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2013 in retrospect

Well everyone it is going to be the end of 2013..well it have been a hell of a year in film for me. Sadly I do not have much time to watch films and I seem to be focused on Televison series on the second half of the year. It does not mean I will stop watching it. I just find television programs easier to catch on

I am become a Whovian (aka the nerd of Doctor Who) after two attempts and it is fitting that it was the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. I am glad for that new journey as a Whovian. For the next few months til August I would be catching up Classic Who mostly Tom Baker and McCoy.

I discovered Sherlock-such a great mini series with acting from Freeman and Cumberbatch

For films-wise

Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man-GODAMNIT it was beautiful,in addition I am excited for his latest film Only Lovers Left Alive

The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings are pretty mind-blowing for me especially after visiting the Shire in N.Z. I mean I questioned to myself why I did not watch that!

Richard II from The Hollow Crown

Oh my god,I know the play towards David Tennant acting in this play..Guess what I found a Shakespearean play that have so much depth. It stuck in my mind with Whishaw’s haunting performance.

Black Orpheus by Marcel Came-God it was beautiful!

Watching Taxi Driver and two Italian Neo-Realist films ( Vulcano and Stromboli) in the big screen for me in Film Restoration Asia-guys. Man it was mind-blowing! It was sooo good

Two deaths that struck me recently

Kumar Pallana

Being a big Wes Anderson fan,it saddens me that one of his collaborators passed away. I hope Wes would do a tribute to him for the Grand Budapest Hotel because he makes a difference for him.

Before Christmas,my acting hero Peter O’Toole passed away..It have a been a week. I still cannot comprehend on the passing of that man. I miss him dearly and I do wish I would have a chance to say thank you to him.

However I do managed to meet with 3 famous persons

Lord David Puttnam,this man is my hero. Ever since he talked to us via Skype in my film school. He does enegrize me with his love for stories. I do meet him on February and my god it was one of the best moments in my film life. I would love to go to the education area. Aside from Peter O’Toole,David Lean. Lord David Puttnam is the best human if you get to meet him,you would be changed

I get to meet  Apichatpong Weerasethakul at film restoration asia where he introduced his debut film. He is very easy to talk to and wonderful 🙂

Simon Weaving-Hugo Weaving’s brother (Yep I nerd a bit when I heard that Elrond’s brother is teaching us). He is an amazing and fun guy ! BTW his lessons are damn fun

Making friends with Missmirandaslife,she is lovely! I love you gal!

Now here are the films/TV Shows I am looking forward for 2014

  • Sherlock Season 2 (It’s coming after new year’s day YES!)
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Captain America 2:Winter Solider
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
  • The Hobbit -There and Back Again
  • Doctor Who Season 8-with Mr Capaldi

My goals for next year

Well I am using a Doctor Who quote as one of my resolutions

“We all change. When you think about it, we’re all different people all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”

This year have been pretty tough for me,realizing that I am not too fantastic in the practical aspects of film and of course shooting makes me a nervous wreck. Man I realize I loved writing about films and I am reading more often (My literature nerd is leaking in me)

  • Improve my grammar and spelling-well I am going to write films for my degree,might as well get started
  • Try not to put a face in front of others,it is pretty much a bitch. I have to do this to fit in.
  • Take care of myself and be more postivite.
  • Try to watch at least 1-2 films per week,I am getting lazy because of tumblr.

So Happy 2014 everyone!

Phases…

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Ah changes are taking the pace Im going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time

Well David Bowie would totally understand what I am feeling about

I am itching to write about how I became such a cinephile,and I thought of that phase I have as a teenager. The anime phase that perhaps shaped me as this person.

What is a phase? Perhaps it is at that period of time where you got obsessed over these things and so. Perhaps there is a period of time where you are crazy about something and you are motivated to do that. As you grow older,you may not like it as passionately as before.

Like any usual teenager who searched for that identity ,you are looking for a place to belong. For me,I recall when I was 14-15 and recently transferred from a class that is not so kind to me. I saw one of my classmates who drew manga during my home economics class. That is where I got motivated to draw manga,and there I have the obsession of watching anime. I read random curiosity  religiously! I even asked my parents (who are pretty supportive) to get some merchandise of Fullmetal Alchemist (which I still owned til this day). I even tried cosplay (I only did it once and it was fun). Perhaps I though there is somewhere I belong

I think I started to slowly growing out of my anime obsession when I actually enter film school. I do leave cosplay for personal reasons. I got into a fight with a person I know in my film school,that I became jaded at anime figures who display hope and joy. I started to listen to 60’s-70’s Rock music. I discover the joys of film and sometimes it feels more fulfilling than seeing the animation on screen. Watching all types of films (including all animation) and diverging myself into reading all types of literature seems to intrigue  me more. I mean I get to somehow travel the worlds that are not simply one-dimensional.

