Monday, August 28, 2006

Saint Jack

Got my cheap thrill of the day: I actually used a quote from Saint Jack at work. The one where Jack Flowers deadpans: "Some people when they're desperate they think about suicide. Me, I'm different, I think about murder."

The film's full of one-liners like that, and Ben Gazzara throws each one like a tight punch.

For his presentation yesterday, Ben Slater, author of the book on the making of this 1979 (officially, but the film was completed in 1978), spoofed Ho Tzu Nyen's Utama: Every Name in History is I, last seen at the recently concluded Singapore Theatre Festival. Admittedly, Ho's wry Powerpoint "lecture-performance" is ripe for parodies (which reinforces its point, but that's for another post). However, I couldn't help but wonder if there was some synchronicity between Ho's exploration of how people shape the kinds of history they want, and Saint Jack: a movie made by Westerners about a Singapore that they found alluring and exotic in its own way. There's even a scene where Jack is retelling the Sang Nila Utama myth to William in his own rascally way. (And if you'd bought the book, you'd have known that both men were drunk during that scene too.)

(More about the book Kinda Hot: http://kindahot.blogspot.com/)

Well, that's the 1970s for you. Even so, like Ben I'm hoping for a commercial release of this movie sometime soon - the ban was lifted in March after all. Not because the film's very good or particularly illuminating, but because it's a genuinely interesting character-driven drama shot in Singapore. Besides, if you were born after the 1970s, aren't you curious to see what Bugis Street and Boat Quay and Chinatown looked like then?

Friday, August 25, 2006


"For All Seasons" is an impressive Flash animation - where text turns pages into landscapes you can manipulate. "Autumn" is my favorite - now find yours.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Nostalgia attack! Rock In The Fine City has SBC music videos. Scroll down the blog to the June 24, 2006 entry (no link - hey, I didn't design their blog).

Monday, August 21, 2006

Published a year ago, but I only discovered this recently. From Harper's, July 2005: Chance Traveler by Murakami Haruki.
Aw shoot: I've forgotten all my Dr Strangelove quotes.

(Psst! Over here!)

I love that movie. /sniff

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Turns out that re-installing the Mac OS was a breeze. Now however, I have to update everything again. The Mac OS X update alone is over 140MB. Strange -- with files that big, why can't you update in stages? If you stop the download halfway, you have to download the whole darn thing from scratch.

And my trackpad's still not working, so I may have to go to the service centre anyway. I personally don't like using trackpads, but it was convenient.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Yep, my iBook crashed. It's been giving me problems for a while now: trackpad won't work; resets itself randomly; won't wake from sleep mode properly. I'd sit down and reinstall the OS... if I had a day or two to blow sitting in front of that white slab trying to figure out what the hell I'm doing.

To the service centre then. The iBook's actually lasted a shorter period than and given me more problems than a Windows PC. Why me?

Monday, August 14, 2006


(From Twenty Four Originally from illustrator Seymour Chwast. See this entry on Booklust)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Back from Hong Kong. Should be posting related stuff over the next week or so.

Speaking of travel, the LA Public Library has scanned its collection of vintage travel posters: Far and Wide.