Watch “Revolution Trilogy” 睇「革命三部曲」

Friday, 18 March, 2016

Director/producer/independent reporter Kempton Lam has made three full-length documentaries from 2004 – 2015. Kempton’s debut documentary Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命 has been collected by the Canadian National Archive since 2009. The three documentaries are collectively known as “Revolution Trilogy「革命三部曲」 and are in Cantonese with English subtitles (廣東話、英文字幕). You can watch the three films at this YouTube Playlist (beautifully projected on your big screen HDTV or on your computer). Enjoy!

Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命」 (full-length 2005) (read film & Canadian national archive info)

HKtv Revolution 「香港電視革命」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)

Umbrella Revolution: History as Mirror Reflection 「雨傘革命實錄:以史為鏡」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)

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Your Name 君の名は inspiration, adaptation, thought experiment

Friday, 5 October, 2018

 

20181005 Your Name DVD and two books - DSC_3222.JPG

I LOVE Makoto Shinkai’s (新海 誠) Japanese animation Your Name 君の名は very much and is thrilled that the awesome Calgary Public Library has the movie (in both blu-ray and DVD) and also the two light novels (Your Name and Your Name. Another Side:Earthbound) as they serve for me as wonderful inspiration and chance for me to have some thought experiments re the adaptation!

NOTE: I will try to expand on this post as I have more time and things to say.

Created: Oct 5th, 2018        Last Updated: Oct 5th, 2018

Inspiration

I LOVE the storytelling and the animation, etc but my one key inspiration or reminder is more technical. Famed Hollywood producer Brian Grazer talked about when he was 24 studio boss Lew Wasserman told him to get a legal pad and pen to create some of his own IP (intellectual property).

Write a story. Write a book. Make a movie. Make … And create your own IP.

The light novels serve as wonderful examples of having back stories for the characters and the environments they are in. Case in point, teach Miss Yuki in Your Name is reported by fan wiki site as the same as Yukari Yukino (雪野 百香里) in Shinkai‘s The Garden of Words (another great film I LOVE, very different from the story usually told by the master Hayao Miyazaki).

re: Adaptation

There have been some negative press about Your Name being remade.

* Guardian, 2017 Oct 2nd JJ Abrams’ Your Name remake fuels fears of Hollywood ‘whitewash’ – Prospect of Star Wars director remaking universally acclaimed Japanese animation prompts backlash among film fans

* Forbes, 2017 Sept 29, Hollywood Has Its Sights On Ruining The Anime Movie ‘Your Name’ With A Live-Action Adaptation

*SCMP, 2017 Nov 26  ANOTHER PALE IMITATION AS HOLLYWOOD’S JJ ABRAMS PLANS REMAKE OF JAPANESE CLASSIC ‘YOUR NAME’ – ‘I will definitely not be watching any whitewashed c*** that comes out of Hollywood’: if this critic’s anything to go by, maybe not

I am much less harsh on “remakes” especially when sight and script unseen. New creative endeavours do NOT really have negative impact on great original works that came before them! I hope the team of J. J. Abrams and Eric Heisserer (who penned the script for the GREAT film Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve)does a good job

Thought experiment

I hope to have a few thought experiments of my own re how would I had adapted the screenplay if I were to have a chance to? And I would love to see how the HeissererAbrams version come out looking like.

*) Japan <==> US (NOTE: this seems to be a 90% must to fit the US audiences and the cultural fit of the two main leads)

*) Miyamizu shrine <<==>> Indigenous Americans religious beliefs (?)

*) Taki waking up as Mitsuha and checking her body out <==> ???? (NOTE: This has provided much comic relief but I am NOT at all sure how and if this will translate to a US script.)

*) Tokyo & Itomori <==> New York City (?) & (???) ; LA (?) & (???) (NOTE: Should be a fun task for location scouts)

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Oct 7th, 2018 update: I LOVE the movie Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heisserer based on the the 1998 short story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang, which I enjoyed as well. The adaption was beautifully done and magical. I really enjoyed the last bit of non-subtitled Chinese dialogue fragment.

