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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Remembering the greatness of Philip Seymour Hoffman

It's still quite saddening to remember that Philip Seymour Hoffman had died earlier this year in February.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

(Wrote my thoughts on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY on Facebook just now, I'll post it here too, with slight revisions)

The Kirishima Thing (桐島部活やめるってよ)

Once in a while, when I have witnessed something brilliant, I need to post it on this blog just to help myself remember.

THE KIRISHIMA THING (桐島部活やめるってよ) is a film that I've been curious about for a rather long time. Last year, my professor, Ando-sensei, told me that this was one of his favourite Japanese films of the year. It ended up winning both the Best Director and Best Film awards at the Japan Academy Awards.

After missing its screening at last September's Japanese Film Festival (a festival for Japanese films had been held annually in Malaysia for the past decade), I finally got to watch the film yesterday.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

反堕胎短片 (a list of anti-abortion short films to cheer myself up...?)

(This post will be in Chinese. Many friends of mine in the industry had been making anti-abortion short films in the last few weeks for a competition, I'm sharing some of their works, but there are no English subtitles. Though I think some films below CAN be watched without subtitles...)

最近, 好多电影圈里的朋友们都参与了这个以“选择; 生命”为主题的华语微电影比赛, 主要都是拍一些反堕胎的短片。


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lost a friend on MH17

Yesterday, a Malaysian Airlines plane crashed in Ukraine. It was shot by a missile.

298 people were killed.

Just now, I found out that I someone I know was actually on the plane.

Her full name was Shubashini Jeyaratnam, but I knew her only as Shuba (Shuba Jaya was her stage name). She was on the plane with her husband Paul and her baby daughter Kaela.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My memories of World Cup matches

The World Cup finals ended two days ago, and I finally got a good night's sleep. I can finally say goodbye to the days when I have to wake up at 4am with dad to catch a match, and go back to my normal routine (... of sleeping at 4am instead)

After a nice World Cup-less night of sleep, I woke up and read some articles on Grantland (it's one of my favourite daily reads these days). Ever since my mom discontinued subscription to The Star newspapers earlier this year, the internet became my replacement for "things to read while having breakfast", after all, it's hard to kick off a routine that I had for more than twenty years.

What caught my eye today was Brian Phillips' article, Full Time: Fading Images of the World Cup, which has one of the most beautiful paragraphs ever about sports-watching.

Watching sports is, among other things, a special way of experiencing time. Sport is like music or fiction or film in that, for a predetermined duration, it asks you to give it control over your emotions, to feel what it makes you feel. Unlike (most) forms of art, though, a game has no foreordained plan or plot or intention. The rules of a game impose a certain kind of order, but it’s different from the order of an artwork. A movie knows where it wants to take you; no one can say in advance where a game will go. All of its beauty, ugliness, boredom, and excitement, all of its rage and sadness emerge spontaneously out of the players’ competing desires to win. For however long the clock runs, your feelings are at the mercy of chance. This happens and then this happens and then this happens. You’re experiencing, in a contained and intensified way, something like the everyday movement of life.

I guess this is one of the main reasons I have been following the NBA for more than two decades, the relationship with time is apparent, watching players arrive, grow and then retire, being replaced by other younger players, it's a cycle that is both beautiful and horrifying, just like life. As a child, these NBA players are larger-than-life Greek gods, performing superheroic feats in a battle for eternal glory, as I grow older, I started noticing that the players are becoming younger and younger, and players I have watched in my teens are gone, one by one, some disappearing, some becoming coaches, I recognize some names, either from memories of watching them in rare telecasts during weekends, or through the NBA Live games that I used to play on the Playstation.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Rediscovering productions photos from CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY, my first ever short film in 2008

Kimmy Kiew in Chicken Rice Mystery

In the last few months when I worked on my debut feature RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS, I couldn't help but remember my own experiences of six years ago, when I was shooting my first ever short film, CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY, in 2008.

It's been six years, and I've done countless projects since then. But the fresh feeling of working with a professional cast and crew for the very first time continues to linger in my mind. Nothing makes me feel more excited than a film shoot, and it's a good thing that nothing has changed in these six years.