Thoughts on Female Games

I want to talk a bit about my movie, Female Games, today.

Here’s my Sinema interview:

Interview
Click to read.

Female Games is now showing at Sinema Old School, and will run till end August. Showtimes here.

After finally seeing it, I suppose I should warn you that it’s not for everyone. But then I was prepared for that. Kan (our director) told us from the start that his films have always been polarising. You either love them or hate them.

Filming

His films are the kind that win prestigious art film awards but the man in the street hates.

It’s a little different for Female Games. I think the word is: confusing. Confusion clouded my head the first time I saw it because the final edit changed everything I knew about the film when we were filming it.

I had trouble answering questions at the Q&A after the show because I was as shocked (and possibly dismayed) at the outcome of the film as the audience.

Q&A
Photo from JayWalk’s blog.

There still is, of course, the expected love and hate reactions. But I get the impression that, on the whole, people don’t know whether to love or hate it.

Whatever the case, I don’t regret being in the film. Experience is priceless.

My first R21 film… coming soon

I thought my movie would never get a chance to be screened after it was withdrawn from the Singapore International Film Festival due to censorship issues.

Sheylara

But Sinema Old School picked it up (yayness) so… I am akan datang!!

In a manner of speaking.

Female Games

In case you’re new to my blog, I’m an actress and this is my first major film. I blogged about the shooting of this film last year, under a different working title (God is a Woman).

The world premiere screening of Female Games is happening on July 22 (Wed, 8 pm). That’s the one I’ll be attending. Tickets are available to the public and can be bought through e-mail, phone or fax at the Sinema Old School site.

If you can’t make it on July 22, check here for other show times. The film will run till the end of the month.

Female Games

Please be aware that this is an R21 artistic, experimental film with sexually explicit content, and has been touted as “the first contemporary Singaporean film to boldly portray female homosexuality”.

If any of the words above bother you, please don’t watch it.

Critic have raved over the film, though. Not a single bad review so far! Read one here.

Female Games

I hope I don’t regret advertising this.

I think I’m going to.

God is a Woman — Day 4

Filming in KL — Day 4
Oct 9, 2008

KL (Malaysia) has so many beautiful grungy places. Although quite scary, they serve as exquisite backdrops for films and photoshoots.

I would love to go back to this place to do a fashion photoshoot.

Or maybe not.

It’s a big abandoned building with all kinds of crazy junk heaped around the compound. It’s like a rubbish warehouse.

And the mozzies had a field day when tourists came to visit.

The native mosquitoes rolled out the red carpet to welcome us.

Welcome! they cried, Please make yourselves at home while we drink your blood!

They huge, they’re enthusiastic and they’re hungry.

They’re also ninjas.

I swear.

Big as they are, you don’t feel them land on your skin. You don’t feel them feeding.

You’re minding your own business, looking around casually. And then you chance to glance at your arm, and there’s a teenage mutant ninja mozzie shaking salt and pepper on your hair follicles.

In alarm, you swing your arm violently to shake off the TMNM. But, with all the years of gruelling ninja training under its arthropodal belt, it is prepared for the assault.

It clings onto you with its hooks for feet, all the while laughing maniacally at the folly of homo sapiens. You consider thwapping it flat but you don’t want mozzie guts all over your arm.

So you scream at it.

“My blood is toxic and will kill you dead, you dumb shit!”

Miraculously, the mozzie flies off at that.

And then you realise that that’s only because it’s already had its fill. A pink welt develops instantly on your arm where the TMNM had last roosted.

And it’s itchy.

Beware of teenage mutant ninja mozzies.

We should have heeded the warning.

Luckily, I didn’t die of dengue fever after this encounter.

I wonder how the resident artists survived the TMNM attacks. They must have some kind of permit to stick around unmolested while they complete their artistic masterpieces.

We didn’t stay around for too long. Perhaps 40 minutes or so. I could feel my cells screaming in agony just being in this waste.

You might think that this building is in some remote no man’s land, 3,000 kilometres away from the nearest civillisation.

It’s not.

It’s just minutes away from civillisation. I don’t suppose the residents in neighbouring buildings take a leisurely walk to this dumpster every evening after dinner to dispose of their trash?

After doing our scenes in this building, we strolled over to another compound with even more abandoned buildings.

It was better this time. We didn’t have to enter any of the buildings. We shot everything outdoors.

And that’s the end of my shoot in KL!

We drove up to Penang on the same day. It was a nice journey that took us from daylight to nightfall. I can’t remember how many hours it was.

