Tuesday, December 31, 2002


okie...here goes me and my stupid antics about movies again. Choose - the top 10 films of 2002, although its hard to be objective and we all have our preferences...but i'm quite certain a few movies will still stand out with superior screenplay, cinematography, art direction and the like. To make it fair, i've only listed the movies that we've watched ( which should be pretty much the same, give or take a few ). For the whole list, refer to the comments box / click on the comments link.

This is my list : ( not in any order of merit )

1) Road to Perdition ( Mendes )
2) Minority Report ( Spielberg )
3) One Fine Spring Day ( Jinho )
4) Infernal Affairs ( Keung Lau/Fai Mak )
5) Insomnia ( Nolan )
6) The Man who wasn't there ( Coen brothers )
7) Spring Subway ( Yibai )
8) No Man's Land ( Tanovic )

Can't seem to find any enough films to top the ten slots...to do so would have been a little forced. Asian movies still has quite a stand with 2 Chinese shows and 1 Korean, plus a foreign movie. Excellent cinematography for Man who wasn't there, and Minority Report certainly boasts the best art direction in any movie i've seen this year, at least the most impressionable for me. Over to you guys.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

nice, nice..~~~
I really should be editing the actual film instead of doing up the website at this point, but still...


Thursday, December 19, 2002

Running at 179 minutes, Lord of the Rings : The Two Towers is a long movie; but screentime is justly spend on the long and reasonably gritty battle at Helm's Deep, although the Ents' contemplation of an impending war with Saruman at Isengard was languid and unnecessary; nor was it in the original story. Discrepancies in the movie and book aside, I was particularly happy with Miranda Otto's portrayal of Eowyn, handmaiden of Rohan and later part in the story, the only mortal capable of vanquishing the Nazgul, the 9 minions of Sauron. Imbued with zeal and energy, yet graceful and beautiful at the same time, she was the exact image of what would have been described in the book.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Undoubtably the best Hong Kong film I've watched in a long time, Infernal Affairs sees veteran actors Andy Lau and Tony Leung square off as opposite undercover agents both in the police and drug syndicate. Wasting little time in establishing the plotline seeing the both of them embarking on their incognito missions, the story jumps forward to the present day with each of them working ever more feverishly as they try to take each other out before any of their true identity is exposed. The battle that rages on is two-fold; the physical, tangible need to remain undiscovered while remaining useful to their original cause, and the internal, psychic wrestle to remain true to their identity and shrug off the embattled weariness. In the end, no one escapes unscathed and the victory that is claimed is not without a sinister twist of irony. I especially enjoyed the conundrum exchange of words and battle of wits between the two protanganist excellently played by Andy Lau and Tony Leung. A masterful piece not to be missed.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Last night I stayed up late to rewatch the detective thriller Insomnia that had arrived on DVD, and was especially thankful for the subtitles that allowed me to understand certain minute plot development as well as nuances in the casts' acting and performance. I sank into my sofa and immersed myself completely in the story, Al Pacino everybit as convincing as Will Dormer, the tormented detective that would just as well been a real life, fully fallible character. Perhaps I should now delve into his earlier works, Godfather would be a good start.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Red Dragon, the premise plot setup for what is to become the Silence of the Lambs and later on Hannibal, is a handsomely made film that righfully earns it place as a respectable prequel to the other two highly acclaimed pieces. Once again, Anthony Hopkins and Edward Norton gives dependable performances together with Ralph Fiennes ( The English patient ) whose role as the highly unstable "Toothfairy" killer earns laudable respect as well. Alluding though not explicitly to the main character of the sequel Clarice Starling at the end of the film makes one want to watch Silence of the Lambs all over again. A neat device indeed. I had to admit my preconcieved notions that Brett Ratner, who previously directed Rush Hour and not exactly to my liking, was not capable of carrying a heavy weight that has such fantastic sequels as benchmarks, but I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, this one makes it to my DVD list.

Friday, October 18, 2002

I just happened to be rumaging through my stuff the other day...and guess what I found ! *laughs* A picture of my primary school class. Certainly a class to remember. Hmm...where's Wally ?

This goes out specially for those from Ai Tong Primary school...is anyone out there ! *grins* Post a comment ! :]

Sunday, September 29, 2002

"The Way Home", directed by Lee Jung Hyang, is a neat little Korean movie. Sang Woo, a spoonfed kid born in the city of Seoul, makes a reluctant short stint at his grandmother's rural home when his mother departs on an errand. Used to the high life of the city, he dispises his grandmother's "lowly" version of rural life, and one many hilarious and disastrous mini adventures soon follow. While the plot itself is quintessentially simple and linear, plus running at only a little short of 1.5 hours, it nontheless speaks volumes about the unique relationship that is to form between the city bred spoilt brat and his patient, tacit grandmother. Many themes and ideas were alluded though not spoken loudly, this effect accentuated nicely by the non-speaking role of the grandmother whose body language acted as the only narrative device, creating a quiet, unassuming storytelling approach neatly matched by the peaceful rural landscape. No doubt the road to their mutual understanding was a tumultuous one, but what the little boy had reaped in return at the end of his stay I envy for it is something I feel, on a more personal note, I have never achieved with my own grandmother.


Sunday, September 22, 2002

Watching 2 unsettling shows in one evening is no joke. Wim Wenders Wings of Desire wasn't exactly easy to understand in parts with its poetic lines and in Tsai Ming Liang's What Time is it there ? with its adamant treatment of static shots, had me screaming in my mind just waiting for something to happen on screen. After the show I struggled to convince my mind and eyes that things really do move more often and hope that the show hadn't burned an after image in my brain like a static screen on a monitor left on for too long.

But latter show still had its fair share of interesting parts to balance up its visual rigidity. Here is an excerpt from the review in Sight and Sound :

What Time is it there ? is a perfect paradox : hermetic but open, blank but expressive, grim but droll. Focusing on grungy daily routines and another intricate pattern of cross-cutting which suggests 'mystical' links between seemingly unrelated events. The emphasis in this film is on bereavement and mourning, and the splitting of the action between two continents. As usual in his later films, Tsai sets out the terms of his conundrum with deadpan wit and undercurrents of dark humour. The notion of 'time difference' - the seven hours that separate Taipei and Paris in winter - yields the string of sight gags in which Tsai's fetish actor Li Kang Sheng roams Taipei resettling clocks to Paris time. ( since there is no plot as such, the escalating risk and absurdity of this quest provides the momentum needed to carry the film through its entire central section. ) But the film also proposes at least two other ways of thinking about 'time difference'. One is the gap between youth and old age, embodied here by Jean-Pierre Leaud, who appears as the young Antoine Doniel in a Truffaut clip and as 'dubious old man in cemetery' when he gives his phone numner to the defenceless Shiang Chyi. The other is the gap between the living and the dead, embodied in the mother's batty idea that her late husband's spirit has come home in a different time zone - and idea obliquely confirmed by the film's enigmatic ending.

The only material link between Hsiao kang in Taipei and Shiang Chyi in Paris is a wristwatch that shows two time zones; it may or may not also house the wandering spirit of Hsiao Kang's father. From this one small object, Tsai extrapolates both the parallels which structure the cross-cutting ( a modern columbarium in Taipei, a 19th century cemetery in Paris, a road killed dog in Taipei, steak Tartare in Paris, and so on ) and the Big Idea which permeates the film : the possibility that reincarnation maybe (a) literally true (b) poetically credible or (c) a valid metaphor for the process of coming to terms with bereavement. By design, the film ends with a symmetrical shot of a perfect circle - actually the millenium ferries wheel by the Tuileries - connoting both narrative closure and the wished for fantasy of cyclical return.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

leave them out u mean? impossible manzz ... my picture would be imcomplete with no beginning, u see haha!
take akira out oso, every fans hailed it as a classic, isnt it :P or it s just abt how long ago it s made?

