I am The Shai.

Saturday, April 30, 2005


This might be a tad too late but nonetheless...

My friend, Farah Lyna, who just graduated from Film, Sound and Video was mentioned on the NP website!! Woohoo!!

Sadly, I couldn't make it to the screening...

Here's the link...

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." (George Orson Welles)

Want to try writing your own story?

Friday, April 29, 2005


"As we advanced in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed."
(Vincent Van Gogh)

To You, be strong always.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

First Draft.

Jubilant! Posted by Hello

I've finally completed the first draft of my script!
Time check: 5:45 am.

and I found this on Mr. Miyagi's blog...
Cute trailer..wahaha...


Time check: 6:22 am.

And i've only printed 50 pages worth. Bahh...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

What Say You?

Mr. Keating: In my class, you will learn to think for yourselves again. You will learn to savor words and languages. No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world. I see that look in Mr Pitts' eyes like 19th century literature has nothing to do with going to business school or medical school, right? Maybe. You may agree and think yes, we should study our Mr. Pritcher and learn our rhyme and meter and go quietly about the business of achieving other ambitions. Well, I have a secret for you. Huddle Up...Huddle UP! We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business these are all noble pursuits necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, and love; these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman "Oh me, Oh life of the question of these recurring. of the endless trains of the faithless of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these? Oh me, Oh life." "Answer...that you are here and life exists....You are here. Life exists, and identity. The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse." What will your verse be?

If you had to stand up and be counted for, what would you say?

Monday, April 25, 2005


"Only your real friends tell you when your face is dirty."
- Sicilian Proverb

But how often does that happen eh?

The Interpreter Posted by Hello

Kidman stars as African-born U.N. interpreter Silvia Broome, who inadvertently overhears a death threat against an African head of state scheduled to address the United Nation's General Assembly. Realizing she's become a target of the assassins as well, Silvia's desperate to thwart the plot...if only she can survive long enough to get someone to believe her. Sean Penn is Tobin Keller, the federal agent charged with protecting the interpreter, who nonetheless suspects she may not be telling the whole truth. Silvia and Tobin, by nature, see life from different points of view: one, a U.N. interpreter, believes in the power and sanctity of words; the other, a Secret Service agent, believes in reading people based on their behavior, no matter what is said.

As I told DS, I had a movie for breakfast.
After 4 straight film festival servings, I treated myself to a Hollywood blockbuster. I needed a dose of adrenaline and suspense (but I wasn't expecting much considering it was 10am)and that was what I got from The Interpreter.
The script seemed pretty smart enough but I wasn't too sure as to how accurate the proceedings in the United Nations buildings were. (Yes, I know that the nation of Matobo is fictional).
There were tense edge-of-your-seat moments but they were pretty brief and appeared premature.
Nonetheless, with a cast led by the ever reliable Sean Penn, the ever remarkable Nicole Kidman and film location debutant, the United Nations building.
The Interpreter speaks one language and it's called Box Office Hit.

Breaking News:
I hate the Basic Theory Test. 2 times in a row. Nbcb.

P.S. Yellow Chair Productions is now almost official.

"It isn't what they say about you; it's what they whisper."
--Errol Flynn

So, what are you saying?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Morbid Morning, Delectable Day

"The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do. For instance, you can accept the fact that your father was a pirate and a good man or you can't. But pirate is in your blood, boy, so you'll have to square with that someday. And me, for example, I can let you drown, but I can't bring this ship into Tortuga all by me onesies, savvy? So, can you sail under the command of a pirate, or can you not? "

Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Carribean

Can you?

Vital Posted by Hello

Shinya Tsukamoto (Snake of June, Tokyo Fist) has always turned to the flesh as an important motif in his films. In Vital, the filmmaker delves beneath the flesh to see where memory intersects with our innards. Hiroshi Takagi (Tadanobu Asano of Zatoichi, Last Life in the Universe) is a medical student who wakes up in a hospital after a near-fatal road accident. The incident leaves him with injuries that have caused severe memory loss and his girlfriend Ryoko (Nami Tsukamoto) dead. After returning home to convalesce, he discovers a medical textbook which rekindles memories of his passion for medical studies. He eventually decides to return to university to continue his academic work and finds himself confronted with Ryoko’s corpse during an autopsy class. This leads him on a feverish search for their collective past through the physical remains of Ryoko’s body.

It's not too often when you watch a few movies that make you think back to back in straight days.
Land of Plenty and Samaritan Girl were both still lingering at the back of my mind when I awoke and I still hadn't finish discussing the movies.
And so, Vital was on the agenda first thing in the morning. I really liked the premise of the movie. However, I felt that the whole notion of Hiroshi having to dissect his girlfriend's body could have been further explored.
I won't say much about this film but if I could sum it up in just one word, it's morbid.

