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10 types of festival goers at the Rainforest World Music Festival

Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is like any other music festival where people from all ages and countries come together in the name of music.

Organised annually at Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching, Malaysia, the three-day event features performances from traditional music to contemporary world music.

As interesting as the performers are with their exotic outfits and sounds, the most interesting people at RWMF are actually the festival goers.

Festival goers of Rainforest World Music Festival 6
Sometimes, the festival goers are more interesting than the performers themselves during a music festival.

Not to generalise people but here are 10 types of festival goers you tend to see at the Rainforest World Music Festival:

1.The Learner

Rainforest World Music Festival is not just about the music and dancing but it is also about learning different cultures.

How to spot The Learner? They are the ones who raise their hands and ask questions during the cultural talks.

Or sometimes you can see them at the Rainforest World Music Festival Craft Bazaar engaging with vendors and asking questions.

Sometimes, they are your typical university students who major in music or anthropology. Sometimes, they are the intellectual types who take the opportunity during the festival to learn more about other cultures.

You can also spot them looking diligently at the festival guide or sitting in the front row of the sape lesson session.

2.The Live Feeder
Festival goers of Rainforest World Music Festival
Can you spot The Live Feeder?

These are the easiest to spot at the festival. They are the ones who have their smartphones raised during workshops, drum circles, and night performances for long periods of time, even just to take just a photo.

Or you can see traces of their live-feeding on their social media accounts even after the festival has ended.

3.The Selfie-obsessed

This kind of festival goer has a superpower ability. They can smell selfie opportunities unlike most normal people.

They know, for instance, which part of Sarawak Cultural Village gives the best photo ops, who to take wefies with and most importantly, which angle to take it form. Like I said, it’s a superpower.

4.The Spectator

Every music festival needs to have The Spectator. They are the ones who peek through the windows of the Iban Longhouse to watch a dance interactive session but never join in.

They watch the night performances from afar… such as the balcony of Dewan Lagenda or sitting at the back on their picnic mats.

Whatever it is, they are just there to spectate and enjoy the music.

Festival goers of Rainforest World Music Festival 3
We came for the music!
5.The Solo Traveller

These are the lone rangers of the festival. They eat alone, participate in the mini sessions alone and they dance alone during the night performances.

Despite being alone, The Solo Travellers are the ones who look like they are enjoying not just the festival but also life overall the most.

6.The Party Animal

The Party Animal type dances the hardest, screams the loudest and drinks the most.

In times past when the ground in front of the stage could become a mud pit during a rainshower, they would be the ones dancing in the rain with mud on their feet and all over their bodies.

Festival goers of Rainforest World Music Festival 7
Every music festival needs the Party Animals.
7.The Hobbyist
Festival goers of Rainforest World Music Festival 2
I am here to do my own thing!

You have seen this type of festival goer, not just during the Rainforest World Music Festival but every music festival.

While the performers are giving their all onstage or in the mini sessions, they pick a spot and do their own thing.

Be it a yoga move or throwing a hoop or swinging a pair of poi, Rainforest World Music Festival has seen them all.

Your Practical Guides to Rainforest World Music Festival 6
“I come to share my hobby!”
8.The Herd

This type of festival goer moves in flocks. They usually have one tribe leader who decides which mini sessions to go or where to eat, one ideal follower who has no idea what is going on but happy to follow and the rebel who tends to break away from the group.

Plus if the herd is alcohol-inclined, they have a sommelier or beer connoisseur who keeps the alcohol level in everybody’s system in order.

Sometimes they have a babysitter who has a mother-like role in the group to make sure the herd is safe and sticks together.

They are commonly groups of university students and young working adults who take Rainforest World Music Festival as a short escape from reality.

9.The “I-have-no-idea-what-is-going-on-but-I-am-here-to-dance”

Some people would call this type of festival goer a dancer…only if you consider their moves as ‘dancing’.

The difference between The Party Animal and The“I-have-no-idea-what-is-going-on-but-I-am-here-to-dance” is that the latter tends to ignore what is going on because they just want to dance.

A band could be delivering a touching performance like At Adau’s Jackson Lian Ngau who dedicated a song to his late mum (in RWMF 2017) or Raghu Dixit from India and Slobodan Trjulja from Serbia giving a once in a lifetime hair-raising duet (in RWMF 2018).

These are the ones who would dance in the middle of a themed music demonstration or a drum circle during the festival irrespective of what is happening around them.

Festival goers of Rainforest World Music Festival 4
Raghu Dixit from India (right) and Slobodan Trjulja from Serbia performing a duet song on July 14 during the Rainforest World Music Festival.
10.The ones who were not there for the world music but created their own world

These are the festival goers who were there at the RWMF but not exactly “there” at the festival.

They could be young couples who find their corners and just enjoy these time-defining moments with each other. Or even groups of friends who form their circles at Dewan Lagenda to drink together as the music plays in the background and sets the mood and atmosphere.

Festival goers of Rainforest World Music Festival 5
Festival goers who created their own world at Dewan Lagenda during the Rainforest World Music Festival.

The differences and sameness of RWMF’s mini sessions

RWMF mini sessions
Slobodan Trkulja from Serbia teaching the crowd about the kolo dance.

Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) internationally known for its melting pot of different cultures and music was held for the 21st time recently from July 13 till 15.