I somehow look at myself in that phase,what am I in this phase ? I see that I was pretty lost and just desperate. I thought by looking at these two-dimensional figures with goggly eyes. I just want to masquerade myself in outlandish costumes to hide all my feelings.I do see anime as an art form. I do sometimes catch up with certain animes which I loved. However the joy of that it was over. It is not that I look at people being joyful at their obsession with anime with disdain,but I kinda look at it with bittersweet manner. I see that I grew out of it,it does not stick it out with me.

However if I look it with some form of gratitude,me scribbling reviews on my thoughts of what I watched in my anime episodes leads to me loving to research and write about film. I am glad that I do not get arrested for outrage of modesty as I read that hooha that an auntie arrested a cosplayer during AFA 13. I am glad that I appreciated animation and not to be too snobbish.

Sometimes you cannot turn back to the past but instead you move to the present.

Experiencing Classic Doctor Who

Well hello again! Thanks for looking thru my previous post “A hero’s journey with Avatar Wan.” I would be covering today is perhaps my adventures in tackling Classic Doctor Who.

Now let me tell you my story how I encounter The Doctor first.

(Some awesome theme music then!)

I grew up in the Nuwho era (The era revitalized by Russell T. Davies with Eccleston,Tennant and now soon to be off Matt Smith) In my teenage years in Singapore,Doctor Who is not so widely spoken here despite being from British roots. We are only crazy about anime and I know one friend who loved David Tennant as his stint as the Doctor.

I think it was until I enter Tumblr,then I know a bit of its fandom. Sometimes I do catch episodes of Doctor Who on the television but it does not get into me. I tried so many times to watch Doctor Who (The new ones),even still I do not get it. Basically what is so special about a 9,000 year old alien traveling with a police box?

It was until the ‘election’ of the 12th doctor that I got caught with the news of who shall be the doctor. Let me call it the nerd version of electing the president. It cropped some familiar names which I dread of being the doctor like Ben Whishaw

While being cool with a Doctor being played by a female,or a POC (Moffat I am looking for you for that). I was with the Whovians who are wondering who is the next doctor,and there was Peter Capaldi chosen as the 12th doctor.

In this little video,he introduced him damn straight “Hello! My name is Peter Capaldi and I am the New doctor.” Of course most are positive about this choice (with some naysayers because of his age). Of course I am intrigued by him and of course I diverge into his filmography…I realize he is a fascinating actor and plus he acted out my founder’s Lord David Puttnam film Local hero (apparently a fave for him).

Of course I am so not convinced on the magic of doctor who until the 50th anniversary special (I am looking forward to Pcap) and I do tried the 50th Anniversary Special-The Day of The Doctor which I enjoyed a lot but I still did not get it

It was then I started to watch that television film “An Adventure with Space and Time” which tell the origins of Doctor Who. I realized it was no- ordinary series for nerds. It was the circumstances that struck me,we have JFK’s assassination where all hope is lost and we have an unlikey crew,-A Jewish Female producer and an Indian director. Most think it would be a flop as why teach children history by showing an old bloke and his adventures. Eventually what I learned that it was the hope that Doctor Who provide to the children in the turbulent sixties and onwards. Yes The Doctor do have that case of humanity through his alien perspective. That is when I wanted to achieve the impossible-catching up with Classic Who.

Yes I tried the first episode that Mark Gatiss recreated-The Unearthly Child. My god it was slow as hell..however I am still trying to attempt it.

It was until I watched Logopolis Part 4 with Tom Baker and Peter Davison,because my sister liked 5th Doctor (Peter Davison)’s fashion sense. There I discovered my first doctor-Tom Baker and eventually my favorite version of the master Anthony Ainely. I do love Tom’s rich voice and his bohemianism. I was bummed that it was that episode where he regenerated into Peter Davison

Of course I decided to give Peter Davison a shot for Castrovalva and despite some little moments. He does not gel with me as I kind find him a bit too passive for me. Alright I laughed how bad the special effects are and how melodramatic the acting is. Yet I still hang on to that hope that I would like it.

Eventually I managed to suspend how crappy the effects are as I continued the Classic Who watching and that is where I found my utmost favorite doctor that may rival Tom Baker. I really wanted to cover Sylvester McCoy’s era because I know that I love his character in The Hobbit as Radagast

However I have a month til Christmas special and I decided Battlefield because it have Arthurian legends in Earth. Oh yes! It was where I found the true spirit of Doctor Who,usually I will get bored with the Classic who but for me that two episodes are so fun. I do feel the suspense and the enjoyment of that episode. I do love the antics of McCoy and there I found out the magic of Doctor Who. I do experienced what is like being a new whovain,I still miss Tom Baker very much (I want to watch him more) and of course see that twinkle in the doctor’s eyes

It’s a pretty short journey for me encountering Doctor Who,but I am hoping that I would enjoy Pcap’s season

An analysis of the hero’s journey:Avatar Wan from legend of Korra

Well hello everyone! I hope you are all good…

I would be focusing on the narrative aspect of the hero’s journey by Jospeh Campball and how does it get into Avatar Wan in “Beginnings Part 1 and 2”

Why should I discuss about this theory and Avatar Wan? I remember I was watching these,and I cannot help but to apply the molds of Wan’s story into the “the hero’s journey” from my “The western goes east” class from Simon Weaving. Yes it borrow from many mythologies,like Prometheus and the eastern philosophy of Yin and Yang but the story remains the same.

