Friday, December 24, 2010

Smoke but where is the fire... my first christmas

My first christmas started around when I was 5 or 6, I can't remember exactly... around the time of this photo. There was no snow, the tree was plastic. We were new to the concept. Therefore no santa claus, not even a fake one. Who's idea was it? Most likely uncle peter's. He would start something and everyone would tag along. We had ourselves a christmas tree I think... the first generation type not lush unfolding type, but the stiff type. Presents were placed under it. Lights and decorations. It was very nice. What a great atomsphere!

I can't remember the details. My uncles and aunties were there (I think...) my brother was there for sure, uncle peter, my mom, auntie li hua, chris (i think but I'm not sure)... Every thing was hazy.

My uncle Peter decided that we should have a barbeque! Yeah! Great! In the balcony, the very same one u see in the photo above. An area of roughly 2 x4 metres. We must have had squid, crabs and chicken wing. Of course how can remember from so long ago, but since these were bbq staples :)

We had a tiny pit. We started the fire, before, during and sometime after it got real smoky. In fact that was what I remember most about that night. Presents... forgetable... food ... forgetable . My mom freaked out at the smoke and oily mess, and had a big cleaning session after that. We (the kids) were ordered to leave the sofa. She had a super exaggerated way of cleaning the parquet. She flooded it with water and with detergent as well. ahaha she wiped the floor as least a few times. I'm not sure if she destroyed or cleaned it.... :)

Christmas was a real eye opener. Bbq was banned from the balcony thereafter. I had fun though. It was really lively. I had great memories in the 70's in that appartment at moulmein rise. Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Archive - Drawings.... or why I can't be a mangaka

oh... it has been such a long time since i updated the blog. Some real life issues cropped up eheheh... What is everybody doing this holiday season?

Since I can't really show the things I that I just made, I decided to show (and tell) some of the stuff that I did a lifetime ago. Following on the theme of cinema, here are some of my drawings from 16 years ago! (Urghhhh... I have been on this earth for that long...)

Vi faccio vedere i lavori che ho fatto quando ero giovane ehehe ;P  Continuo dal tema di cinema, eccoli i disegni da 16 anni fa....

some sketches of mrs Robinson taken from The Graduate

this series of sketches are taken from The Commitments (dir: Alan Parker)

this ones are from The Mirror (dir: Tarkovsky)

Why I can't be a Mangaka...

Well at the point I just left art school and was trying something out, without any clear plan. I tried drawing a series a character with a series of movements from one point to another, with the aid of the VCR (do u still remember that ancient device!!!). I would placed it on freeze frame, draw a scene, unfreeze it, find the next scene then freeze it again, draw and so on and so forth. I consider these purely technical, although the water colour and pencil sketch turned out quite beautiful. This process had one basic flaw, at least for me, I had trouble continuing after switched off the VCR. It did not help me create new characters or even stick figures. I was definitely heading the wrong way. Plus there were no story plots I have on hand.

Failed experiment 193....

Mi sono appena diplomata dalla scuola di belli arti. Volevo provare fare qualcosa senza un programma chiara. Ho fatto una serie di disegni che dei personaggi da qualche film che mi piace, usavo un lettore di video. Facevo pausa, facevo i designi di una figura a qual punto, andavo alla prossima scena e lo facevo ancora. I designi sono belli ma avevo un punto debole, non potevo creare i personaggi nuovi quando il VCR e' spento. In piu' non avevo una storia su cui potevo lavorare. Un esperimento fallito numero 193....

Yes I have moved on to better things. And no I could not have avoided it. Every thing has a place in (my) history and not a complete waste of time. At least the sketches are pretty... ;)

Ogni cosa ha il suo posto nella (mia) storia. ;)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Last Night...

It was a long day yesterday. Roby did some overtime and me too. It has happen more often with the job. But it is still reasonable. We are in Italy after all. I have a friend Singapore who does it almost everyday and alternate saturday off. She finishes her work at 10 at night, that's 10hours of work everyday. She has a daughter whom she leaves with her parents and spends only weekends together. I'm not sure if she goes to her parents also after work. This a routine for a lot of Singaporeans.

Ieri e' stata una giornata lunga. Roby ha fatto overtime al lavoro e anch'io. Succede piu' di una volta ma e' ragionevole. Siamo ancora in Italia. Ho una amica fa 10ore al lavoro ogni giorno, finisce lavoro alle22 e sabato lavora una settimana si una settimana no. Lascia la figlia ai suoi e lei e suo marito la prendono a casa il weekend. E' una routine quotidiana per tanti a Singapore.