While the audience reached its peak number on Saturday night, those who had attended the whole three-day festival would agree the real fun and magic happens during the afternoon sessions.

Now rebranded as ‘mini sessions’, the activities still carried the essence of RWMF workshops.

It had everything from interactive learning about world music instruments to impromptu jamming among the musicians.

RWMF 2018 Mini Sessions

RWMF mini sessions 9
Rainforest World Music Festival would not be complete without the dance interactive workshop.

This year, RWMF saw an increase from the usual 27 to 50 sessions and even spread out from its official venue of Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) to nearby Damai Central.

Since its first installment in 1997, the afternoon sessions have seen a number of improvements and changes over the years.

One of its usual sites for the afternoon workshops, the Malay house had been completely dedicated to children sessions; a thoughtful move since the Malay house can only cater to a small crowd and it has usually been packed and hot during the afternoon workshops in previous years.

RWMF mini sessions 7
Festival goers participating the traditional hoop dance of the Lakota (a Native American tribe) workshop.

Speaking of changes, the drum circle session by 1Drum.org saw a change of scenery from its usual spot in front of the jungle stage.

For the first two days of RWMF, the circle took place at the Big Tent Damai Central before it was moved back on the final day to where it has usually been held since 2014 .

RWMF mini sessions 5
The first two days of RWMF saw the drum circle by 1drum.org flocking the Big Tent at Damai Central.

However, the mini sessions still carried on its crowd favourite activities especially the themed music demonstrations and dance workshops.

For example of themed music demonstrations was the “Rhythm’s Gonna Get You”, a workshop featuring an array of different percussion.

This year’s percussion demonstration was conducted on Saturday showcasing a bedok (a Bidayuh drum from Sarawak), darbuka, conga and even a human percussion, a beatboxer.

Other themes music demonstrations were wind instruments, plucked stringed instruments and lutes from two continents Africa and Asia.

During these demonstrations, each musician had a chance to introduce their instrument before all of them coming together to produce an impromptu performance.

RWMF mini sessions 6
A percussion-themed demonstration organised on Saturday (July 14) at the Dewan Lagenda.

Another crowd favourite every year and usually packed with participants is the dance interactive workshop.

Every year, SCV’s Dewan Lagenda and Iban Longhouse had played host to many dances from all over the world.

This year, these locations had witnessed cumbia (folkloric dance from Colombia), traditional hoop dance of the Lakota (a Native American tribe), kolo (a Serbian circle dance) and among others.

After 21 years in business, RWMF overall had its tweaks here and there yearly and some tweaks stay while others don’t.

Evidently the organiser, Sarawak Tourism Board gave the best to cater to all types of festival goers every year including those families with small children and fitness enthusiasts.

Apart from the mini sessions, there were also programmes for wellness and lifestyle such as yoga, zumba and belly dance as well as children sessions which were started a couple years ago.

RWMF mini sessions 8
Each location now has its lineup activities displayed.

More photos:

KajoPicks: 5 popular Indonesian romantic movies of the 2000s

The early part of the 21st century was good for Indonesian movie industry.

This was when Indonesian movies started to penetrate and make waves in its neighbouring countries including Malaysia.

Indonesian horror movies such as Kuntilanak (2006) and Hantu Jeruk Purut (2006) were considered on par with Thai horror movies.

Besides its horror flicks, Indonesian romantic movies of the 2000s were also popular when they were released.

Even for those of us in Malaysia who might have never watched their movies, we would have at least heard their original soundtracks blasting through the radio.

So these are the top five Indonesian romantic movies of the 2000s that will make you feel nostalgic:

1.Ada Apa Dengan Cinta (2002)

Before American author wrote her book Slammed (2012) about a teenage couple connected by their passion for poetry, the Indonesians produced a movie based on a similar idea.

Cinta (played by Dian Sastrowardoyo) is the popular, beautiful school poet. Rangga (Nicholas Saputra) is the introvert, a nobody in school.

Their love story starts when Rangga’s poem was submitted to the school’s poetry contest and subsequently won, beating even Cinta’s work.

The movie was released in Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Singapore. In Japan, it was known as Beautiful Days.

Perhaps what catapulted Ada Apa Dengan Cinta to fame was its controversy for being the first Indonesian teen movie featuring a passionate kisssing scene.

But for those who have watched it, they will agree that Cinta and Rangga’s poems hit the nail right on the head making the movie worth the buzz.

Watch the trailer here. 

2. Eiffel, I’m in Love (2003)

Following the success of Ada Apa Dengan Cinta, teen romantic films started being trendy.

Eiffel, I’m in Love (2003) was the film adaptation of the best selling book of the same name by Rachmania Arunita.

The story plot follows Tita (played by Shandy Aulia) living a perfect life until her parents plan to matchmake her with Adit (Samuel Rizal).

The movie made USD6.4 million in box office and won Most Favourite Movie award at the 2004 MTV Indonesia Movie Awards.

Watch the trailer here. 

3.Heart (2006)

Heart (2006) is the story of childhood friends Rachel (Nirina Zubir) and Farel (Irwansyah). Rachel is a tomboy whom most guys feel comfortable with while Farel is the typical most handsome guy in school.

Farel falls in love with Luna (Acha Septriasa), the pretty, gentle girl that you love to hate (but you can’t).

Rachel then realises she is also in love with her best friend Farel and there you have it – a movie about friendship and a love triangle.

