Sunday, December 4, 2011


Opens in Taiwan on 12/16, premieres in February at the Berlin International Film Festival

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I've spent the last two weeks teaching a filmmaking workshop for Golden Horse, with students from China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, and Tibet. Their shorts premier tomorrow...should be very cool.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Finally got to see Wim's Pina Bausch documentary...pretty awesome.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


One of the stranger movies I've seen in a's an ambitious four hours of Catholic ritual, confessionals, visions of the Virgin Mary, up-skirt photography (panty shots), cosplay, cross-dressing, first love, sexual abuse, broken families, incest, AV/pornography, blood-spurting violence, cults, and Ravel (Bolero). Also the lead actor looks strikingly similar to a young Lawrence Ko.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011


Roger Ebert has a new memoir out. I love this quote from him:

A film is not about what it is about, but about how it is about it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011


Recommended this movie recently to some friends...pretty amazing what you can do with a sweet story, some good actors, a small town, and a sex doll.

Friday, September 30, 2011


This was pretty much as badass as everyone said it was going to be. My favorite shots didn't necessarily involve driving or violence, mostly just close-ups of Carey Mulligan.

Monday, September 26, 2011


I was in Beijing last week for work, and met up with some former students I taught back at USC film school 5 years ago (I was a graduate teaching assistant at the time; they were all undergrads).

It was nice to see these kids all grown-up, living the expat lifestyle and working on all sorts of cool projects in Beijing (freelance writing, self-financed documentaries, self-financed shorts). It's actually quite inspiring compared to what a lot of graduate film students end up doing after grad school, understandable when you consider that the average age of a grad student finishing film school is probably around 30 years old (an age where you probably want to start making some money and settling down), compared to 22 for your average undergrad.

I can't say I wasn't envious. I long for my youth.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Pretty sweet. Maybe a little too quirky.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


A nice movie to watch on the eve of the Mid-Autumn Festival - Koreeda's Walking Still.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I'm going to be one of the instructors for Hou Hsiao Hsien's Golden Horse Film Academy this November. It's a pretty cool program (now in its third year) for aspiring filmmakers from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, to come to Taipei for a few weeks and make short films. Should be fun.

LANE 256

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Last weekend, two local Taiwanese movies You Are the Apple of My Eye, and Jump Ashin!, beat out all Hollywood movies at the box office, including Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which also just opened. Growing audiences for locally-produced movies have been a trend for the last few years, ever since 2008 and the breakout of Cape No. 7, but I think this is the first time since I've been back in Taiwan that I've seen two local films both doing so well (so well, in fact, that they're competing directly with each other for the much-coveted youth audiences).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Why are Korean directors so good?

Monday, August 8, 2011


"That's where 90 percent of everything fails, is in the writing. It usually doesn't fail in the acting, and it usually doesn't fail in the directing. It fails in the writing".

"First you write the script. Then you write it down".

Thursday, August 4, 2011


"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: "It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to."

- Jim Jarmusch


I've been listening to this album non-stop recently. Ah, 1983...

Sunday, July 31, 2011


I just watched Midnight in Paris this weekend - In one of my favorite scenes, Owen Wilson's character, having been magically transported to 1920's Paris, runs back one night to find that the same cafe he was just drinking with Ernest Hemingway at is now (in the present day), a laundromat.

Last week I was walking around Taipei with a friend, who pointed out the area where Edward Yang's family home used to be. Almost 30 years ago, this is where Edward and other notable directors of the Taiwanese New Wave (Hou Hsiao Hsien, Wu Nian Jen) used to hang out and watch movies together and talk about how they were going to change the Taiwanese film industry. Apparently after Edward passed away, a few people tried to get the government to preserve the building, a colonial Japanese-style home, for its significance in Taiwanese film history. The building was torn down anyway, and now in its internet cafe.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Midnight in Paris finally opens in Taipei this weekend. I am giddy like a schoolgirl.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Kevin Smith has apparently decided to retire from filmmaking at age 40, citing the fact that he's really never mastered the art of visual storytelling, and that for him to keep going would only result in diminishing returns. Also, it seems like he's got plenty of other interests (podcasts, comics, etc.) going on in his life that he wants to now focus on.