Monday, September 09, 2002

thought leave out all the classical must..~~
like citizen kane, 2001, vertigo, seven samurai and plus plus plus
gatchaman..~ entry void..~~~

true ten if not enough, we need more..~~~ slotsss..~~~~~~
wat s next? ten most influential directors?
after my new station is up & running, its internet connection failed with unknown reasons ... i m using internet on my old station now ... haizzzzz!

10 feature films/feature animations that influenced me/or i liked most *which i can remember*
1) citizen kane
2) 2001: a space oddessy
3) battleship potemkin
4) moulin rouge
5) spirited away
6) gattaca
7) once upon a time in china (can put part 1& 2 together save 1 slot ahah!)
8) crouching tiger, hidden dragon
9) christmas in august
10) amelie

actaully, if got somemore slots, i ll put face off, chinese ghost story (movie, not animation), patlabor 1& 2.

Monday, September 02, 2002

Hmmm..~~ Come to think of it, rather hard to state them all down, but, Akira and Ghost in the shell are in my list for sure.~
Here i go..~
1) Akira
2) Ghost in the shell
3) After life.
4) Contact
5) Fargo
6) Totoro
7) Spring subway
8) Panic Room
9) One Fine spring
0) ...~~~

kind of hard when there is like tons of interesting movies and one can onli state ten.~ha.~
guess i'll leave the last one emtpy ..~ rather hard to make up my mind which one to put

Sunday, September 01, 2002

The ten most influential films poll

Recently I was reading up BFI's Sight and Sound magazine special issue on the most influential films in cinematic history. There were a few regular contenders like Welles Citizen Kane, Hitchcock's Vertigo, and Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. That got me thinking quite a bit, and interestingly too : What then, are the ten most influential films for me, as an animation/media student ? By influential I do not just mean favourite movies but in the sense that the movie have had a certain impact in changing the way you look at films, the way you would create a treatment should you be making an animation or film, maybe even the way you look at life. It doesn't even have to be an award winner or anything. And so on. Inspirational stuff. I sorted through my memories archives and came with this ten : ( not in any order of importance )

1) Love Letter ( Iwai )
2) Akira ( Katsuhiro )
3) Ghost in the Shell ( Oshii )
4) Amelie ( Jeunet )
5) Mononoke Hime ( Miyazaki )
6) Gattaca ( Niccol )
7) Il Mare ( Seung )
8) Hackers ( Softley )
9) Contact ( Zemeckis )
x) One Fine Spring Day ( Jinho )

Introspective : Starting out as an animation student, the earliest and biggest influences were obviously animation works, but Akira in itself I percieve more as a sophisticated, stylized work of film art for its unprecented use of avante garde camera works and framing, superb cinematic devices and grand scale of motion. Its also worth noting that other for 3 english shows and 1 french, the rest of the list is dominated by Asian movies/animation for which I feel still exert a very significant influence over the way I look and treat films.

Perhaps evil rei and Gatchaman ( or anyone else that view this blog ) might be interested to cast their own poll for a wider demographic.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

With much reluctance, me and my friends were dragged to the cinema this morning to watch the spy action movie XXX by order of our section commander. With the previous night's fatigue still weighing down on me like a heavy stone, I nontheless tried to make my $6.50 worth by diligently paying attention to the movie. Suspending my disbelief completely to the point of non-existence, this must still be the most "tao xiao" action movie for the whole of this year. XXX or Xander Cage, played by Vin Diesel, is like 10 James Bond rolled into a beefy package. If you are going to catch the movie you might want to skip the spoilers below, but they were so amusing I really had to write this. Let me called this list the "stupendously spectacular tao xiao action moves of 2002 "

1) As a test to prove his worth as the ultimate secret agent, XXX had to infiltrate a mexican drug lord's den, bust all the baddies, create superfluous pyrotechnics, save an injured partner whilst maintaining his cool. No sweat. Whilst evading fire from a helicoptor, he rides up a ramp on a scrambler in a bid to scale over an impossibly high confire fence. In a move of miraculous skill, he spins the scrambler at an angle, flying through an opening in the fence, but not before shooting dead two more baddies as he lands. Tao xiao factor : *****

2)Still at the same scene but with considerably more explosions and helicoptors, XXX continues to out manoeuvre everything. A particular huge explosion rockets him and his scrambler to impossible heights, and he grasps the scrambler by the back seat, guns blazing. Uncountable number of baddies dies. ( This is almost, but not as good as Tom cruise's move in MI2 where he looks in the bike's mirrors, points his pistol to his back and takes out 2 baddies, all done while speeding at breakneck speed and with shades on. ) Tao xiao factor : ***

3)The usual inard local police, unable to infiltrate the king pin's liar because of surveillance cameras located all around the place, requires XXX to take down the communications tower located on the top of a glazier mountain. Taking off from a bomber plane, XXX takes a walk or rather fly in the park as he sky dives to the exact location, setting of an avalanche with explosives that while was able to completely obliterate the tower and all its inhabitants trying to escape on snow-jets, was hardly fast enough to even touch Diesel who was cruising on a normal snow ski. Tao xiao factor ****

Having said all this, the movie is not without its moments. No, really. This is also another reason why you should always try to stay for a movie's end credits , because you never know what might come up, esp for movies with sfx. Just before the main credits were about to roll there was this short segment, about 2 minutes worth of dizzying, fast actioned blend of cgi and beautifully compositioned live action sequences ( all specially created just for the ending sequence ) that played on the many motifs featured in the movie, ending and finishing with XXX's wordings. Very beautifully done, especially to the tune of the pounding music. Look out for it if you ever watch the dvd. Its worth more than the show itself.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

I've been cracking my head wondering how I'll be able to catch the one many shows that I've missed during the pass film festivals, or any other foreign films for that matter that doesn't make it to the ( general public )cinemas here in Singapore. No doubt mainstream hollywood movies still provide a certain level of entertainment value, complete with flashy pyrotechnics, sleek CGI and high-strung plotlines, but one too many of these in a week and you find yourself getting bored to tears. Monopoly is never a good thing, as far as the receiving end of the party is concerned at least. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that i'm all classy and artistic and only watch art house films. But if you haven't seen a good foreign film that eschews high technology in exchange for earnest acting, a simple storyline and pure cinematic sincerity, you've haven't yet seen half the palette of colours that paint the word film art. Doubt the movies linked below are ever going to make it to any mainstream theatre here. Looks like the film fest is my only salvation.

Shunji Iwai ( Love Letter )
Lily Chou Chou : http://www.lily-chou-chou.com/world/

Tom Tykwer ( Run Lola Run )
Heaven : http://www.heaven-derfilm.de/_index.html

Julio Medem
Sex and Lucia : http://www.sexandluciafilm.com/

Wong Kar Wai / DJ Shadow ( MTV )
Six Days : http://boss.streamos.com/wmedia/mcarecords/dj_shadow/private-press_07-02/video/300_six-day_320.asx

Saturday, August 10, 2002

Just had a viewing of Night Shymalan's movie "Signs". To avoid divulging any potential spoilers in the plot, all I can say is that the movie is scientifically subversive at best. ( or should I say worst ? ) This is indeed a waste of production talent with major names like Shymalan himself, ( whose Sixth Sense still ranks as one of the best supernatural thrillers i've watched ), DP Tak Fujimoto ( who shot Silence of the Lambs ), and James Newton Howard who wrote the score. In short, they should have chosen a better story.

Still believe that crop circles are created by aliens ? Go here for an enlightening article :


Thursday, August 08, 2002

Just when I thought the movie theatres are finally offering some watchable movies...The Touch lands with 1.5 stars rating in the Straits Times ! Ha...much as I distrust the movie reviews in ST...I have this inkling they're pretty right with the rating this time...so who wants to watch The Touch ? ( Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon spinoff minus Chow yunfat, plot, crappy chinese, but supplanted by crappy english...etc...etc...)

