Oct 30, 2011

Big Awards, little me

Our good old friend November has returned, which means we welcome warmer days, sleepless nights and mosquito battles for the next few months. It's painful, and I hate summer. The best part of November, apart from finishing my second-first year at university, is the Asia Pacific Screen Awards Ceremony held in the Gold Coast at the end of the month. Kieran received an invitation to attend, and like last year, we're heading up the coast for yet another 'fancy' night. In other words, it's just an excuse for me to dress up and be in the same room with some big names in the Asia Pacific Screen industry. 

Last year we shared canapes with the producer of Paju and the producer of Jang Hun's new film Frontline (there is an embarrassing photo of me showing just this on the APSA homepage). We're hoping it'll be just as exciting as that this time around, and maybe even better like finally finding the courage to talk to Lee Chang-dong's producer of Secret Sunshine and brother. True story.

Oct 27, 2011

The Discovery of I

I often wonder about the choices I have made that have brought me to this very moment of means that I exist within. Beyond the picture of me sitting here in the living room, finally finding the time to write a meaningful blog post after watching another disgustingly engrossing episode of The Slap. What did I do to be in where I am today, and more curiously important, why did I do the things I did?

I wonder if there was a part of me in the past that knew what my choices would bring me to in the future. Did I know that I would be wanting to work in the film distribution industry? Did I know that I would be going back to university again? Did I secretly know that someday I would go back to university, and therefore not worry about dropping out of the first degree?

A thought has been lingering with me for quite some time, and it questions just this. I was in Melbourne for the Korean Film Festival - working - on my own time and expenses. I wanted to be there for the festival. I spoke to an old friend who I worked with previously, and he was surprised to hear that I was there in Melbourne - working - let alone for the same film festival I volunteered at last year. "But why?" he asked me. He sounded surprised, and I was surprised he would ask. 

"Because I want to." I want to be here, and this festival is something I believe in. This is something I want to do. Why else would I be here?

"You should be doing what you want to do," he said. I assumed he meant "Why are you pursuing someone's else's dream?" This raised the issue of working with your partner, but that is for another blog entry. I was struck with this 'dilemma' upon hearing him say this. Did he think that I was doing this because my partner was too?

NO. I won't beat around the bush with my answer. 

I'm not here because my partner works here, I'm here because I want to be here. I'm here because I want to earn the 'Thank you' you so willingly praise me with day by day. I'm here because I believe in this work. I'm here because I work hard, and do a bloody good job at what I do. 

I've been asking myself this question over the last few days, and have wondered much about this. I don't want to be treated like someone's someone. I want to be treated like I am myself. I am my own person. But is my own person someone who has been shaped by another? Is this what everybody else thinks and sees in me and the things that I do?

Just a thought. I think part of the perks of being 22 is you are a malleable idea - still. You are free to work towards the person you want to be, and if you've made a wrong turn, well, there is still time to get yourself back onto the right track. The ideas that have shaped me, whether they are from studies or from being with someone for so long - I guess the point is to take them and make something of your own from it. I guess that's the right idea.

"The World as Object" by Barthes

There is no sadness and no cruelty in that gaze; it is a gaze without adjectives, it is only, completely, a gaze which neither judges you nor appeals to you; it posits you, implicates you; makes you exist. But this creative gesture is endless; you keep on being born, you are sustained, carried to the end of a movement which is one of infinite origin, source, and which appears in an eternal state of suspension.” 
--- Roland Barthes, “The World as Object” in A Barthes Reader, various translators

Oct 26, 2011

Photo Essay: Malaysia in June.


All of these and more can be found on my Flickr page here.

Oct 12, 2011

The whirlwind that was KOFFIA

One thing this blog has thought me over time is that I hardly keep my promises. That is, when it comes to maintaining this site - I hope. 

June came and went, and I had finally found the time to return home after two years on holiday in July. It was partly because I had first 'lost' my job due to a conflict of interests (it ended well, so not to worry!), and I had returned to university for the second time at the start of the year which in itself brought it's own benefits - ie. lengthy school holidays. The trip was refreshing, and really pulled me back to my roots of being a Malaysian. 

Shortly after that, I returned to Sydney to a job that Kieran managed to pull together for me at his office. Basically, long story short, I had given the next two months of my life to assisting him with running the Korean Film Festival in Australia. In its second year, it was even bigger than before expanding to Melbourne for the first time, which I traveled down for in September. In that time, I'd learned that hard work can often go unrewarded in a work environment like this, and it's all about keeping your chin up when it tries to bring you down. 

Now that it's over, the days I live are shorter, less interesting and simply mediocre. I had missed an incredible amount of classes for work, and now I've been taking the time to bring myself back up to speed with life. I work part-time at Kieran's office as an assistant film programmer for a weekly film night we run, or basically working as his assistant. 

That's about it for now. No promises for when the next entry will be up, but I'm hoping to post some photographs of the last few months up as a visual aid. I'm hoping!