Inside Black Mirror from co-creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones

Friday, 2 November, 2018

Black Mirror is one of the best anthology science fiction television TV series on air (on Netflix) right now. I just LOVE it. Now thanks to UK Guardian, we get to look deep inside Black Mirror with insights from co-creators, awesome master class with Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones!

Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones: Inside Black Mirror – (87 minutes)

Nov 5th, 2018 Correction: While I wish Charlie and Annabel are co-creators, I should correct and state that they are co-show runners while is Charlie the creator of Black Mirror according to the book info of Inside Black Mirror (available Nov 20 2018) they are plugging.

//[via Amazon] About the Author
Charlie Brooker (Author)
Charlie Brooker is an award-winning writer, producer and broadcaster whose career has spanned television, radio, print, and online media.

Brooker is the creator and writer of Black Mirror, whose fourth season launched on Netflix at the end of 2017 and won a BAFTA Craft Award and has recently picked up three BAFTA TV Awards nominations. The critically acclaimed, mind-bending anthology series originally launched on Channel 4 in 2011 and over its four seasons has collected awards including Primetime Emmys® for Outstanding TV Movie and Outstanding Writing for a TV Movie, Producers Guild of America, Rose D’or, BAFTA, International Emmy® and Peabody.

Annabel Jones (Author)
Annabel Jones is a long-term collaborator of Charlie Brooker’s. She serves as co-show runner and executive producer on Black Mirror. Previously Jones executive produced a number of shows presented by Charlie Brooker including three series of the BAFTA-nominated BBC Two satirical review Weekly Wipe; all seven editions of the annual shindig Charlie Brooker’s End of Year Wipe, which won a BAFTA for its 2016 edition; How Video Games Changed the World; Newswipe, which won the 2009 Royal Television Society Award for Best Entertainment Programme; Gameswipe; and the How TV Ruined Your Life series for BBC Two.

Jason Arnopp (Co-author)
Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Reflections on the Rule of Law in a Dangerous World’: The 2018 Sir David Williams Lecture by The Rt Hon. Beverley McLachlin

Friday, 26 October, 2018

Sir David Williams Lecture 2018

On Friday 19 October 2018, The Rt Hon. Beverley McLachlin delivered the 2018 Sir David Williams Lecture entitled “Where Are We Going? Reflections on the Rule of Law in a Dangerous World“. (more info: downloadable audiophotos)

Sir David Williams Lecture 2018

Sir David Williams Lecture 2018


4th Anniversary of Umbrella Revolution

Friday, 28 September, 2018

On this 4th anniversary of Umbrella Revolution in HK, I will be frank as I had not planned to revisit/watch any Umbrella Revolution video footage including my own documentary because I had watched my documentary and the footage in it probably hundreds of time during edit. But 4 years later, while I of course remember and appreciate the major players’ roles and efforts, the unnamed strangers who helped out by sweeping water on the the street are what affected me and what I want to remember the most.

An unnamed strangers who helped out by sweeping water on the the street (timecode 49m34s)

I will always be in debt to the 100+ content creators who helped made my doc possible. So I rewatched the credit sequences to remember and say thanks.

The amazing credit sequence (timecode 1h47m6s) itself is also packed with photos and artworks by some content creators’ works at the time.


(video) LOVE Talk 幸福定格 (7 years filmed 8 couples) director Shen Ko-shang 沈可尚 interview

Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

I recently had the great pleasure of having an extensive 2-hour interview with Taiwanese award-winning director of LOVE Talk 幸福定格 (see below for synopsis) Mr. Shen Ko-shang 沈可尚. after watching his new documentary (spent 7 years to film 8 couples) which I really enjoyed and found insightful.

最近慶幸有機會訪問台灣得獎導演沈可尚兩小時,詳談他非常好看及發人深省的新紀錄片”幸福定格 LOVE Talk” (七年時間拍攝八對夫妻) (影片簡介見文章末).

20180925 沈可尚導演訪問 Interview with Director SHEN Ko-shang

LOVE Talk 幸福定格 movie poster

LOVE Talk 幸福定格 movie poster

Trailer 預告片

Ko-shang was very accommodating in letting me asked questions in English (with some Mandarin translation when necessary) and then he answered in Mandarin.