So what is the hero’s journey? It was created by this American mythologist and lecturer Joseph Campball (Thanks man!)

That is our man!

Well, he gather the structure of the journey of the  hero through his paper “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” after analyzing a whole lot of myths (I mean everyone from Chinese myths of The Monkey King to the Greek’s Prometheus). Of course they are so many variations of that,well like thus

It was famously used in Star Wars

As George Lucas used this module as inspiration for it!

Here is the one I learnt from my class…

It was divided into 3 sections,we have the world (i.e the character’s world),the threshold and the underworld

  • Call to action
  • Reculant
  • Helper
  • Test/Trials
  • Potions/Help
  • Main goal
  • Chase
  • Showdown
  • Give gift to the world
  • Hero’s change (either to go somewhere or perhaps death)

However it may not be filled all of the criteria but it still remains the same.

Now let’s move towards my analysis of Avatar Wan’s journey,feel free to debate with me about that topic.

Hero’s normal World

Looks like Disney leaks in Wan

Looks like Disney leaks in Wan

Wan is a poor peasant,who steals food from the Chus but however we see that he does have a compassionate heart for the animals and his fellow people like Yao and Jayin

Call into action

spirits7-684

spirits7-789

Hating to be passive,he decided to “steal” bending from the lion Turtle to benefit his company,by chickening out into the mission. Of course it leads to the revolt with the Chus,however it was unravel when Wan gave mercy to one of them

Recluantcy

spirits7-710

Of course he is unsure how to use his fire while surviving in the forest.

I do also add Wan did not kill the Chu brother

Threshold level

spirits7-1042

His banishment is perhaps the entrance to his test/trials

Trials/Tests

Well I think majority of what Wan experienced is mostly trials,there are many but I would bold those that are needed for his character growth

spirits7-1273

Survival in the forest

spirits7-1789

Saving Mula (It helped him to gain the trust of Aye-Aye)

spirits7-1650

entering the spirit oasis

spirits7-2633

Wan accidentally releasing Vaatu out of Raava (This is where he realized his true goal of saving the world)

Helper

There is the lion turtle (Because I loved them),who is willing to keep Wan’s power

spirits7-684

We have Aye-Aye and the spirits,there he learnt how to understand their nature

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I would also add the magical spring water as a helper too!

spirits7-2162

His companion Mula (he gained a longtime friend)

His training of his fire-bending do save him (and protect his peers)

The Main Goal

spirits8-412

We have the air-village invasion,it urges him to learn the elements within the year (Visit more lion turtles people!)

Now Wan released chaos (i.e Vaatu),now he does need some help again after that Spirit attack in an Air Village. How does Wan,the hero prepare himself to his goal

Potions and Help

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We have Raava,who we can say it was the helper despite her reluctance to Wan in the beginning

We seen more lion turtles! And yes they helped in giving Wan the elements (YES!)

The Chase

Of course to me what really set the chase is perhaps the conflict between his old friend in the past and his spirit friends. It really show how urgent the situation is,and Wan realize it’s a do or die.

Raava is growing smaller!

Wan is unable to handle Raava’s spirit!

The Showdown

It’s pretty obvious it was the Harmonic Coverange

IT’S NOW OR NEVERRRRRRR

O.K we worry if Wan would be able to connect with Raava’s spirit and if Vaatu would destroy the world.

spirits8-1969 spirits8-1674

Wan managed to convince Raava to fuse with him,and of course they kicked butt!

Gift to the world

spirits8-2815

 

Of course he managed to contain chaos,and in result bringing balance in the world. He sealed Vaatu in the tree of Time.

As said in this line (with animation porn) ‘This is my mission: to use Raava’s light spirit to guide the world towards peace.,I would be the bridge between the humans and spirits”

He wanted to maintain diplomatic understanding with spirits and humans

Hero’s change

*cues ugly sobbing*

Now let me dissect why we suddenly feel very sad when Wan is dying alone in the field. He gave this world,a new era through the media,to establish peace and propersity. They do not need to shield with the lion turtles. However he feel that he is unable to contain the “darkness” i.e people’s greed and vices.

As Raava promised Wan in his dying breath “I would be there with you all of your lifetimes

He is given an another shot in maintaining balance with all of the Avatar reincarnations (until much later I would not tell you as I am still recovering on it)

(Screencaps courtesy of AvatarSpirt and gif courtesy of Tumblr)

The hero’s journey would start again,with many….

