Monthly Archives: October 2006

Emotional Colour

I remember one instance when Ho Yuhang recalled I-Lann asking him this question when they were to shoot “Rain Dogs”: “What is the emotional colour of the film?” to which Yuhang scratched his head and said, “Yellow?”. Something like this if I remember correctly. According to the Wikipedia, “Yellow can represent light and the sun’s rays. It can also be a sign of cowardice.”

According to another Wiki entry for an album by Tom Waits with similar name, “Rain Dogs” are dogs which become lost because the rain has washed away their scent. Tom Waits has compared these dogs to homeless people, drunks, etc.

As for the Chinese title, “Tai Yang Yu” (lit. Sun Rain), when we get wet in the rain that falls in broad sunlight, my mother always say that it will make us fall sick.

All the above are what I felt after watching “Rain Dogs” (although Yuhang will laugh it off characteristically).

I think it is an excellent film. The characters are multi-layered, each character suggests a story behind them but Yuhang revealed enough to get you notice the depth of the character but is restrained enough to not to reveal too much so that the yearning to know remains (or maybe he can do follow up movies for his characters later).

Liu Wai Hung (we know him better as Ah “Chan”) is just great in the movie as well as our dear Yasmin Ahmad.

The music is superb, particularly the choice of the theme song, Odetta’s “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child”. The cinematography is very good and proves that HD can do a marvellous job.

The final static scene will remind you of Abbas Kiarostami, long camera shots observing something that is happening far away, as if we are merely an observer and the story of the characters in the movie has nothing to do with us. In this case, we will see a static shot of a tree against the backdrop of the sky with a rainbow across it and some birds flying past accompanied by Odetta’s sometimes haunting song with just enough time for you to reflect on the story and the characters. While Truffaut’s Antoine Doinel shocks you by looking at you in the eye at the end of “Les Quatre cents coups”, Yuhang does the opposite but achieves the same effect. Perfect ending.

Oh, and I wonder if anyone else felt the same, I somehow felt that the main character (Kuan Choon Wai) in the movie is like Leslie Cheung’s character in “Days of Being Wild” and the similarities that “Rain Dogs” has with “Days of Being Wild” do not only end there but also the basic structure of the movie as well as the narative style. Only thing is that Kuan is still a kid but Leslie is merely a bigger kid. Kuan’s character may one day grow into Leslie Cheung’s character.

“Rain Dogs” is really a profound film and for anyone who appreciates good cinema, go and get your tickets, sit back, relax and enjoy :)

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Filed under Movies, Movies (Highly Recommended), Movies (Malaysia)

Library Update

It has been quite some time since I last updated my library titles. Here is the link for the pdf download:

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Filed under Movies

Discovering Smaller Film Festivals

Everyone wants to go a prestigious film festivals (or at least movie fans surely do). Who wouldn’t want to be in Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Pusan et al? However, a recent blog entry pointed out convincingly the beauty of those so-called “second tier” festivals. Truly, as it says, everyone who is anyone is in Pusan and by this time, most of them has had their fair share of trading and the same group is now planning their AFM trip but little attention is paid to these smaller festivals.

One festival that I am interested in is the Jeonju International Film Festival which features a lot of interesting and some really exciting programmes. For example, this year there is a retrospective on Ritwik Ghatak, an Indian film director that I have not heard of until now (ashamedly so!). And because of this awareness, I get to know that Channel 4 is featuring a Ritwik Ghatak retro too. Because of these good people, my movie horizon is now expanded by as much as that but unfortunately I don’t think I can get any of his movies in Kuala Lumpur. But it is all very exciting just to know what is waiting for me out there. If luck is on my side, I may even get to do a Ritwik Ghatak retro on my channel as well ;-)

More on Ritwik Ghatak:

From the Harvard Film Archive

Some reviews from my most respected film geek: the one and only Aquarello

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Filed under Movies, Thoughts & Commentaries

Holiday Seasons

Happy Deepavali & Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri!

So many things are actually happening and I am struggling to keep up. But I am quite happy with the job, at least for now, and the boss is great. Besides learning from him the finer details of business, I got a refresher course on Sun Tzu’s Art of War, The Book of Five Rings and Marketing 101. The amount of learning that happened in these first two weeks were incredible.

I have had so much Malaysian food now that I think I should stop eating so much for a week or two just to detoxicate my body or simply just let it rest for a while from an excessive intake of pork, for example. The mamaks were great but I am having worse stomach aches after each mamak session compared to when I was in India. Perhaps I was being really careful while in India, especially the water.

On the movie front, I am aching most of all to watch Tsai Ming-liang’s latest film “I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone” and my most awaited DVD is Béla Tarr’s “Satantango” which will be released in its full glory in November 2006. Tarr’s fans, pre-order now!

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Filed under Trivia

Official Now

Well, I guess it is official now. I shall be returning to Malaysia to work after almost half a year in India. The offer back is rather attractive and I will be managing a regional satellite movie channel. I hope I can rise to the challenge and bring the best movies into the homes of people who also loves movies. Right now, there are so many ideas in my head I feel like I should have done everything yesterday. For a start, I need to hire the following positions that are still vacant. Anyone interested can write directly to me for further inquiries (hdoong at yahoo dot com).

Manager, Marketing
Executive, Marketing
Senior Executive, Programming
Executive, Programming
Executive, Operations
Scheduler/Planner – 2x
Administrative assistant

I need these filled asap to support the rest of the team. Wish me luck and it feels great to be back :) I hope the feeling lasts and I really hope for the best.

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Strange Stares

It happens more often in the past one year. I noticed that babies and small kids love to stare at me. And I mean really stare. I don’t know if this happens to other people or not but because it happens so frequently, I wonder if it is some sign to me reminding me that I am of age to have a child.

The Malaysian Film Club (Kelab Seni Filem Malaysia) has recently organised a Wim Wenders weekend and this prompted me to recall scenes of how the babies and children looked at the angel in his “Wings of Desire” (the club did not show this film, unfortunately). It is like that, strange stares from children, that sometimes also smiles at me but I don’t know why they are smiling (I was not making funny faces).


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Filed under Movies, Thoughts & Commentaries