I enjoyed Tadanobu Asano's performance in Last Life in the Universe and Zatoichi and it was no different here.
The Johnny Depp of Japan perhaps for being able to transit into versatile characters easily?

On a brighter note, sand danced its way onto my toes with every beat of the drums that were blaring from a nearby radio.
While the rest went blading and swimming, I formed my own recluse and started writing.

"To unwind, to rest,
To play and break free.
The sun burns on the sea's chest,
a Sunday afternoon at ECP."

Saturday, April 23, 2005

SIFF Marathon

To DS.
"If I'm the teddy bear, why am I not getting the hugs?"

The Man With the Yellow Boots

Not too long ago, while in New Zealand, I learnt that the PCK Musical was looking for volunteers to help in certain areas of the production. I enquired about a particular part-time post and the lady responded.
Now, I didn't reply to her email but to my surprise, I was one of those who received an email today, being asked to go down and meet the director, so that he could get to know us better and to see which positions we could take up.

The shows will be in June and I think it'll be cool to be part of a professional musical setting albeit it being PCK lah!
Yes, I have my own musical commitments but the experience I would gain from it would be beneficial.
To go or not? Considering that it's on the same day as rehearsals.

Jia Yuan joined me on my SIFF marathon earlier today.
The three movies were worth the ticket price. They were worth my day. They were excellent despite of the different subject matters.

Of Love and Eggs

Garin Nugroho’s new film Of Love and Eggs is a humorous and wittily structured tale about a small market in Jakarta. A boy working at a stall that sells duck’s eggs practically obsesses on them, crushing or stealing them in a vain effort to rebel against working there. But they are just as easily a fecund symbol for love, birth and the boy’s wide-eyed attraction for a mysterious young woman who moves into the neighbourhood. A taciturn girl is on a seemingly fruitless search for her absent mother’s prayer mat. Older men idly run the mosque and attempt to teach distracted children. Lush in atmosphere, with short poetic or musical interludes by the various children as if marking chapters in a play, Nugroho’s newest work is a delight to watch.

At first glance, it seems very much like Majid Majidi's Children of Heaven. But upon watching, it felt like Love Actually.
The idea of love revolving around a very tight community evoked feelings of honesty and sincerity. And that was how Nugroho went about with the story. And he pulled it off without having to step one foot out of the village.
Love between husband and wife. Love between families. Love for a religion.
Love between brothers. Love between daughter and mother. It goes on.

But to search and to find, was simply divine.
A B+ for the film.

Land of Plenty

After almost a decade of living abroad in Israel, Lana (Michelle Williams, Imaginary Heroes, Prozac Nation) returns home to go to college and search for her only living relative, her mother’s brother Paul. Living on a modest budget with a family friend, Lana is a youthful optimist working in a homeless shelter who wants to see the state of affairs in the country change from its atmosphere of post-911 paranoia. In ironic contrast, former Vietnam veteran Paul (John Diehl) is a loner obsessed with weeding out people who are dangerous to the nation’s “security”. He camps out in a DIY surveillance van taking notes on suspicious people. When the two meet, the results are surprising and cathartic. Wenders has always had an uncommon eye for the lost and derelict in American’s urban landscape, and ‘Land of Plenty’ allows him to push this keen vision further.
Won the UNESCO Award at the Venice Film Festival 2004.

Wim Wenders scores with this movie. It's sad to discover that studios are afraid of marketing the movie as they deemed it as being too political. But this was a good movie. Though a bit draggy, the movie tries to remain subtle.
The two protagonists scream irony as their characters "bond" with each other.
The pacing was a tad slow but it built up the ending.

The movie depicts the exact feelings immediately after the 9/11 incident.
Rising fears.

I sympathised with Paul. A victim of the Vietnam War, here he was teetering on the fine line between obsession and patriotism.
To see characters stumble into a pitfall after revelations and stripped bare to his/her emotional core, was truly moving.

And both Paul and Lana's speech on the day 9/11 occurred brought balance to the movie and finished it off nicely soon enough.
An A for the film.

