Paranoid Park

The real perk of my job – getting to watch screenings that may not come to Singapore :P  I got to watch Gus Van Sant's latest Paranoid Park which is about a teenager trying to reconcile his emotions when he accidentally kills a security guard.

I quite enjoyed it and not only because I'm a Gus Van Sant fan.  I still remember being blown away by My Own Private Idaho and To Die For.  My least favourite has to be Good Will Hunting.

This film cast with unknowns who did a very decent job.  Or shall I say Gus Van Sant did well as a director because the actors on the red carpet seem to have the exact personalities they portrayed on screen 🙂

I guess the key is to pick the right people to play the characters you want on screen.  Kinda like what he did with Keanu in My Own Private Idaho.


I thought it was more accessible than Elephant but there were others I spoke to who thought otherwise.  The story told in a non linear manner could throw some people off but I like how Gus Van Sant dealt with the range of emotions by inter-cutting skateboarding scenes shot in Super8 with the non-skateboarding stuff shot on 35mm.  Anyone who faltered as a youth would be able to relate to them. Some moments you think you're going to keel over with guilt, at other times you think all you have to do is tell the truth and other times you actually distract yourself into forgetting about the whole thing … even if it is for just a while.

That was why I thought the the lead was pretty good and quite convincing.  Through his sometimes pensive and other times very carefree protrayal, you were led to believe that his struggle with killing someone albeit by accident, a very real one.  And one can never underestimate because he could be the next Keanu Reeves :P  Anywho, if he becomes a big star in the future, don't forgot who thought he was going to be one :)  After all if the very hot Keanu can be an A-list actor despite having no acting range, the possibilities for the rest of us seem quite hopeful yet, much less the latest lead of Gus Van Sant's 2007 film.

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Happy 60th Birthday, Cannes Film Festival

After London, we flew out on a glorious day to Cannes where the annual film festival had already opened and the weather was even more glorious.

First check out the apartment, Michelle and I stayed in.  I've been to Cannes numerous times and this is definitely the nicest apartment I've stayed in.

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After settling in, Michelle and I headed to registration and on to the Palais floor … we were after all there for work … so as much as I wanted to throw on my bikini and hang out on the beach, I found myself manning a booth taking questions about Singapore film.  Thank goodness the company was good 🙂

There were a couple of celebrity sightings like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie … just realised, how you see them in the magazines are how they look like real life at the festival 🙂

The thing I like about coming to Cannes is the quaint little eateries, like this tea place where the service was good which is very unusual in France 😛

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Lovely ice mint tea and fresh tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese … yummmmmmmilicious and of course, we went to the great wood-fire oven place too.  We had a little dinner party at the pretty apartment, it was all really quite lovely.  The only thing was that I wished I was on a holiday … … the Italian guy who was making our pizza was so nice and even took a picture of us by the oven 🙂

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Jules and I were entertaining ourselves taking pictures while we were waiting for the pizza to be made.  All in all, the 60th Anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival was rather quiet.  We were busy enough for work and made enough time for hanging out with friends.  With Jules moving to Japan, it's likely to be the last official trip we make together … coz never say never, I say :)  Maybe one day, we'll both be there because the film we made was chosen to be screened there!!  And maybe, just maybe one day they'll ask us to be part of the publicity too 🙂

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3days in London …

… not exactly since most of it was spent in meetings and crazy traffic so it's more like 1 day in London 😛 … I'm slowly learning that all modern cities have insane crazy traffic which makes me grateful for the traffic in Singapore, even at it's worst it's not as crazy as some of these cities I've had to visit.  That's my favourite part of going away – coming home but I digress this post is suppose to be about London.

After the wedding, unlike most brides, I didn't go on a honeymoon but a work trip.  Two days after the wedding to be exact.  Yes, A. is a pretty cool guy 🙂

So after a 12hour flight on a pretty empty place, we arrive in Heathrow on May16, at like 6am in the morning and although, I haven't been back in London for quite a while, the dreary weather was still the same.

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Still there is something about London that is quite intriguing, I'm not sure is it because of my love for the authors who wrote about England from Enid Blyton, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, William Blake to Dylan Thomas … hang on I don't think Thomans is from England per se but going through the streets of London brought out an intense need to write.  Wonder why being home doesn't do quite the same thing to me?