沈導演非常包容合作, 樂意讓我用英語發問(必要時加上一些普通話翻譯),然後沈導演用普通話回答。

Since Ko-shang gave some very broad, in-depth, very insightful and sometimes unexpected answers, I wasn’t sure if it is useful or unhelpful to break the Q&As down and provide precise time codes to help viewers access a specific section.

由於沈導演給出了一些非常廣泛,深入,有見地且有時出乎意料的答案,我也不確定是否應該把每一段問答(Q&A)分開,並提供時碼 (time codes, 時分秒)以幫助觀眾跳到訪問特定的時碼是否有益。

My suggestion is to watch the whole interview from beginning to end so it flows better. But if you must, see below for linked time codes and my questions.

我建議從頭到尾觀看整個訪問,以保流暢。 但是,如果你覺得有幫助,訪問片段之後有我的題問和相關的時碼 (time codes) 連接。

LOVE Talk 幸福定格 director Mr. Shen Ko-shang 沈可尚 interview

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Here are some of the questions asked: 以下是訪問中的一部份問題:

Question @1m45s I heard from a HK organizer of Chinese Documentary Festival (第十一屆華語紀錄片節) the first screening of “Love Talk” was sold out on the first day of ticket sales. And the second screening are almost sold out. So they added a third screening.

How do you feel when hearing this good news? Do you feel pressure from anticipation of the audiences?

Question @3m52s Are you looking forward to Q&As with HK audiences?

Question @5m10s In 2010, you pitched 幸福定格 with the English title “Double Happiness Limited” at the CCDF pitching forum (華人紀錄片提案) and now 7 years + editing time later, 幸福定格 has evolved into “LOVE talk” (with the letters
L.O.V.E. in upper case).

Can you talk about what did you try to capture in the beginning and what did you get at the end?

Question @14m07s So it took 14 months to make: 賽鴿風雲 RACING PIGEON IN TAIWAN, 3 years to make: 築巢人 A Rolling Stone, and now 7 years to make 幸福定格 LOVE talk filming 8 couples.

How did you feel during the 7 years of filming and about one year of editing? Were you very worried about not getting what you want or need?

Question @21m28s When you decided you to start editing, did you ever go back to film more footage?

Question @29m03s Are there cases after their chats were filmed, they asked you to delete the footage or promise not to use them? If not, what would you have done if you were asked?

Question @37m26s If you had a time machine and could time travel to 10, 20, or 30 years into the future to talk to the grown up children of the couples, what would you tell them? Would you thank them? What would you say?

Question @44m11s How did you decide to place the funny moments, the heart warming moments, the tense and stressful moments in the film? In a sense, how did you discover the flow of the film?

Question @1h03m14s Since LOVE talk has already screened at film festivals in places like 西寧, 武漢, and 北京, and you’ve Q&As, something I understand you enjoyed. Can you give examples of three memorable audience questions that you were asked and your answers?

Comment @1h12m01s Mr. Shen: “In the three screenings, audiences all have asked this question.

Question @1h15m20s Some viewers who have watched a promotional clip would have learned one of the women in the movie had stage 3 liver cancer. After rematching the film, I realized it wasn’t mentioned it the movie. Can you explain a little of your reasons of actually NOT giving much details about the couples and what happened to them as some scenes ended mid-argument?

Comment @1h16m42s Mr. Shen: “The most important message of this film is “TALK“.

Question @1h18m56s My question about naming the film “TALK love” since TALK is so important?

Question @1h20m56s In the end of the film, we learned one of the husbands was in HK? Is he still working in HK? And do you know if he plans to attend one of the screenings?

Question @1h23m37s German director Werner Herzog is known for making some great documentaries and drama. I love his documentaries: Grizzly Man , Cave of Forgotten Dreams and his dramas like Rescue Dawn. You yourself have made both dramas and documentaries in your career. Can you briefly talk about your processes in coming up with ideas, planning, and making documentaries vs dramas? Do you have a favourite genre: documentaries or dramas?

Question @1h33m10s When you write your script, do you have actors/actresses in mind playing those roles? And how do you cast actors/actresses to act in your movies? Canadian director David Cronenberg once used YouTube interview videos to help him cast a movie (Twilight superstar Robert Pattinson in his movie Cosmopolis).