I know it’s a little cliche,but it really works as Beginnings Pt 1 & 2 are two of my favorite episodes ever. It allows us the viewers to join the character’s journey. We do support him emotionally to see Wan grow as a character.

I hope you guys enjoyed it,by the way feel free to debate on the events of the hero’s journey of Wan. I am more than happy to interpret it.

In adventure and space,do we progress in the television industry

So hello everyone again,I will be spicing up that film blog with my thoughts on television shows (Mostly British).

Today I would be focusing on a particular TV movie-Adventure in Space and Time in my discussion.

As a non-Whovian who runs a tumblr blog, I am extremely aware of the Doctor Who fandom and its prescene in British television. I have a friend who loved Doctor Who (her favorite is David Tennant I.E the 10). Doctor Who is like synomous with everything British alongside tea,Shakespeare and James Bond. It happens that they celebrated its 50th anniversary last weekend,yes my country do have that live-screening of “The Day of The Doctor” at 3.30 A.M in the morning! Few of my fandoms can be linked to  Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy (The 7th Doctor) is in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit as Radagast (Jackson is a big Doctor Who fan),Christopher Eccleston recently appeared in Thor 2 as the evil elf Malkeith (It’s a pity that it did not mentioned him). The writers of Sherlock,Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat wrote episodes of Doctor Who. I just cannot escape its influence for Sci-Fi genre.

Now back to the topic An Adventure in Space and Time which is written by Gatiss,on the origins of Doctor Who in the sixties. It was the craziest decade in  pop  culture,you have The Beatles and Rolling Stones,the Bond Franchise is up and you have the counterculture rising. At this time Doctor Who was telecasted,it concede with the assassination of JFK. I mean it was a turbulent year of values. Not only that fact Doctor Who is shown on that assassination but the creators of it.

It was conceived by a Canadian who desired to teach children history. Ok a white male- Sydney Newman…But what strikes me is the power duo that pushed Doctor Who for what it’s. A Jewish Female Vertie Lambret,given an impossible task of pitching a madcap show of doctors,aliens and cavemen to veteran male producers. An Indian junior director- Warris Hussim have to directed an experienced William Hartnell and deal with the technical problems of that era. What? a female producer and a person of color directing something crazy ? I am so mind-blown. As the T.V film progressed,they did the impossible,Vertie convincing Sydeny (The creator of Doctor Who) to give Daleks as a model of tolerance. Making each child interested in the fun effects while learning something. Giving hope to British society in times of darkness despite  Hartnell battle his personal demons and the aftermath of JFK’s death. I admit I nearly shed a tear on the meeting between soon-to-be-gone Matt Smith (2nd youngest doctor to date) and William

Houston I think we have a problem

There I have an ephinany halfway in the film…O.K looking at today’s Doctor Who crew…most are white and male. Even the actors are male (even though I am looking forward to Peter Capaldi to get me started into Doctor Who).  The POC characters are mostly sidekicks,the females…I say they are one-dimensional in Moffat’s writing.

I did watch the 2nd half of Moffat’s “Day of the Doctor”, I do like John Hurt as The War Doctor (he is so fun). I do like the hopeful ending,I do like the “Ride of The Valkyries” invasion to freeze Gallfiery with Capaldi’s badass moment.I am aware of Eccleston’s refusal to come to 50th.It feels missing without Nine (My sister was upset when we did not see enough Eccleston) I find Clara rather boring (I do not care as I am fangirling over Tennant)

However reading at the comments of what others say,  plus tweaking Queen Liz I does not do good for the History buff Whovians. However I do not enjoy it as much as this TV movie and the five(ish) doctors reboot (a hilarious shortie written by Peter Davison with PJ and Ian McKellen goofing around). These two specials got me closer to the spirit of Doctor Who than Moffat’s special. I am somewhat convinced that Doctor Who is special.

I think what I feel we need to change after I watched Adventure of Time and Space is perhaps how we put female and POC perspectives in Doctor Who (or basically any television show of your choice). Let’s use Doctor Who as an example.

  • Female writers,look at fan fiction. Most of the writers are female (I know one who wrote fanfics). Why can’t you used the female psyche to nuture the characters in television instead of shallow stereotypes.
  • Now about female characters,I have a thing for strong female characters since secondary school. It’ss difficult to find girls I could admire. They are often terribly written….Perhaps let’s look at another television series Avatar The Last Airbender and Korra. The females are more than Damsels in Distress. They are the go-changers and if not equal to their male counterparts…Look at Toph     that 12 year old is one BAMF,she does not her disability get in her way and in addition all the guys liked her. Moving on to Korra,and there is Jinora (My flawless queen)  She is a 10 year old,pretty smart and very strong in her spiritual side (even outshining her dad). Despite her trapping by Unalaq,she let Korra to find the light and saved the world. Female characters should not be simple as black and white,but varied. Moffat if you are hearing me take ALTA and LOK to make BAMF female characters.
  • Person of Colour perspective,I heard that they do want a POC as the Doctor. I do not mind at all,as there are so many POC actors that could played that well-loved character. It would diversify the perceptions of colored persons! I mean the POC kids would be screaming in joy at the hallways,”I am the Doctor”. They found someone to look upon. Of course they could make their POC companions more significant than just be pushed to the sideline
  • About directors,editors and the crew of Doctor Who….How about a POC female director? A POC writer? I could name so many…Open your eyes and go beyond that generic “white and male” box. I think Doctor Who would be further enriched with plot lines that are so different in perspectives.