The movie’s soundtrack featuring Irwansyah and Acha in “My Heart” was the national anthem for dating couples when it first came out.

The song even won the Best Song at the MTV Indonesia Movie Awards in 2006.

Watch the trailer here.

4.Ayat-ayat Cinta (2008)

Like most Indonesian romantic movies, what is famous other than the film itself is the soundtrack.

This movie’s title tracks such as “Ayat-ayat Cinta” by Rossa and “Tercipta Untukku” by Ungu featuring Rossa were commercial successes.

As for the story, it is about a man pursuing his love in the Islamic way.

Ayat-ayat Cinta (2008) was the first Indonesian film to reach 3.5 million tickets sold.

Watch the trailer here.

5.Ketika Cinta Bertasbih (2009)

This is another movie breaking the 3 million tickets in sales, Ketika Cinta Bertasbih.

It is based on the best selling novel with the same title by Habiburrahman El Shirazy.

The movie has a similar theme with Ayat-ayat Cinta which is about Khairul Azzam (Kholidi Asadil Alam) looking for his love while being faithful to his Islamic faith.

Watch the trailer here.

5 Sarawakian true stories that should be made into films

Filmmakers out there! If you are running out of ideas to make a movie, here are five Sarawakian true stories that deserve their spots on the big screen!

1.The tragedy of Tanjung Jerijeh

This is a Sarawakian true story similar to James Cameron’s Titanic (1997).

On Dec 27, 1973 at around 2am, a ferry from Kuching heading to Sarikei met with tragedy at Tanjung Jerijeh.

The ferry MV Pulau Kidjang capsized at the mouth of Tanjung Jerijeh about 3.5 nautical miles from Sarikei town.

Widely considered one of the worst tragedies in Sarawak maritime history, the incident took the lives of 121 people, mostly women and children.

Reportedly only 41 bodies were found while the rest are still missing to this day.

2.Circular No. 9

How far would you go to defend your political beliefs? Would you be willing to quit your job for it?

The story starts with the anti-cession movement led by Datu Patinggi Abang Haji Abdillah and Datu Patinggi Haji Mohammad Kassim.

The anti-cessionists were fighting against Sarawak being given over to Great Britain to be ruled as a crown colony, pushing for the Brookes to rule as a protectorate instead.

When Charles Vyner Brooke ceded Sarawak to Britain as a crown colony on Feb 8, 1946, it was in violation of a provision in Sarawak’s 1941 constitution, which stipulated that he would grant Sarawak the right to self-rule.

There were demonstrations all over the country of Sarawak,  most of them held by civil servants.

In response, the Governor of Sarawak issued Circular No. 9 warning civil servants that it was illegal to participate in political movements.

In protest, 338 civil servants – mostly made up of teachers – resigned on Apr 2, 1947.

These resignations caused the closure of more than 22 schools in Sarawak.

This Sarawakian true story is a tale of courage and patriotism, something that the current generation needs to be reminded of nowadays.

3.Raid on Limbang
Limbang
A boat cruising through Limbang river.

If West Malaysians have their Bukit Kepong incident, here in Sarawak we have the raid on Limbang.

When the idea of the Malaysian federation came out in the late 1950s, many disagreed, including a left-leaning Brunei politician-turned-rebel widely known as A.M. Azahari.

He led the group Brunei People’s Party and the North Kalimantan National Army (TNKU) with ideas for Brunei, North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak to form one country.

On Dec 8, 1962, TNKU militants led by Limbang native Salleh Sambas started their attacks on Limbang.

Their assault started at the local police station where they captured several rifles and machine guns.

The raid took the lives of four Sarawakian policemen. They were Corporal Kim Huat from Kuap, PC Wan Jamaluddin Tuanku Alek, PC Insoll Chundang from Saribas and PC Bujang Mohammed from Kuching.

A movie based on this true story would make a good reminder of how courageous our policemen were, even back then.

4.Tra Zehnder

A film based on the true story of Sergeant Kanang anak Langkau came out in 2017.

Kanang was an Iban warrior and one of Malaysia’s most decorated war heroes who fought bravely during the communist insurgency.

So how about a film on Sarawak women figures? Dato Sri Tra Zehnder was a female pioneer in Sarawak politics.

She held the record for being the first lady member of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN), the first woman to head the Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak and she even represented the Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) at the Cobbold Commission meeting.

Furthermore if it weren’t for her, we would not be celebrating Gawai Dayak on June 1 today.

Tra was the one who championed the idea to have Gawai Dayak recognised as an official state holiday.

5.Sarawakian SWAT

For most people, SWAT means Special Weapons and Tactics, a paramilitary unit of law-enforcement agency.

Here in Sarawak, the acronym carries a different meaning.

With Sarawak being home to the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), the largest riparian predator in the world, SWAT refers to Sarawak Forestry Corporation’s Swift Wildlife Action Team.

They are the unsung heroes solving human-crocodile conflict in the state.

This special unit was set up in 2013 and was put in charge of crocodile culling and removal all over Sarawak.

A movie inspired by Sarawakian SWAT could look like Black Water (2007), Rogue (2007) and Lake Placid (1999) only with more focus on the work of these brave SWAT officers.

Sarawak’s most famous saltwater crocodile, Bujang Senang or its descendants, can play the villains in the movie.