Question @1h44m42s What next for you with “LOVE talk”? Which festivals are you scheduled to attend? And will people in Taiwan get to see “LOVE talk” in film festivals or main theatres?

Question @1h47m25s What do you look forward in your upcoming trip to HK? What do you like to eat? What do you usually do in HK?

Question @1h48m33s Some of your HK friends make documentaries. Do you end up talking shops and each others’ movies with your documentary filmmaking friends?

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Here are some official film stills of LOVE Talk 幸福定格:

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LOVE Talk 幸福定格 @ The 11th Chinese Documentary Festival 2018
Date Time Venue
17/10 (Wed) 2:30 pm Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Science Museum*
18/10 (Thur)【Additional Screening】 9:50 pm MOViE MOViE Cityplaza*
20/10 (Sat) 3:30 pm MOViE MOViE Cityplaza*
*Q&A session with the director

** From LOVE Talk 幸福定格 promotional materials **

//LogLine:
He spent 7 years looking for the secret to the preservation of marriage. Taiwan director Shen Ko-shang, after his first year of marriage, started to question his marital life, and with these questions, he had been shooting 8 couples for 7 years. He invited them to have conversations in front of the camera, while the topics ranging from their in-law issues, children upbringing problems, to the division of responsibilities in their marriage, in order to seek for the answers to two questions: Do people really need marriage? How exactly do two people get along with each other for a lifetime?

Synopsis
One finds love, marries and then expects happiness. Once in marriage, love alone ceased to be the only thing that bonds the two together; things of more complexity are added to the play. A conversation, an exchange, is the only possible means of dissolving the boundary between two individuals. The film focuses on daily conversations between eight couples. In their trivial dialogues of love, husband and wife question each other on topics ranging from sex, parenting, housework division, problems with their mother-in-law, and even dullness of marital life. The conversations reflect the authenticity of characters’ conditions of living, exploring the depth of intimate relationship in marriage while at the same time shedding a dim light on the significance of happiness. Perhaps this sort of happiness lies in the journey where seeking is the end itself, and it can certainly not be captured in frame.//

//影片簡介
作品曾獲亞太影展最佳紀錄片、臺北電影節首獎導演沈可尚,歷時七年,執著記錄八對邁入婚姻殿堂、時間長短不一的夫妻生活對話,他們開誠佈公、質問著對方日常生活中不會觸及的話題,從為什麼要與對方結婚到不再有激情的婚姻生活;是否厭倦對方到一觸及發的婆媳問題;還有關於性、關於生孩子、關於受不了對方的點點滴滴…。
其中中國大陸的小夫妻阿飛和樂會,他們在共同打工的地方認識、相愛、結婚,通過質樸的對話,可以看到內地年輕一代農民工的婚戀觀念;來自臺灣的白領年輕夫妻勇諴和薇之,他們展現了城市新潮夫妻的對於婚姻生活的期待與妥協;另外還有教授、小吃店老闆、白領職員、藝術工作者、創業家、家庭主婦等來自不同地方不同處境的夫妻,將帶領觀眾再次反思自身對婚姻與幸福的定義。//

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Further exploration (interviews & news):

*) Ko-shang did an insightful and fun to listen to hour long interview with 人氣心理專家鄧惠文 (精神科醫師/心理治療師) on her radio show. You can listen to the full News98 radio show on YouTube.

*) 《幸福定格》導演沈可尚:婚姻,比愛情深刻,比親情好玩 (ref)

*) 导演沈可尚:爱比我们想象中的复杂得多


2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka – What I learn

Monday, 10 September, 2018

2018 US Open champion is Naomi Osaka and this post collects some of what I’ve learned over the last few days by focusing on areas that I see positives things and lovely moments. Things I think we learn the amid controversies. Have a read of this op-ed by tennis legend and former champion Martina Navratilova: “What Serena Got Wrong – Just because the guys might be able to get away with it doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.

Sept 9th, 2018, US Open, “2018 US Open Press Conference: Naomi Osaka” I LOVE the #GoPro moment at 2:54 and the 8:23 Q&A that got Naomi emotional. Watch this insightful and lovely exchange at 3:10 for example of her answer re “getting in fight with herself”!