As I was a heading of to bed, roby was watching Code 46 (Michael Winterbottom). Oh how could I resist Samatha Morton. I am a fan. So I ended up watching till 4 in the morning. Nice movie, I didn't have much complains about it except for spanish and italian they added for effect. The "Si, chiara..." or "palabra" then followed by English. That really sticks out like a sore thumb for. If anything they should add Hindi to the mix." हाज़िर हूँ hAjZira hUMz" (ok I copied that it means Yes as in Yes sir!) ;) It was a film beautifully shot. I liked also like the many versions of english spoken, that was a nice touch.

Stavo per andare a letto quando roby guardava Code 46 . Sono un fan di Samatha Morton. Stavo sveglia fino alle 4 per vederlo. E' molto carino. Unica cosa che mi da fatidio e' le parole (in spagnole e in italiano) aggiunte per fare la scena piu' bella. Al inizio non si capiva di che cosa stavano parlando. perche' le parole sono sussurrate. Secondo me si deve aggiungiare invece Hindi :) ... Cmq ha la scenografia molto bella. Mi piacono le diverse versioni di inglese parlato.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Introducing Riccardo Zanini...

Introducing Riccardo Zanini...

He organises a mini movie club called Cineforum: Officina Fotonica in this corner of Verona, San Pietro di Lavagno. (That's where Roby up in). We (me and Roby) started attending off and on since last year. He is an eighties' child and I wanted to quote from facebook entry since I don't understand it (even after roby tried explaining)"tute le te vol, nisuna te tole"

Juunta: Would you care to explain that?

Riccardo Zanini: I think it's a regional proverb, literally translated it sounds like "Everyone wants you, but no one takes you by her side". A co-worker of mine said that to me to make fun of me because I expressed  the disappointment for the lack of a girlfriend and I said that there isn't any more hope for me, but ironically it seems that a lots of my students like me.


This is for the benefit of the people who don't know you, your future audience. What is the first thing you want a complete stranger to know about you?

RZ: It's too tough question, I always try to don't speak about me because I'm quite self-critical.

J: The first time I met you was when we were at the toll booth at the autostrada / highway and you were manning the booth. We were on our way to Puglia. The next time we saw you we were on the way back for there at the end of our vacation. That was 2 years. Are you still working there?

RZ: No, it was a temporary job, now I'm doing something that I really like, I teach English in a secondary school. Actually I'd like to teach English Literature in High School, but where I'm teaching, in a vocational training  school for secretaries and mechanics, there's an educational aspect that it's challenging as well.


I think it is a cool job. You might think otherwise, but having a full time job and then Cineforum as a side project, kind of makes it more interesting then if you doing just Cineforum. It offers much cinematic possibilities. Any thoughts of writing a script based on that?

RZ: Since some years there is a itch in my mind to write a story, most of it is already done, but I can't beginning...oops! This was a secret!... Last October I began to take singing lessons, another wish that was in my mind for ages, maybe I'll do the writing thing pretty soon.


J:That's your other job. Could you tell me briefly how you started it? Was there someone else when you started it or did someone started it?

RZ: The Cineforum isn't a job, it's just a passion. All it started thanks to Officina Fotonica, the cultural club of which I'm a member. Me and other members had the will to show film, to share them with our friends and everyone that wanted to watch them, and to talk freely about them. Me and Nedda have been the only two to propose sets of films, someone proposed just a film, but I hope someone else will propose other sets of films.

J:How many members are there? Can anyone join cineforum, or do they have to live in Verona.
RZ: The cineforum is a project of the club, so the members of the club are the members of the cine club. Everyone can join us, both the club and the screenings, everyone is welcome. We are planing to move in the screenings to a public room of the town with the aim that will come more people, especially from the town itself. The club was found to have a space for music at first, then for other interests like cinema, but also to spread our interest to the local population.

J:With films so easily downloaded off the internet, do you feel that cine club is redundant? What's in it for the members?

RZ: No, I don't think so. As I mentioned before all began from the wish to show film that I had impressed me (not always in a positive way), and share them with people. Furthermore in the club we can watch the films on a wide screen with a good sound quality contrary to the downloaded films on PC.