Along the way, Dean, who was at that time the driver, suddenly turned around and said to me, “You must take a photo of these buildings!!”

“Why?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he said.

Nuts!

He’s always saying things for no reason. So, Kan took over the wheel and made him be the cameraman.

It kept him occupied for a good while.

Every time we went through a toll booth, he had to hold up the sensor unit for access because someone couldn’t be bothered to stick it to the windscreen.

And then we were in Penang!

My first impression of Penang:

*lol*

I didn’t know Penang is a resort city. It took us more than an hour to find our hotel because Kan was looking for a specific hotel and we were led on a wild goose chase by well-meaning locals. Finally, one savvy local told us that the hotel we wanted had already closed down.

DOH.

We settled for this small resort hotel called The Lone Pine Hotel which is, frankly, a bit creepy because of the name and the way the sign looks.

It brings to mind B-grade horror flicks where unsuspecting backpackers get eaten by giant mutant bugs while being raped by bored psychopaths.

Okay, it’s not that bad.

It’s a cosy resort with friendly service. It also has a nice pool, which is a redundant fact because I don’t swim.

I don’t like wearing swimsuits. =>

Alright, then. That’s all for today. More adventures in Penang next time!

God is a Woman — off the set

Filming in KL

For the duration of our stay in KL, Maria and I stayed at Hotel Istana (just across the street from Dean’s apartment) while Kan bunked in with Dean.


View of our hotel from Dean’s rooftop.

Some nights, I would crash over at Dean’s apartment (just for a few hours) ostensibly to hang out with the guys, but in actuality to leech Dean’s Internet access.

On this particular night, while I was busy blogging and Kan was busy downloading the day’s work and preparing for the next day, Dean decided to serenade us.

He sang many songs for us but this is my favourite.

Superman (It’s Not Easy)

Kan helped me film this using my Nokia N82. I have a cameo appearance halfway in the video, looking very stressed because I had two blogs to write and about four billion e-mails and messages to reply.

Dean’s ability to sing and play the guitar in this manner is somewhat hilarious because you’d never expect it of him if you were to meet him. He’s always a clown, making people laugh and doing impromptu weird dances to entertain people.

He even clowns around with strangers, who often don’t get it because they don’t expect a perfect stranger to tease them.

It’s funny for us, though.

Too bad he lives in Malaysia. We’ll miss him!

God is a Woman — Day 3

Filming in KL — Day 3
Oct 8, 2008

Today was like the climax of our trip, with all the heavy-duty scenes scheduled. Most of them I can’t talk about (or show pictures of) because they’re spoilers.

But I’ll talk about our bitch fight scene.

Maria and I had a fight scene in this dirty alley.

It was quite awesome. We did it so realistically that one Indian auntie actually ran up to us to try to break up our fight in the middle of a take.

Kan was really proud of us afterwards. He said, “That auntie paid you the highest compliment actors can receive.”

Here’s a before-fight photo of me:

Here’s an after-fight photo of me (my hair should be messier but then my hair could never get messed up naturally):

Close-up:

This is a real scratch I acquired during the fight. Not makeup.

But it wasn’t really bad. It has healed since.

The more jialat one is my middle finger.

Two weeks later, now, it still hurts when I touch it or flex my finger.

I heal slow. That’s why my favourite X-Men character is Wolverine. I really envy him. Plus Hugh Jackman is…

One word: Swoon.

I cannot resist men with long floppy hair!

I also collected about 15 or more scars and bruises, as well as lost a substantial bunch of hair, but I’d better not scare you with a montage of gory photos like one of those Chinese medicine roadshow posters.

Here’s just a mild example (photo of my right forearm, taken three days after the fight scene):

Anyway, that was quite fun. The fight scene, that is.

We went back to the rubbish dump later in the day. The rubbish pile had increased considerably after just one day.

For comparison, this was taken on Oct 7:

Oct 8 (from roughly the same angle):

It wasn’t drizzling today, so the smell was stronger than the day before and there were more flies and rats around (yech).

Nevertheless, cast and crew (which consisted of only five people) doggedly pressed on.

At the end of the day, we rewarded ourselves with bananas for dinner.

You know how eateries in Malaysia have plates of bananas sitting around for the taking?

Okay we didn’t really have bananas for dinner. We just ate some while waiting for our real food to arrive.

DEAN ATE FIVE BANANAS. DON’T ASK ME HOW.

He said, “I love bananas.”

He’s such a weird person!

I will do a separate post on food in KL another day!