Batu Nabau Engkilili 3
How about a movie on crocodiles in Sarawak?

Do you have any ideas on what Sarawakian true stories that should be made into films? Let us know in the comment box.

5 Malaysian movies inspired by true stories worth watching

Movie makers immortalise people or events through their films.

Although their art cannot imitate life perfectly, some still manage to carry  its essence and convey the message they wanted to.

Here in Malaysia, the movie industry still has lots of room for improvement.

But there are a few local filmmakers daring enough to create movies inspired by true stories.
And here are the ones that are worth your time watching.

1.The Big Durian (2003)

This movie broke records by being the first and only Malaysian film to screen at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.

The Big Durian’s director Amir Muhammad combined documentary and fiction to bring an event which occurred in October 1987 to the big screen.

On that day, a soldier named Adam Jaafar ran amok, shooting off an M16 rifle in the streets of Kuala Lumpur.

The shooting spree left one person dead when a bullet ricocheted and killed Che Soh Che Mahmud, while several others were wounded.

Apart from Sundance, The Big Durian was also screened at the Singapore International Film Festival, the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival.

2.Ola Bola (2016)
5 Malaysian movies inspired by true stories worth watching
Ola Bola.

Ola Bola was inspired by the true story of Malaysia’s football team scoring a place at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Russia.

The film was directed by Chiu Keng Guan and produced by Malaysian film powerhouse Astro Shaw.

Despite its commercial success, the film was disqualified from the 28th Malaysia Film Festival Best Film category because it contained less than 70% Malay language dialogue.

Following this controversy, all non-Malay categories were removed and made eligible to compete for Best Film.

3.Adiwiraku (2017)

When a group of schoolchildren in rural Peninsular Malaysia beat 20 elite schools in an English choral speaking competition, the story was destined to go viral on the internet.

For the students of SMK Pinang Tunggal in Baling, Kedah, participating in an English-speaking competition would have been impossible if it weren’t for their volunteer English teacher Cheryl Ann Fernando from Teach for Malaysia.

Against all odds and even to the team’s own surprise, they came out fifth place beating 20 other schools at the district level competition.

Inspired by this touching story, film director Eric Ong knew he had to make a movie of it.

Ong and his team’s work paid off when Adiwiraku bagged the Best Film Award at the 29th Malaysia Film Festival.

Watch the trailer here.

4.Dukun (2018)
dukun
Dukun’s film poster.

Originally slated for a 2007 release, all the red tape surrounding Dukun was finally cut and it premiered in 2018.

Until today, no official statements have been given on why the movie was postponed but most suspect it was due to the film being inspired by the real-life murder of Malaysian politician Mazlan Idris.

An ambitious politician, Mazlan’s murder in the 1990s gathered so much public attention not only because he was a public figure but because of the brutal (and supernatural) nature of the killing and the fact that a Malaysian female pop singer happened to be one of the prime suspects.

After leaving her not-so-successful music career, Mona Fandey (whose real name was Maznah Ismail) made a profession change to black magic, becoming a bomoh or a local shaman.

In July 1993, Mona Fandey together with her husband Mohamad Nor Affandi Abdul Rahman and assistant Juraimi Hassan were reportedly performing a cleansing ritual on Mazlan.

During the ritual, the trio asked Mazlan to lie down, close his eyes and wait for money to fall from the sky. Instead of money, an axe came down on Mazlan, chopping his head off.

He was reported missing on 2 July 1993, but by then his bank accounts were cleaned out of RM300,000. Mona was soon after spotted on a shopping spree and driving a Mercedes Benz.

Her high-spending life was cut short after Juraimi made a statement to the police disclosing the location of Mazlan’s remains, which were buried near Mona’s house in Pahang. He was found in 18 pieces.

The trio were found guilty of Mazlan’s murder and were executed on November 2, 2001 at Kajang Prison.

Watch the trailer here.

5.Bukit Kepong (1981)

We cannot talk about Malaysian movies inspired by true stories without mentioning Bukit Kepong (1981).

The movie was based on an armed encounter which took place on Feb 23, 1950 between the Federation of Malaya Police and the gunmen of Malayan Communist Party during the Malayan Emergency.

The movie was directed by legendary Malaysian actor Jins Shamsuddin.

Over the years, it has become one of the must-feature films on national television channels especially during August, Malaysia’s National Month.

A special mention…

There is one upcoming Malaysian movie inspired by true events which might be worth the hype.

Director Adrian Teh (King of Mahjong, Hungry Ghost Ritual) is working on an action film highlighting the Royal Malaysian Navy’s Naval Special Warfare Forces, otherwise known as Pasukan Khas Laut or Paskal.

Scheduled for a 2019 release,  Paskal is said to be a biopic of Lieutenant Commander Arman Anwar who, in 2011, led a Paskal team to rescue the crew of MV Bunga Laurel which was hijacked by Somalian pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

Filming locations include Kuala Lumpur, Lumut, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Semporna in Malaysia as well as Morocco.

KajoPicks: 5 upcoming South Korean movies you can watch in Malaysian cinemas (June-December 2018)

Over the years, Malaysian cinemas have featured more varieties of movies.

On top of the usual Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil movies, we have begun to see more choices such as Thai, Indonesian, Japanese anime and South Korean movies premiering on our big screens.

Thanks to the rise of Hallyu wave, Malaysians have shifted their interest to South Korean movies in recent years.

