Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Last screening of 2007 (December 30)

Time: 7pm
Venue: D'Space, 4th Floor, Wisma Oh, 60 Weld Quay, 10300 Penang
How To Get There: As you come out of the jetty or pass the jetty on your left along Weld Quay, keep going on straight, past the petrol station on your left. Then, look for the Silverstone tyre shop with the red sign on the right. D'Space is at the top floor of that building, Wisma Oh.
Contact: 016 333 7678 (Kris) or

1. Search For

by Lesly Leon Lee
11 min

Search For is a short film by Lesly Leon Lee from KL with a unique visual and sound experience to create a fantasy-horror atmosphere. Inspirations include Eraserhead, the 1977 film directed by David Lynch.

2. Other short films?
max 5-10 min

3. Discussion 1
15 min

4. Lelaki Komunis Terakhir
The Last Communist
by Amir Muhammad
2006, 90min

"A travel documentary essay, interspersed with specially composed songs, about the early life and legacy of Chin Peng, exiled leader of the banned Communist Party of Malaya."

5. Discussion 2

Thursday, December 13, 2007

December 16: Akira Kurosawa's "Ikiru"

Unfortunately, we were unable to get a copy of U-Wei Shaari's Jogho. We've looked around to get a copy of the film, but our effort in the past 3 weeks haven't been successful. So we plan to settle for an alternative... Ikiru.

Directed by acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo), the movie is about Kanji Watanabe, a bureaucrat who works for the city council. His life mainly revolves around his dull and repetitive job. All that changes however, when he realizes he's dying from stomach cancer.

Mr. Watanabe sets out to live his remaining year fully, and to contribute something useful to society. In his quest, he bumps into a former colleague from his workplace, who indirectly shows him the way.

Admission is FREE

Location: 3rd Floor, 60 Weld Quay

Time: Sunday, 16 December (7PM)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dec2: "Brokeback Mountain"

Our last screening of "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" saw about 30 people turn up for the movie. We got the chance to hear the documentary's director express his own criticism towards the movie rating system of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and also got a first hand look on how the system works.

Also interesting was the fact that the people in the MPAA who review and rate movies are not known to the public. The director... Kirby Dick... actually had to hire a private investigator to find out who they were... with some surprises.

After the documentary, we had a discussion about film censorship in Malaysia, and a comparison with other countries such as Germany, France, and Australia.


This Sunday, on December2, we will be showing "Brokeback Mountain", Ang Lee's famous (or infamous) film that won many awards in film festivals; such as the Oscar for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and the Best Director at the BAFTAs... among all others. The movie is based on a story by writer Annie Proulx.

I'm sure you all know what the story's about... considering the controversy and publicity surrounding Ang Lee's movie. Set in a time period in the 1960s to the 1980s, two American cowboys (Jake Gyllenhaal from "Donnie Darko" & Heath Ledger) are hired as sheepherders in Wyoming. Both men develop a romantic relationship between themselves. They both part ways, move to different ends of the vast United States, and get married (to women).

The two cowboys meet a few years later and continue with their secret lives, while at the same time, living the life of married men with families on the outside.

Time: 7PM, Sunday, Dec 2.

Admission: FREE

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nov18: New Movie - "This Film Is Not Yet Rated"

Yes, thats the title.

In this documentary, Kirby Dick explores the inner workings of the ratings board of the Motion Picture Association of America. While movies are not banned, an improper rating from the MPAA may cause distributors or cinema operators not to screen the film, for fear of losing revenue. For example, a children's or family movie slapped with a PG-13 rating might cause its target audience (families with young children) not to view the movie due to the rating.

Some interesting topics we can later discuss is the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia, and movie ratings for appropriate ages in Malaysia...

Time: 7PM, Nov 18 (Sunday)

Admission: FREE

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

November4: Fahrenheit 451

On October 21st, we screened the documentary "Sicko" to an audience of around 23 people. Michael Moore shows the inadequacies of the US health system and its effects upon those from the lower-income groups, as well as those who had run-in's with the bureaucratic and profit-oriented medical insurance companies. He contrasts this with the healthcare systems of Canada, France, Britain, and Cuba.