I could list so many stuff and mind you I did not touch the LGBTQ aspect yet. Do television do progress from its conception of Vertie Lambret and Warris Husseum pushing Doctor Who in the sixties despite its racial prejudice and gender inequality? A little…..we do seen POC characters on TV and film Steven Yuen in The Walking Dead,George Takei in Star Trek,Idris Elba in Pacific Rim and Thor (A POC playing a Norse God,that is awesome). Female characters,I can name Miyasaki’s females like San from Monokeke Hime and Sophie Hatter from Howl’s Moving Castle…. But it’s not enough,the crew must be diverse in perspectives…We need more female Television and film roles beyond costume designer and makeup artist.

In the end,this special actually provoked me to thinking about that..We need to do something to change how we wire TV and film industry. I would like to end with the quote that Hartnell mentioned in the special

“Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.”

I do believe that one day we would have main POC characters and strong females which I needed for my television series (and film)

Solitude with the movies

Well I have to write somewhere,so I am going to do something a little nostalgic and leaning to that perspective of Martin Scorsese…

Whilist I was watching the double treat of two Italian Neo-Realist films,I wished there is another person to share my experience when I seen the pregnant Karin climbing up that treacherous volcano in Rossellini’s Stromboli (1950) where I wept when she screamed God have mercy on me or that dread Magalnda have in Vulcano. I asked my mum and dad to join with me on this screening despite knowing that my parents are not that interested in these type of films. It feels lonely when you watch it on your own when watching films is an event of community.

I bet all you other cinephiles do feel that same feeling as me and that is why I am sharing my experiences with you.

My parents are from a poor background and they do not spend their childhood at the movies and focused on the practical aspects in life. It all started with me writing a book  in high school about what I wanted to be “I want to be a film director” . Maybe I was spurred after seeing a film version of To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) for my literature class.

Of course for my reading about film,I assume those few names that struck me,Alfred Hitchcock,Andrew Adamson-the director for The Chronicles of Narnia. I have no knowledge of who are these people…

There you know the story that Julie Taymor’s Beatles musical-Across The Universe changed my perception of film. I think my real habit of being a cinephile all started with me ticking off the AFI 100 films,with David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. It changed my whole being,as I could not sleep thinking about that windshield and Peter O’Toole’s jaded face for not saving Arabia after marathoning for four hours.

Of course in film school,we started watching films,Hitchcock,Vittro De Sica,Muramu,Fritz Lang,Wes Anderson,Jean Renoir..so many names..Sadly most of my classmates do not share that same passion for old films like me..They are more tech-savy than me  I really wanted to keep that habit to watch films,but due to the stress of school,it ebbs and flow at time. The only time I could marathon it was the holidays. It’s hard to find people with similar interests in old films.

I tried to persuade my family to watch these films with me,I managed to succeed a few times but I respect that decision they do not want to watch with me.

90% of the time I watched the film all alone. It’s disheartening as no one will discuss with you the aspects and symbolism of that film. No one will geek with you on how beautiful Brigette Bardot was in Godard’s Le Mephris. No one will wonder how the director created the vision. They just see if it was entertaining and that is all. As quoted by Tom from the Glass Menagire (One of my favorite Tennessee Williams plays)

“…People go to the movies instead of moving! Hollywood characters are supposed to have all the adventures for everybody in America, while everybody in America sits in a dark room and watches them have them! Yes, until there’s a war. That’s when adventure becomes available to the masses!…” – Tom

We just wanna forget this world. I have that struggle of being analytical and yet enjoyed the film itself.

Looking back perhaps the beauty of watching films by yourself,is that no one will pester you with massive SMS or knocking. You are your own audience. You feel the things and there you judged it yourself. You are not influenced by the person. You can express it in your writing platform,where I started on writing my anime reviews of what I feel. Perhaps it was that habit that is even healthier than what most teenagers do as Frank Carpa,the director of It’s A Wonderful Life famously quoted “Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream, it takes over as the number one hormone; it bosses the enzymes; directs the pineal gland; plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to film is more film.” You cannot get enough. It is alright if you have faces of horror that you loved Old Hollywood films,it’s alright if they cannot get the coda of The Bicycle Theives,it’s alright that you blurt out random trivia about the making of Taxi Driver. All people who are passionate over their things do feel secluded. However there is hope,once you can find the right community like what I do. You never feel alone. I am glad to go for that route of cinema. I do love that darkened room,with the film shutter rolling and being absorbed in the beauty. I do love exploring the filmography of my favorite directors. I do love reblogging the GIF sets of the films I loved. I do loved reading what people would think about that particular film.