Saturday, August 03, 2002

Ennui, ennui, that's what it is. These days rushes of creative impulses are hitting an all time low, and a general interest to work seemed to have been stoppered and canned. Inspiration is way out of the lexicon. With my unit implementing new protocols that require us to stay in camp most of the time ain't helping. Sombre thoughts are also starting to get more frequent in my head these days - in such times of bad economic, will I be able to find a job when I ORD ? Throw in the lacklusture movie scene recently, and there's little to do but sink into disparage and complete apathy.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

yo yo! wassupppppppp!

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

With all the talk and excitement about the movie Spring Subway I have been posting articles on the forum at the China film festival website asking about the availability of the DVD. Today I got a most unexpected reply :

Thank you for such a favourable review of the film. I will relate this to the actress Xu Jinglei tomorrow when I met up with her. In regards to the DVD, will let you know the moment its out.

Just for your information, Spring Subway has not yet being in General Release in China, it has only being screened in a couple of festival. You guys are seeing the film before the general public in China.

Xu Jinglei happened to be the main actress of Spring Subway and was in town in conjunction with the film fest. Really cool.

Monday, July 15, 2002

Talk about serendipity. This evening me and evil rei meet for a China film festival show at GV Grand ( review below ). Upon reaching the ticketing booth, we meet our ex coursemates Dajie and Mak, who coincidentally were there for the same show too. But the fortuity didn't end there. It was upon collecting of the tickets did we all realize that I had been the person who had phone ordered the tickets just before they did ( bearing consecutive order numbers ) and even more surprisely, that their seats were just next to ours. phew.

I must admit; I really had reservations about watching China films - granted all the propaganda shows that dealt with revolutionary ideas and insidious, subverting ideals of social echelon. Besides, other than the noted Zhang Yimou, my lexicon of China movies is incredibly limited, which may also be the cause of my bias. But all these seemed to have been erased overnight with the viewing of the stylistically filmed Spring Subway by Zhang Yibai. Not only was the plotline concerned with the most comtemporary of social issues, which immediately relates itself to the modern population and audience, but the most striking note was that it didn't even feel like a China made movie : indeed; only when the narration of the protaganists starts, that unmistakable Beijing accent seeping in do you realize that hey, China films have a brand new look. Whilst the main storyline is simply enough - the plotline revolves around the strained relationship of a young couple whom first arrived on the shores of Beijing via the Subway ( which is also where many of the scenes will take place ), their isolated lifes are juxtaposed by the foibles of other subway denizens met by Jian Bin, the male lead, culmulating in a sorta haphazard, mosiac-styled visual narrative that is sometimes a little hard to follow, yet quaintly refreshing. What is ultimately more important ( and impressive ) is how this simple story is told by the most beautiful cinematic devices, with tight, unobtrusive editing, judiciously framed shots that accentuated the feel of each scene, plus extremely neat camera work and lighting. The memorable soundtrack wrapped up everything into a neat package that i've never once experienced in a China film. If this calibre of work is the look and feel of China movies, bring them on.

Spring Subway is still screening at the China film festival till the 19th of July. Go to http://www.chinafilmfest.com for screening dates.

Friday, July 12, 2002

A renegade pirated software store have recently sprouted up at Peninsular Plaza ( just beside Cathay Photo ). Quite a number of software titles, I got meself AfterEffects 5.5, Premier 6, and a sound editing compilation disc. Check it out before it gets busted or warps out.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Animate! - the British animation and film fiesta is here again. They'll also be showing some local animation works from the various polys.


My my !! that was a well written review of MUSA! It just helped me make up my mind of NOT catching it. lol.

Friday, July 05, 2002

The Korean epic period film Musa was reputed to be the single most expensive domestic release ever made. It had just the right elements for a grand epic - the right settings; hauntingly beautiful expanses of pastel deserts and whirling sandstorms, stellar casts; ie Zhang Ziyi and dashing korean actors. However as the film progressed slowly it soon became clear that the massive budget seemed to have been split entirely on the gorgeously designed costumes worn by the cast, ( which the least to say seemed historically accurate and extremely pretty ), and the extraneous amounts of red dye shipped in for the excessive bloodletting that the camera somehow had an extreme predilection for. Sure, ancient battles were waged with metal against metal, and when the honed blades found raw flesh, bloodshedding inevitable occurs, but once past 20 minutes into the show you've seen it all, yet the camera relentlessly centres on severed limbs and gorged torsos that very much got in the way of decent story telling.

Not that there was much of a story to begin with. The plot stood so weak it could well have faded without trace into the sand dunes of the sets. A group of diplomatic envoys escorted by dozen Koryo warriors from Korea was dispatched to China to clear the misunderstanding when a Ming official was killed in korea, where the ramifications could be catastro...blah blah blah. However the envoys were very quickly decimated mistakenly by either marauding Yuan troops bent on reviving their dynasty or by equally unreasonable Mongolian tribes that had a clear disdain for the Han folks. Inconsequential so far ? Rope in a Han princess in distress saved by the remaining Koryo warriors bent on escorting her to safety and it crashes the already absymal plot. Far removed from her butt kicking moves in CTHD, Zhang barely irritates her assailants with rude stares and harsh language, with zero opportunity for any display of her laudable thespian skills. Coupled with the male Korean lead that maintains a deadpan expression throughout the entire movie ( albeit with a fanciful spear stance that fails completely to awe after 2 repetitions ), the only redeemable acting was by a veteran Koryo archer that mediated internal conflicts with tacit, wise words and took out enemies with his all powerful shooting. I hadn't the foggies idea why Straits Times gave it four stars, to me it didn't deserve any more than 2. This is one Korean movie that will be swept into obscurity as quickly as the countless warriors that lay motionless in the transient sands of the desert.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Welcome back Nahs ! :] Its nice to have you back and writing again. No, you have not been forgotten, we just took it that you had more important things to attend to, but you're always welcome back. These days my blog seemed more of a monologue of sorts other than Gatchaman and rei's post. You postings will bring some life back. :)

Talk about movies ! Here's a breakdown of what's to come ( and not to miss, at least, for me. )

Minority Report
Y tu Mama Tambien
Men in Black 2

I haven't contributed in ages, have I? It's like the habit of popping by one of the blogs kinda got erased from my systems...must have had hard reboot one time too many.
Well, I'm writing now, first time in months (or more...) in the comforts of my office. Life has been kind to me: I found a great job while many peers are still living off wat meagre savings they have amassed. The hours in this job sounds fanatical almost, but hey I'm really, truely happy.

Yeah I concede working life at a design house sometimes nibble away a good chunk of wat I call my social life. Ashamedly I haven't been fulfulling the part of a friend to many. Not to mention being absent from Vong's fantastic little blog here. It's a haven for my verbal-incontinence *lol*. I hope somebody noticed my disappearance...AND missed me....*wink*... hahaa

I have to confess that my hiatus from writing was far longer than was desired...it's really all rusty now...vocabs floating around in cerebral space waiting to be picked up again.
AND THE MOVIES!!! God help me but I haven't enough time for movies!!! Yes! the peishan that watches a movie she likes for wat, 3 times has actually not been into ANY theatre for the last 2 - 3 weeks. It's scary. This feels almost like getting disconnected to some kinda system that keeps us all nurtured and informed; Some kinda computer core that triggers waves of activites in my work laden brain.

la la la la lee.
I'm afraid I might have overstayed my welcome..hehee...first thing I said after all these while spans several paragraphs of self-centred ramblings!

-back to work. :) cheers.

Sunday, June 30, 2002

One of these days I should make it a point to get myself the Godfather series and have a look at them. I have only recently watched Christopher Nolan's Insomnia and found Pacino's performance so natural and subtle I could have easily believed such a character existed in real life : a fundamentally good cop, treading treacherously in the grey areas of right and wrong and realizing there's no easy way out once you placed your foot in. The plot was simple and straight forward though not cliche; and it proves even more so that the main character's performances was riveting enough to keep one's attention on screen at all times. On a side note, it was interesting to read from imdb that Veteran homicide detective Will Dormer's last name is a play on the French and Spanish verb dormir, "to sleep".

