Daily Archives: 03/01/2006

this is just a penultimate finale of a journey.

Blessed my comfort zone with its advanced and sophisticated tools in every single thing we can think of.
Effectiveness, fast service, wireless gadgets, they were only a few items scattering through my mind when I began typing this.

While I had to cope up with the consequences of travelling in a shoestring budget (read: delays), I could steal some little time to check my emails from the airport while avoiding the long queue in the immigration. My mobile phone is immediately on and I wasted no time to push back my scheduled meeting for another half an hour.

From Changi to Holland Village to a meeting in Bugis that was only pushed back for 30 minutes?

I was a complete idiot!

So then you had me in a suit running up to my flat only to put down the luggages, and carrying the press release and whatever available questions I had set earlier while grabbing a plate of spicy chicken rice from the Bangkok airport.
Imagine, a freelance writer doing interview in his suit, leather shoe, tight jeans and striped white shirts of my pride. Imagine, being interviewee in her relaxed outfit of a polo shirt, sandals, and loose jeans. Am I upstaging her? You bet!

But hey, she was charming and chatty, two qualities I always yearn whenever I talk to people I just meet. Not to mention that what she is displaying is something worth looking at,t oo.

My suit journey continues afterwards as I decided to head off to some shopping places, and cladding myself in such clothing really paid off well, as I could notice the shopgirls started treating me differently. Oh well, devious deception, indeed!

Yet, the journey had to stop somewhere as now I’d rather be in my own style rather than desperately imitating GQ-look. Get rid of the suit, kick off the shoes, now I’m very much like me, a familiar myself with sandals, jeans, t-shirts.

And that familiarity was what brought me to my fullest sense, be it giving a counselling to this heartbroken lady, or effortlessly working out my charm when some stranger in a darkened room of a cinema hall paid a special attention to me.

Ah, what a beauty of having your clothes on, and your dignity in place.

And once again,I bid a temporary goodbye to my comfort zone with a wide smile of pride. Hmmm …. 😉

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Posted by on 03/01/2006 in English, Personal


how to survive a film festival

A dummy guide by a dummy. If it doesn’t work, I don’t know what else will.

1. Seek out what kind of a film festival it is.

There are different kind of film festivals anyone is putting up, and that pretty much depends on how those organizers wanting to get. Some established film festivals are clearly intended to launch highly publicised new films, of both arts and commercial values, and to market them to distributors worldwide. So you can expect stars to flock by, press to scrutinize the film venues, and these are how Cannes, Venice, Toronto often associated with.

Some film festivals in other countries has different kind of intention. Singapore International Film Festival always gives spotlight to films within South East Asia region, an applaudable intention considering the country being a media hub in the region. The clueless Jakarta International Film Festival has been busy defining itself as a film festival of whatever films they can chip in.

Bangkok International Film Festival? A film festival headed by a president from the nation’s tourism authority which definitely has no direct relations to the film industry. Oh wait! There’s this film festival organizing committee, but they’re based in the US, and that explains the lack of Thai presence in the whole event.

There you go, a still-failed attempt of transporting Cannes to Siam Paragon.

2. Mark out the schedule.

But wait!
How can we do this if the schedule was only released 3 days prior to the festival?
Thus, the gambling’s on.

3. Check out the venue.

Shouldn’t be a problem if the whole festival was only situated within one shopping mall.
Hold on.
A film festival in a cineplex?
A cineplex in a shopping mall only?
Be sure that you are friendly enough to the waiters/waitresses of the food court as you can only spend your meal break there. Hey, it’s a festival, what do you expect?

4. Work out your charm.

Brush your teeth every morning, noon and night, give your gorgeous smile to the festival officers or any volunteers working in a front barrier, the luck would be with you in the form of a press pass, or any pass to let you in for free.
Add that with rubbing skins or patting shoulders with fellow journalists, filmmakers, or whoever people with badges on. Striking up a conversation with some dashing film critic will turn out delightful, trust me! Especially if he remembers your name after the first lengthy conversation.

5. Be an unforgiving opportunist.

Now you’ve got your pass, you’ve got privilege to grab any films you want, better save up than feeling sorry to miss out any of them. Life’s not fair, I know, but then, whoever says it is when it comes to films?