So don’t be discouraged over the darkness of being alone when you watched that Kurosawa film at either your laptop or Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen. Eventually this is what you loved to do and I will do a pumped fist if you forget what others think about your habits and just doing what you love. To us it was cinema,as what Francois Truffaut quoted “Film lovers are sick people.”.

We cannot get enough of cinema.

 

Film restoration Asia retrospect

Well hello everyone,I am so super sorry for the silence of that blog. I have been a very bad admin as I am busy with my dissertation on Wes Anderson (which thankfully I am done) and lots of coursework!

However I was given perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity to pursue my interest in film history…Film restoration! As I do mentioned earlier,it was Lawrence of Arabia (and Hitchcock’s Rear Window) that make want to pursue my love for film preservation

Film_Restoration_School_Banner

That is where I am gonna tell my event…originally this programme is collaborated by the mother of all film restoration center,Cinema Bologna in Italy and National Museum of Singapore. They do ave the practical classes which I originally wanted to do but due to cost skip that thing. Oh well luckily they have free lectures and screenings for me to go to,thanks to the invitations of lecturers.

Here is a funny story I would like to share,originally there is supposed to be 3-5 of my classmates who signed up with the program. On the first day they came in,but I did not see them for this entire week. It is such a pity because they are so many lessons in regards to film restoration,so I would summarize my thoughts of that programme

The Highlights

1)Two Italian Neo-realism films in a row!

Nice! Personally I do think that I need to watch more Italian Neo-Realism films-the last one I watched was Umberto D which is like ages. Of course one does not simply skip a double dose of Italian Neo-Realism films. It was interesting as both broke the conventions of what I perceive of Italian Neo-Realism films,Rossellini do have that flair that is very opposite to Satiro’s sparse style and I liked it. Both are very strong films of their own…However Stromboli(1950,Rossellini) etch a very strong impression,that I nearly teared at the ending.

2)Meeting Apichatpong Weerasethakul

I know his name due to Uncle Boommee (2011) by actually him discussing his debut film was an eye-opener. In addition I do have a quick chat with him and he is a very easy guy to talk too! Apparently The French do love his films. It makes me wanna watch his body of works (Recommendations for him please)

3)Lawrence of Arabia and Taxi Driver restoration (in addition watching Taxi Driver)

It’s sad that Glover Crisp is unable to discuss his works on the restoration of these two Sony Classics! However by the look of the restoration clips,I was tearing up on the inside. It looks gorgeous on screen…I mean seeing the clips on the big movie screen it was mind-blowing. I was cursing to myself that Singapore should bring this,I mean if you are looking for film restoration-Lawrence of Arabia was one of them. The main head Dario said that it was the most remarkable restorations in 10 years.  I did approach the head of my local cinematechque if it is possible to bring that film here. So crossing my fingers to get this film on the big screen

In addition guys,if you do manage to catch Taxi Driver on the big screen,I swear it was the most magical moments here. The cinematography looks amazing,I was soaked to that film. It was mind-blowing beautiful.

4)Why do we restore films talk

Perhaps I see it as the most important talk among this week,yes you can have the practical aspects of fixing each film strip but why do we restore? It’s not glamourous. It is to give future people a glance on the past as we seen films as time capsules of cultural and historical significance. I nearly teared at the end and gave a quiet hell yeah. It retouched that core why I wanted films to be restored.That quote that Gian Lucan (The head of Cinema Bologona) said “You never battle alone” just tugged me.

Things what I learned from this week

  1. The state of Asian film archives blew my mind big time,for a while I have been bugging my local archive if I could take part. That panel enlightened me on that state,film preservation is Asia is considered second priority. I think we need to change that! I mean we need to get people excited about film preservation
  2. I do need to be more unaware about the filmmakers around my region…Watching Lewat Djam Malam (1954) by an Indonesian filmmaker that I do not know,gave me a shocker….I feel that film reminded me of a teen melodrama Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause..Yes it’s local yet it have a global film. It happened that I blog a picture on tumblr and there is a response of it…It happens they wanted to watch that..Sadly the films of my region is not easily available…so there is a big problem..
  3. Lastly I do feel that young persons need to be excited about film preservation,being the only person who is neither an archivist or a working adult but a film student. It is a shame that we do not take these lessons… I know it’s not interesting as shooting it but personally we need a love for old films and do not disregard them as films that are stuffy and old. As Martin Scorsese said “Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life time, we need to keep them alive.” If we do not care about the films. It could be gone and it’s sad. So I am hoping that the museum would at these people.

