Text message from Chris: “Holy fuck, is Simone a real digital character?”
Part of Simone’s marketing campaign from New Line was to claim that Simone was indeed a digital creation. Even in the credits of the movie, it says “Simone as herself” and there’s a list of people thanked for the “creation of Simone” that includes Claire Forlani, Audrey Hepburn and Mary J. Blige (who was Simone’s “singing” voice). They even claimed she was a creation of BUF, a great effects company who did work for Fight Club. But it’s not true. Simone is played by Canadian model Rachel Roberts, and New Line fessed up only after the movie was released. And Roberts was able to promote both the movie and herself. She auditioned and got the part, she can’t sing, but she was great in I Am Pig. They also “digitized” her face a little, to give it just that hint of artificiality, removing all facial blemishes, etc. If you do decide to watch Simone and didn’t read my earlier post, stay after the credits, there’s an extra funny scene.
Had my orientation seminar at AIM yesterday morning. I’m taking the Managing the Arts Program, a 2-week seminar at the Asian Institute of Management. Anyway, my fears were confirmed: I am the youngest participant (I think I’m the only one below 30!), and know no one, not even by reputation (well, maybe Lulu Tan-Gan). It probably doesn’t help that I have no experience, since I graduated last March. It sounds exciting, though, and since I’ve never taken a management class, I’m curious to see how I’ll take to it. Mother hen Cecile Manikan, the Program Director and one of our professors, easily impresses with her stories of past batches and what we’re going to learn. She claims, for example, that there is a legendary half-day tutorial on managing your finances which is so good you’ll know everything about income tax, tax breaks, etc. and not just for you but whatever company you work for. My classmates come from all over: one from the Australian embassy, 3 from the CCP, one Japanese cellist, a graphic designer, two Advertising writers, etc. I’ll be meeting more classmates who didn’t attend tomorrow, when the program officially begins.
They gave me this casebook, with really thick readings, and it’s only for the first week. Shit. Here I was hoping it was going to be a breeze. While looking through it, one of the ditzier classmates of mine said, “But there are no pictures...” She was also laughing loudly at every little thing. And the classroom is freezing cold. I should’ve brought a jacket. The dancer in our class, she was wearing a sleeveless shirt and was visibly shaking in the front row (I sit at the back).
Tidbit I learned: did you know Singapore’s budget for the arts is over 100 BILLION pesos? For a country with a population of 3 MILLION? “And if you read the papers over there,” says Cecile, “the artists complain!” Jesus Christ. Let them try it here. But, the upside is Singapore admits its artists aren’t that talented, and are importing teachers from all over the world. But at least their government has this strong push in trying to establish itself as the arts capital of Asia. But Christ, think about it: with the arts budget alone they could give each citizen, even babies and the infirm, a million pesos each and there’d still be oodles left over.
Disturbing: I was in a mall around lunchtime yesterday and there was this freaky-looking woman, with pale peeling skin and red blotches on her face, definitely above 40, asking the saleslady for “Treepol X” while her son, maybe 6 years old, was asking for Not Another Teen Movie, which I haven’t seen but I know definitely has copious amounts of nudity. Brr. Well, at least I got the pirated Panic Room (the original doesn’t have many features, dammit), but unfortunately they didn’t copy the French language soundtrack, which I wanted to hear because Jodie Foster dubs herself in French. She’s that fluent. It’s frustrating that there are hardly any features on the Panic Room original DVD, because there’s so much material they could have used: Fincher’s elaborate pre-visualization process, features on photogrammetry (which was extensively used in Fight Club as well as Panic Room), and maybe some of the scenes he shot with Nicole Kidman in the role (Fincher shot 18 days with Kidman before she broke her ankle on the set of Moulin Rouge, which she was finisihing). At the very least, a commentary. Disappointing since the DVDs of Fight Club and Seven are packed with features.
Had a much-needed outing at Rockwell too, with (deep breath) Quark, Chris, Alia, Ernan, Joeybrash, Mich and her two interns Goldie and Hannah, Alexis, Knox, and Patricia. There was a benefit concert/fashion show for an animal society who were giving out bags and beanie babies if you registered. I wonder if Neva would’ve been interestee. Saw the Itchyworms!, Mikey and Gay, Diego Monsterbot, Mo, Sara, Shine, Zach and Aya of Imago, Fatals Donna and Annette, Maui, Diego and Camille, Jason Drilon and Tina, Criselle and Yani, Sib, even saw Paolo Cruz and Claire inside Not Page One.
The rain didn’t stop the fun. Kitchie’s filled out some, but still sings well and moves around more. Mich and her popettes were loud as usual (Goldie won an Itchyworms! CD from host Anna Shier), Joey was a ham, interfering with video crews interviewing people (he even licked the camera!), Quark was interviewed and assaulted by his ex, Mich, the popettes, Joey, and Elena, who was pushed into him, Diego and Mikey and Donna and Annette and Aya and Kitchie all modeled clothes, even on the wet catwalk. Some dogs were running around. Mich fell on the ground, tackled by the others. Alexis was taping the others, but mostly the models. Chris arrived later, when we were eating and were loud at Brothers Burger. Drinking later, beside the playground and the giant hotdog outside Holland Sausages looking forward to eating himself. Played on the wet playground, Alexis taping couples going into the bathrooms, discussion, etc. Then got tired, went home, posted.