6. Be judgmental.

Hundreds of films within the course of 10 days, that surely does look good. Let’s just say there are 150 films, that will give you an average of 15 film in a day.
Holy Mother!
What time are you gonna sleep? What time are we gonna go clubbing? What time are we heading to Chatuchak? This is Bangkok we’re talking about.
So why not settle ourselves comfortably in this decision: if a film does not impress you within one hour, leave the theatre, and nothing should prevent you from doing so. Award-winning films? Renowned actors? Directors in attendance?
How about shifting to another screening of films that satisfy your heart, mind and soul? The ones that you will clap wholeheartedly by the end of them? Now that’s what I like to have.

7. Indulge yourself.

Sitting alone in a dark room full of strangers while trying to comprehend the films takes up your mind’s work that much. Thus, if you feel someone giving you a look of appreciation, a suggestive gesture of tenderness, don’t force yourself to reject them. Take a good look, who knows you might end up having fun?
Add that to surrendering your tough principle of staying away from popcorn and sodas. Remember, watching 4-5 films in a day requires tremenduous amount of energy.

8. Act cool.

This applies to not having a starstruck if Willem Dafoe appears in front of you and looking much better in real person, or not looking drunk after continuously sipping alcoholic drinks before a ceremony begins.

9. Give yourself a day off from films.

Get a life, folks! Seriously!

10. Watch films. Appreciate them.

After all, this is what a film festival should be, a gathering for film lovers to communally watch films. Clap for them, loathe them, talk about them, curse them, praise them, whatever acts of appreciation you have for the films, this is the chance for you to show off what you have kept in store all these time.
Believe me, no more clueless people who storm into 21 cineplex watching any films the cineplex offers, or the posh-yet-brainless people often seen in a lobby of plush cinemas who can not even pronounce the title.
Film festivals are one of the reasons people like me would be more than willing to sacrifice anything to get a good film-watching experience.
From various kind of people encountered to wacky ticketing system, the package is simply hard to resist.

Alas, here’s to more!

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Posted by on 03/01/2006 in English, Film


this is how a february journey began …

Having spent the past 6 years, a great deal of time in my life, in this comfort zone, has made me seeing this place as my other home. Not first, not second, nor any degree of comparison. A home where I was born is different with a home where I could be at my utmost ease with.

Yet, reaching the comfort zone through a slightly different way is something I have never done on that past 6 years. Thus, my deflowering experience of taking a stride through Batam did make me wondering: there’’s nothing but the hills here! Of course it is still a far cry from the green view conquered by sister Maria with her open arms belting out “the hills are alive with the sound of music””, for the Batam hills indeed cry out for ““these hills are in need of more and more investment”. Actually that sentence works with the previous tune.

And just an hour away, I was taken to a different time zone of the same familiar view. Yes, I’’m talking about impossibly long queues of taking cabs, the police neighborhood station on my flat conspicuously only open from noon to 10 pm (that really explains the country’’s crime attitude), and the warmth of Holland Village despite the cold, windy air of that Wednesday evening.

Van Gogh with his glass of beer never fails to welcome me home.

Add that with the eye-popping makeover of my dreadful room to become something taken directly from IKEA display! Thanks to my precious roommate whose flair in visual design never fails to surprise me, my previous room was given a facelift where I could immediately feel comfortable with. Now, that’’s something, pal!

With such a great beginning, what could fail me?
A new cafe is finally present in library@esplanade with the lack of warmth the former occupant had, but the new additions of 3 cinemas in Cathay Cineleisure is certainly a pleasurable welcome, although I might be taken off from its target market. Nevermind. Where else I could enjoy a discounted cinema admission fee by using my card from OCBC, while indulging myself in a staple of chicken wings and green tea throughout a film?

And what could be better to close this chapter than having a healthy breakfast that not only feed my bulging tummy but also my large head with a small brain inside? Of course things might go to any direction when a breakfast talk began with comparing your future mother-in-law with the clothes hangers she mixed herself up with, but when it comes to Agatha’’s session, things would become more and more hilarious from there.

Oh, have I mentioned how I managed to perk myself up with generous discount from Borders? Alas, these were the mere reasons why spending time in comfort zone is comforting, indeed.

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Posted by on 03/01/2006 in English, Personal