Lots of in depth write ups and production notes at the official site : insomnia

Saturday, June 29, 2002

Just watched the movie the eye . I must say its quite a commendable effort for a Singapore/HK joint effort although i'm not too sure how much local talent was actually involved in the production. The movie kicked off with some pretty interesting Braille symbols that told us of what was to be expected in the movie ahead, but those hands running behind that fabric effect wasn't too original ( remember the Beast within, or Videodrome ) or scary. I personally though it was sorta sensual ! Ha ! But that's just for me. Mostly I felt the editing and sfx was pretty well done, although as the story progressed it got more and more cliche and sorta languished to a slow and predictable end. However the Malaysia actress had a really laudable performance, with really believable acting.

Gatchaman told me about the lift scene and it really did built up to quite a scare but my mind immediately switched off as that old man's missing face was revealed. Once again i'm convinced that in the face scares just don't work for me, as would sadako climbing out of that tv wouldn't. There is one notable point that I would like to point out though - much of the show's better scares and mood was attributed to its somewhat eerie sfx and music that build up slowly and carried the audience's attention as it flowed and ebbed. Unfortunately, the sfx and music wasn't quite original at all - if you are a fan of Kenji Kawai's music - they were mostly lifted from the Ring soundtrack with its screechy distorted sounds and pounding bassbeats. Take one listen to the Ring soundtrack and you will immediately recognize the unmistakable similarity in the music and sfx. One segment near the end of the show was so strikingly similar I wondered if they credited kenji Kawai for the music.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

I was quite sick of looking at my old Akirastudio website so i've finally redesigned the main index pages. What a refreshing sight Nothing spectacular really...just needed a change...


Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Haha...just posted a picture of my workdesk for fun. As you can see my liking for movies and animation is quite pervasive, as well as admiration for a few artists like Waterhouse, Rodin, etc. Gattaca is one of my favourite movies to date. I'm using the computer with the orange flower wallpaper. Recently my computer broke down because the power supply melted down. I suspect its because the heat built up was unable to escape, trapped by the scanner that I placed on top of the cpu. Its since been moved away and replaced with a cooling fan on top. Hope that works.

Friday, June 14, 2002

Just this evening I was tidying up one of my neglected cabinets when to my pleasant surprise I struck treasure. Its always funny how some very old things kept away for a long time can elicit memories drawn from that period of time. I've always had this foible of collecting movie ticket stubs and what I found predated my existing collection for a good three years. Its akin to an archaelogist finding some significant artifact that predates the existing ones. Hard to describe that feeling. Anyway it was this ticket stub of the closing film for the 9th Singapore Film Festival, held in 1996, titled Memories by the famed animator Otomo Katsuhiro that gave us Akira. It was an excellent film, but the memories associated with it was not least because of that but of a very memorable experience I had just before the show started...

Me and my friend had arrived early at the now defunct Capitol theatre and was making our way up the main entrance, and as we were walking up the steps we suddenly realized a huge group of people beside us also moving into the theatre lobby. With a little curiosity I took a casual glance at that group of people and saw that they were actually herded round this slightly plump, bearded man of about 50 years of age. My friend, ever in a mood for witty remarks, said : "That's gotta be Otomo himself." I laughed out loud, saying that it was a ridiculous thought, for he had better things to do than to come down to Singapore for just a screening of his movie. As we settled down in the theatre just before the show started, a commentator appeared on the stage and announced :"Here today we are indeed honoured to have the creator of the animation, Mr Katsuhiro Otomo, to say a few words..."

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

I've been getting relatively negative reviews about the movie Dark Water whilst I was in camp. No one seems to appreciate the movie for the very cinematic elements ( set design, camera work, editing and music, sfx ) that contribute to its moody and dark atmosphere. All my campmate's attention were pretty much centered on "only the last part was scary" or "i was only scared when those bumbs appeared on the watertank" and in the worse case, "its a lousy show !". Suddenly I found myself a self appointed defender of the movie as I argued for its worth, as I would argue for a thousand other movies my friends all deem to be bad. Yes, i agree its a horror movie, scares are necessary, but those few scenes are what I would label as "in your face" scares and had the least impact on me.

Which brings me to the debatable point here : Are movies in general, esoteric ? That means to say that they are only intelligible to those who have special knowledge, and in this context those who have a slightly better understanding of film aesthetics. Shouldn't a movie be crafted in such a way that the majority of the audience would be able to appreciate its elements without prior acquired knowledge ? It certainly didn't seem to be the case here. Or perhaps movie audiences here are just so awashed by mainstream hollywood movies that their acquired tastes are conformed to certain treatment, and they quickly reject alternate or different styles of work when they see one ?

I can't help but relate this to the art scene in the early 20th century where the Paris Salon, the most established academy that exhibits and showcases art pieces, judges entry works by a certain predetermined standard and those not conformed to those are labelled as bad or unorthodox, unrefined. It was also here that the Impressionist painters, Cezzance, Renoir and the like bear the full brunt of the criticism by been different and it was not until much later when they recieved full acclaim for the pieces.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

I took Gatchaman's advice and had a look at the lighting rig HDRdome, setting up was easy and the lighting was amazing fast considering the promising results it gave. Basically you set up a dome around your desired scene of lighting and the dome simulates light been bounced all around, as would normal diffused lighting. The result was quite simply put, pretty good. I felt was cheating though; I ought to be setting up the lighting myself with numerous omni lights but considering the extended amount of time needed for that many lights to render I think i'll see if I can settle for a compromise of HDR and normal lighting.

The Japanese film Dark Water is of the more satisfying horror films i've seen in a long while, far surpassing its Hollywood counterparts with their cliche, cheap scares consisting of little more than its fair share of blood and gore, incessant loud and in your face special effects. Dark water succeeds with its intensely eerie combination of dank, superbly lit sets and subtle, almost unbearable camera movement that beckons your eye to follow in anticipation. I was most impressed and petrified by its well lit, or rather under lit corridors, those long arches shrouded in a dark, perpetual gloom that seem to lead to a void of indescribable horror. No one is making me walk down one of those corridors. Though in my opinion the scare factor is still below that of the Ring , Dark water have like what my friend Gatchaman has mentioned, an added dimension of emotional depth that carries the film as more than just a simple horror show, plus at the same time a more subtle social lesson in order : neglect your children, and the worst nightmares that may come to bear will surface will terrifying results.
Hi folks. Installed the Yaccs comment tag to make blogging easier.

Friday, June 07, 2002

maybe u can also try to see how it looked with HDRdome lighting. sometimes the lighting & rendering makes a difference. your texturing is pretty realistic to me. just extra ... how come the shadow breaks apart? any part turned off to cast shadow?

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Still working on my bot model. Having decided to acheive a considerably realistic look I'm still not happy with the texturing and overall look. I think i've been using too many primitive shapes and they don't have the level of complexity as real surfaces on objects do. I'll have to dive back in and remodel some parts of the bot and so some retexturing. I decided to ignore the reflection of the metals completely at this moment because each frame is taking up more than 10 minutes to render at 800 by 600 and i haven't found an easier way to texture reflections.

Saturday, June 01, 2002

i want to get 1 like this too! but better if it s on wheels & can follow my eyes & adjust itself so that the book ll face me all the time haha! but isnt tat like forcing me to read! haha!
Moving on to the props in the animation. This is the mechanical bookstand that will rise up from a vault in the ground with the book titled : "Becoming human. " Bot picks up the book, starts to read, and the story begins...

Monday, May 27, 2002

Announcement :

Akirastudio is now Halcyonwerks

I've been contemplating a revamp of my website for eons now, kicking in phase one for now ( heck, i make it sound like some HDB upgrading project ) The title akirastudio have been with me since the first days of my amateur web publishing days, dating back to my first singnet account when I was still in secondary 4. That's almost seven years ago ! Akira seemed like a most natural choice for a title, given my then euphorical and fervent admiration for the masterpiece. Although my respect for it have never dwindled the least bit, it probably been one most influential animation i'll ever watch, my webpage is no longer just a fanpage, and its only appropriate that the title now take a backseat. Akirastudio will now be housed under Halcyonwerks as an individual section by itself, all to be updated continually.

