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The Essential List: Bradley Tangonan

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The REVERSE director on a deep-rooted appeal to East Asian filmmakers and his Hawaiian roots

The Essential List: Bradley Tangonan
Bradley Tangonan scored a top honour at the One Club's One Screen Short Film Festival. Hailing from Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, the New York based director won in the Emerging Directors category for his branded content short, 'Rose De Mai' for Le Labo,in which harvesters in Grasse, France reflect on their relationship to the Centifolia rose, the rarest, most fragrant rose in the world and the personal meaning of this fleeting bloom. Le Labo is also a brand mentioned in his Essential List - apparently its 'styling concrete' is perfect for keeping his hair in check. 

The director, who is repped by REVERSE, also reveals why he's so drawn to East Asian filmmakers, peels back the curtain on his Cave of Hard Drives, and introduces us to us his obscenely cute cat Koji. 


o Place of birth: Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.
o Hometown: New York City.
o Staycation: Ewa Beach, Hawaiʻi.
o Vacation: On a mountain away from people.
o Pet: Cat named Koji.

o Place of work: I work from home in what my partner calls The Cave of Hard Drives.
o Place of workout: Rock climbing gym, occasionally outdoors.

o Side project: A film set in Hawai’i.
o Mode of transport: Bicycle. And a OneWheel (it’s super dorky, but very efficient).
o Bonus travel essential: Vacuum bags for stuffing more things into small luggage. 


o Artist: Daehyun Kim, a.k.a. Moonassi. He depicts the ethereal aspects of relationships in a beautifully imaginative and minimal way.

o Musician: (Sandy) Alex G is a post-angst poet.

o Commercials / music video director: Hiro Murai gets better every year.
o Film director: I find myself drawn to many East Asian filmmakers. I think the relationship to family, nature, and the world often expressed in films from that part of the world reflect my own. Apichatpong Weerasethakul in particular has influenced the way I see the world and what I think is possible to do in the medium of film. Others include Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Edward Yang, Tsai Ming Liang, and of course Wong Kar Wai.
o Photographer: Elsa Bleda, Noah Scialom, Jeremy Snell, Li Hui. Also, did you know that Flickr was still alive and well? 
o Film: La Cienaga by Lucretia Martel.

o Series: Fleabag. It’s so many things at once.
o Commercial: Miles Jay’s Volvo commercials are like scenes from a movie I wish existed.

o Music video: Anton Tammi’s video for All Your Words by JIL. A fever dream at the edge of the abyss. Alludes to the film Fallen Angels, which is my favourite Wong Kar Wai movie.

o Video game: Zelda: A Link to the Past (Super Nintendo, 1991). If you find yourself with 72 hours to spare, PLAY THIS GAME.

o Board game: Avalon. It’s like Mafia but with more gamesmanship.
o Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude is the first book I read that made me cry.

o Graphic novel: I haven’t found one with a really good premise whose dialogue writing was sufficiently not cringe-worthy. Similar problem with sci-fi novels, actually (e.g. Neuromancer).
o Podcast: Song Exploder. I love hearing the stems of songs and how they were made.
o Newspaper (off or online): Honolulu Civil Beat. If this had been around when I was growing up there, I might have become a journalist.
o Magazine: The New Yorker makes my brain feel smart.
o Bonus culture essential: Botanical gardens.

Food and Drink

o Breakfast: Toast with butter.
o Restaurant: Kahiau, in chinatown on O’ahu, Hawai’i. The best poké I’ve ever had.
o Cheap bite: Lamb gyro from the halal cart on 8th ave. and 14th st.
o Working lunch: Coffee.
o Favourite dish: Otoro (fatty tuna). 
o Signature dish: Pageon (Korean pancake).
o Snack: Red Hot Blues corn chips by Garden of Eatin’. I have a problem.
o Guilty pleasure: Hurricane popcorn.
o Bar: Attaboy on the Lower East Side.
o Booze: Bunnahabhain 18 y.o. The only Islay scotch I know of that’s not peated.
o Not booze: Espresso with *gasp* oat milk.
o Bonus food: A Vietnamese noodle soup called hủ tiếu. 
o Bonus beverage: Pearl milk tea. Yi Fang’s brown sugar is on point.


o Phone: Get it away from me.
o Computer: Trash can Mac Pro.
o TV: Projector.
o Headphones: Too many.
o Camera: Contax T2 + Kodak Ultramax 35mm film.
o Soundsystem: Headphones.
o Pen / pencil: My writing muscles atrophied a long time ago.
o Where you document an idea: Google Docs.
o Casual clothing: Uniqlo.
o Smart clothing: Uniqlo.
o Footwear: Nike’s Freerun Commuter 2017 is the best shoe I’ve worn.
o Watch: Casio.

o App: Wyze so I can spy on my cat.
o Website: Idk, they’re all connected.
o Favourite social media feed: Daquan.
o Work program: Premiere Pro.
o Digital work tool: Google Drive.
o Morning grooming / makeup essential: Styling concrete from Le Labo.

o Bonus kit essential: TAP water pouches are way less bulky than regular water bottles.

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REVERSE, Mon, 02 Mar 2020 17:31:10 GMT