“將軍,我在美國營地。將軍,你夫人給我託夢了,她說你應憑藉勇氣[[來幫助拯救世界。戰爭]]不成就英雄,只會留下孤兒寡母。” (The words enclosed in “[[” “]]” are even more of a guess but reasonable enough as per what I slightly modified from this Reddit discussion thread.)

Or in English, “In war there are no winners, only orphans and widows.” (Note: I struggle between the more faithful “heroes” for “英雄” but ultimately settle with others’ choice of “winners” because that may be closer to the western sentiment for “英雄” as winners.) Ref reading: Thrillist, “THE MYSTERY LINE IN ‘ARRIVAL,’ REVEALED

I LOVE this The Atlantic interview, “Arrival’s Timely Message About Empathy – The film’s screenwriter talks about the movie’s geopolitical elements, creating an alien language, and the importance of communication.

Sims: A scene that really stuck out for me was the conversation between Louise and General Sheng. It felt like the lynchpin for the film’s message of understanding and communication, because we’ve only seen him as a stereotypical figure: the stern Chinese general that you see on the TV.

Heisserer: Right! And why? Because we’re seeing it through the filter of the U.S. intelligence network; it’s their version of him. We’re not seeing a person. It’s our misinterpretation of what we think China is doing. So it falls into a bit of a trope, again, simply because we’re the U.S., the military-industrial complex, whatever you want to call it. We’re think of them as a potential enemy. And we’re taking whatever’s being said in Chinese, whoever’s translating that is taking it to the U.S. news and saying, “Oh, this is the big bad general.” No. We don’t know what’s going on with him until we see him in person. We realize he’s not the character we thought him to be: He’s really honored to meet Louise, and something really poetic and personal has happened there.

For the longest time in the script, for the scene where they’re on the phone, I had just written, “She says something in Mandarin to him, and we know this is his wife’s dying words.” And I just found it lovely and poetic, and I didn’t think about it further until [the actor] Tzi Ma calls me and says, “Eric, Eric. What does she say?” And I reply, “Well, she says something in Mandarin!” And he replies, “This is the most important line in the film, this saves the world, Eric! What is the line?” So I kept bringing him ideas, and he would say, “Eric, I love you, but this is terrible.” So finally, I gave him something, and he said, “I deeply love this, this is the line, this is exactly what should be said, I will use this.” And I finally see the final cut of the film, and we get to that scene, and she says the line, and [the director] Denis [Villeneuve], the scoundrel, does not use subtitles. So nobody knows, unless you speak Mandarin, what she says to him.

Sims: So I’m going to have to get a translator? That feels appropriate.

Heisserer: Precisely.

BTW, the 2005 film Proof based on David Auburn‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Proof are both pretty cool. And I also LOVE the 1996 film The English Patient and even rushed to buy and read the novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje.

Adaption from play, short story, novel, etc are magical art. So I refuse to point blank declare the Oscar nominated Heisserer must fail with Your Name. Those who often without much knowledge nor talent are often the fast to declare things/challenges as “impossible”!

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(TBC) Hopefully more to be added later.

Samantha Barks in Pretty Woman: The Musical

Friday, 3 August, 2018

I’m fascinated by Pretty Woman: The Musical starring Samantha Barks as Vivian Ward, a role originally played by the amazing Julia Roberts in the original movie.

2018 Aug 2nd via @SamanthaBarks “Ok so…. Julia Roberts came to watch us in @PrettyWoman tonight…and life will never be the same again!!!”

[see also VF article “Julia Roberts Had a Blast at Broadway’s Pretty Woman“]

Here are some great clips I found.