In 2016, Train to Busan became the Malaysian number one South Korean movie, racking up about RM4.8 mln on its opening weekend.

Earlier this year, Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds opened at number one in Malaysian cinemas, winning against Chris Hemsworth’s 12 Strong and Matt Damon’s Downsizing.

Now, we have five upcoming South Korean movies we can look forward in selected cinemas till the end of 2018:

1. Champion (June 14)

This sports comedy film directed by Kim Yong Wan stars Ma Dong Seok, Kwon Yul and Han Ye Ri.

Mark (played by Ma) is a disgraced arm wrestler turned bouncer. Given up for adoption by his biological mother as a baby, Mark was raised in the US by an American family. The prospect of making money at an arm-wrestling competition in South Korea leads him back to his homeland where he searches for his biological mother but finds his biological siblings instead.

2. Believer (July 5)

In October 2017, the South Korean entertainment industry mourned the loss of one of its finest actors Kim Joo Hyuk.

Believer is Kim’s final film before his untimely death due to car accident.

It is a remake of Chinese-Hong Kong action thriller Drug War (2012).

3. The Accidental Detective: Returns (Jul 12)

This crime comedy film is a sequel to Kim Jung Hoon’s 2015 film The Accidental Detective.

It stars Kwon Swang Woo, Sung Dong Il and Running Man’s Lee Kwang Soo.

4. Along with the Gods: The Last 49 days (Sep 6)

This movie is based on webtoon Singwa Hamgge by Joo Ho Min.

It is the second installment after the first part, Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017).

The plot circles around the story of fireman Kim Ja Hong (Cha Tae Hyun) and grim reaper Gang Rim (Ha Jung Wood).

5. Monstrum (Sept 27)

When it comes to South Korean movies, we rarely see a period genre taking a slot in our local cinemas.

This year we have Monstrum, a period thriller directed by Heo Jong Ho.

It is supposedly based on a real case in 1527 during King Jungjong’s reign when an unknown creature threatens the King’s life.

The movie stars Kim Myung Min, Lee Hye Ri, and Choi Woo Shik.

Top 8 Reasons Why You Should Watch Sense8 on Netflix

Warning: This article contains spoilers.

Sense8
(Image source: www.imdb.com)

When Sense8 was cancelled in 2017, fans all over the globe were devastated.

Created by the Wachowski siblings, it was a great science fiction drama series for anybody to enjoy. Unfortunately, Netflix cancelled the third season citing not enough viewership for the high production cost (cheatsheet.com reported that it costs $108 million per episode).

Now that Neflix announced a two-hour special finale for Sense8, here are the top 8 reasons why you should start binge watching this drama series.

1. Mind-blowing plot-line

the gang
(Image source: www.imdb.com)

Sense8 tells a story of eight strangers linked together through psychic connection.

The eight form a cluster known as Sensates, human beings that are emotionally and mentally linked together. Through this, they can sense each other’s feelings, emotions and even possess each other’s knowledge and skills.

While trying to figure out how and why they are connected, the Sensates were hunted down by the Biologic Preservation Organization (BPO) and Whispers, a high-ranking sensate inside BPO.

The first episode of the first series introduces the main characters and how they live their lives separately before discovering each other.

In the second season, you see the characters grow closer together as they are accustomed to each other’s daily lives and emotions.

2. Diverse characters

Sense8 is made up of diverse multiracial characters of different professional backgrounds.

You have Capheus Onyango, a matatu driver from Nairobi; Sun Bak, a daughter of a powerful businessman from Seoul who is also an underground boxer; Nomi Marks, a hacker from San Francisco; Kala Dandekar, a chemist from Mumbai; Riley Blue, a Icelandic deejay; Wolfgang Bogdanow, a locksmith and safe-cracker from Berlin; Lito Rodriguez, a Spanish actor and Will Gorski, a Chicago police officer.

Apart from the multiracial cast, Sense8 is also notable for representing and revolving around the LGBTQ community and themes.

For instance, it features Nomi, a trans woman in a relationship with a woman and Lito, a closeted gay actor living with his boyfriend.

Sense8 also explores interracial romance and how it affects the relationship between Kala and Wolfgang.

3. The Wachowskis

Sense8 is written and mostly directed by the Wachowskis.

Besides Sense8, other notable work by the Wachowskis includes The Matrix, Cloud Atlas, Ninja Assassin and V for Vendetta.

With so much great work produced by them, fans can expect to see great plot packed with mind-blowing action scenes.

4. The fight scenes

As expected from the Wachowskis, Sense8 is not short of fight scenes.

My particular favourite fight scene is just about whenever Sun appears on screen.

One of the few characters on the show with a solid fighting background – she’s supposed to be an underground boxing champion – her fight scenes are satisfying to watch, graceful and fluid.

Sun
Sun in one of the many awesome fighting scenes

And being part of the Sensates, each of the character can channel Sun whenever they encounter danger.

5. Telepathic connection between the gang members

Sense8 gang
The Sensates are able to feel each other’s emotions and possess each other’s skills

Being part of the Sensates, the characters are able to feel each other’s emotions as well as experience each other’s surroundings.

Sense8 gang 2
(Image source: www.imdb.com)

Sense8 is interesting, fresh and quirky as it involves linking eight random strangers together and how they get to know each other on personal levels.

