Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Moving House?

I'm giving Wordpress a spin. Please bookmark my new blog:


Well, it's not really a new blog. Just an extension of this one. Will check back here from time to time though.

See you all later.

Friday, January 26, 2007

In Remembrance of Film Past


Decasia Home page

The New Yorker, 2004

From the New York Times, 2002:

''I wasn't just looking for instances of decayed film,'' Morrison recalls of his two-year excavation. ''Rather, I was seeking out instances of decay set against a narrative backdrop, for example, of valiant struggle, or thwarted love, or birth, or submersion, or rescue, or one of the other themes I was trying to interweave. And never complete decay: I was always seeking out instances where the image was still putting up a struggle, fighting off the inexorability of its demise but not yet having succumbed. And things could get very frustrating. Sometimes I'd come upon instances of spectacular decay but the underlying image was of no particular interest. Worse was when there was a great evocative image but no decay.''
Hua Yang De Nian Hua

From Wikipedia:

Hua Yang De Nian Hua is a 2000 short film by Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai that was shown at the 2001 Berlin International Film Festival.

It consists of a 2m 28s montage of scenes from vintage Chinese films, most of which were considered lost until some nitrate prints were discovered in a California warehouse during the 1990s, set to a song from the soundtrack of Wong's In the Mood for Love (2000). It is available on the Criterion Collection DVD release of In the Mood for Love as an extra, as well as various bootlegged VCD releases of Wong's features.

Rose Hobart

From Senses of Cinema:
Rose Hobart consists almost entirely of footage taken from East of Borneo, a 1931 jungle B-film starring the nearly forgotten actress Rose Hobart. Cornell condensed the 77-minute feature into a 20-minute short, removing virtually every shot that didn't feature Hobart, as well as all of the action sequences. In so doing, he utterly transforms the images, stripping away the awkward construction and stilted drama of the original to reveal the wonderful sense of mystery that saturates the greatest early genre films.

An except is on Youtube:

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Making the World a Better Place... with a Singaporean

I haven't been paying attention to The Authority for a while, so I only just found out that it was restarted last Oct. Say, doesn't that girl's shirt look familiar?

Yeah, that's Jenny Quarx. Leader of The Authority, 14 years old, the Spirit of the 21st Century, with unlimited (albeit undiscovered) powers and gay superhero foster parents. Damned cool. Time to start reading The Authority again.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"Samurai", by BBDO and Three Legged Legs

GE called upon BBDO and Three Legged Legs to create an animated fable for their Imagination Theatre campaign. Our answer: Samurai. It's a tale of a pint-sized samurai faced with a seemingly impossible challenge as proposed by a behemoth Emperor and his wicked minions

Cute. Take a look.

Ryan, by Chris Landreth

Table of Malcontents posted, via Google Video, Academy Award-winning animated short Ryan by Canadian animator Chris Landreth. Watch it before it gets taken down by lawyers.

Now this is what 3D animation should be used for. To reinforce characterisation and storytelling. Enough with creepy photorealism and talking animals!

Time to start saving

Holy OSX -- the iPhone! Engadget coverage

Let's see, by 2008 the bugs should be ironed out, and Asia might get a 2G iPhone too :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


The history of man can be written with objects. - Eduardo Paolozzi

Joseph Cornell
Review of Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell
An online gallery of Cornell's work

Jan Švankmajer
An interview
A Commentary: Animated Anxiety

Download his videos at http://www.eatpes.com/

Kris Moyes:

“The clip took 14 days to shoot and was all mapped out from the beginning. I notated the whole song and used that as my bible. The words and musical sections were divided equally allowing 7 days each. We were shooting about 25-30 words a day and working 9 hour days, (about 1 word every 15-20 minutes) which ended up being too much for my art director who pulled out halfway through. For the word section the more solid ideas were executed in the first few days allowing the others to ferment. Naturally there were a few that didn’t go exactly to plan so I had to treat them on a case to case basis. I think the results from the ones that needed lateral thinking are my favourites, especially “and” which was spelled out of the laptop, external drive, wacom tablet and ipod speakers.” (from Motionographer)

Download a high-res version here

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Reason to be in London #425

Fellini at the Barbican this month. And Bunuel in Feb and Mar!

Fellini's World

Guardian Film Blog

He sounds like a nice boss

WSJ.com carried an interview with Frank Gehry:

Considering that Mr. Gehry's buildings appear almost completely indifferent to conventions, I expected Mr. Gehry to be something of an egomaniac. Instead he turned out to be surprisingly modest. Describing a hotel in Spain that he just completed, Mr. Gehry said, "the rooms are comfortable," and when talking about the Guggenheim in Bilbao, he said that he was relieved that the people of the city liked it. The only time Mr. Gehry showed strong pride was when he was discussing being a good employer.

Most architects of Mr. Gehry's stature can staff the lower rungs of their office with volunteers and interns. "I am very proud," he says and sits up at the conference table. "Everybody gets paid. Everybody here is paid. There's no freebie interns. I've never done that. A lot of my colleagues do that, but that offends me so I've never done that." Like only one or two other topics in our conversation, this issue of how he cares for the people who work for him is something that seems to get him excited. "I am very proud," he says, again referring to his employees, "that they always get cost of living index raises and bonuses and more.

Another aspect of Mr. Gehry's old-fashioned virtue is his concern for what will happen to his employees once he dies. When I ask him if his age adds greater urgency to picking projects and finishing projects, Mr. Gehry says, "No. I am not that megalomaniac. No, I think the day will come and . . ."

Read the full interview here

I don't like his proposed design for the IR btw (you can view it here) Looks like a heap of raw fish in a dish of yu sheng, ready to be ravished by hungry diners. Then again, maybe that's not a bad concept for a casino...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Economics and the British B-movie

British B-movies, unlike their American equivalents, were the result of a quota, as The Guardian explains:
The quota quickie was an unlooked-for consequence of a state attempt to give British film a shot in the arm - the 1927 act, which obliged exhibitors to screen a greater percentage of home-made films. A guaranteed market was created overnight, and muscular Hollywood outfits such as Paramount, Warners and Fox set up British subsidiaries to supply the demand for as little cash as possible. (read more)

Looks like a case of unintended consequences. But the objectives of those policymakers were achieved to some extent, since a generation of filmmakers honed their craft under the twin pressures of low budget and little time. Useful experiences.

Starting the year right

Caught Pan's Labyrinth and got my Paprika OST from a friend who recently returned from Japan.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year everyone.

The iBook died again shortly before the New Year. I suspect HD failure. Can't fix it through either Disk Utility or fsck. Can't reformat the disk either. Repairs at Ang Mo Kio will be expensive -- the alternative is to replace the HD myself. There're instructions online -- I just have to find the time to do it.