I haven't seen any Kevin Smith movies in a while, but I still remember during my junior year of a high school, one of my friends telling me about Clerks and how it was one of the funniest movies he'd ever seen. My buddies and I found a store that rented the VHS, and we must have watched it at least three times in one weekend. By the next week at school, we were all doing Jay impressions and talking about the independent contractors that died so needlessly on the Death Star.

ps - my favorite one is Chasing Amy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

LANE 256

I'm not sure why it took me three months to edit a 5 minute short film, but somehow it did.

We finished the color-correction today for Lane 256, a 5 minute short that will be part of a feature-length omnibus that premieres as the opening film of the Golden Horse Film Festival later this year. There will be twenty shorts in total, all of which are supposed to be exactly 5 minutes.

In a decision that was either really cool or kind of stupid, we shot the short on expired super 16mm film stock.

Friday, July 22, 2011


This is coming a little late...but congratulations to Lawrence Ko 柯宇綸, who just won the Best Supporting Actor Award at the Taipei Film Festival a few weeks ago for his new movie Jump Ashin! 翻滾吧!阿信.

Monday, July 18, 2011


"Who needs winners? They're not in the slightest bit funny or interesting. Give me a loser any day." (Ricky Gervais)


Friday, July 15, 2011


Still the best Potter movie?

Update: Just watched Deathly Hallows 2. Cuaron's is still the best.


I just watched the 4-hour version of Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day for the first time (off a digitally restored print courtesy of the World Cinema Foundation). The scope and depth of it is even more ridiculous in the 4-hour cut...watching it you feel like you've actually been transported back to the world of 1960's Taiwan.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


An interesting academic take on Au Revoir:

Senses of Cinema

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Way before I started film school, I bought and read a copy of Sidney Lumet's "Making Movies". At the time, I hadn't even watched any of Lumet's films, not even the famous ones like "Dog Day Afternoon" or "Network"...I think I just heard somewhere that he had written a good book to read for an aspiring filmmaker.

I still remember sitting on the couch in my parent's living room with my copy of the book, reading it and thinking afterward that maybe making a movie wasn't such a daunting least the way this guy described it.

Then I watched his films...holy shit.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


From Wikipedia:

A meet-cute is a convention of romantic comedies in which two potential romantic partners meet in a contrived way in unusual or comic circumstances. A staple of the romantic genre, the technique creates an artificial situation contrived by the filmmakers in order to bring together characters in an entertaining manner. Frequently the "meet cute" leads to a humorous clash of personalities or beliefs, embarrassing situations, or comical misunderstandings that further drive the plot.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I love the bittersweet (slightly ambiguous) ending. One of the best ones I've seen in a while...

Also, what's up with Japanese films and Debussy?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Sadly enough, I haven't shot a film in almost 2 years (not including the occasional commercial).

I'm now in pre-production on a short film for an omnibus project, sponsored by the Golden Horse Film Festival. It's a collection of 20 shorts (5 minutes each), all by Taiwanese directors, established and not-so-established. The actual feature-length omnibus will be the 2011 opening film for the festival.

My short is about a washing machine.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Funniest movie I've seen in a while. Also some of the best slapstick in recent memory. It's about a group of bumbling Pakistani suicide bombers in Sheffield...

You have to have a little faith in people...

What is it with me and black and white anamorphic romances set in New York?

Friday, January 28, 2011


From "Singing in the Rain"


From "Night of the Hunter"

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I've been watching a lot of movies recently (an average of one a day), which I haven't done in a long time. A very random selection:

(in the last 5 days...)
Night of the Hunter
Let the Bullets Fly
Tokyo Sonata
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

(and coming up...)
Golden Slumber
Singing in the Rain
Four Lions
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Save the Green Planet
Love Exposure
A Brand New Life
The Way I Spent the End of the World
Three Idiots