#Awesome //A never-before-seen music video [“I Can’t Go Back”] for Pretty Woman: The Musical, with #BryanAdams and @SamanthaBarks.//

Steve Kazee and Samantha Barks Perform “You And I” From Pretty Woman

Steve Kazee, Samantha Barks & More Hit the Rehearsal Room for PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL Interview: Samantha Barks and Steve Kazee

Bryan Adams, Samantha Barks, and Orfeh Talk Awhile About Pretty Woman

LOVE LOVE this: Les Misérables Movie- ‘On my Own’ scene – Samantha Barks

Note that Steve Kazee played the key role of Edward Lewis in the original Chicago production left for “family reasons” and Andy Karl replaced him. “Mr. Kazee’s family home burned down recently [in May 2018], and he has been helping his father resettle.” [a tweet with pix]

P.S. I’ve been thinking about adaptation lately (Alita: Battle Angel from the manga). Interesting to see how a

Your Name by Makoto Shinkai

Friday, 21 April, 2017

**SPOILERS WARNING** **SPOILERS WARNING** Some interesting clips.

Your Name (君の名は) by Makoto Shinkai is one of my most favourite recent Japanese anime films. In an NHK interview Shinkai stated, “I just wanted to pack the film with everything I had ever felt over the course of my life.

(NHK News), Making of “Your Name” – Makoto Shinkai

Makoto Shinkai Q&A following “your name” screening in Los Angeles, CA

スパークル [original ver.] -Your name. Music Video edition- 予告編 from new album「人間開花」初回盤DVD

Your Name Timeline Explained | Kimi No Na Wa | 君の名は。- The Kumihimo Theory [SPOILERS] (interesting with various additional stuff, right or wrong)

THAT SCENE from ‘Your Name’ EXPLAINED (Kimi No Na Wa)

YOUR NAME Ending Explained | KIMI NO NA WA (2016)

2018 Aug 4 Update: Your Name 10 Facts You Didn’t Know! Kimi No Na Wa Anime Facts (No clue why the video uploader use this thumbnail that is NOT in the clip nor the movie!)

Extras: (another great film by ShinkaiThe Garden of Words trailer

(also by Shinkai) 5 Centimeters Per Second Full Eng Sub 1080p

The Girl who Leapt Through Time (2006) by Mamoru Hosoda

Friday, 21 April, 2017

The Girl who Leapt Through Time (2006) by Mamoru Hosoda is an interesting film. Worth a watch.

Natalie Portman

Tuesday, 26 January, 2016

Just a collection of Natalie Portman videos I found online. Will try to add more later. NATALIE PORTMAN In Conversation With… | TIFF15

Natalie Portman Harvard Commencement Speech | Harvard Commencement 2015

Kate Winslet’s determination and “drive” got her the role in “Steve Jobs”

Friday, 30 October, 2015

How Oscar winning actress Kate Winslet‘s determination and “drive” got her the role in “Steve Jobs” (the almost complete fiction). Yes, Kate actually drove hours to try to win this role! Worth a watch. Especially for aspiring actresses (or actors).

Kate Winslet Interview – ‘Steve Jobs’ Telluride 2015

Note: Anne Thompson does amazing interview, check out her YouTube channel where I found the Kate Winslet Interview shared here.

Julie & Julia (2009) film commentary by Nora Ephron

Monday, 29 April, 2013

I went to the library to pick up the wonderful film Julie & Julia (2009) again so that I can watch and listen to the film commentary by Nora Ephron (who sadly passed away last year on June 26, 2012). I noticed some of the commentaries quite interesting and I found  someone (his name is Lawrence) has already transcribed some of Nora‘s wonderful commentary (from part one all the way to part eleven (with links to all eleven parts)) in roughly 10 minutes chucks. Incidentally, I found Lawrence’s commentary quite harsh (and rude) at many places for my taste.

Let me quote this particular insightful commentary by Nora from part eleven,

I first heard of Julie Powell, in fact when I read this article in the Times. I went and read her blog, which is completely charming and fraught with the energy and the hysteria of this project. She’s a very funny writer and… and it crossed my mind that it might make a movie and then I just couldn’t see how you did it—it wasn’t until I heard the idea… which belonged to Amy Robinson, one of the producers, of combining these two stories, then I saw… I saw that you could make a movie out of this.