Go here to see the new index page for Halcyonwerks : http://www.notionwerks/akirastudio/halcyonwerks.htm

As for the new title Halyconwerks, the inspiration came in part with the design I had for Halcyon realms, my weblog. It falls back to the album design works for the ambient electronica group Chicane, which I like immensely. Its music is an enbodiment of speed, emancipation and peace.

Friday, May 17, 2002

hahaha ... lucky for me ... i oready gone thro much meditation before the show, & completely pyscho myself to ve as low expectation as possible ... minimum damage to my fragile & hopeful heart!
George Luca's lost it completely !! Just when I thought things couldn't be any worse than the Phantom Menace...they obviously can. Maybe its because the expectations are so sky high for epII to exceed its progeny...nontheless...i still found the whole show much of a disappointment. Probably THE most disappointing show this year so far.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

what a beautiful review to a beautiful film (i can only assumed abt the film though, din see it)! blaue reiter u should be the one writing those reviews in straits times eheheh!
Time and again Korean films have swept me off my feet, engulfing me in megalomania, putting me back in love. The latest addition to the family is the movie "One Fine Spring Day".

I think my emotions are most easily roused, as far as movie watching is concerned. So if a laudable movie that is imbued with all the right qualities of beauty, subtlety and emotiveness comes my way, I will break down like melting ice awashed in sunlight. One Fine Spring Day are all these qualities and more. I saw it at the SIFF, and now as i listen to the music and the visuals, hauntingly beautiful and memorable, I cannot help but express my praise for this movie through this channel.


This review explains most of the movie expressively -


The rest is watching it.

Friday, May 10, 2002

Thursday, April 25, 2002

As of today I have exactly 6 months to the day when I'll start clearing my ORD leave. While six months may sound like a relatively short time, it really isn't in terms of army time. My "old bird" army friends warned me of this pre-ORD paranoia syndrome, where one gets more and more disillusioned and bloodied eyed counting the days left as they seem to just stretch longer as it gets nearer. I think i'm still quite sane. Maybe in 3 months time.

Anyway, I wouldn't be around for a week or so, will be on my ORD range. Yes, the last range that i'll have to attend in my NSF life. Music to the ears ! By the end of this week i can kiss goodbye to my M16 and let it lie patiently in the armskote waiting for its next faithful owner to come.

Until next week.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

okie then, sassy girl meets evil rei

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

wah liao

still got me
me also want to watch..~
Haha...Gatchaman...paiseh...because I promised my friends in the army to watch it with them...but I don't mind watching it again...

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

wah ... blaue reiter go see my sassy girl neber jiao!
My Sassy Girl ( Yeopgijeogin geunyeo ) stars the devastatingly beautiful girl Jeong Ji Hyun of Il Mare, which by and large is one of my favourite Korean movies of all time. By virtue of this alone I was bent on watching my Sassy Girl, and although it lacks the melancholic sentimentality of Il Mare, is still one heck of a funny and at times romantic movie.

The Korean word `Yupgi' means ''to be curious about and search for creepy and uncanny things or events.'' But it has become a most fashionable pop culture code word, meaning anything nonsensical and implying something creepy but cool and funny. It's become a buzzword in Korea in recent years, especially in cyberspace. Kim Ho-Sik's hit serial story on the Internet, [Yupgi Girl], surely played a critical role in spreading and wedging the word ``yupgi'' into the collective consciousness as the hippest culture code. Yupgi Girl, starring Cha Tae-Hyeon and Jeon Ji-Hyeon, is a film adaptation of Kim's Internet serial of the same title. The movie follows Kyon-wu (Cha's) narration, in which Jun Ji-Hyeon is called ``the girl.'' (This presumably lovely female principal, strangely, doesn't even have a name, although she is the person who commits herself to all those yupgi demeanors.) Kyon-wu saves a girl who was apparently about to be crushed by an oncoming subway train. What made that sleek girl with glowing long hair and white face almost throw her life away in front of a subway train? Alcohol. As a complement to for this yupgi girl who throws up, dead drunk, on the wig and then on the very bald head of an elderly man in the subway, who becomes angry, hits him with her fists and shouts abusive words at him, Kyon-wu is a light-as-air character who is ready to serve this too high- spirited but pretty girl. The lively, sprightly, refreshingly charming actors, Cha and Jun, are the reasons to go to see this film, which is full of light-hearted laughter for the first 100 minutes before jumping ahead three years into a farfetched leap of plot for the last 20 minutes.

Just to let you in a little on the details of this movie; many of the scenes, costumes, lines were borrowed heavily from a few other korean movies, Il Mare itself included, as sort of comedic parodies. If you pay close attention to what's actually happening throughout the movie, you'd be sure to spot one many spoofs, connections and hints that would allow you to better understand the somewhat ambiguous ending. There's a 2 disc dvd set on sale at dvdasian.com, which promises more secrets and easter eggs, and I'm going weak at the knees already.

Sunday, April 14, 2002

The movie No Man's Land was a smorgasbord of various debatable issues and human emotions. At the height of the Bosnian war, Ciki, a Bosnian soldier, hides in a trench in No Man�s Land. Nino, a Serb, is wounded in the same trench, while Cera, a Bosnian soldier, lies unconscious on a spring mine. Both men attract the attention of their respective sides in an attempt to survive their predicament. Soon, the UN troops are called in... This movie is about the casualties of war, for right from the start of the show displays a massacre of troops as they battle at the bloody frontline. This movie is about satire, mocking the stiff and dogmatic bureaucracy of the UN as they stood and gaze in brazen shame as the wounded lay unaided. This movie is about deep poignancy, for as the last shot in the movie slowly tracks out you feel the disconcerting solitude and despair of the wounded as he lies helpless, bereft of any aid. To have envisioned all this ideas and presented them in such a witty, humourous and yet sad movie, I for once agree with the Oscar nomination panel that it truely deserves the award of best foreign film.

( apologies for those who haven't watched the film ) My favourite shot in the film must be where the Serbian commander decided that to "play safe", had the entire trench area bombarded by artillery and at this juncture, the two wounded soldiers taking cover in a shelter. The framing was such that each of them were leaning on either side of the entrance of the shelter and henced divided on the left and right of the screen, with the entrance in the middle of the shot and artillery bombing away ouside as they argued on the fault of the party who started the war first. I personally interpretated the framing of the shot with them been divided in the middle as the separation of the Serb and Bosnian people as war wages outside ( the artillery bombing ). Within, the conflict can only be solved by whoever possessing the weapon, as in the case of the Serbian soldier. Cool art direction and photography.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Today I went on a texture photo shoot. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I needed some worn out, dirty metal surfaces for my bot. Coincidentally there were some roadworks going on at the nearby x-junction near my house and parked in the middle of a grassfield was this wierdlooking, sorta tar laying contraption. No one seemed to be bothered with it, and I figured the folks that owned it realized no one would have the slightest interest in it too. It was worn with age and slick with oil stains, the yellow paint peeling off in many places. Perfect ! Actually its a little too dirty for my robot but i'm sure I could work that out in photoshop. So off I went taking shots of it, closeup, crouching as near as possible to get the best details. It so happened that lessons had just ended at the nearby school, and the students walking past looked at me as if I was a lunatic.

Monday, April 08, 2002

heehee .. i tink use the same motion file on my char b4 ... i recognised the end pose :P
Strictly Ballroom

Notionwerks is back ! I seem to be missing some email during the transitional period but I hope I didn't miss anything important...

Anyway...I have been doing the skeletal setup for my robot and its mostly done. To test the motion of the near completed bot, I loaded a motion file that came with max and off he went, dancing away. Its clear even with such a small render some many joints were off and there's tons of tweaking to be done. But it was fun ! :]

Click here for the movie file.

Saturday, April 06, 2002

Well folks...I think Notionwerks.com will be down temporarily ( which accounts for the missing banners above...) ...apparently the network that hosts my brother's server swapped owners and there are some problems with the webserver. Hope they get it fixed pronto coz I can't check my mail !