Samaritan Girl Posted by Hello

Made during the same year as 3-Iron, the prolific Korean director Kim Ki-duk’s ‘Samaritan Girl’ is an interesting continuation to Spring, Summer…(SIFF 2004), exploring themes of religion, suffering and absolution. Teenager Yeo-jin (Kwak Ji-min) and her best friend Jae-young (Seo Min-jung) want to save money for a trip to Europe for which they have devised an unusually self-compromising system. Jae-young earns money as a sex worker while her friend manages her clientele of older men. Jae-young’s rationale is curiously philosophical: she compares herself to Vasumitra – the prostitute in Indian legend who turned the men she slept with into faithful Buddhists. But this acquired detachment and equanimity does not stand the test of pain – both emotional and physical – which Jae-young inevitably leaves herself open to. As ever, Kim Ki-duk’s work is daring, discomforting and powerful. Winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival 2004.

The final movie really topped the evening. Firstly, we were surprised to see the lobby area packed to the brim and later realised that it was almost full house. And, if they were all there to watch the movie because of Kim Ki-Duk, they were on the same page as us.
I must say that Kim Ki-Duk has become one of my favourite directors as of late. Though I've not seen 3-Iron, I was told it was a marvellous ride.
And just as well, Samaritan Girl was a marvellous experience too.
Land of Plenty had set me thinking.
Samaritan Girl made it worse, though in a good way.
I was in deep thought throughout the train ride as well as the walk home.

Don't let the synopsis fool you.
It's not about the sex at all. In fact, there wasn't much sex to begin with but the implications were prominent.
The movie became a journey about discovering one's self. About doing things we don't want to do but we are obligated to do.
An individual with so much pent-up frustation never once addressing the matter with the catalyst but making collateral damage of those who stood in his way. That alone justified the ticket price.
It was about decisions. About consequences.
About how we deal with what troubles us most.
Poignant. Emotional.

An A for the film.

There were 2 common themes that prevailed from all 3 films.
Love and Family though it might appear unapparent from the respective synopsis for the later two.

"How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it."
(Marcus Aurelius)

Therefore, to think before you do.

Movie Previews: Kingdom of Heaven

This section is dedicated to my friends who always call me up to ask which movies are good to watch and all...
I'll be promoting movies which will be worth your money when the ticket prices increase as of 1st May. (Only Cathay will not be increasing their ticket prices)

Soooooooooo, what's on the radar in 2 weeks time? A certain Mr. Bloom.

Kingdom of Heaven Posted by Hello

From the Director of Gladiator, Ridley Scott, comes an epic romantic action/adventure set in 12th Century Europe and the exotic East during the Crusades. Orlando Bloom stars as a young peasant who becomes a renowned knight, saves a kingdom, and in the midst of it all falls in love with a princess. Co-starring are Liam Neeson, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons and Edward Norton.
(Courtest of Moviexclusive.com for the synopsis)

And oh, Cathay has already opened its lines for bookings.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Original Sin...

"All the sinful pleasures deep inside..."
Elton John, "Original Sin"

Embracing myself for at least 5 movies in a period of the next 3 days. Not that it's anything new to me when it comes to movies. Heh.

I committed a sin at Coffee Bean.
Pure Chocolate Drink.
A slice of a Chocolate of a Thousand Leaves.
Pure indulgence.
It reminded me of my classmates who would stuff me with chocolates and Pocky and the ones who stop me just in case I get "high".

I'm not sure if the rest of the group felt it but I felt like a child again today.
Just sitting there, laughing and making each other laugh; stomachs bursting at the seams, throwing square paper balls that smacked us in the foreheads, noses and mouths. Then there were the pokes that jolted us out of our seats.
I didn't go to Forum The Shopping Mall as planned, so, that was a consolation.

And seeing a friend smile so widely at other friends' gesture truly made my day.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye." (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)

The answer to the question, "Can God give love what it seeketh?"

Thursday, April 21, 2005

To Hell Marches the Ides Brigade...

"We're all going to hell"

Or so believes the cast and crew of The Ides of March.
With our constant mocking of each other, disturbing jokes and bitchy remarks, we've all booked our passport to hell.
We had Fadhil spouting "Repent! Repent!" back then and now we've got Rashad saying "You're going to hell. Heck, we're all going to hell."

Wanna know what else is disturbing?
When you can start to draw comparisons between the play and the people you're doing it with.

Electric Chair + Moby Dick + Molecule = Quirky Constantine Attempt Gone Wrong.

On another note, a stage version of Archie and gang?
We've found our Moose! "Duhhhh!"

I've got one more year of polytechnic life left.
Unless, I extend my stay due to unforeseen circumstance.
Then again, no offence here, but Adi and I realised that Poly Stage Factor's last president and vice-president both extended their stay for 6 months.
We must be realistic (rightttt) and be afraid. Really afraid.
Pleasantly surprised to see an AD (distinction) in the SMS that I received in the morning. The rest were C's and C+'s lah and one B+...but still...my first A grade in poly. Heh.
For which module? Advanced Speech Training. Hehe.
And as the cast members appeared one by one, everyone telling about them passing their exams, I mentioned to Adi, "I'm waiting for a failure story".

