What Are Crazy Things You Do For Movies?

07 Dec

It all begins with my dear friend Santi saying this:

“Val, I want an action. Something you’ve done.”

I swear if it’s something about impregnating …

“We want something you’ve actually done to show how crazy you are. And we all know you’re crazy ;”

I’m still digesting and thinking if there’s any alcohol involved. Because if it is …

“Let me put it this way: you need to tell me how passionate you are about movies. What are the crazy things you’ve done for movies?”

Exit false pregnancy worry, enter bigger question.

What are crazy things I’ve done to show how passionate I am about movies?

The question has occupied me the entire evening, so much so that you are reading what my mind is thinking right now.

Repeatedly I have written blog entries, which serve like a love letter to cinema. The first one, you can read them here, which tells how I was lured by my parents, then avid filmgoers, to literally “dark side” when I was a kid.
Then there’s another one here, for my emotional outburst during our dark period of cinema-going earlier this year.

Is this going to be another love-letter to cinema? Since “crazy” is the operative word here, I’ll let you decide at the end of the entry.

What I can be sure of instead is how my life has always been evolving around movies. The involvement ranges from being merely as a spectator, or what has been happening in the past six years: a slave in the film circle itself.

Thus, film has always been one of the main priorities, major in fact, in every turning point of my life.

When one does what it takes to get his/her utmost priority, what others perceive as ‘that-crazy-thing-you-do’ is actually a normal thing to do to us. Call it a norm or custom or habits, we don’t feel like doing anything crazy or special at the moment of carrying out the actions.

Only when we look back, like what you and I are doing right now, we realize how often those past things seem surreal.

Back then, I didn’t think twice to hurriedly cross border to Johor Bahru (JB) from Singapore just to catch a sneak preview of Mystic River back in December 2003 at 11 am! I was with Jeremy and his girlfriend. Long queues at immigration checkpoint made us late. We missed the screening. I sulked throughout the trip, knowing I had to wait for months before the film was finally screened in Singapore two months after that.

Of course, nobody made a fool of himself by carrying his passport on his 21st birthday, just to prove to ticket lady in Shaw Lido that I was, finally, allowed to watch R-21 movie. It was Sunshine, with Ralph Fiennes making out in a tree. And I was supposed to study for my exam.

If not catching up with events, sometimes we are taken away by movies we just saw. Who could blame me from walking in the rain, sobbing hard after watching Stephen Rea’s blind devotion to Julianne Moore in The End of the Affair?
Or leaning my head on a bus window, wishing to have Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind concept of erasing memory applied, because at that time I just got dumped?

(photo courtesy of

And then just like each and everyone of you, there are film-related moments in relationships.

Watched the first Arisan! with my very first date, and being a late bloomer, I was terrified anyone would recognize me. Well, I could hear some of my friends went chuckling, “aha!”
Then I also did my acting chop by re-enacting scene from My Best Friend Wedding when I met my last ex for the very first time. It went smoothly, as well as countless film-influenced events afterwards, including one that, let’s just say, also involves one of the most profitable movie franchises ever.

(photo courtesy of

Even in my friends’ relationships, film plays a huge part in make-or-break crucial period. Bringing the girl back in spotlight, I think Santi and me unintentionally caused Erza and then his date a very “destructive” dating experience when we all went out to watch The Tree of Life at 12 am. They loathed it to death, which kinda makes me guilty, because, as you can read here, I admire the film very much.

Sorry, Za.

And I’m sorry to anyone whom I often dragged to share the joy of filmgoing experience, only to be met by disappointment when the film proved to be horrible. The list is endless, which only to show that craziness does its trick to make a filmgoing experience memorable.

I could go on and on, especially with my past job in JIFFest (you had to see me yelling at a shipping company for delaying the delivery of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives in time and sitting on deliberation for awards that never fails to be exhausting and mind-consuming), or even with the current one where, to date, I have watched Sang Penari on big screen around 10 times.

But instead of that, let me ask you, “what are the crazy things you’ve done for movies?”

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Posted by on 12/07/2011 in English, Film, Personal


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