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

yah lor ... very funny waterboy ... hey it did really worked very very well on blaue reiter ehhehe!
I just watched the Japanese show Waterboys today and I like it immensely ! Fantastically hilarious as it might be, I think it excels in been more than just a mere comedy show but something more - an uplifitng movie with the lightly stated lesson that through determination and perseverence, as well as creativity, innovation and the courage to challenge the norm, many seemingly insurmountable obstacles can be overcomed. All in all, it was just one heck of a funny and wacky show. I feel really fantastic and positive after watching it !

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

wat s the serial code or prototype name, like RX78 for gundam something like tat ehhehe ...
hey give him a laser blaster hahahah ... nah ... he s a book reading robot ...
Once again, I've been afflicted with the "there can never be too much detail" syndrome, finding it painstakingly difficult to stop delving into mindless tweaking and nuances in the modelling process. Old Ben's mantra of "God is in the details", some quote he passed to us eons ago keeps playing over and over in my brain. I've finally stopped for now, the model almost complete. Textures should be in soon. Now what I need to do is get out there and take some pictures of old, worn out metal parts.

Monday, April 01, 2002

ahaaaa .... our dreaming robot prototype 1 is out!!!

Sunday, March 31, 2002

This is my first update since I started on [ Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep ?], having completed the main parts of the robot. At this stage I'm sure there will be plenty of changes coming along once I tried to setup the character. ie some parts just aren't so well fitted for animation rotations, etc.

Monday, March 25, 2002

I must admit that I find some of the winners of this year's Oscars to be well, rather unexpected, or even unjustly from my point of view. The biggest pang of indignation must come from the fact that LOTR won the award for best Cinematography, which I felt was handed out lacking in sense and astute choice. By and large, the movie is most deserving of some other awards, best costume and effects for that matter, but for cinematography ? I'm not saying that the photography in the movie sucked - but it seems manifestly clear that there are a few other more deserving and creative works in the arena for contention. Moulin Rouge, or Amelie ( which I liked immensely but is not the reason of my complains ) had devastatingly good cinematography. I'm pretty sure I am not the only person complaining...am I ?

For your ease of perusal for complains, check out : http://us.imdb.com/RTO/Oscars/

Friday, March 22, 2002

Okie...just let me elaborate a little on what i've read about Panic Room from the American Cinematographer. It tells the story of Meg Altman and her daughter Sarah. Meg has been recently divorced and both of them are looking for new life after the rather unsuccessful marriage. So they settle down in the big city and find a nice, cozy, perfect house. Upon inspection of the infrastructure of the house, Jodie Foster soon learns of a safe or "panic" room in the house that has video screens, buried phone line, ventilation system, and a 1 foot thick steel wall. Apparently, the room was specially built for emergency situations and the like to keep the occupants safe and to allow them to monitor the whole house. This is put to the ultimate test when a group of fool hardy and adamant intruders seek to infiltrate the room as mother and daughter engage them in a battle of wits and sheer determination to survive.

Must check out the trailer here : http://www.apple.com/trailers/columbia/panic_room/
Panic Room is gonna be great. Nope, not a ooo ooo show. Starring Jodie Foster.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

looks like blaue reiter s longing to fly away, away fr our dreamless island :P *take a look at the new banner, nice* thus special song dedication: fly me to the moon (SIA Business Class Power Mix)
panic room sounds like some ghost movie ... issit? aha ... if only we all humanly beings can always prioritize so well ... we can all function effectively ... like a machine? hmmm ... i need to go bck to texturing instead of blogging here, damn.
instead of spending time on my 3d project i found myself wasting into the dead of the night revamping the layout of this blog ( as well as redesigning the top banner above ). heck...i don't think i know how to prioritize...
anyway, lots of movies coming up - the royal tenenbaums, Ali, time machine, iris. all which i'll be catching. recently i bought a copy of the american cinematographer and the cover review was on a new movie by David Fincher, titled panic room. very exciting.

Friday, March 15, 2002

i met some french friends today and we were talking about France and the show Amelie.

remember the scene where she returns him the photo album... and he was made to look into a telescope thingie at the top of the hill to look for her? that shot had the real Moulin Rouge in view. interesting... :)

i realise more than ever the importance of having photographs to look back on. however silly or questionable they may be. :) but i'm just lazy at the thought of having to lug around my heavy slr camera. :p should start taking pics soon. if any of you guys know of digital cams that work together with the mac, do let me know please? :) thanks!

i'm pooped. it's 2.32am. gonna zonk out soon. *yawn* spring break officially starts! :) hee

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Well...the camera I used for this picture isn't actually a lomo ( I don't think "you know where" would be using a lomo for work. they are basically against anything individual and creative. *in controlled tone* ) Anyway, its a relatively expensive Polaroid camera, a big sized one for that matter, that is used mainly for taking passport sized pictures ( ie the same kind of format that was seen in Amelie ). Right at "you know where" its used for...identification purposes. Shan't elaborate any further.

Hmm...as for Gatchaman's idea of taking photos for remembrance...i've been planning it all along ! I've already decided on the things I want to take - the long, long winding path that I have to walk every time I book into camp, ( where if i'm walking along at night I swear to you I can count a thousand stars in the sky, its that dark and quiet ) my standard army locker, and er...shan't elaborate any further. I hope they don't do a spotcheck the day I smuggle in a camera though...i be very very screwed...indeed
hey ur camp has got so much interesting things to photo manzz!! oopss ... i try lowering my volume ...
for the sake of art, risk it, after u ord, u publish somting like a photographic journal of 'life in you-know-where' ... maybe not in spore ... hahahhaha ...
rhume, definitely not lomo. hmmm ... while u considering hor ... they ve a 16 shot wan coming out liao ... hehehe ... ppl soon get bored of them, u noe ---toys they are!!!
issit the lomo camera you were 'amelie-ed' with? :) i wanted to get one too... been contemplating for a long time if i should get the horizontal version or the boxed one. still can't really decide.
Gallivanting ? Hee...wish I could Rhume...I think hiding is more apt a word to describe me now...

anyway, I've been Amelie-ed ! Took this picture in camp. *shh ! you didn't hear that ! *

Sunday, March 10, 2002

seems rather quiet around here lately... where's the master of this blog? has he gone galavanting? or into hiding...


Wednesday, March 06, 2002

[ copied from an identical post from Daydreamer blog ;) ]

I'm bored tonite...and broke...and yearning more strongly than ever to take a plunge into the sea, in my full getup of Mares Scuba!

I have been silent for too long....and suddenly tonite I found this old backup CD of mine containing the old stuffs I wrote...angsty and fiery that characterized my earlier styles.
Sigh....and pugnacious too... But it's been fun to re-read what my mind conjured in years long past (well, ok, so it's only like 4 years ago.) How I've changed since!
How life has shaped me, now beating me in, now moulding a new arm elsewhere. sigh...

Listening to: Hotel Costes: Costes La Suite. I can't stress enuff how ingenious this compilation is. It's a Dancing-trance inducer. I SWEAR!
reading: The Silmarillion. well, I lament that LOTR can't be infinite...but thank gawd they published this book and The Unfinished Tales...

I am gonna copy and paste this same post into Halcyon Realm now. ;)

Sunday, March 03, 2002

It's so interesting looking back at the pictures again. Really miss the place. Signz...

Monday, February 25, 2002

blaue reiter, jus saw your photos of the old skool lab fr ben 's links ... hmmm ... it seems like just a while ago, doesnt it? the dayz of glueing to my seat infront of my computer tat dont belong to me ... hahahahaa ...

actaully there was this time i tot nyp ppl r really blessed instead, coz i heard the lecturers there all got such good profiles. alas! it s tat same old mentality: other ppl 's thing is always better, coz it aint mine!

Sunday, February 24, 2002

wah, that's nice stuffs your lecturer is doing....u guys are truly blessed to have been under his tutelage. :)
Been checking out Ben's website and his treadmill robot is completed...i must say its really cool ! Seriously cool stuff. Who'd said robots are strict nonos in demo reels ?


