Posts

Interview with me on the Pia International Film Festival website

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This Japanese interview with me was done last November and had been posted on the PIA International Film Festival website . I feel bad that I am posting old news, I never liked clinging to past glories. But for the sake of preservation, and just in case I cannot find the interview anymore, at least I will have records of it here.

7 years ago, some guy wrote a novella in 24 hours

In August 2005, I participated in something called Blogathon, a 24-hour blogging marathon for charity. In the span of 24 hours, participants had to write a new post every 30 minutes. For a pre-Twitter/ Facebook era, that was quite a difficult thing to do.

The Films of Edward Yang

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The Taiwanese director Edward Yang had been one of my biggest influences. He died of cancer at the age of 60 exactly 5 years ago, on the 29th of June, 2007. A few filmmaker friends of mine like Ying Liang and Eva Tang had posted the video below on Facebook to mark this occasion.

Rest In Peace, Nora Ephron

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I was slightly saddened when I learned of screenwriter director Nora Ephron's passing yesterday right after I woke up. She had been ill with leukemia for a while. As you may have noticed from my blog posts this year. Often when a filmmaker dies, I find myself pondering the body of work that they have left, and my memories of them.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA film series were cinematic masterpieces

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It all happened yesterday evening, when two friends of mine were reliving memories of old Jet Li films on Youtube.

BUDDYZ TV Spots (a TV series of 5-minute episodes I directed for Astro Ria)

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I mentioned about BUDDYZ last month , it's a Malay TV series of 5-minute episodes that I directed back in March starring Alif Satar , Syed Ali , Erin Malek and Elliza Razak , with special guest appearances by Shaheizy Sam (the guy pretty much appeared in almost every single episode as a different character). Although I worked very closely with my editor and producers for the post-production (I returned to Tokyo right after the shoot, so had to do everything via email or Twitter), I haven't watched the finished work. So it was quite interesting to monitor what viewers thought of the series via Twitter. Was very flattered to see an increasing amount of tweets for the show, and that many of them had nice things to say about it. (obviously, BUDDYZ is a clear departure from the melancholic and "arthouse" films that I've always been making). The final 16th episode is airing on TV tonight at 8:55pm (with repeats at 11pm) UPDATED: Adding a playlist featuring both

10 great Father's Day films that you might not have seen

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Today is Father's Day. Happy Father's Day, dad. Dad is going to be at a TV shoot today, accompanied by Mom and my sister, it's going to be a good one. (my dad is a judge in a AMERICAN IDOL-like Chinese singing show, however, unlike idol, the contestants are restricted to 45 and above. Quite a popular show that recently turned my dad into a celebrity of sorts) Since my lifelong love for cinema was influenced by Dad, and I would never been a filmmaker if he were indifferent towards films, I think it's fitting that I try to commemorate this day by listing out a number of great Father's Day films that you might not have seen (I know I haven't). To make things simpler for me, I'm restricting this list to only Asian films . (I'll do another list if this goes well, haha)

Discovering the world of radio plays (and dramas)

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It all started from a phone conversation with Maiko the Producer (she produced my short films "Kingyo" and "Exhalation") a few weeks ago. She had been working at NHK Osaka for the past two years, earlier this year she was involved in the hit morning drama "CARNATION" as an assistant director. She asked whether I wanted to try my hand in writing a radio drama. It was an interesting preposition. A storytelling medium I was entirely unfamiliar with, but seemingly filled with possibilities. The first thing that came to my mind was, of course, Orson Welles' famous 1938 WARS OF THE WORLD radio drama, believed to be probably the most famous radio drama of all time.

Rest in peace, Kaneto Shindo

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The Japanese director Kaneto Shindo passed away yesterday at the age of 100.

Theo Angelopoulos mini-retrospective and documentary

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Last week, just a day before I headed off to Ningbo China for a short trip over the weekend, I walked past the nearby arthouse theater Waseda Shochiku and paused when I noticed that they were screening three Theo Angelopoulos films in a span of two weeks. The films were:

Why film festivals matter to me

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(UPDATED: This blog post was initially a repost of an email on the Malaysian Cinema mailing list from Venice Film Festival programmer Paolo Bertolin asking for the means to contact FINAS (the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia). Was hoping that posting this in public would help him get a reply. He got it, problem solved, so as per his request, I'll remove his email exchanges in the mailing list. And expand more on my last few paragraphs regarding my thoughts about film festivals. It's sort of a love letter for film festivals, perhaps.)