I were both in some sort of a bare living room adorned with illogically minimalistic decoration and furnitures, bathed in ethereal white glow. Even though it had been nearly three years since I've last seen her, when she had seemingly vanished from my life with inevitable finality, and I myself never making any effort to find out where she was, meeting the dream-her again made me joyous, a joy mirrored by the smile on her face that I have seldom seen on the face of her real-life counterpart.

Together we spoke, about many things, all kinds of things, but none of them I can really remember. Perhaps we spoke about nothing, yet because we were merely speaking, nothing felt like many things, or everything, or anything. Her voice from my memories used to sound like a lilting whisper, yet the voice of the dream-her was boisterous and snappy.