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 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'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.