Thursday, September 24, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Room 23 by Deborah Anderson

Concept. A year in a life of a hotel suite in Los Angeles.

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So there is hope.

My brother told me about this project called 15 Malaysia.

"15Malaysia is a short film project. It consists of 15 short films made by 15 Malaysian filmmakers. These films not only deal with socio-political issues in Malaysia, they also feature some of the best-known faces in the country, including actors, musicians and top political leaders. You may think of them as funky little films made by 15 Malaysian voices for the people of Malaysia."

After the death of the great Yasmin Ahmad, I almost lost hope in the local film industry, the entire creative industry as a matter of fact. No one else dared to tackle the taboo anymore, nobody talked about the hardships of inter-racial love, the mediocre excuses for politicians, the corrupted legal system, the fickle "rakyat", everybody wanted to tell stories of our "peaceful", "multi-cultural" country and Cuti-cuti Malaysia. Nobody wanted to be honest. When the ugly face of reality surfaced, we turn ourselves to the brainwashing powers of daytime AMERICAN television.

Fuck me, was I wrong.

When the Yasmin era was over, while the rest of us mourned these 15 directors felt that they inherited a legacy. To spread a parallel message in their own vision. Some of these people are graduates from prestigious universities, some of their works have been showcased in Cannes, Venice and Busan (film festivals). They all either abandoned or put international fame on hold to convey this message.

I am yet to watch all of it due to the release dates but these are my favs so far.




Gerhana, by James Lee.
A brilliantly shot, carefully crafted short. Dark, in terms of story telling but oh so effective. An interesting take on more recent affairs with well written dialogue. Almost Tarantino like, as it seems like it's digressing but it actually leads up to a twisted ending.





Chocolat, by Yasmin Ahmad
Classic YA stuff, aesthetically dramatic, heartfelt performances (altho the boy could had done a better job) and an ambiguous ending. I felt that this was made to reinforce her statement in her movie Sepet.



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Lumpur, by Kamal Sabran
Kamal's backgound as a graphic designer/artist shows here with powerful use of typography and well constructed story-telling. He conveys his own vision of how an idealistic equation of one's "Tanah Air" should be. Shot entirely on a Canon 5D Mark II.





Meter, by Benji Lim and Bahir Yeusuff
Half of this all star short is made by a fellow alumni of my high school, Bahir Yeusuff. It pokes fun about how hypocritical the working class (which makes up for the majority of our nation) citizens can be, whether it's politics or football. It also tells us the dark reality that absolut patriotism and faith in out country is at it's all time low. Yes, that is Khairy Jamaludin.





One Future, by Tan Chui Mui
A Multimedia University graduate in Film, Chui Mui gives us a Twilight Zone flavored short. Told in a series of compelling still photographs. I'll be watching her closely from now on.



Call me sentimental, but I'm damn glad that I decided to go back after my degree.

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No I don't do ads. This ain't one of them.

Saturday, September 05, 2009