Overall it was an eye opening event on film restoration,I would like to thank the ushers who greeted me fondly when I came early,a lady Yvonne who I bumped at the Taxi Driver screening always eager at my thoughts,Mr Gian Lucan Farellini for such a moving speech on the preservation of film and the cinematechque team who made this event possible. I would like to end my thoughts of that event with a quote of Martin Scorsese,an advocate of film preservation

” And that’s actually part of the wonder. Whenever I hear people dismiss movies as “fantasy” and make a hard distinction between film and life, I think to myself that it’s just a way of avoiding the power of cinema. Of course it’s not life—it’s the invocation of life, it’s in an ongoing dialogue with life.”

These films spoke about our lives whenever the past or now. That is why we need to preserve that heritage

An appericatetion to Rushmore (1998)

“You’ve gotta find something you love and do it for the rest of your life”

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Living in Singapore, we are reaping the kids to be successful n climb up the social ladder. However there are some people who are not so.

Incase you are wondering why I decided to talk about this film. I just finished attending my grad ceremony. While I am happy that I have qualifications of these stuff,I can see elements of Rushmore in me. I would to talk my love of this film.

As you guys know I am in love with Wes Anderson’s films. I considered my second film god to David Lean. It’s quirky n textured wo
Story goes on high achieving Max Fischer who is recently expelled from school suddenly falling in love with Ms Cross and making friends with Herman Blume.

Sounds a little bit aloof and at most surreal ? However I will try to convince u guys that inside it’s the heart we can relate. I would be highlighting this point
through out this post.

First I would like to highlight Wes Anderson’s brilliant use of music. I always like Wes Anderson’s eccentric choices. Here it was soundtracked to the British Invasion bands (those who are unaware in music-it was a period where British bands are big in the 60’s). If I have pick out my fave music moments from Rushmore-
The quick one who gets away-The Who
Ubtiqously one of the most fun revenge sequences n interestingly he chose the second half of the song. In addition the acting of Bill Murray was amazing

Making time-Creation
How to show off Max’s abilities in Rushmore by a pretty badass montage? Plus the song was catchy.

Ooh la la-The Faces
This ending,it was a nice way to tie the loose ends of Rushmore. Plus the melancholic air of tht song fits so well. I did listened to the Criterion collection commentary of Rushmore,apparently it was pretty sad.

Recently I have a soft spot for The Wind by Cat Stevens for its quietness amidst the noisiness of the British Invasion bands n Here Comes my Baby is pretty cute.

Secondly it was the production design of it,which will president the next few films here. I particularly like the husband’s bedroom to show the trapped nature of Ms Cross.

However you can have great visuals n a kickass soundtrack. I always feel that the narrative must be strong in order to connect the audience. While some of Wes’ films feel a bit on the aloof side,Rushmore is perhaps the most relatable films among Wes’s filmography (along with Darjeeling). How many films can u totally relate to.

Perhaps max is my spirit animal I do notice my gestures is like him and so.. I watched these films when I faced a crisis n it reassured that I would be fine.

Perhaps one of those films I loved..

Thinking back on my Wes Anderson paper

Well hello guys again,yes I am still alive and I would try my best to keep it updated as possible. However I cannot gurantee as my third year is getting busy with projects and of course that dreaded dissertation paper that every student have to do. Now speaking about dissertation paper,O.K you have 8,000 words to write with your specialism. Well for the majority of my cohort,they dreaded it like the plague and meanwhile I was going “O.K no biggie” as I have ideas on writing on my topic on Production Design (It was the neglected child of the film theorists gang-you better change something O.K?)

Now here comes my story, being in my nerdy phase of watching The Hobbit and LOTR. I thought that it would be fricking awesome to do a dissentation on it. However my fairy-tales and mythology nerd have somewhat took away my topic. Luckily I do have some backup topics on what I want to write,I am also itching to attempt to do Wes Anderson’s mise-en-scene for my writing (I mean it was a Production Designer’s dream). My lecturer was like yup,your idea is more solid. So it sealed me the deal of Wes Anderson as my dissertation. Of course I was elated with joy that I get to watch Wes Anderson’s filmography again and writing about that guy is pretty sweet.

For the past few weeks I have been kinda of talking non-stop but Wes Anderson films to everyone who breathes even to my mum (Of course one of my classmates make me have a fangirl freakout when he mentioned that he finished Grand Budpast Hotel). I watched his films (with commentary thanks to criterioncommentaries when I was freaking out that my TDL (The Darjeeling Limited bluray cannot play in my DVD). Whenever I have a chance to get a seat at my local MRT (It was kinda like Singapore’s version of the tube or Subway) I scribbled notes on the settings and costumes,and process what it means. Every night I milked out Mother Google in finding articles about Wes Anderson (which was very little) and read it to get understanding. I changed my Itunes music to my playlist of Wes Anderson’s soundtracks and film commentaries (God bless Criterion collection for these beauties). I thought of people that need to work with him. Whenever I listen a song from the soundtrack of his,it flash me back the moment where it was held.