J: From website of Cineforum I see you curated all the programme with the exception of La natura estrema e i personaggi "fuori dal mondo" di Werner Herzog.... The extreme nature and the "out of the world" characters of Werner Herzog. (which was done by Nedda Taioli) 

I did enjoy all the screenings, although I did not attend all of them. I can't make it for the sunday's screening.  It's last of the series Nerd Love Too. I enjoyed the last one too, Stranger than fiction. Athough I wouldn't consider Will Ferrell a nerd. (I am a big fan of Maggie Gyllenhaal though). 

Why did you choose this theme Nerds Love Too? Do you consider yourself a nerd?

RZ: The theme came from me, I think that (500) Days of Summer and Eternal can speak for me. In the last year a started to consider myself as a nerd, but not in the classical American acceptation, I think I'm a nerd in the way Tom Hansen is: a true and insane passion for music, just wonder that I have vinyls without having a record player, some believes about love and the way to act with the other sex far away from the masochistic way.

About Stranger than fiction, rewatching it, I've realized that I had a different perception of it, especially about the love story. I think the character of the film is a nerd, not the actor.

J:From the films that I have seen of cineforum, I think it is pretty Pop, in that they are easily digestable and  quite entertaining. Actually they are perfect for cold sunday nights. Any ideas on what the next series will be like? When will that be?

RZ: I've decided to start the new season with pop films, as you properly said, to have a lighter beginning, even though I don't think they are easy form me, they are pure analysis! It's like to attend to an analysis of mind, they show my thoughts, fears, feelings,..

I'm thinking about different series, one about music, with different types of films about it; another about Mario Monicelli, another about Humphrey Bogart and as he characterized the male figure in some films and another serie about female characters. I'm quite productive at the moment and I'd like to show more films than in the past years.

Moreover I really hope that someone else, external to the club too, will show some series of films, like you, I've just heard that you worked in the film festival in Singapore, so I hope you'll give us the chance to watch some Asian films.

J: To tell you truth, I am retired. I have other commitments and am no longer passionate about films as I once was, but let me see what I can do...

Thank you for the time. Sorry I can't make it today for the screening. ;P

RZ:  It's ok. Thank you for the interview and see you soon.


For more information on Cineforum you can go to website :
Or you can contact Riccardo directly:

Will try to get the italian version out next.

ciao ciao

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Busy busy busy...

Finished some corrections on the first sample (bicycle bag) I made. Seems ok. Now just to do the patterns for it, then the second sample.

I have been busy lately working on the bag, housework and .... reading some interviews on the manga scanlations scene. Very interesting read, in fact so interesting I forgot about reading the latest release on my manga. They are pretty cagey about their identity and what they do in real life. I gathered that they started it as college students and spend a lot of time on it. Some of them work in groups, some are one-man show.

I was thinking this to myself when I was reading the latest One Piece, these people don't sleep do they. Releasing 1 edition (translate existing manga into english and posting on the internet) a week, plus there are so many releases by the same group. And then to see also tons of releases by other groups. I don't think they get paid, since I read it for free. To put in so many hours and not get paid. It's a double whammy, because you have to have a source of income (if your parents don't pay for you). This means on top of the scanlation, the day job... It requires sheer will power.

I am trying to get some of that power for myself. My time mostly gets eaten up by housework. I am aiming for working for the long run, in the most human way possible. But working at home I get bothered by the need to clean that part of the house, do the laundry, clear the dishes, cook... endless things to do, and I have not even touched my sewing. I guess I am not a very efficient machine.

It's great that there are people out there that have found early in life, pouring energy into it and making it happen. Since they are so many, it won't be lonely for them as well.

As they say in Manga... lend me your strength....

Non ho voglia di tradurre in italiano. Siete bravi ;) Scarpo e faccio il modello della borsa. ciauuuu

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Manga manga manga .... mi inspira tanto

Oggi e' nevicato alla mattina, mentre facevo tante cose ma niente borsa. Svantaggio di essere una casalinga. Lo faccio dopo questo posting. Ho trovato questo sito fantastico sulla storia scanzione di manga. E' practicamente una tesi. wow.

It snowed in the morning while I was running my errands. Did a lot of work but didn't get a chance to work on the bag. Will do it right after this posting. I found a wonderful site on the history of manga scanlations, its' almost a tesis. :D


Ho chiesto Riccardo se vuole fare la prima intervista. Mi ha accetato. Yeah! Sono contenta. Sara' pronta tra poco.

I asked Riccardo if he wants to do it, he agreed. You will see it soon. I will untitled it "Juunta asks", if anyone has a better suggestion let me me.

Buona Sera!