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Sunday, June 01, 2014

A farewell to my second home in Tokyo, a revisiting of memories.

I have finally returned to Malaysia today after taking a 10-week sabbatical in Tokyo (needed to recuperate from the RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS shoot, while enjoying the cherry blossoms season).

During the last few weeks, I have been cleaning up my room in Tokyo, the same dorm room that I've been staying at since 2008. Even though I finished my doctorate last March, I had yet to officially check out from this room because I had so many things in it. This time, I was supposed to put an end to this chapter of my life.

In 2008 to 2010, my wall was covered with film flyers that I collected from cinemas and film festivals, and also photos of nice celebrities. Since I was going to live such a solitary life, I figured that having some happy-looking faces around me would lighten up the atmosphere.

Monday, May 26, 2014

My Thomas Cup Finals 2014 commentary

So, the Thomas Cup Finals had just ended. Malaysia made the finals after a 12-year-drought, but lost, which continues a 22-year-drought. No big deal, when more than two thirds of my life had been filled with disappointment, the pain just becomes a sort of numbness. Am I right? Right?

Friday, May 23, 2014

WATCH: James Lee's new short film ALL FOR LOVE 为了爱 starring Daphne Low

Oh goody, Malaysian independent film pioneer James Lee (and producer of my last short film FLOATING SUN) has just uploaded his new short film ALL FOR LOVE.

Here's the mysterious synopsis:

A girl sends her old SLR camera to a reclusive camera repair master. In the course of getting the camera fixed, the girl develops a special relationship with the master.

Of course, you have to watch the 12-minute short film yourself to know the nature of this special relationship.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The beautiful visuals of THE CRANES ARE FLYING and I AM CUBA

Last week, when the Cannes Film Festival was about to begin, many film sites that I've been following started publishing their lists of best Palme d'Or winners. I figured it would be a good time to catch up with some of them, especially the older ones.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

In Praise of Shiina Ringo's Music Videos

Last month, after getting hold of her two albums UKINA 浮き名 and MITSUGETSU-SHO 蜜月抄 (both albums were released to commemorate her 15th anniversary in the music industry), I became addicted to the songs of Shiina Ringo 椎名林檎 again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Edward Yang

(I posted this on Facebook in December 9, 2014. I'm going to expand upon it.)

Last December, it started out as a Hou Hsiao-Hsien marathon. The original intention was to watch films directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien, but I ended up watching the film which featured his one and only starring role. Edward Yang's TAIPEI STORY (Hou was also the producer).

And because of this, I finally completed every single Edward Yang film in his oeuvre. Unintentionally. Because I didn't want it to end so early.

One of my favourite directors ever. And, in my opinion, one of the greatest. His works had influenced me a lot. I wrote more about my own experiences with the works of Edward Yang in June 29, 2012, marking the 5th anniversary of his death. That was before I watched MAHJONG and the first two films of this career, THAT DAY ON THE BEACH and TAIPEI STORY (I watched both in 2013, on Youtube, because both films are notoriously difficult to find).

The first Edward Yang film I saw was YI YI, that was 2007, shortly after his death. I was mesmerized by his brilliance. YI YI would become my main influence when it came to editing Ming Jin's films telemovie DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY (2007), because its ending, where the protagonist summarized his thoughts on CATCHER IN THE RYE, was a homage to YI YI's ending.

Found some long-lost photos from a 2005 trip in China!

Selfie, 2005

My time in Tokyo is coming to an end.

After my graduation last March, I was supposed to leave the Wakeijuku Dormitory that I had been staying since 2008. (Haruki Murakami used to stay here too!) After all, the place was meant only for students.

Clean up and clear my room. Then return to Malaysia.

But that turned out to be too difficult. Many things were left in the room before I left.

I promised them that I would come back "in a few months" to clean everything up. I came back almost a year later. The folks in the dorm were kind enough to leave my room vacant for this whole period of time.

So, right now, I am trying to put an absolute end to a chapter of my life, even though it really should have ended last year.

Spent the last few days clearing things up, throwing a lot of old stuff which, as expected, left me a little nostalgic.

I used keep many of my data in blank DVDs, I decided to get rid of this whole pile of them by transferring most of the data into a new hard disk I bought.

I was surprised that many of the data dated from 2004 to 2006, during my time in Perth. My music and movie collection. Those were the times when those films I had were in .mpg or .rmvb formats. Very low resolution. It was amusing.

My music collection surprised me a little, when it dawned upon me that I have been listening to such bands like Ego-Wrappin', Deerhoof, Arcade Fire for nearly a decade.

A few hours ago, I went through a data disc and found only photos in it. They were actually photos taken during a family trip in China around December 2005. This blog has already existed then, in fact, some of my earliest Youtube videos posted in this blog were videos of this particular trip. There were even a few heavily photoshopped photos here and here.

But why did I choose only those few photos to upload? What about the rest?

For nearly 9 years, I thought I've lost these photos!

Looking at them now, even though my photography skills then weren't as good, and I was using only a cheap Canon Powershot camera, I don't think they were that bad at all!

More and more, this blog has become a place to help me remember things. Therefore I decided to upload all those remaining photos on Facebook, and also put them here.