And I felt like slapping myself when Dayana came in flustered. Heh.

So, Kim Heng, how? Does it mean the bitch is back? WAhahahaha...

Dayana knows I'm kidding around. Sorry Tana. Heh.

She kinda justified our point about presidents and vice-presidents of clubs extending their stays though. Hehe.

P.S. Go buy this month's edition of MANJA.

After having a conversation with a friend regarding respect not too long ago, I came across this.

"You believe that flag burning shows disrespect towards those who have fought to preserve our freedoms. Punishing protestors shows an even more profound disrespect for the ideals that these people died for. An intact flag is worthless if it no longer stands for freedom. A flag burned to ashes challenges us to remember just exactly what freedom is."
(Dr. Mary Ruwart, The Liberator Online)

I really like the last two lines.
Such powerful words might just inspire a story. Heh.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Truth be told, I was slightly offended.
Just needed to get it off my chest.
If you think it's you, it's not.

It's dreadful having to wake up early during the holidays to attend a meeting which I was not looking forward at all too. Kept shuffling and squirming in my seat. My apologies.

I enjoy holding long conversations. Maybe I talk too much?
And the whole jive about to inspire and be inspired?
Cast members, y'all gotta brace yourselves for more of that from me during the course of the production.

The last time I used the word intense to describe a film, it was for "Closer".
Earlier today, I watched a movie that shouts intense. The movie also marks my first Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF) screening ever. Hahakz.

Brothers Posted by Hello

Michael (Ulrich Thomsen) has a successful career in the military, a beautiful wife Sarah (Connie Nielsen), and two daughters. In contrast, his younger brother Jannik (Nikolai Lie Kaas) is an unanchored wanderer with a dubious relationship to the law. However, the order of things shifts when Michael is sent on a UN mission to Afghanistan and is eventually missing in action and presumed dead. Jannik rises to the responsibility suddenly placed before him and is able to provide reprieve for both Sarah and the children. Gradually, their feelings for each other begin to move beyond empathy and grief. Unexpectedly, Michael returns home, traumatized by his experience, only to discover the home he left behind has changed dramatically. From the director of the Dogme film Open Hearts (2002).
Won Best Actress and Best Actor award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival 2004.

The poster's a tad small but still...
Di, who watched it with me said that it sounded Pearl Harbour-ish.

Thankfully, I need not do a review of the movie. For, I do not know the exact words to use to describe what I felt when I watched the movie.
It felt different. The audience was put into the exact spot as the husband was when he returned. He did not know what had been going on between his wife and his brother. Neither did we exactly.
Intense. Emotional. Powerful.
That's about as much as I can conjure.
An A- for the film.

"God help thee, old man, thy thoughts have created a creature in thee; and he whose intense thinking thus makes him a Prometheus; a vulture feeds upon that heart for ever; that vulture the very creature he creates." (Herman Melville, Moby Dick)

Something to ponder over, and ironically it was from Moby Dick!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Journey begins...

Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. (stands, leans against a wall, looking out into the distance) It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going, because they were holding on to something.

Remember this scene from "The Two Towers"?

Tomorrow marks the first official rehearsal session for the musical.

We're exactly four months away to this date.
It begins here.

Monday, April 18, 2005


I chuckled when I was reading today's edition of The New Paper.
In the thick of the casino debate, I found humour in a report about a jaguar escaping from a zoo. Heh.

Now, the issue might have escalated into national security had the jaguar escaped from the Mandai compounds but I couldn't help but laugh at a particular visitor's reaction when he had heard a roar. Heh.

As he heard the roar, he roared in return to the amusement of his nieces and nephews. He did this a couple of times without knowing of course that a jaguar was on the loose, not until a zookeeper came running by.
This, in turn, reminded me of Neil Humphreys' article in Today a few days back about a train station attendant back in the UK, who rushed forth to tell him that he was seated on a bench that might have been where a bomb had been hidden under.

Anyhow, what the visitor was what Zul or myself would actually do. No surprises there.
Imagine me or Zul running around the zoo being chased by a female jaguar. Ted Hughes would've laughed at the very sight of it.
Anyhow, incidents like this by no means pave the way for a film or even a tv movie.
You'll prolly see us on some Animals Gone Wild show over on AXN or some Animal Home Video show on repeat mode on Channel 5.

Anyhow, the article can be found at:


A Season's Heartache

Shay Given's Reaction Posted by Hello

Well, after our 2nd straight 4-1 defeat, Shay Given in the picture above pretty much sums up the season that Newcastle has had so far.