Image copyright of old Ben.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

nicely lit!

Monday, February 18, 2002

another update on memento. :) Added couple pieces of furniture, installed a toilet. Be texturing soon I think.

Thursday, February 14, 2002

Okie...glamour and glitz aside...you folks might want to know who the heck's in for this year's Oscars...


Also...i've finally took the trouble to download this really interesting screensaver called seti@home...of which seti stands for THE SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE. pretty cool huh. Actually its been around for quite a while but i've never gotten down to getting it. Basically it works like a normal screensaver but underneath it utilizes your computer's net resources to analyze radio signals culled from the whole's single biggest satelite ( Arecibo ). Cool.

Makes me feel like a mini Ellie Arroway in the movie Contact. Wait till E.T calls.

Monday, February 11, 2002

pulse rate ............ normal
breathing ................. normal
yesh! blaue reiter still alive!
this shot and your description of her room & her art student bckgrd, reminds me of this work-in-progress short, summerbreeze in siggraph. too bad they dunnoe doing wat, until now oso neber ve new stuffs up online. if not can be reference for u, the images of interior shots of the room i saw in their presentation.
but honestly, i do identify with u on the character model & rigging ... quoting myself shamelessly again from my blog:
if modelling a character is boring, then rigging a character is even more boring.
---- a guy who keeps using 3D but finds it hard to love 3D
I'm alive ! I'm alive ! *gasps for breath* Yes...whilst i'm still having big problems with my characters...I decided to take a break ( and a long break at that ) and get some work done on Nadja's room. ( conveniently taking an easy way out of things for now ). Heck. At least my Max interface is finally seeing some action ok ?

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Hello guys....me macham very long sibeh quiet liao....Ooops...pardon my very good english....used to typing liddat while playing games....all the guys tok the ARMY way...
wah kaus....now it's spilling over to my blogging...hmm. Not good at all..

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Whoah ah rei. Not bad at all.

I'm so bored recently ! No shows to watch !!! Oh by the way, was at Cinefex website that day and saw that they are going make Astroboy.


Sunday, February 03, 2002

way to go! evil rei! u saw the new robbie williams mtv with nicole kidman? but seems to ve suffered some cuts in it though.

Saturday, February 02, 2002

muahahahaaa...~new illustration, do comment.


Model use is robbie william but i dun think it look anything like him. But just trying out newer way of working.
Do comment. May try to build on this base.

Saturday, January 26, 2002

i m very sure my dreams arent jus black & white, at least the ones i remember. but too private & stoopid to disclose, sorry !! haha!!!

Friday, January 25, 2002

[ kaleidoscope dreams ]

Recently a close friend of my popped me a most intriguing and though-provoking question - Do we dream in colour, or black and white ? I believe for most people the immediate answer would be of course in colour, for that is how we percieve vision in our everyday lifes. But if you gave it alittle more thought and probe your memory - are you very sure it was in colour ? Bear in mind here that the actual dream is very different from the one that you're trying to reconstruct now as your try to visualize it, for your mind would be trying to rebuilt the bits together and your perception could inadvertently add in colours that did not exist in the original dream. How then, can one remember ? Certainly not when your are in the midst of your dream for one cannot be full conscious when that is happening.

Perhaps dreams aren't really in colour, or black and white, but existing on a higher plane of consciousness where colour would no longer be necessary to convey those images. Or maybe they are both in colour and black and white, or monochromatic, or any other colour that can be conjured up by our imagination, but which is longer clear to us once we open our eyes. I can't say for sure which. Unless of course, anyone were to tell me that they had a particularly reddish, or bluish dream yesterday. Keep dreaming and find out.

Monday, January 21, 2002

An interview with the director of Amelie, Jean Pierre Jeunet :


Sunday, January 20, 2002

With the recent screening of so many a good French movies ( Le Amelie, Le Pacte ), I have been wondering about the countless other foreign movies that we might be missing and not know about it ! That is a scary thought indeed. Having realized this, I did some checks on Alliance Francaise website and found out that we could have access to their library of books and movies if we are a member. Student membership rates are about 20 plus, but which i think we are no longer eligible for, normal rates would be about 80 dollars a year. Not too bad. Think I might join. Need to catch some other movies like Delicatessan, City of Lost Children, and also the recent Crimson Rivers, starring Vincent Cassel ( the one handed villain in Le Pacte ) and directed by Matthew Kassovitz. ( The fella who acted as Nino Quincampoix in Le Amelie ).

website : http://www.alliancefrancaise.org.sg

Thursday, January 17, 2002

Okie...some info on the dvd of [ Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain ]. Guess right at this moment they're only releasing the 2 disc special edition, with the bonus dvd covering interview with Jean-Pierre Jeunet, a short film shot by him, extras like screen tests for the various actors, trailers, tv spots, various "making of" the film, collection of storyboard. Couple other stuff I missed out. There also an easter egg which I think is only useful for dvd-rom. Picture quality wise, crisp and excellent, although the colour saturation and hue seem to suffer a little bit in contrast to the theatrical version. Warning : No english subtitles, just like Le Pacte Des Loup, I believe the French have little care of the english speaking community, especially the Brits. But the photography is compensation enough I think. At $$80+ from Amazon.fr, shipping fees included. By the way, the soundtrack is available at Borders, which I found out only after I ordered it from the net.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

dunnoe abt the first 2 questions, but no-face is those type who has no character no sense of identity, in fact he can be a miyazaki 's portrayal of the grownups. he has to take on the voice of someone else to be able to speak, imitates others to get attn, by giving away gold after he learnt its power. so naturally he s drawn to a gal like chihiro who by then is getting more sense of id. cant help but remember the little prince saying only the children know what they are looking for. all no face did is for the attn of chihiro so when he dun get it he gone berserk, of cos it s a visual way to carry on the plot.
i think the haku thing is a plotline? i dunnoe which wan is rin? the woman tat werk together with chihiro?

Sunday, January 13, 2002

I've got some questions regarding Spirited Away...I know it's probably the 100th time you guys are watching this splendid movie but I just caught it. It totally whisked me off where I sat in the GV theatre, right into Aburaya where I laughed, freaked out, cried and fell in love with the heroine....*sigh*

But anywayz....

If Haku is the God of the River (from wat I've gathered....forgive me if I made a grave mistake here), then why did he seek apprenticeship for magic long ago?

Rin doesn't seem to be one of the yunas, she looks human enuff in her own right, so how did she come to live there?

Erm...still can't figure out why no-face got chaotic while he was inside the bath house...And wat's with his affinity for Sen?

okie...methinks that's about it for now...if i can disgorge anymore queries, i'd be sure to check back here for the answers.... :)

using thumbprints to illustrate your point is, indeed, a creative idea.
ideas maybe infinite, but what if the ppl creative enuff to come up with them are limited? may i argue that this miracle is never the works of man but that of a higher force, and thus your point is valid yet humanly impossible?:P
haha, actaully my view is that generally most ideas are the same in a broad sense, jus that ppl ve got all sorta ways to package it, execute it, stylise it, blah blah blah ... the core is still unchanged.
but hey! evil rei, u r getting better by the day i see, this s the way to talk that bird down from the tree manzzz!!
Creativity..~ hmm.... something extra. If ever those toopid people started to say all idea have been use up and that there will never be new ideas, i have think up an interesting example, just refer ideas to thumbprint. It's infinite, no two are the same (i think. thought i heard someone say before that there maybe one or two the same, but wat the hack.) This example i think effectively shows how infinite ideas can be...~~

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Arggh...Gatchaman...you had to remind me about less dvds...*sob*. But but...for the sake of the Japan trip...I must persevere !!! *tightens resolve and conviction*

Hmm...wonder when my Jinroh dvd will be shipped...lala...what else to buy...

