Thursday, June 5, 2008

Film School Reject Does Good

You know how stuff of legend surrounds Paul Thomas Anderson. It's natural for someone so young and so brilliant. He burst onto the scene with Hard Eight, then really stood out with Boogie Nights. And just by his third film, he'd already made an "epic," the San Fernando valley masterpiece, Magnolia, my favourite of his films. Of course, he's now also made another epic masterpiece, There Will Be Blood.

PTA is infamous for attending New York Film School for only two days. After that he got fed up and found that he could learn much more just by watching movies. Apparently, he once said watching laserdiscs (this was back then) with directors' commentaries is better than anything film school could teach you.

Of course, this bitterness with film school naturally fuelled some interesting speculations, which have reached mythical proportions because of PTA's fame now. One story, which a friend who attended Boston film school told me, was that PTA got kicked out of film school because for his thesis film, he made a porno. But this was probably borne of the fact that he admitted to watching porno from age 10 to 17, and that he once made a mockumentary called The Dirk Diggler Story about a has-been porn star.

Well now, Singapore has its own PTA-type story to boast about. His name is Pearry Reginald Teo, and he is just 29. He was rejected by one of the polytechnics in Singapore when he tried to get into its film and media studies course. He left to study filmmaking in Arizona, and his horror flick, Liberata Me, was screened in Cannes and even won best horror film at the 2002 New York International Independent Film And Video Festival.

And now he has made a sci-fi flick, The Gene Generation, which garnered some deals in Cannes this year. The film stars Bai Ling and Faye Dunaway.

You can read his story here. Watch a trailer of The Gene Generation here.

Those guys at the polytechnic must be kicking themselves now.

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