Monthly Archives: August 2007

The Third Time Now

Watched this movie for the third time today and my goodness, it only gets better and better.

Mr. Cinema

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Lousy Book

Just got this book from FINAS today: Malaysian films :the beginning /by Mohd. Zamberi A. Malek, Aimi Jarr.. Read 3 quarters of it now and didn’t like it. The writing is too superficial, the illustrations doesn’t match the text and all throughout the book… “Producers commercially driven with little regard for Malay culture” and variants of it all throughout the book. Sickening propaganda book.

“It was even said that the sophisticated studios of Shaw Brothers, the largest in Hong Kong and a paragon of Chinese culture and civilization, was built on profits derived from the blood, sweat and tears of the actors and those involved in film-making in Jalan Ampas…. A celebrated local film personality implied that the success of the Jalan Ampas studio owed much to the local actors because the management and technicians were Chinese who hardly knew the Malay language, while the directors were Indians and Filipinos who were ignorant of local customs and traditions…”

I don’t know what’s wrong with these guys. Such inferiority complex, yes? What about a keen sense of business acumen, superb storytelling techniques, talent management and development, etc? Exactly what the current local film industry is lacking, for example??

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Britain's Got Talent- Connie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En0A8KGMgq8
This is an incredible show. Amazing.

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Paul sings Nessun Dorma high quality video/sound

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k08yxu57NA
Have you guys seen this??? Incredible.

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Short Film Awards

Check this out: Short Film Awards

Five judges, being:

Pn. Yasmin Ahmad, Mr. James Lee, En. Osman Ali and two Astro internal representatives.

For inquiries, you can write to astrokirana@astro.com.my

You can also check out Astro Kirana's programming and schedules at the Astro Kirana's page on the Astro website: Astro Kirana Page

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Petronas Merdeka 2007

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMR5tpzvlQM
This ad speaks right to the heart. Very well made.

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Leisurely Weekend

It is a weird weekend. Very leisurely yet I am quite stressed up, perhaps due to some stuffs that I must do for work, quite heavy stuffs which I am still trying to figure out how to do. But it is also a very leisurely weekend, one of those that I really enjoy and look forward to.

It started with Saturday afternoon with about 7 hours of Texas Hold’em with some great friends of which I of course won quite a bit. This is followed by dinner at a cowboy restaurant but it seemed like that cowboy restaurant closed shop, so I went to have some tandoori chicken with garlic naan. It has been about one year since I had naan, simply because I was getting sick of them in India. But Hyderabad sure has some really good naan. The naan I had yesterday was no where close.

After a shower, I was settled in to watch some movies as the wife goes to bed and was pondering what to watch. I recalled having bought the Ozu boxed set in Jakarta that contains about 14 of Ozu’s movies. I have checked the DVDs at ths shop to make sure that they have subtitles but I did not check all of them, so looking at the ALWAYS DVD laying on the coffee table, I felt inspired to check out OHAYO and see if that DVD is subtitled. I have watched OHAYO some time back on the Ozu 100 Anniversary Collection DVD and I want to check the transfer quality of this supposedly China box set. Well, long story short, the OHAYO in the box set did not have English subtitles but I watched the OHAYO on the 100th Anniversary DVD again an enjoyed every minute of it.

And today, of course, I woke up late and went over to one of my favorite places, i.e. Berjaya Times Square. Went to Borders for a couple of hours and picked up a couple of magazines. And another pleasant surprise I had as I saw Haruki Murakami’s newly translated work available for sale. Title is After Dark. Being a Murakami fan, I didn’t even blink and picked it up.

With still some time on hand, I walked around and BTS today was quite noisy thanks to some Korean pop duo, Cross (or something), doing a promotional tour. Young girls were screaming everywhere.

I found peace at the Kiku Zakura restaurant. It is one of those places that not many people knows exist in BTS and as such a heaven for me. The food is delicious, the service superb, the environment very relaxing and quiet. I sat down, ordered my sake sashimi and read the first chapter of After Dark. Typical of Murakami, the writing is fluid and the characters engaging. Couldn’t wait to finish the novel. There is a reference to Alphaville and I wonder it has something to do with Godard’s ALPHAVILLE. I remember watching the movie and felt very weird throughout, not knowing what to make of that movie. It was very engaging nonetheless. I would, however, prefer MY LIFE TO LIVE and BREATHLESS, but ALPHAVILLE is surely a breath of fresh air.

And now, I have just watched NANA 2. Damn the subtitles but woo hoo….

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Cleaning Book Shelf

While doing an occasional clean-up of my bookshelf, this book suddenly appeared from nowhere and reminded me how much pleasure I had from it. Very nice stories. Mo Yan is a very good storyteller.

Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for a Laugh

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Sexiest Scene

Following from a thread in another blog, felt tempted to post Bibi Andersson’s monologue for the sexiest scene that I have watched in a movie. It’s from Ingmar Bergman’s PERSONA and completely narrated i.e. no real sex scenes, you just hear the actress talk and talk and talk. It may sound like a porn story but in the context of the movie, it is an absolutely incredible psychoanalytic moment.

Warning: Contains strong sexual language that some may find very offensive. Stop here and immediately if you will get offended ah.

******************************************

I like Karl-Henrik so much, but…

You probably only love once.

I’m faithful to him.

There are opportunities
in my profession, you know.

Karl-Henrik and I had rented
a cottage by the sea once.

It was in June,
and we were all alone.

One day Karl-Henrik
had gone into town.

I went to the beach on my own.

It was a warm and nice day.

There was another girl there.

She had come
from another island

because our beach
was sunnier and more secluded.