We had several French citizens who were in the audience, who could present their opinion after the show. They did agree that some of the characteristics of France's healthcare system in the documentary were true. But they also felt that Moore painted a very rosy picture of the system, giving the impression that its faultless. Other audience members also gave their opinions/experiences/complaints of the healthcare systems of the countries they had lived in; notably Australia, Germany, the US, and yes... the Malaysian healthcare system too.


This upcoming Sunday (Nov4), we'll be screening "Fahrenheit 451". Another dystopian movie, the film presents a future where anti-intellectualism is the order of the day, dissent is outlawed, and all printed material are marked for destruction. Our protagonist, Guy Montag, works for the government as a fireman. His job description? Find books... burn books.

At first all is well for Montag until he has a confrontation with a woman named Clarisse, which starts to jolt him from his worldview. Just like the protagonist in "Equilibrium", he begins questioning the regime and its policies that he works for...

Location: 4th Floor, 60 Weld Quay (see sidebar for map)

Time: 7PM, 4 November (Sunday)

Admission: FREE

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Movie: Michael Moore's "Sicko"

This Sunday's (Oct20) movie will be "Sicko", a Michael Moore film about the state of healthcare in the United States. From Moore's point of view, he details how the expensive costs of medicine, insurance, and healthcare is affecting lower-income US citizens, with many struggling to obtain the funds to get treatment.

Location: 60 Weld Quay, 4th floor

Time is 7PM.

Admission is FREE.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Review of past month's activities of the Penang Film Club

A quick recap of our activities in the past month or so…

Aug26: Screened Soylent Green (1973). Starring Charlton Heston (Ben Hur, Planet Of The Apes) as Robert Thom, a police detective working in an overpopulated New York City in an overpopulated Earth. Due to diminishing resources, the citizens are fed synthetic foods such as Soylent Red, Soylent Grey, …and the new Soylent Green. Heston discovers the true ingredients of this new product… giving a whole new meaning to the term “you are what you eat”.

Sep9: Brick (2005). Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Brendan, a high-school kid who infiltrates a drug gang to destroy it, and find out who murdered his ex-girlfriend. Influenced heavily by hardboiled film noir in terms of plot and dialogue, the film was found by many in the audience to be too slow, too confusing, and perhaps too pretentious. At the end, the audience of around 15 had diminished to just 4 people…

Sep21-23: Freedom Film Fest. On the last day, we screened the documentary we had made about the Penang Clan Jetties. Reception from the audience was very positive.

Oct7: Equilibrium (2002). Last Sunday, we screened to an audience of 12 people. This movie was about a civilization that had successfully eradicated hatred and war. The catch: the population has had their emotions and feelings suppressed with mandatory administration of a drug. Failure to take the medication to become an emotionless, harmless zombie could lead to arrest and execution. Christian Bale stars as a government agent tasked with enforcing the Government’s law and eradicating rebels who have refused the medication. Very close similarities could be found with movies like “The Matrix”, “V For Vendetta”, and George Orwell’s book “1984”.

Upcoming Schedules:

Last Sunday, we also discussed our schedule for the next two months. Below are the dates for future screenings:

October 21: “Sicko” (2007)

November 4: “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” (2006)

November 18: “Fahrenheit 451” (1966)

December 2 : “Brokeback Mountain” (2005)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Freedom Film Fest coming to Penang Sept 21st-23rd

Freedom Film Fest 2007 -in its 4th year, is returning to Penang with 32 films to show over 2 and a half day and night, starting from evening of Sept 21st(Friday), at Actors Studio, Green Hall.In view of the feast for the film lovers Penang Film Club will skip the next screening on Sept 23rd -so our next screening (`Equilibrium') will be on Oct 14th(Sunday) 7.00pm, at D' Space. We will be distributing leaflets of the Penang Film Club to attract more members to the club-so any members who are keen to join in please contact Ong 013-5900339.

As to the titles to be shown and synopsis of the FFF screenings you can actually obtain a copy of the glossy full colour program sheet from us. Just call the same number above.

Some previews of the FFF: of the 32 films there are 3 films which are the creations from 3 winners of the Justin Louis Award from KOMAS. Each winner won Rm5000.00 to make their film based on their winning film idea. The 3 films are : `Forgotten' by Ong BK, on the endangered clan jetties at Weld Quay; `10 years before Merdeka' by Fahmi Reza, on the forgotten Merdeka fighters, and `She is my son' by Indriani Kopal, about a transgendered Malaysian. All 3 films are about 30min in length.

