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Kozo & Yotsuba in Italy: Part 1

I figured I had to get this thing started sooner or later. I’ve neglected to write about so many things that this blog will soon turn into some sort of 20/20 hindsight memoir. I still haven’t blogged about the Aaron Kwok concert experience - and that was like 4 months ago.

Aaron again
“What, you still haven’t blogged about me?
But I’m just so bloggable!”

You sure are.

Anyway, since I’m now 10 reviews into the 24 movie backlog I’ve amassed - with absolutely no guarantee that I will actually be able to review all 24 films - I figured I should get started with the blogging too. It’s not like I have to get my whole trip out in just one post. Worst case scenario is I only get one part done and I forget the rest. It wouldn’t be the dumbest thing I’ve ever done online. The dumbest thing? Probably admit that I enjoy Seven Swords.

Tsui Hark lives
“Thanks! You may be the only person in
Hong Kong who still thinks I can direct!”

Anyway, on to the trip.

I think Hong Kong people primarily take pictures of two things: toys and food. Not to be outdone, I did exactly the same during my trip to Italy. I also took pictures of people and buildings, but I consider that a moot point because we all take pictures of people and buildings. I just didn’t take any photos of myself.

Regardless, this is a rare photo without food or Yotsuba in it.

First night in Udine
In Italy, the cars are small

Not too long ago, I managed to journey to Italy for the Udine Far East Film Festival. This photo-essay is pretty much all I brought back, besides a copy of the 10th Anniversary Book and the Festival Catalogue, which features more information about Asian films than I could ever pretend that I know. And I can pretend that I know a lot.

Before I left for Italy, Yotsuba sat on my office desk with a couple of her friends:

Yotsuba in Office
Having a plush CJ7 may somehow be more
satisfying than owning the DVD

After we got to Italy, this is what she looked like:

Yotsuba in Venice 2
“This canal behind me smells great!”

Yotsuba is a fine toy to bring on trips. Not only is she small and poseable, but she’s got an interchangeable head so you can pretend that she’s experiencing mood swings. It’s like bringing another person along, except this one doesn’t speak or hit you up for money.

Oh, yeah, I went to a film festival. From the outside it looked like this:

Far East Film
Nobody in this photo enjoyed Empress and the Warriors

The fest is located in Udine, a small city about a two-hour train ride from Venice. My photos of Udine are like the one four photos up: empty and quiet. Udine is a peaceful place, and much nicer to walk around in than, say Venice. Just compare these photos:



Big difference, eh? I’m not a crowd person, so yes, I much prefer Udine to Venice. So does Yotsuba. When faced with crowds, she gets murderously angry. This is Yotsuba with her unhappy face:

I will shoot someone
Someone must pay

I went to Venice on the film festival’s Horror Day, so I ended up skipping a whole day of blood and screaming and exchanged them for wall-to-wall tourists and overpriced gelato. One could argue it was exactly the same experience, only with more walking.

Anyway, since I was on vacation, I had gelato at 12:16 pm.

Gelato at noon
My crappy Swatch is proof of my poor eating habits

I had some nice food in Italy, too - like this insanely huge calzone that ended up counting as 2.5 meals.

Mmmm, calzone
I ate this in three bites

Of course when you’re on vacation you have to eat well. I was lucky and got to attend many nice dinners with insane spreads that tripled my calorie count. Like this one:

Wow…that’s a lot of food
The reason for my current two-month period of fasting

If I were to rate my trip on the food experience alone, I’d probably give it an A-minus. I won’t give it a solid A because I never give anything a solid A. The film reviews I write are proof of that.

No trip to Italy would be complete without a shot of a gondola in a canal:

Required photo of Venice canal
Rush hour!

A picture of a dog chained to a wall is required, too:

Dog in Italy
The black terror of Venice

In the interests of equal time, here’s a cat:

He’s relaxed because the dog is chained up

I also took a picture of one of these:


Plus another one of food:

Green Risotto
To clarify possible confusion, I should note
that this picture was taken BEFORE eating.

By the way, the above picture is of wild herb risotto, and it was excellent - though a quick glance may make someone think ”partial digestion”. I shan’t elaborate. 

That pretty much wraps up Part One of my Italy trip. Part two will probably talk more about movies and my general impression of the Udine Far East Film Fest. Here’s a spoiler: I enjoyed myself. Unfortunately, none of the enjoyment mentioned in this post has anything to do with Asian film, meaning I’ve broken the #1 rule of Blogs: stay on topic. The #2 rule is try to blog at least once a week. Looks like I’ve broken that rule, too.

Let’s leave with this photo:

Lam Suet and some other guy
Me and some guy I met at the airport

I hear he had a good time in Italy too.

13 Responses to “Kozo & Yotsuba in Italy: Part 1”

  1. wongsaurus Says:

    Your vacation travelog cracked me up. You had me thinking that your memories of the culinary experience was the best souvenir you brought back but that picture with Lam Suet! What a lucky guy he was to spend quality time with you and hear some of your jokes!

  2. glenn Says:

    Hmm, maybe Lam Suet isn’t as big in person as he looks on screen?

    That picture is great; hopefully he has seen the site or will in the future!

    The only problem with Seven Swords was the hype — maybe the hype in my head. If that film had come out without the “Directed Tsui Hark” level of excitement attached to it, it would have received with approval by a lot more people.

  3. anotherlonelyday Says:

    are you pang ho cheung’s brother?

  4. Buma Says:

    Cool, another celebrity sighting.
    How did that came about ?
    Did you just walked over and asked for a picture ?
    Did you tell him about your website ? Does he know that if you type in “Lam Suet” in google, the first website that comes up is ?

    Stop acting so damn nonchalant about all these celebrity sightings of yours!

  5. Billy Says:

    YES! Lam Suet is Awesome. Lucky you got to meet him. I wonder who else was at Udine.

  6. laicheukpan Says:

    Kozo how did you approach Lam Suet to ask him to take a picture with you?

  7. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    I should take more photos with celebrities because it seems like people like them. Sadly, even though I frequently have the opportunity to do so, I don’t take advantage of them because most cases are too awkward.

    I can go into the Lam Suet thing more in my next blog entry, which features maybe 2-3 more star photos, but I really didn’t have to approach him because he was sitting right next to me. It’s easier to ask people for photos when you’re just hanging around each other.

  8. Gabriel Says:

    Ha ha ha. Excellent.

  9. V Says:

    The Udine-Venice comparison pictures look really neat. What a difference!

    Lam Suet & you were hanging around each other?! Cool! Waiting for ‘Part 2′ to hear more about that.

    Thanks for the clarification, but what exactly is that green stuff?

  10. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Whoops, despite putting it on the homepage, I didn’t actually say what the green stuff was. The blog post has been edited to clarify even further. It’s wild herb risotto, by the way, and it was one of the best things I had there. It’s a mite too green though.

  11. eliza bennet Says:

    Wooohooo! Glad that you had a good time and decided to share it with us :)

    That Lam Suet photo (and the way it is placed in the entry) is classic! Please tell us more and share other pics too.

    I love Venice but I have been there in Feb right after the carnival so it wasn’t that crowded. You should try again somtime!

  12. David Harris Says:

    You lucky guy - I love it when he breaks into English in movies…..especially “Good Times Bed Times”…..”I tell you what you better stop!”

    You have an e-mail!!

  13. Marc Says:

    Did you get to touch Lam Suits hairy mole for luck? ^_^

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