6. It  has two awesome seasons

With only 23 episodes between two seasons, you will have plenty of time to binge watch Sense8.

The first season consist of 12 episodes while the second season has 11.

7. Those damn cliff-hangers in Season 2

Wolfgang
In the final episode, Woflgang was captured and the Sensates were seen leaving on plane to save him The multiracial cast of Sense 8 (Image source: www.imdb.com)

For somebody who has been emotionally invested and attached to the Sensates since episode 1, the cancellation of Sense8 is just disrespectful.

Not only that, the final episode on Season 2 has a truckload of cliff hangers that deserve closure.

For instance, in the final episode the gang was seen getting ready to board the plane (from their respective countries) to save Wolfgang.

For those who have been religiously keeping up with Sense8, this is a huge moment as this would be the first time all of them would physically meet each other.

Apart from that, other cliff hangers that deserves a closure includes whether Sun will find justice for her father’s death after escaping from prison, Naomi and Amanita (Naomi’s girlfriend)’s wedding and whether Capheaus will win the election.

8. The third and final season airs in June

After so many cliff hangers left in season 2, fans all over the globe were left hanging as to what would happened to the Sensates.

Finally, Netflix finally announced that Sense8 is renewed for its third and final season giving fans the closure they deserve.

The much awaited conclusion will air a two hour series finale on Netflix on June 8th.

Get animated with Cartoon Network in Singapore

The Powerpuff Girls, We Bare Bears, Adventure Time and Ben 10 come to life with giant inflatables, carnival games and workshops

Animate Your Life @ Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

26 May – 10 June 2018; Prices start from RM37.50++

Animate your Life LogoLooking for something to do with the entire family? Cartoon Network invites you to enter a world of animation at the Animate Your Life festival in Singapore – a 16-day celebration of fans, fun and fans of fun!

From Saturday 26 May to Sunday 10 June, Cartoon Network Animate Your Life will transform Gardens by the Bay’s Bayfront Plaza into a thriving world of cartoons. Bringing characters from hit shows – The Powerpuff Girls, We Bare Bears, Adventure Time and Ben 10 to life – the festival will offer a fairground of fun inflatable obstacle courses, carnival games and creative workshops.

Guests can look forward to the following activities:

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Enter the famous city of Townsville and soar with Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup on a giant trampoline ride! Also make sure to check out the Cartoon Network art gallery, where a series of international artworks will be displayed in celebration of The Powerpuff Girls’ 20th anniversary.

Looking to get creative? Cartoon Network has also partnered with local artist group, Band of Doodlers to create a special Powerpuff Girls tribute. The live installation will be unveiled on Sunday, 27 May from 4pm; and everyone is invited to leave their mark!

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Take a trip to the Land of Ooo and get lost in a maze with best buds Finn and Jake! Then, step into a magical Candy Kingdom with your favourite Adventure Time characters; Marceline, Princess Bubblegum and Lumpy Space Princess!

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The bear bros are in the house and ready for fun! Splash-down the log-ride inflatable slide into a colourful ball-pit. Match-up and stack-up with a giant Bear Stack, or just snap a selfie in the cave that Grizz, Panda and Ice Bear call home.

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It’s Hero Time! Ben Tennyson has harnessed the power of the Omnitrix and wants to put it in your hands! Join the Ben 10 Boot Camp and navigate through a series of exciting obstacles courses. Then, get a group photo with Ben and his aliens in front of a cool trick-mirror.

If that isn’t enough to get you to make your way down to Singapore, Cartoon Network Animate Your Life will also offer a mix of fun activities including:

  1. An interactive Animate Yourself booth where you can create your own likeness as your favourite character and print it on a t-shirt.
  2. A mix of exciting carnival games testing your agility, accuracy and skill.
  3. A chance to learn more about Cartoon Network’s first branded cruise liner – Cartoon Network Wave. Designed for everyone who’s young at heart, Cartoon Network Wave presents an immersive fun zone, giving you a glimpse of adventures on-board the world’s first toon vacation at sea.
  4. A line-up of weekend workshops hosted by leading figures from the animation world primed to spark your creativity. Conducted every Saturday and Sunday at 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 6.30pm; the workshops will teach you how to draw some of Cartoon Network’s most loved characters, offer voice-over challenges and give you a chance to participate in making a stop-animation video. [For more information about each workshop session, refer to Annex A below]

Cartoon Network Animate Your Life will open from Monday to Thursday 3-9pm and from Friday to Sunday from 3-11pm. Games, mascot appearances and show screenings are also scheduled throughout the day.

Visit Animate.CartoonNetworkAsia.com for more details and hashtag #CartoonNetwork and #CNAnimateYourLife to share the fun. 

Cartoon Network Animate Your Life is co-presented by Prudential Singapore and Cartoon Network Wave, the soon-to-launch, fully-branded cruise liner. The event is also supported by Singapore Tourism Board’s Leisure Events Fund, Official Radio Partner CLASS 95 and Supporting Radio Partner 987, and Official Multimedia Partner Singtel.