There is one moment I became Sherlock in his mind-palace  during Production Design class (with the punch of milk tea in the morning). I cannot stop but to think about Wes Anderson’s sets

I cannot fathom my fascination about him,his eye of detail is just killer-OMG the plate become significant and even the scruff thanks to his hands. I sometimes feel pretty inferior to Wes Anderson’s gorgeous production designs. I became restless. I just feel amazed and in awe of my new idol. I became sucked into his worlds of irony and brokeness.

However the reading of the key texts on aueter theory was pretty much a bitch. Usually I can understand a text easily and somehow it absorbed in my brain. I cannot wrangle what Francois Truffaut and Andre Bazin is trying to say,even the late Andrew Sarris have left me pretty baffled. The film gods are probably laughing at me on my lack of understanding.

Fast forward to this week,I have just received feedback from my lecturer in regards to my proposal. It wasn’t great as I think. I suddenly have my “The Graduate” moment when Benjamin is pretty shocked on Mrs Robinson’s seduction

I have to submit that proposal this week on Monday,with projects on..It’s gonna be  a bitch….. I have that writer’s block. Today I attempted to reconstruct my proposal to be clear as I humanly can (I am pretty much everywhere like Sherlock). I questioned why the hell do I want to write about that director that I slowly grew respect on. I could have done David Lean,my ultimate film god or something simpler but why Wes Anderson?

There I have that revelation after attending someone’s funeral after my feedback session. While hearing all of the eulogies and trying to be the rock of my twin sister,weeping eyes of for a person we barely knew. I immediately of  that scene of the first film I watched in conjunction of my paper-The Darjeeling Limited . That scene where the Whitman brothers witness a funeral of the boy Peter (Adrien Brody) is unable to save. It was set in Wes’ slow-mo shot with the song “Strangers” by The Kinks. Everyone was silent,all united by grief like his family members and friends dear to that person. I suddenly seen a vignette of my sister as Peter,that scene in the toilet where he was moved by Jack’s story as she cried for that stranger she is unaware of. Slowly it unveiled to me that I relate to The Darjeeling Limited (and slowly falling in love with this film)-I was like Francis (Owen Wilson)-I can be bossy and ambitious,my eldest sister was like Peter and my twin was like Jack (Jason Schwartzman),she kept most to herself and only tell me. I fought with my siblings like this. On that night after the funeral service,I can’t sleep so I decided to journal that night and I recalled moments when I see  myself as these characters he created-Max Fischer(Jason Schwartzman) from Rushmore

I m not too good in film school technically. I am pretty ambitious like him. I loved his saying “Do something you like and do for the rest of your life” gave me that comfort especially receiving my results.

The Royal Tenenbeums which I watched a few days ago is like my family where sometimes it gets pretty dysfunctional but we loved each other in the end.

His characters are just like me,struggling the problems of the adult world in their childlike way. All have vignettes of me in so many ways. That revelation struck me on that night. Perhaps why I wanted to write that paper so badly that I make everyone pretty annoyed about me loving Wes Anderson. It is because Wes Anderson touched me on that personal level. If David Lean woke me up on the beauty of cinema with his epic of Lawrence of Arabia. Perhaps Wes Anderson touched the heart in saying how can cinema impacted me personally. His wry characters navigating a broken world which is otherworldly grounded in reality. Some people find it indulgent,others loathed of his boringness. Whatever. If it touched the right people at the right mindset,then that is the beauty of cinema. Maybe it give me that clinging hope and strength to tread through my semester of writing nothing but him. So Wes…whenever you are busy preparing for the release of Budpast (BTW excited like hell)…thank you very much…..I said that I am very proud that my dissertation would be about your fantastic works which one day may touch people as much as me.

The western goes East

Hey everyone! Apologies for the silence as I have been busy. Well good news I am back to film school and I would like to share with you on my workshop experience. Well I am in my specialisim so I am majoring in Production design (super underrated area in film) and minoring in Screenwriting. Ok here is the thing I am not too good in creating my ideas clear despite having too many! Well it’s a struggle for me,but look at the bright side… It’s much better for me fiddling the camera n Premiere Pro lol.

It happens that the brother of Hugo Weaving (aka Elrond from the LOTR fans adn Mr smith from the Matrix) came over to my school to conduct a workshop. Of course I was fangirling because I get to meet a sibling of a famous celebrity. Ok you must look professional as it was someone big. Apparently he is friends with my head

Well you get to be taught by him,he was the funniest,warm and overall pretty awesome lecturer. He has the coolest background ever,a film critic,screenwriter n even an organizer. I sense the Weaving siblings are darn talented. He share fun snippets of his life n his knowledge do enlighten me! He even shared a story of how Hugo Weaving got his role in V for Vendetta.

For films-wise,well I get to know the Western genre better. Of course if you are interested,my reviews are here (Expect for The Good,Bad and The Weird) The western goes east. It does help to fill up for screenwriting and plus I do get to create my fierce bitch character here.

Well if you guys do have that chance to meet him for lessons,it was a great one!

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