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

i tot i m in ... of coz i m interested! but damn ... u guys still have a long way to go b4 ORD leh ...
50 bucks a month ... blaue reiter tat means less dvds hahaha!
[ early planning for japan trip ]

Me, rei and Gabriel have been talking about a trip to Japan after our ORD, and I think its time we actually do some planning and homework. For a start, my brother would be going with us, which is a plus because he knows a little Japanese and have been there on 2 occasions, both Shinjuku, Tokyo. That would be where we are are heading for too. Airfare would range around 500 dollars, and we would be staying in Tokyo for a round a week touring Shinjuku, Roppongi and perhaps some other suburbs, packpacking style, living off rats, spiders. Ha. No really. Roadside stalls more probably. And lodging would be in small inns, no hotels because they tend to cost about sing 200 per day. I have did some research and it is indeed fortunate that Ghibli Studios and Miyazaki's Museum is in Tokyo

( take a look here at nausicaa.net : http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/museum/ghibliMuseumParty/ ) as well ! Cool. Its located in Inogashira Park, Mikata City which is accessible from Shinjuku. We should also visit Tokyo Towers. My plan is to save a meagre 50 dollars per month, very little but still something, at least it come up to some money which will be put into the trip when we go. Anyone else interested ?

Okie...here i go again...

This is also a reason why I created a fantasy set in Japan. Though it is a fairy tale, I don't want to make it like a western type of story which allows many possibilities for escape, and it is likely to be taken as a cliche. However, I would prefer to say that it is rather a direct descendent of " Suzume no Oyada " ( The Sparrows' Inn - a trap in which sparrows lure people by food and pleasant surroundings ) or " Nezumi no Goten " ( The Mouse's Castle - similar to " The Sparrow's Inn "), which appear in Japanese folktales. Our ancestors had been dining at the Suzume no Oyada and enjoying a feast at the Nezumi no Goten.

I created a world where Yubaba lives in a pseudo-western style to make ir seem as if it is something that has been seen somewhere else and to make it uncertain whether it is a dream or reality. And also, Japanese traditional design is a rich source for the imagination. We are often not aware of its richness and the uniqueness of our cultural heritage - from stories, traditions rites, designs, and tales of the gods. It is true that " Kachi-kachi Yama " and " Momotaro" are no longer persuasive. However, I regret to sat that it is a poor idea to push all the traditional things into a small folk-culture world. Surrounded by high technology and its flimsy devices, children are more and more loseing their roots. We must inform them of the richness of our traditions.

Saturday, January 05, 2002

Okie...this is the continuation of Miyazaki's intro for Spirited Away form the previous post...

Words are power. In the world Chihiro wandered into, words have a great importance and immutability. At "Yuya" where "Yubaba" rules, if Chihiro were to say "I don't want to do this" or "I want to go home", she would be eliminated by the sorceress. She would be made to wonder about with nowhere to go until she vanishes or is made into a hen to lay eggs until she is eaten. On the contrary, if Chihiro says "I will work here", even a sorceress can't ignore her. In these days, words are thought to be light an unimportant like bubbles, and no more than the reflection of a vacuous reality. It is still true that words can be powerful. The fact is, however, that powerless words are proliferating unnecessarily.

To take a name away from a person is an attempt to keep them under perfect control. Sen shuddered when she realized that she was beginning to forget her own name. And besides, every time she goes to see her parents at the pigpen, she becomes used to seeing her parents as pigs. In the world where Yubaba rules, people must always live among dangers which might swallow them up.

In a dangerous world, Chihiro began to come alive. The sulky and languid character will come to have a stunning and attractive facial expression by the end of the film. The nature of the world hasn't been changed in the least. I am arguing in this film that words are our will, ourselves and our power.

To be continued...

Friday, January 04, 2002

Typed out this essay found in the book "The Art of Spirited Away" sort of a introduction by Miyazaki...mostly because i was searching for more answers..though you guys might be interested to take a look too.

I would say that this film is an adventure story even though there is no brandishing of weapons or battles involving supernatural powers. However the story is not a showdown between right and wrong. It is a story in which the heroine will be thrown into a place where the good and the bad dwell together, and there, she will experience the world. She will learn about friendship and devotion, and will survive by making full use of her brain. She sees herself through the crisis, avoids danger and get herself back to the ordinary world somehow. She manages not because she has destroyed the "evil", but because she has acquired the ability to survive.

The main theme of this film is to describe, in the form of a fantasy, some of the things in this world which have become vague, and the indistinct world which tends towards erosion and ruin.

In everyday life, where we are surrounded, protected and kept out of danger's way, it is difficult to feel that we are working to survive in this world. Children can only enlarge their fragile egos. Chihiro's skinny legs and her sulky face are their symbols. However, once the reality becomes clear and once she encounters a crisis, she will surely be aware of the life she actually possesses and of a capacity for flexibility and patience, and for decisive judgement and action.

Most people just panic and collapse while shouting "It can't be true ". Those people wil be erased or eaten up in the situation in which Chihiro finds herself. In fact, Chihiro's being strong enough not to be eaten up is just what makes her a heroine. She is a heroine not because she is beautiful or because she possesses a unique mind. This is the key characteristic of this work, and therefore is a good story for 10 year old girls.

Will post the next part soon. :)

Tuesday, January 01, 2002

actually i typed mine report too earlier this morning but it s gone b4 i can post. i m in no mood to retype.
actaully u ve got not zero social life mah ... still got 2 invites for u to chose, jus that u too tired to go. by the time u get out of ur government job, eberyyything is gonna be alright. the only problem i see is that even u can buy more dvds when u start a decent job ... ur dvd list will still be as long. coz u buy more, u wan more.
i remember 1 good fren & colleague (really lucky at tis age to get new true fren) say to me : want what u have. i know the day i truly believe in it, i ll be a very happy man, but the day has not come yet. simple things like that are too hard for complicated ppl like me to embrace.
btw, i was reading the animator survival kit book on new year eve. wow .. am i tat passionate abt my craft??? din noe they r showing broken arrow, highly likely to be watching it if i did.
The year passed by, and I don't know where it's gone....
[ vong's annual report for the year 2001 ]

A retrospect, as we usher in the new year, on what has come and gone. For a start this must had been the most uneventful and austere new year's eve to date, and I think few would disagree that slouching in my sofa watching the hundredth-rerun of John Woo's Broken Arrow on our local channel isn't the most exciting way to commemorate one, but I sure would remember it as the most boring. A few msgs from my handphone tells me the year had indeed passed, been evil rei messaging to say "happy new year!". Appreciated. Torn between an all-nighter at Sentosa or a pub-out with my friends, I realized my heart yearned for a noisy and not quite rational state of consciousness way to celebrate the new year, but the body was unwillingly and languished with stiff reluctance. So here I am, stuck at home and posting this blog, while the icq on my computer registers myself as the only person online, a clear indication that (i) the action is happening elsewhere or (ii) I have zero social life or (iii) both. I suspect the last holds true.

Anyway, as I comtemplate my pathetic social life, let me continue on my report. Financial returns are zero, acquisition of many dvds is still ongoing, as well as many wanted but not really needed books, Government ensures I keep my job rock steady for the next year, albeit one without bonuses but with many possible extras, and notion of rejoining the creative market gets ever increasing frantic and frenetic. Investment wise, memento mori moves on with the pace of a really, really old and worn out snail and investors ( me ) threaten to pull out if progress doesn't speed up. I foresee the production schedule stretching up like an elastic and occupying the whole of this coming year. Photography comes back after a long haitus, taking pictures is not a bad way to pass time altogether.

And its been an exciting year at the movies. My yet to be acquired dvds list grows ever longer but the rate of acquisition falls way behind. Year end was particularly spectacular marked with numerous fantastic shows like Monster's Inc, LOTR, Le Pacte and Amelie, just to name a few. Go on, dish them out. I'll eat them all and digest later.

And so the year have gone and a new one arrived, as I continue to work on my prolonged project, at the same time reading more, watching more, and do hope the next coming new year's eve is worth celebrating a lot more than the one that just past, at least, not with any more Woo flicks.

ps be glad to hear any one else's year end reports ! *laughs*