Among the 32 films is also another Penang made film `Old but not dead' by Bus Users Group(12min).

You are welcome to come with all your friends to support the Penang films and all other human rights based films which you don't get to see in the Tvs and cinemas. For details see here.
UPDATE: 8am Breakfast Show at NTV7 this Friday Sept 14th, will feature a joint interview of the 3 winners of the FFF film awards. The winners had previously been featured by the 8TV's mid-night program `Quikie' over 3 weeks. The Sunday Star had also featured the 3 films and film makers over the last 3 weekends. Look them up if you are interested.

Ong BK

Thursday, August 23, 2007

August 26; New Movie: "Michael Collins"

Note: Because of some technical problems, we had to screen Soylent Green instead. Our apologies! We will be showing Michael Collins on Sep 9 instead.

2 weeks ago, we screened "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" to an audience of around 11 people. This movie was about the War of Independence in Ireland, and the men who continued their insurgency (this time against their fellow countrymen) after the founding of the Irish Free State which they felt was a puppet state to the former British rulers.

This movie will detail the story of Michael Collins, one of the key members of the Irish Republican Army who fought the British, and later accepted their offer for the establishment of the Irish Free State.

However, this was opposed by some who felt they should not settle for what theyfelt was incomplete independence from the United Kingdom, as Britain would still have a large say in Ireland. They believed the armed struggle must continue until full Irish independence was acheived. From this disagreement, comes a civil war of Irish Republican Army militants against the Irish Free State's troops. This time, Michael Collins (now a Commander of the Free State Army) will have to battle his former comrades.

Date: This Sunday, August 26.

Time: 7 PM

Place: 60 Weld Quay, 4th floor

Saturday, August 4, 2007

August 12, New Movie: The Wind That Shakes The Barley

Winner of the Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival, this movie tells the story of two brothers in the midst of the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921). Both are members of the IRA, conducting operations on troops from the United Kingdom. The war ends with the Anglo-Irish Treaty that allows the establishment of the Irish Free State.

However, the truce is not well received by everyone in Ireland. From this disagreement, a new war immediately begins. But this time, the enemy on both sides are Irishmen. The two brothers also find themselves on opposing factions; with one supporting the treaty, the other allying with the anti-treaty IRA...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ok, we've decided: "Grizzly Man" this Sat (July 28)

This Saturday's screening will be "Grizzly Man", a documentary by reknowned German director Werner Herzog.

This movie is about the case of real-life American environmental activist Timothy Treadwell, who documented the lives of brown bears in Alaska's Katmai National Park over a period of 13 years. Unarmed and usually camping alone, Treadwell approached the wild bears closely (a very dangerous thing) to film and photograph them. Soon, he begins to blur the line between man and beast. And eventually...

Much of the footage of the animals were actually filmed by Treadwell himself. While most filmmakers would stay at a safe distance with a telephoto lens, Treadwell instead went up-close-and-personal. This gave a unique (but also foolhardy, depending on your view) perspective on the life of bears in the wild and their interactions with a human stranger.

In this movie, Herzog also details Timothy Treadwell's increasing affinity towards the Alaskan wilderness and wildlife, and his dissatisfaction & hostility with human society. As Treadwell died before this documentary was made, he was never interviewed. The closest we'll know about Treadwell in this film, will come from his loved ones and folks close to him.

As usual, time is 8PM at 60 Weld Quay... several blocks south of the ferry terminal.

Admission is FREE.

Friday, July 13, 2007

This Saturday (14 July): Screening & Discussion

We'll be meeting this Saturday at 8PM to view the documentary we've shot so far about the Chew Jetty. A couple of short films made by some of our members will also be screened. And after that there'll be a discussion on what was shown, where we get the chance to share our opinions, insight, suggestions, and... criticism.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Appeal for old photos of early Penang, clan jetties