Admission details

Visitors can purchase same-day tickets at the site entrance, or pre-order online at http://www.apactix.com/events/detail/CN-animate-your-life. Ticket prices and special bundle prices as listed below:

Adult Ticket (Age 18+) RM 54 + GST
Child Ticket (Age 2-12) RM 37.50 + GST
Student Ticket (up to Tertiary with student card) RM 45 + GST
Family Pack (2 Adults + 2 Kids) RM 150 + GST (18% discount)
Friends Pack (4 Students up to Tertiary with student card) RM 144 + GST (20% discount)

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Watch Outlander

(Picture source: Starz.com)

If you are obsessed with Game of Thrones (GoT), then you would love Outlander. Based on a book series by Diana Gabaldon, we follow the story of a WW2 combat nurse who, through the magic of some time portal stones in the Scottish countryside, finds herself transported back in time to Scotland in 1743.

From its story line, cinematography and characters, here are the top 10 reasons why you should watch Outlander.

 

1. Claire Fraser

Claire Fraser played by Caitriona Balfe (Picture source: Starz.com)

Claire Fraser (played by the flawless Caitriona Balfe) is definitely Kajo girl-material.

As one of the main protagonist in the series, she is a combat nurse from 1940s England.

As a woman ahead of her own time, she fiercely values her own independence and freedom.

Even in tough times, she stubbornly refuses to be part of any patriarchal social system or take orders blindly without questioning them.

However, there are a few times in the series where her need to make a stand (usually at the wrong time) can make you grab your hair in frustration because it usually gets her in trouble.

2. Jamie Fraser

Jamie Fraser played by Sam Hueghan (Picture source: Starz.com)

Just watching Jamie Fraser (played by Sam Heughan)  is enough to turn anybody into a fictiophilia.

If you’re wondering how to pronounce Sam’s last name, in a 2013 Facebook post where Outlander author Diana Gabaldon first announces Heughan as Jamie Fraser, she relates how she asked him to pronounce his last name: “HEW-an is good or if you can, insert the Scottish throat clearing/spitting sound in the middle… HewCH-an. Hard to get right first time without spraying close friends with saliva.”

3. Time traveling factor

Claire travel back in time to the 1700s Scotland (Picture source: Starz.com)

While on a second-honeymoon in Scotland with her husband Frank Randall (played by honey-voiced Tobias Menzies), Claire accidentally time travels to the 1700s through a circle of standing stones.

In her confusion, there she first bumps into Jonathan ‘Jack Black’ Randall, a mirror-image of her husband Frank. (If you’ve been paying attention from the beginning of the episode, you’ll find out how they’re related.) Eventually, she will bump into Jamie Fraser’s clan, and she will eventually learn of the Highlander struggle for Scottish independence from the English.

If you think that Outlander is going to be one of those typical time travel stories where either one of them has to follow the other to the future or stay back in the past, you’re almost right.

4. The unnecessarily attractive cast of Outlander

Is it necessary that they all have to be attractive?

Apart from our favourite couple Jamie and Claire, the cast of Outlander look more like runway models.

While most of them might be covered in dirt, blood, sweat and tears, they are still insanely gorgeous at the same time.

It is also unfair that Jamie and Claire have an unnecessarily attractive daughter as well (oops….spoiler alert).

5. The many Vogue-worthy moments (mainly Claire’s wardrobe)

While the clothes from the 1700s in Europe look suffocating and heavy, that does not mean they have to be unfashionable.

From season 1, Claire’s outfits have been eyecatching and praise-worthy. However, the stakes in fashion really got an upgrade in Outlander when they moved to France.

6. The books by Diana Gabaldon are still ongoing!

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The Outlander series has eight books (Picture source: Pixabay)

Outlander is the same as GoT in that the series is based on a series of books.

First started by Diana Gabaldon as a personal project on what it took to write a novel, today the Outlander series have spanned  eight books… and two decades. The first one was published in 1991, and the latest, Written in my own heart’s blood, in 2014.

Like GoT, the series is yet to be completed, with the ninth one – Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone – forthcoming and fans are dying to know what happens next.

7. Scotland: A holiday-mode destination

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Scotland (Picture source: Pixabay)

Taking place in historical Scotland, the series were shot in numerous places such as the Doune Castle, Stirling; East Linton, East Lothian, Newtonmre in the Scottish Highland, Rothiemurchus Forest; Bathgate; West Lothian and Aberfoyle, Stirling.

While watching Outlander, one can’t resist but think of it as a traveling channel as you might find yourself unintentionally planning an imaginary vacation to Scotland.

8. Stay for the history

Jamie and Jack Randall during the Battle of Culloden (Picture source: Starz.com)

While the characters may be fictional, some of the plot lines in the series are based on real events and sometimes refer to real people throughout history.

In the final episode of Season 2, the storyline is set in the time of the Battle of Culloden which took place in April 16th, 1746.

9. Plenty of time to catch up

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Something to binge-watch (Picture source: Pixabay)

As of now, Outlander has produced three seasons with 16 episodes in Season 1 and 13 episodes for both Season 2 and 3 respectively.

So if you are planning to watch the latest season, you have plenty of time to catch up.

Apart from that, the straightforward and uncomplicated plot line makes it easy for fans to process and digest.

10. Outlander has been renewed for two more seasons!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzQcnVVhDAg

According to some reports, Outlander has been given a two-season renewal, taking the series into six seasons.

Season 4 of Outlander is set to air sometime in November this year.  The latest season is said to be based on Diana Gabaldon’s fourth book, Drums of Autumn.

To know more, click here.

 

Asian female ghosts who made it to the big screen

Some say anything men can do, women can do better, which is probably applicable in the case of haunting people as well.