Well then, next season then lads...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Live Strong

Live Strong Posted by Hello

My sentiments exactly.

I've had enough of people coming up to me and asking if I got my wristband from 77th Street.
I've had enough of people wearing multi-coloured ones as a fashion statement.

I got mine because I support the cause.

Why did Nike launch the yellow LiveStrong wristbands?

As a tribute to Lance Armstrong's inspirational fight against cancer.
Live Strong also happens to be Lance Armstrong's mantra.

And the proceeds?

It goes into cancer research and supporting the Lance Armstrong Foundation's efforts in helping young people and their families live strong.

My grandfather passed away due to cancer.
It consumed him in ONE month and when it was discovered, it was already at Stage 4. So, I wouldn't want to see that happening to anyone.

I support the cause.
You should too.
Wear a Live Strong band today.

My heartache, his heartache

Alan Shearer Posted by Hello

My Friday morning was rudely interrupted when my Father revealed the results of the Sporting Lisbon/Newcastle United UEFA Cup tie.
My heart sank when I heard the result.
4 goals to 1.

At that moment, all I could think of was how Alan Shearer (above) felt.

This was the man who got me hooked onto the beautiful game in 1994.
When he moved to Newcastle United for a then, world-record fee of GBP$ 15 million, I switched loyalties.
That was back in 1996.
9 years down the aroad, I'm still supporting the team with all my heart.
Shearer may leave soon enough, but like him, my love for the club won't change.

So, stop asking me if I'll stop supporting Newcastle United when he retires, will ya?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Theatre Deprivation Syndrome

Theatre deprivation syndrome.
It occurs when an ardent movie go-er fails to watch a movie for a minimum period of at least 2 weeks.
Almost 3 weeks for my case.
Ended up with 3 movies in 2 days regardless the subject matter or level of crappiness...

Guess Who

It was a fairly mediocre movie that had few laughs but appropriate emotional moments. And it was a remake. Nonetheless, one should look out for Ashton Kutcher's next vehicle, "A Lot Like Love"

The Pacifier

I had more laughs watching this than the previous movie. Then again, the whole premise has been done before and I wasn't too pleased with the outcome.

Wet Dreams

Thankfully, the end result wasn't too sticky. Another mediocre serving. The sight of boys riding up pull-up poles made me squirm. And there seems to be a sequel coming up with girls in the spotlight instead. Hmmm...

And now, I'm left with $2. Right.
But that won't stop me from watching the movies that are being screened during the 18th Singapore International Film Festival.

Booked these three so far:

Brothers (Danish)
Samaritan Girl (Korean)
Tropical Malady (Thai)

Might book these few:

Vital (Japanese)
Cafe Lumiere (Japanese/Taiwanese)
Of Love and Eggs (Indonesian)
Land of Plenty (German)

Friday, April 15, 2005


I'm not shutting down massb.tk but from now on, things will probably more active around here...
I'm moving away from all that jazz to plain simplicity...

Here's where I left off...

New Zealand plus NP Strings Concert plus Production Camp equals to not much time to update this blog.I still haven't moved. Am having second thoughts. Heh.

I had a most wonderful time in Middle Earth.
I want to go back.
I miss waking up to the mountains.
I miss seeing the sun set on the lakes.
I miss the cool air.

Its pathetic when one mistakes a pile of sand in a quarry to be a mountain. Heh. Hallucinations.

When I've posted my almost 200 pics up somewhere, I'll tell y'all aight?
It's mainly scenery though and the LOTR locations...that is if you're interested...

NP Strings concert, Virtuoso XII, went quite well I must say.
'Scept for the incident that made Le Madame' angry.
And, was pretty surprised when we were told that we were the best hosts they've had in a while. Heh.
Rounded off the wonderful night with some Raspberry Frap from Starbucks. Lovely.

Yellow Chair Productions. How does that sound?

Production Camp for three WHOLE nights went just as well. I felt I really bonded with some of the cast if not most.
Can't say so for certain people.

Late night sleeping.
Word Games a playing.
Cards a shuffling.
Production up and going.
Pillow sharing.
Butts a shaking.
Legs/Thighs were aching.
Moby Dick-ing.
Watermelon spitting.
Watermelon puking.
Hamster-killer hunting.
Lectures so boring.
Forfeits were missing.
Music a blaring.
Guys a karaoke-ing.
Everyone dancing.

That somehow sums up the camp. Hehe...
Rehearsals start proper as of next week.
Time to work.

Opening Night: 19th August 2005.

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