Monday, August 28, 2006

Bad Education

“The best education in film is to make one. I would advise any neophyte director to try to make a film by himself. A three-minute short will teach him a lot. I know that all the things I did at the beginning were, in microcosm, the things I'm doing now as a director and producer."

Stanley Kubrick - filmmaker

Friday, August 25, 2006

Norwegian Wood

A new bookstore opened in Jeonju recently, a branch of the probably biggest book chain in Korea. Having some time to kill after watching a movie with my friend Pele, we went looking for it, not entirely sure of where it is.

After about 15 minutes of going into the wrong roads and alleys and backing up, we finally came upon it. You can practically still see the new shine gleaming against the setting sun. Quite beautiful, actually, and we went in excitingly.

I guess only book afficionadoes would understand when I lay the scene out upon you: shelves beyond shelves of books, magazines, and more books. There's a little tingle whenever I see a bunch of such items layered together in mass bunches. I can't quite explain the feeling (a feeling I've had since I was young, right up there with a child's excitement inside Toys R Us), but that's the feeling that engulfed me nonetheless as I made my way through the racks.

Eventually, I came to the English fiction, much smaller than their Korean counterparts. Not at all surprising, mind you, for English is still not that well used in Korea. But I'm drawn in like honey to the bee nonetheless, quickly flicking through their collection.

And then my eyes rested upon it. It.

My finger peeled it from its book ends, being squashed in between two other books by the same author. I had thought of buying it before, but that thought had first occured around a year ago, maybe more. And I still haven't got round to it.

So now I did. I took it, tucked it under the issue of Time, and went off to the counter to pay for it.


Hero of the Day: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer


Welcome back, Ole Gunnar.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I sit down, practically bristling with excitement. The bowl of ramen in front of me is ready to be consumed, hot steam rising visibly slowly, before embering into nothingness.

I had been downloading some episodes of the X Men cartoon of the mid 90s as of late. Tonight, the download for the 'Night of the Sentinels' episode was finally complete. This episode, out of all the episodes, struck my chord the hardest. Here, the X Men were assaulting a government building where records of registered mutants were being kept. While making their getaway, one of the team members, Morph, was struck by one of the mutant-hunting Sentinels. Wolverine, feeling a sense of loyalty and togetherness, goes back in desperation to help him. Cyclops, however, had other ideas, blasting Wolverine senseless with his laser optic powers. He knows that had Wolverine had his way, they would have lost both Morph and Wolverine.

This was the one episode that struck me because I credit it as the first time that I came across adult material (no, not of that kind). When I say adult, I mean the portrayal of adult-like emotions, like jealousy, rage, disappointment, frustration, and bitterness, to name but a few. At that point in my life (perhaps around 10 years old), I had been fed a steady stream of cartoons like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Doraemon and Japanese serials like Ultraman, Gaban, Black Masked Rider and Cybercop (I remember trying to make the big Cybercop gun out of shoeboxes! :>). Enjoyable, mind you, but they miss the mark somewhat.

X Men marks the spot, so to speak. Watching it, I feel like there's something there that's beyond mere entertainment, that it addresses issues worth considering (and issues that would become every more prevalent in later life, like discrimination, and love). I saw how Wolverine reacts to the love between Jean Grey and Cyclops. I felt sad at how Rogue has arguably the greatest powers of all the mutants (because technically she can absorb anyone's power), but yearns for something as simple as the human touch.

And I admire the fierce loyalty that Wolverine displayed for Morph in trying to go back for him (and the extreme dislike for that sissy boy Cyclops for ruining all that).

So I sat down, and watched the episode. They break into the facility, they go back out, they get attacked by the Sentinels, Morph gets hit, falls unconscious, Wolverine wants to go back, Cyclops says no, he starts off anyway, Rogue takes off her gloves and absorbs Wolverine's energy so much he gets knocked out, the team boards the Blackbird...


Hang on. This isn't what happened.

Where was the bit where Cyclops shot Wolverine? The one moment that had been bored into my mind for over a decade? Where was that moment when Cyclops, not Wolverine, betrayed Morph?

I waited for the whole scene to pan out. I waited, with increasing agitation, for that moment to pop up again. It's got to be here somewhere...

But it isn't. And it wasn't.

I felt very uncomfortable. I slowly realised that maybe one of the most important scenes I had deified, a most affective scene that had a big impact on me...

...never existed in the first place.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Seung Won aygay

Cigem, Seung Won kwa kaci ita.

Aju ceymi issoyo.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Heroine of the Day: Suraya Jermadi

There are few times when I wished that I was wrong. Completely, totally, utterly wrong.

"Remember that time when you went to watch the movie and Ibu picked you up late because of me?"

I had to smile when I saw that message pop up on my MSN. That must have been a decade ago, a long time ago in a galaxy far away.

"Yeah, of course I remember," I wrote, "I waited for two hours. Should've called Ibu or something."

"Yeah," she said, allowing herself to be momentarily blanked by silence. "I'm sorry about that."

I laughed. Somehow, time is not just a great healer, for it can also be a stand-up comic by itself, rendering moments of fear, anger and frustration into laugh-out-loud moments viewed later through the kaleidescope of life. "It's OK."

It's through that same kaleidescope that I look back to four months ago, wondering and even deeply questioning my sister, Yaya. I had doubted that she had the temperament, the temerity, and the tenacity to pull things together and make things work. To rise above herself, be more than she had been before.

There are few times when I wished that I was wrong. That was one of them.

"Yeah," she wrote. "You wanna know what happened?"

"OK," and a small mystery in history was solved ten minutes later. A moment not recalled for a while, but one that came back with such aplomb, answering questions asked but lost in those ten intervening years.

My wish came true, for I am wrong.

Yaya proved me so.

And I couldn't be happier.

I'm proud of you. You have done well thus far. Keep the faith, and know that the good moments and the bad lasts not forever.

And if they do, then you only need to turn and see me standing there next to you. With you.

I love you.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

everybody's dying.

the past week, uncle's mother died.
this morning,
my aunt died. my favourite aunt.
the four of them would enter our house,
with her holding a plastic container.
its a cake, that she baked
thats full of love.
she's no longer with us.
no more cake,
baked with love,
from Along Noridah

one by one,
returning to their landlord...

Suraya Jermadi (c) 2006, ntoxic8d

*This post was written by my sister on her blog on 9th July. It is about one of our favourite aunts, who passed away recently. I pray for your soul and for your family, Along. Though you are no longer in pain, you left us much too soon.

*Read Death Eater.