Just when I thought the dreary rain was going to kill my inspiration, I saw London like I never have before.

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Blue beautiful skies, warm weather and smiling faces looking up while they're walking about doing their thing.  Ideas were rushing through my head as I sat through meetings trying my best to look interested but really, all I wanted to do was sit in a park and write.

So in London I finished a beat for an animation short.  The idea has been brewing in my head for a while and I've only written a scene here or there.  Now I have to finish the script and next stop getting it done … hmmm somehow I think that's going to take a lot more than a trip away.

Keeping my fingers cross that I'll find my way back to London again and hopefully with a little more time so that I get to see little Saffy and her Mummy, Nat whom I didn't get a chance to even say hi to.  So, Saff dearie if you're reading this till my next trip to London, HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY, Ahoy Matey 🙂 *parrot flies off my shoulder in the direction of London*

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Overdue: Hong Kong day03 …

… ok these last few posts are VERY OVERDUE postings and I'm not in Hong Kong at the moment, just thought I clarify that coz I confused a friend into thinking I'm in Hong Kong at the moment 😛

So for here's the last retrospective post about the last day in Hong Kong where Jules and I checked out of our hotels early in the morning, met for breakfast before hitting the stores 🙂 and then to the airport for our flight home.

It was such a fun girlfriend day, chit chatting, giving/receiving the necessary second opinion when shopping and just having plain fun because no straight guy friend would understand walking into every store of a mall just to check things out 😛

So yes, I'll miss you, Jules but can't wait to read about your expeditions from Japan 🙂

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Overdue: Hong Kong day02 …

… the Filmart was pretty quiet and I think it's because we got there on the 3rd day … so not sure if we'll be coming again next year.  Besides the ferry, this trip was a real treat for me coz A. (then boyfriend and now husband) decided to come to Hong Kong for a short break too. 

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It was a real treat because when we go away, it's usually back to Canada to visit his family or to Australia to visit mine.  So we completely lapped up the whole experience … we're not sure if we'll be back to Hong Kong any time soon though … shopping and desserts aside, the pollution made the whole experience very very undesirable except when I was on the ferry (yeah, I really liked it)

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Overdue: Hong Kong Day01 post …

… ok, this is really late but it's been a while since I was last back in Hong Kong so here's the update from the city after we left Seoul.

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March 21, 2007
So after waking up overly early in Seoul, got on the plane, we were in Hong Kong before mid day.  Needless to say our hotel room at the Marco Polo wasn't ready so I had to change out of my travel plane clothes into my presentable work clothes in the handicap washroom of the lobby … asked my boss for 15mins … felt like Superman  and I was ready to hit the Hong Kong Filmart in what I think was about 15.8mins.

Marco Polo Hotel is on the Kowloon side and the Filmart was on the Hong Kong Island side.  Left to my own devices I would have trekked my way on the MTR and found my way across through the tunnel.  Thankfully I had my boss with me who lived in Hong Kong before and showed me a real treat in Hong Kong.

I've been to Hong Kong a couple of times and I've never had to take a ferry ride, so I was pleasantly surprisedSure, the ferries looked like something from circa 1930s, but they came quickly, was a really cheap ride (worked out to be some ridiculous sum like SGD0.14) and a really swift ride to get to either side.  I reckon it's the only place in Hong Kong you feel like you're not an ant running around chasing the same trail.  Also there's something about water that calms me, the bobbing up and down in the ferry that somewhat comforting and adventurous at the same time.

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Third Street Promanade, Santa Monica

With the trade show out of the way, Day03 has to be my favourite :)  After the show, I headed down to Third Street Promanade aka Orchard Road of Santa Monica and boy is it crowded on a Saturday night.  You can't walk 20 steps without having some street performer to entertain you, some more interesting than others and you can barely see what's happening if you're too late.

Like these group of breakdancers (I assume from the few glimpse I managed to catch) who had the crowd cheering.  Since I was late I was left with guitar playing duo and Japanese or Korean students:-

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The Asian students were really … … for lack of a better word different … but I have to say their performance had style, they had a multi-media approach as well with a screen on the side projecting different images.

