Archive | October 2015

Plot of Singapore Black becomes reality

Well, sometimes life does imitate art…this BBC news story has many strange echoes with the plot of the first novel in my hard-boiled Malaya series, Singapore Black.

Singapore Yellow Book Launch at Singapore Writer’s Festival

If you’re in Singapore, be sure to save the date!

1 Nov, Sunday, 5.30-6.30

British Council Gallery at The Arts House

Latest Opium Traces article…interview with David Gordon White

Here’s my latest Opium Traces feature article on A review and interview with author and scholar of South Asian religions, David Gordon White…

Contribution to new book on Alfred Raquez

I’ve very proud that my brief contribution to a new book about Alfred Raquez is now available from White Lotus Press.

Raquez was an amazing person: an explorer, writer, photographer, bon vivant, racontuer, and man of enigma. The name is a nome de plume…he died under very mysterious cicrumstances. He was a key documentor of Laos when the place was still a largely untouched backwater of the French empire and yet he is woefully under-studied in history or post-colonial studies departments.

This new publication by White Lotus Press will help to change that…

My own contribution focuses on the postcards Raquez sold at the 1906 Colonial Exposition at Marseille which feature Laotian singers and dancers and were souvenir illustrations of a show of Laotian music and dance that he produced.

Buy your copy today!

HFS! OMG! WTF! Book Launch for Singapore Yellow at Singapore Writer’s Festival


There will be a launch event for my novel Singapore Yellow as part of the Singapore Writer’s Festival.

1 Nov, Sunday, 5.30-6.30PM, The British Council Room at The Arts House.

Please stop by and buy copies of the book and I’ll sign them and do all sorts of amazing things, too.

Link with map below. And don’t forget that our Singapore Yellow Selfie competition is still on!

Be there…or be square!!!

Interview with ME

Wow! I’m pleased that my interview with the The Star Online, the premier English language digital news outlet in Malaysia, is now online! I discuss my hard-boiled Malaya trilogy, Third World Skull Candy, and other projects…

Read that here:

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

To Live and Die in L.A., William Friedkin. Recently “re-discovered” and a major influence on 2011’s outstanding action film Drive, TLADILA was a late-night cable staple when I was in my late teens…minus the nudity and vulgarity. Some think it’s cheesy. What it really offers is the last gasp of a 1970s mainstream action style that combined grit with art-house level editing and cinematography, here in full-force with Robby Muller’s exhilarating camera work and M. Scott Smith’s seat-of-the-pants cutting. The same script in the hands of other action directors of the era, like Richard Donner, would simply have been a Lethal Weapon (1987) manqué. Friedkin shows his chops by combining 1980s slickness (such as the electro-pop soundtrack by Wang Chung) with 1970s gravitas. It gives the film an edge that still makes it compelling viewing. Pop-culture bonus: The British nanny from Fraser plays a lesbian slut.

Check out the 1980s cocaine and bourbon editing of the trailer:

And the awesome soundtrack:

Atlantic City (1980)

Atlantic City. Louis Malle’s best English-language picture and Burt Lancaster’s most masterful performance; toss in a young Susan Sarandon and you’ve got a trifecta of powerful personalities who can drive the picture, but the real star is in the title. Pre-Trump and post-Boardwalk Empire-era, the Atlantic City of the 1980s was a run-down dump in the process of being demolished: a condition that DP Richard Ciupka lovingly captures as an objective correlative to the dead-beat, has-been, two-bit characters that populate the story. The cinematography is poetic, the action blasé: the real plot takes place inside the main characters whom we never for a moment stop feeling empathy and compassion. Given the despair, decay, and demolition surrounding them, this is a major achievement.


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