Sept 9th, ESPN (with a nice bit of game reply/highlight), [FULL] Naomi Osaka interview after defeating Serena Williams in 2018 Grand Slam final

Sept 10th, 2018, WTA, “Champions Corner: Osaka sets sights on Singapore debut” (audio interview, new stuff starts ~20:52)

PBS News Hours, Sept 9th, 2018: “Osaka’s win at U.S. Open overshadowed by Williams’ penalties

NOTE: I found the above analysis, sports reporter Lindsay Gibbs of ThinkProgress and Sandra Harwitt, who covered the match for USA Today. And I love Harwitt’s answer @2:40 in the news program, (here is an excerpt with emphasis added)

“SANDRA HERWITT:

I absolutely disagree. I know of Ramos and I believe Carlos Remus to be one of the best umpires in the business. I don’t think it was sexist at all. I don’t believe him to be a sexist. I know that he called Novak Djokovic out for coaching and for a record violation at Wimbledon this year. A coaching rule is actually the player takes the fine. But the rule is actually against the coach. He admitted he did that. It doesn’t matter whether she saw it or not. And to me it also doesn’t really matter if it happens all the time. As somebody who was 23 grand slam titles and 36 years of experience, almost 37, she should’ve let it go. Carlos is one of the few umpires that really has the guts to go out there and abide by the rules.”

Sept 10th, TODAY, “US Open Winner Naomi Osaka Speaks Out On Controversial Serena Williams MatchRead the rest of this entry »


Crazy Rich Asians – clips, songs & articles collection

Monday, 13 August, 2018

I LOVE the book (part 2 China Rich Girlfriend, part 3 Rich People Problems) so I’m thrilled & excited to watch Crazy Rich Asians on its opening day this Wednesday (Aug 15th, 2018). (Aug 15th night update: Just watched the movie and LOVED it!) (Note: May add more to this post later.)

CRAZY RICH ASIANS – Official Trailer 1

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Cast & Director Share Crazy Stories | THR

NBC Nightly News Extended Interview: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Actors And Director Discuss Film’s Impact

LA Times, The Crazy Road to “Crazy Rich Asians”

Awkwafina on Her Family, Her Name & Crazy Rich Asians

At press time the film has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97% fresh (when the review count is 39). Some extra info and film reviews:

– Kevin Kwan’s Instagram post, “[my dear friend Vivian’s] stories inspired me when I created the character of Rachel Chu and her family. Jon M. Chu, the director of “Crazy Rich Asians,” was one of the cousins Vivian had been talking about for so many years. I never dreamed that he would one day direct the film based on my book, a film with a heroine who is inspired by the women in his own family. Last night, it all came full circle in this photo – the first time Vivian, Jon, and I were all together in one place.

View this post on Instagram

More than ten years ago, my dear friend Vivian in New York started telling me stories about how she grew up in Northern California amongst all her cousins and how close knit they all were. As I moved to the US when I was eleven and had to leave behind my closest cousins, I was fascinated by the stories of her cool American-Born Chinese family, so different from my own, and her stories inspired me when I created the character of Rachel Chu and her family. Jon M. Chu, the director of "Crazy Rich Asians," was one of the cousins Vivian had been talking about for so many years. I never dreamed that he would one day direct the film based on my book, a film with a heroine who is inspired by the women in his own family. Last night, it all came full circle in this photo – the first time Vivian, Jon, and I were all together in one place.

A post shared by Kevin Kwan (@kevinkwanbooks) on

– Rolling Stone, Read the rest of this entry »


A post about “Alita: Battle Angel”

Monday, 23 July, 2018

2018 Nov 13 update: ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL | OFFICIAL HD TRAILER #3 | 2019

(Note: I just asked/begged Nick to do another one of his commentary! :) )

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Just watched the fascinating new trailer of “Alita: Battle Angel”. The purpose of this post is to collect some info that I find interesting. I hope to add more later.

Alita: Battle Angel | Official Trailer (July 23)

Live Q&A (July 23) with James Cameron, Robert Rodriguez, Jon Landau & Rosa Salazar

I LOVE this Alita manga created chat, have a watch for sure!

Alita- Battle Angel is More Important Than You Think [HT NickOnRipple]

Some extra info

Read the rest of this entry »


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