We lay there
completely naked and sunbathed…

…dozing off and on,
putting sunscreen on.

We had silly straw hats on.

Mine had a blue ribbon.

I lay there…

Iooking out at the landscape,
at the sea and the sun.

It was kind of funny.

Suddenly I saw two figures
on the rocks above us.

They hid
and peeped out occasionally.

“Two boys are looking at us,”
I said to the girl.

Her name was Katarina.

“Let them look,” she said,
and turned over on her back.

I had a funny feeling.

I wanted to jump up
and put my suit on,

but I just lay there on my stomach
with my bottom in the air,

unembarrassed, totally calm.

And Katarina was next to me

with her breasts and big thighs.

She was just giggling.

I noticed that the boys
were coming closer.

They just stood there
looking at us.

I noticed they were very young.

The boldest one
approached us…

…and squatted down
next to Katarina.

He pretended to be busy
picking his toes.

I felt very strange.

Suddenly Katarina said to him,

“Hey, you, why don’t you
come over here?”

Then she took his hand and helped him
take off his jeans and shirt.

Suddenly he was on top of her.

She guided him in
and held his butt.

The other boy
just sat and watched.

I heard Katarina whisper
in the boy’s ear and laugh.

His face was right next to mine.

It was red and swollen.

Suddenly I turned and said,

“Aren’t you coming to me, too?”

And Katarina said,
“Go to her now.”

He pulled out of her and…

then fell on top of me,
completely hard.

He grabbed my breast.

It hurt so much!

I was overwhelmed
and came almost immediately.

Can you believe it?

I wanted to tell him to be careful
not to make me pregnant…

…when he came.

I felt something
I’d never felt in my life…

how his sperm
was shooting inside me.

He held my shoulders
and bent backwards.

I came over and over.

Katarina lay there watching
and held him from behind.

After he came,
she took him in her arms

and used his hand
to make herself come.

When she came,
she screamed like a banshee.

The three of us started laughing.

We called to the other boy,
who was sitting on the slope.

His name was Peter.

He seemed confused and was
shivering there in the sunshine.

Katarina unbuttoned his pants
and started to play with him.

And when he came,
she took him in her mouth.

He bent down
and kissed her back.

She turned around,
took his head in both hands,

and gave him her breast.

The other boy got so excited
that he and I started all over again.

It was just as nice as before.

Then we had a swim
and went our separate ways.

When I came home, Karl-Henrik
was already back from town.

We had dinner
and some red wine.

Then we had sex.

It had never been that good,
before or after.

Can you understand that?

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Winner

Here’s Mohd. Syafie (famously known as “Mukhsin! Mukhsin!), winner of the Best Young Actor category during the recent Malaysian Film Festival in Penang.

What do I think of the festival? Well, normal fare as can be expected.

Best Movie went to CINTA which is ok but what is not ok is that TENTANG BULAN got nominated for Best Film and better films such as MUKHSIN did not. Best Director went to Suhaimi Baba for WARIS JARI HANTU. I think this is ok although I was rooting for Yasmin Ahmad but WARIS JARI HANTU is a well made film nonetheless. Best Actor is definitely Rusdi Ramli. I think he is very good in WARIS JARI HANTU. Also, Vanida Imran for Best Actress is also a good choice. Well, nothing too exciting. Everybody sure did get a piece of meat.

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Simply Good

On quite a limited release in Malaysia, go watch this movie if you can. Many people thought it is stupid but I found it refreshing. Simply delightful! One of the better movies to come out of Hong Kong in the past few months (HOOKED ON YOU was very good too). Go watch! Go watch! Go watch!

Simply Actors


Definitely Thumbs Up

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One after Another after Another….

First, it was Edward Yang. Then Ingmar Bergman and now Michelangelo Antonioni.

I am not overly sad nor will I be protesting unreasonably on how life is so unfair nor am I crying my eyes out, probably because I am not related to them in any way and would not pretend to be very sad (like some people did as if someone in their family died). However, I am related to them in another way. The movies that they made moved me and had a strong impact in my movie world and for that, I feel sad that the world has lost three of its great filmmakers.

I remember watching “Yi Yi” and got bowled over but that is nothing compared to, in my opinion, “A Brighter Summer Day”. Although 4 hour long, I just got hooked on it and appreciating his art of storytelling. For me, Edward Yang will be remembered for these two movies, and of course, that he was the husband (later divorced) of one of my favourite Chinese Diva, Tsai Chin. I have watched two of his other films, “The Terroriser” and “In Our Time” but those two did not have the impact that “Yi Yi” and “A Brighter Summer Day” did. I would like to watch his other movies and it is great news that the guys at the Film Club (Kelab Seni Filem) will be holding a retro of some of his films this coming end of August.

I will remember Ingmar Bergman for his “The Seventh Seal” and “Persona”. I also loved “Wild Strawberries”, “Cries and Whispers” and “Fanny and Alexander”. Bergman’s images are so strong, it still sacres me sometimes when a certain scene from “Cries and Whispers” popped up in my mind unexpectedly. Who can forget Death and the Dance of Death? The look of Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson on screen, interchanging until we are confused with who is who? The colours in “Fanny and Alexander”?

I will always remember Antonioni for “L’avventura”, “La Notte” and “Blow Up”. What style he has and how he teased us over and over again.

You know what, I will probably watch all the movies again back to back this weekend but cannot do so thanks to the Malaysian Film Festival in Penang. Looking at this, I cannot but help to contemplate on when the Malaysian film industry can come produce such masters as Edward Yang, Bergman and Antonioni (in fact, we actually have Tsai Ming Liang, come to think of it, yes?)

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