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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

TOKYO FILMeX 2009, Sell Out! director Yeo Joon Han's Q and A session.

I felt a sense of nationalistic pride when I went to catch SELL OUT! at TOKYO FILMeX on the 24th, last month. Took me quite a while to finally catch the film since I wasn't around during the film's local theatrical release in Malaysia couple of months ago. I enjoyed the film, though I liked the satirical, comedic parts more than the musical parts. SELL OUT! Lead actress Jerrica Lai, who had a great voice and was awesome in the film, would later give another wonderful performance at the stunning WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER, produced by, well, me.

(Sell Out! trailer. Click here if you can't see embedded video)

I was also excited to spot Chye Yang (CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY main actor) in the hilarious film-within-a-film art film parody, and Mei Fen (CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY assistant director... also played the transsexual uncle in my film) as one of the TV audiences (the one who was watching with her boyfriend/husband, and was so immersed in the dying poet's song that her bf/husband pretended to be just as moved as she was). I was so excited that I immediately whispered to Japanese actress/producer Kiki Sugino, seated beside me, about who they were. Kiki was befuddled by my excitement.

For the past few months I've been amused by how some Malaysian Chinese message boards had mixed me up with SELL OUT! director Yeo Joon Han (no relation!!!) They assumed there is a single entity named 'Edmund Yeo Joon Han'. There were posts like "here are some films that Edmund Yeo made", and then they listed Joon Han's filmography, or "Yeo Joon Han won a Nobel Prize? wow!" (people got confused by a previous post that stated that "Edmund Yeo had been doing short film adaptations of Nobel Prize laureate Yasunari Kawabata like LOVE SUICIDES and KINGYO") Thus in some people's minds, that is a godly filmmaking figure called Edmund Yeo Joon Han who won, well, a Nobel Prize.

I never met Joon Han until October's Pusan Film Festival, then I hung out with him when he came to the Tokyo Film Festival a few weeks later, he was quite busy at Tokyo FILMeX but I've uploaded two videos from the Q and A session after the SELL OUT! screening. Out of respect for the film festival, and also, ahem, to the director Joon Han, I'll only post the first few questions and last few questions of the sessions.

(Part 1. Click here if you cannot see embedded video)

(Part 2. Click here if you cannot see embedded video)