But in fact, that article changed Julie Powell’s life and… she was flooded with offers.

Stephen Fry – 50 Not Out

Tuesday, 11 September, 2012

Stephen Fry – 50 Not Out. Highly recommended.

Ricky Gervais interviews with Brad Blanks

Thursday, 27 October, 2011

I am having a load of fun watching the many Ricky Gervais interviews Brad Blanks (YouTube) did. Here are some of my fav. (Brad’s website.)

The first one got me hooked!

These three interviews are off beat but insightful.

Bonus: Love this interview with Anna Kendrick.

In the following interview, Gerard is very personable even his PA is trying to take him away. And Jen just wanted the interview to end five minutes ago! Fun to watch still.

Campy Johnny Depp – Life’s Too Short

Thursday, 27 October, 2011

Very funny. Campy Johnny Depp – Life’s Too Short

1000fps

Monday, 2 August, 2010

This nice looking film’s one trick is its 1000fps.

Dancing Pigeons ‘Ritalin’

Dir: Tomas Mankovsky / UK / 2010

A foreboding yet strangely humorous depiction of a seemingly pointless modern day sword fight, shot at 1000fps.

TiVo CEO Tom Rogers interview @ Banff World TV Festival 2010

Friday, 9 July, 2010

Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo

It was my pleasure to interview TiVo CEO Tom Rogers when he was at the 2010 Banff World TV Festival.

In the interview, Tom and I talked about TiVo’s relationship with the advertising industry and television networks. When people are fast-forwarding commercials using technologies like DVR, television “needs to find different forms of inventory that involve different technologies as a way to present that [advertising] so that the advertising is compelling”. Tom gave the example of TiVo’s ability to pause live TV, so viewers can search and find any products appearing in a TV show (a sweater worn by an actress, a golf club used by an athlete, or any products on screen at the moment) and then turn the thought into an actionable transaction where the viewer can buy the product. TiVo is putting a lot of meta data into the TV content and movie content and in doing so, create a lot of “transaction opportunities”.

I also asked Tom When will TiVo come to Canada? And will the data collected by TiVo be transferable to Canada and other countries.

TiVo CEO Tom Rogers interview @ Banff World TV Festival 2010

Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo

Tom Rogers (r), CEO of TiVo

Here is Tom’s Banff bio.

Tom Rogers is President and Chief Executive Officer of TiVo (NASDAQ: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs). With a career that operates at the nexus of where media, technology, advertising and public policy come together for more than two decades, Tom brings to TiVo a distinctive blend of operational leadership and corporate strategy experience across multiple facets of the industry. Read the rest of this entry »

Ian Brennan, creator/writer Glee (19 Emmy nominations) @ 2010 Banff World TV Festival

Thursday, 8 July, 2010

Ian Brennan, creator/writer Glee (19 Emmy nominations) @ 2010 Banff World TV FestivalThe wildly popular TV show Glee (imdb), with 19 Emmy nominations, has become a favourite show of mine Emmy nominees for best actress (Lea Michele as Rachel Berry), best actor (Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester), and in particular Best Supporting Actress (Jane Lynch as the mean and nasty Sue Sylvester) were a ton of fun to watch.

It was my great pleasure to meet, listen, and learn from Ian Brennan, creator/writer of Glee at the 2010 Banff World TV Festival. The following are video clips of Ian‘s Master Class and press conference.

Press conference

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The following is Ian’s bio from Banff.

Ian Brennan
Writer, Glee
“Glee marked Ian Brennan’s first foray into television writing. Brennan began his acting career in Chicago working with the prestigious Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatres. He later moved to New York to pursue other opportunities in television and film, and has been involved with off-Broadway plays at the Vineyard, Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theatres. Brennan is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago. He was inspired to write Glee – a television show about a high school show choir – after participating in his high school’s show choir that never won anything and whose director later spent time in prison.”