Asia being the Earth’s largest continent, is rich with legends, folktales, myths and of course ghost stories.

And the main characters of these haunting stories are mainly women. (The idea of a woman with long unruly hair appearing out of nowhere in the middle of the night does seem scarier than a short-haired man with a potbelly.)

Asian female ghosts have always been the central plot in many famous movies including Japanese film The Ring (1998) and Thai flick Nang Nak (1999).

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Here are just some of the Asian female ghosts who are the subject matters of many horror movies:

1.Mae Nak Phra Khanong (Thailand)

Mae Nak Phra Khanong or Mae Nak is one of the most famous Thai female ghost. According to local legend, her story took place during the reign of King Rama IV (1851-1868).

Nak was a young woman married to Mak. When Mak was sent to war, Nak and their child died in childbirth. When Mak returns home, however, he finds her there with their child waiting for him.

Those who dare to warn Mak that he is living with a ghost are all killed.

Mae Nak appears in a long list of films from the 1950s including Nang Nak (1999), Ghost of Mae Nak (2005), Pee Mak (2013) and Make Me Shudder 2 (2014).

2.Krasue (Thailand)

Krasue is a young and beautiful female ghost with her internal organs dangling down from the neck (perhaps not so beautiful after all).

She has been making movie appearances since the 70s with film like Krasue Sao (1973) where she fights with a fellow krasue.

Showing her versatility, she also appears in erotic movies like Wan Krasue Sao (2013) and Krasue Rak Krasue Sawat (2014).

3.Nang Tani (Thailand)

Nang Tani is of the few Asian female ghosts who happens to be a tree-hugger.

She haunts wild banana trees and only becomes visible during the full moon.

Men who have wronged women, beware! They usually become her victims. But most of the time, she is reportedly benevolent.

Nang Tani’s earliest appearanceon the big screen is in Thai classic Nang Phrai Tani (1967).

4.Nang Ta-khian (Thailand)

Just like Nang Tani, Nang Ta-khian is another tree-hugger.

Her choice of wood is the Ta-khian tree or Hopea odorata.

She usually appears in reddish or brownish traditional Thai attire.

This spirit was featured in self-titled films, Ta-khian (2003) and Nang Ta-khian (2010).

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Nang Ta-khian is believed to always haunt Ta-Khian trees. Credit: Pixabay.
5.Pop (Thailand)

Here comes a more malevolent female ghost. Pop is a cannibalistic spirit in Thai folklore who has a distinct taste for human viscera, or their internal organs.

There are plenty of movie appearances of Pop. One movie worth mentioning is Krasue Fat Pop (1999) where she had a girl fight with Krasue.

6.Pontianak (Malaysia)

If you are in Malaysia and you see a female ghost with long hair, chances are high it is a pontianak.

Similar to the Indonesian kuntilanak, she is a spirit of a woman who died while pregnant.

The most famous pontianak film in Malaysia is none other than Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam (2004).

Directed and written by Shuhaimi Baba, the film was a major box office success in Malaysia.

7.Sundel Bolong (Indonesia)

Another ill-fated female ghost, Sundel Bolong is the soul of a woman who died when she was pregnant but against all odds gave birth in her grave.

Some said she died during childbirth and curiously the baby came out from her back.

Legend has it she does not handle rejection gracefully. If a man rejects her, she castrates him.

Sundel Bolong appeared in her self-titled 1981 adult horror film and Legenda Sundel Bolong (2007).

8.Wewe Gombel (Indonesia)

This female ghost embraces the body-positivity movement. Clearly in need of a nip-tuck, Wewe Gombel has long, hanging breasts and kidnaps children.

Wewe Gombel was once a barren wife who caught her husband cheating on her. When she killed her adulterous husband,  the villagers went after her.

She eventually committed suicide but her spirit lingers on.

Wewe Gombel kidnaps mistreated or neglected children and takes care of them.

In movies, she has appeared in Wewe Gombel (1988) and Legenda Wewe Gombel (2012).

9.Kuchisake-onna (Japan)

After being mutilated by her husband for an alleged affair with a samurai, Kuchisake-onna (which means ‘slit-mouth woman’) like many Asian female ghosts, returns as a vengeful spirit.

She is known to give trick questions to her victims. According to modern legend, if she asks a potential victim, “Am I pretty?” and the answer is “no”, she kills them with a pair of scissors.

If the potential victim answers “Yes”, she takes off her mask revealing her husband’s handiwork and then asks again, “How about now?”

A no will lead you to be cut in half, a yes will leave you with a slit mouth like hers. It seems like a no-win situation, but local lore suggests that there is a method to elude her which is asking her back whether you are pretty, or answering ‘so-so’ which will make her stop and think, thus giving you time to escape.

In Japan, she has appeared in movies such as Slit Mouth Woman in LA (2014) and even in manga and anime.

10.Manananggal (Philippines)

Manananggal is a hideous, blood-sucking female vampire or monster which can split from her lower torso before flying into the night looking for victim.

Her choice of victims are sleeping, pregnant women (or simply those who are asleep… comforting thought, isn’t it?).

She spearheaded the Filipino horror movie industry with her silent movie aptly named Manananggal (1927).

Besides that, she also appears in Shake, Rattle & Roll (1984), Impaktita (1989) and Manananggal in Manila (1997).