Wonder if Singapore will evolve into such an enviroment where casual performers have a place to entertain?  One can always hope … …

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Customs cleared!!!

So Day02 was by all records much more successful than Day01 coz our stuff finally arrived and our booth looked like we were finally in business and not some sad secondary school set up :)  After quite a busy day, I was looking forward to dinner at my favourite vegetarian restaurant in Santa Monica, Real Food Daily.

LA is slowly grow on me … let me stand corrected, I think I can honestly say Santa Monica is a pleasant place to be.  So far everytime I'm here the LA smog seems to avoid Santa Monica and I don't have to run around in the crazy LA traffic :)  And with a view like that while I'm waiting for the lights to change, I won't dread coming back to Santa Monica if I have to 😉

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In Santa Monica … once again

I'm back in Santa Monica … this time for the AFCI Locations Trade Show where all the different locations in the world gather in one place and try to woo films to come to their respective destination and guess what happened?  Our package has been held up at customs … apparently because it contains a flammable substance … we reckon it's the liquid paper 😛

But after being harassed by me, it's been released … finally and we'll have our brochures and stuff tomorrow … so yes, we started Day01 with what ever we carried with us on the plane … and no one would have been the wiser 🙂

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2 days in Seoul

Yep, flew in Sunday evening and woke up at 4:30am Wednesday morning to catch a flight out to HK.  So it was two full days filled with meetings in Seoul.  Not bad for a work trip, if I don't say so myself :)  When we arrived, I got off the plane and walked into an airport that looked strangely familiar … even though I've never been to … so I guess the designers for Changi Airport can only do one kind of design lor :P  It is a real pretty airport though 🙂

After an hour on a mini van we reached our hotel which was a great place.  Not too expensive for a comfy bed, a small kitchenette, a washing machine (which I didn't get to use) with free broadband … what else can you ask for? 

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It had a Starbucks close by and a major subway station.  Totally would recommend it to anyone who's looking to go to Seoul but make your reservation through www.hotelwide.com … it gives a better internet rate. 

In the 2 days I was there I realise Seoul is quite the city that doesn't sleep.  With a major road running in front of the hotel, everytime I looked out of the window the traffic was heavy.

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So on the first night, Michelle, Chee Wee and I braved the cold and headed to Myeoung-Dong for dinner.  We followed Michelle as she confidently navigated us through the slightly confusing station.  She told us when to get off, which platform to change to and which train to transfer to and viola … we've crossed the Han River and arrived to a young hip part of Downtown Seoul … well, at least from what I saw it came across young and hip to me.  It even had a stage for hip hop performances … made me wonder what tourists think of Orchard Road in Singapore.

Oh well, the 3 hungry  Singaporeans found the first place that served also vegetarian  dishes and went right in.  I had a typical Korean noodle dish with a whole bunch of fresh veggies with Korean chilli sauce.  It was yummy but so very spicy … so spicy I had to 'wash' my noodles in the soup 😛 but so yummy I couldn't stop eating it.

The next two days was filled with work so most of what I saw of Seoul was through office windows or the window of our mini van … and I'm pleased to report the Koreans seem to like us enough.

And on the last night there I ventured on my own to check out a vegan bakery and a vegetarian restuarant.  I had a vegan chocolate chip cookie before dinner … it was yummy and started to wonder why they don't have a branch in Singapore.  Then I navigated the subway station on my own and found a quaint little vegetarian place which served a traditional Korean fare veggie style.  It was buffet style with all-you-can-eat kimchi, fresh veggies as well as Korean style stir fry.  I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the meal :)  My favourite bit was the rice … sticky wtih beans for extra protein!!

After dinner I walked around a really sweet art-sy district.  It was filled with cute little local designer shops as well as fine art galleries to roam through … and then you turn the corner and there's street art too 😛

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So when we rose before dawn to catch our flight, I thought I should come back to Seoul for fun soon.  For now though, I was glad to say goodbye, the chilly spring where temperatures ranged from 2 – 10 degrees is not my style … I'm truly a tropical city girl 😛

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