An intro about the session,

“Brennan was inspired to write Fox’s smash hit show “Glee” – a television show about a high school show choir – after participating in his high school’s show choir that never won anything and whose director later spent time in prison. Read the rest of this entry »

‘MILLIONAIRE’ AFTERMATH: WHY DO STUDIOS KEEP LOSING LAWSUITS?

Wednesday, 7 July, 2010

For the record.

‘MILLIONAIRE’ AFTERMATH: WHY DO STUDIOS KEEP LOSING LAWSUITS?

Wed Jul 07, 2010 @ 06:58PM PST

By Matthew Belloni

Perhaps studio execs should start volunteering for jury service.

Wednesday’s $270 million verdict against the Walt Disney Co. over profits from “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” is part of a trend that should have Hollywood heavyweights worried: Juries lately are skeptical of so-called “Hollywood accounting” — and are not hesitant to award huge damages to creative types who cry foul.

Consider the evidence: A Riverside, Calif., jury of five women and four men, none of whom work in entertainment, awarded $269.4 million in damages to “Millionaire” producer Celador after only three days of deliberations — by far the largest jury award ever in a case alleging self-dealing among studio-owned entities. It unanimously endorsed Celador’s argument that Read the rest of this entry »

Ricky Gervais wins Sir Peter Ustinov Award for Comedy @ 2010 Banff World TV Festival

Wednesday, 7 July, 2010

Ricky Gervais and his wife Jane Fallon with RCMP officiersRicky Gervais & me

To us Canadians, the world famous funny comedian Ricky Gervais is Ricky Dene Gervais (watch Ricky’s acceptance speech to find out why)! 🙂

The following is red carpet interviews with Ricky including my question to Ricky about the finale of Extras (highly recommended funny comedy).

The following is Ricky‘s speech and a brief clip after receiving his award.

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This is part of the amazing scene from Extras I love so much and a very insightful and enjoyable interview “Ricky Gervais in His Most ‘Postmodern’ Interview Ever“.

Oscar winner & director of The Cove wins Banff Green Grand Prize

Wednesday, 7 July, 2010

Louie Psihoyos, Oscar winner & director of The Cove wins Banff Green Grand Prize

The Cove” is a documentary I love and highly recommend. It was my pleasure to see Louie Psihoyos, Oscar Winner and director of The Cove won the Green Grand Prize at the 2010 Banff World TV Festival.

In Louie‘s acceptance speech, Louie talked about measuring a documentary’s success in terms of the people you changed. And a movie as a “Weapon of Mass Construction”, something that changes millions of people’s life. “We are not making movies, we are trying to start a movement.

Here is the award winning trailer (yes, the trailer won award too) of the Oscar winning documentary.

The following is from the press release.

GREEN GRAND PRIZE
Green Grand Prize: Louie Psihoyos, Oscar Winner and director of The Cove. The prize recognizes outstanding achievement in creating public awareness and understanding of environmental issues through the use of visual media. Psihoyos was selected as a result of nominations received from all around the world, honouring his tremendous impact on a global level. Dr. David Suzuki, president of the Banff Green Jury, presented the award to Mr. Psihoyos.”

The Good Wife (David Zucker, executive producer @ 2010 Banff World TV Festival master class)

Wednesday, 7 July, 2010

The Good Wife, co-created by the husband and wife team Robert King and Michelle King, is a great TV series that I quite enjoy. It was my pleasure to attend an insightful master class by David Zucker, executive producer of The Good Wife, at the 2010 Banff World TV Festival.

David Zucker, executive producer of The Good Wife 2010 Banff World TV Festival master class

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The following is David’s bio at Banff

“David W. Zucker is President of Television for Scott Free and Executive Producer of both the hit CBS drama, THE GOOD WIFE, starring Julianna Margulies, as well as the Friday night stalwart, NUMB3RS, which will wrap its sixth season in March. He is also Executive Producer of the eight-hour limited series, THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, based on Ken Follett’s international best-seller. Read the rest of this entry »