The Clan Jetties filming project had come to a stage where we had finished the main shootings and looking forward to editing. We desperately need old photos and paintings of the Penang port, the clan jetties especially stevedores, sampan men, charcoal traders, fishermen etc, on top of women, children, old folks etc. So anyone with such photos/ paintings are welcome to notify us of the wherabouts of these photos/paintings ASAP ! Our contacts : 013-5900339(Ong BK-Director)
Actually we had also got some of the photos from various sources : Dr Chan Lean Heng -researcher of the clan jetties-photos of 30-40 years vintage; paintings of the clan jetties by Penang's painter Chong Hong Fatt; google photos on early Penang, books by Teow Shiaw Kuan, the Koay Jetty campaign group etc. However they are not in sufficient quantity or quality yet. We hope that people out there who share our concern to conserve the history/heritage of Penang will come forward with their family collections to assist us in this project -which can be a start to wider documentation of Penang's early communities -from various ethnic backgrounds.

The life of the early communities are actually quite complex and diverse -and thus need more elaboarate (pictoral) colloborations. Eg Are the clan jetties fishing villages as propagated by tour guides ? How did the conflicts among the jetties managed -what was the roles of various other parties outside ? What changed the attitude of the authorities towards the barter trade there compared to policies else where ? What are the roles of women in the clan jetties clan-centred social structure?
The photos /paintings are important to bring to light/live the groups who contributed towards the success of Penang port -which propelled the island's economy to the height it achieved. Similarly the other communities who helped in the country's economy need similar treatment later. Your support is most needed to make this tentative step of reclaiming the people's history a success !
Ong BK
Clan Jetty Filming Crew

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Double Feature Saturday: Baraka & Chronos

In succession to our screening of Koyaanisqatsi last week, we will be showing two more movies with similar themes this Saturday evening, at 8pm. Place: 60 Weld Quay

and here's a map of where's 60 Weld Quay at...

They are:

Baraka (1992)

Runtime ~96minutes

...and Chronos (1985)

Runtime ~40minutes

Admission: FREE

Just like Koyaanisqatsi, the films have no main plot, dialogue, and characters. Being abstract, the viewer can make his or her own interpretation on the movie and the message it entails.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Free screening of Koyaanisqatsi

Penang Film Club will be screening the renown classic Koyanisqatsi film according to the following details :
Date : June 17th (Sunday)
Time : 8.00pm
Venue : D' Space (60 Weld Quay, 4th floor of Wisma Oh)
Intro to the film : the film (1980's make) featured an extended music video which contrast nature and human made citiscapes to produce a dialogue-less condemnation of human civilisation. Excellent music by Philip Glass add to the poignancy of the feature-length piece. Many people had been so charmed that they watch it repeatedly. It is by-itself a prove of the power of imageries over human(made)-languages. The title is a Hopi Indian word meaning `Life Out of Balance'.
Free entrance-bring your friends and favourite cinema tit-bits!
Enq. 013-5900339(Ong)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hmm... What shall we screen this Sun?

By: BrightEyes

This Sunday, we're going to screen another movie at 60 Weld Quay (near the ferry terminal). Some of the guys plan on "Baraka". I'm looking to having "Koyaanisqatsi" instead. Both films are similar in concept; they both have no main characters, no dialogue, and no main plot... just a parade of photographs and videos in a musical.

Which of the two shall it be?

Stay tuned...

Friday, June 8, 2007

Pesta Rakyat Merdeka offer free film screenings

Pesta Rakyat Merdeka: June 24th
Start: 24 Jun 2007 - 9:30am
End: 24 Jun 2007 - 5:00pm
Dewan Sri Pinang
1) 1:30 ptg – 2:10 ptg "Alice Lives Here" oleh Reel Powers
2) 2:10 ptg – 2:40 ptg "Paradise Bus" oleh Chi Too
3) 2:40 ptg – 3:10 ptg "Twelve 11" oleh Loh Yin San, Ong Ju Lin & Claudia Theophilus
4) 3:10 ptg – 3:40 ptg "The Tapper and the Law" oleh Rajan Paramesran
5) 3:40 ptg – 4:10 ptg "The Invisible Children" oleh Hariati Azizan
6) 4:10 ptg – 4:40 ptg "Sustainable Penang" oleh Cahayasuria Communication Centre
For more info, visit

Clan Jetty film to start shooting in end of June/1st week of July

Clan Jetty film close to shooting!

The shooting of the Penang's Clan jetties film is coming closer with a number of developments :
1. The filming group was awarded a RM5k filming grant from the Freedom Film Fest film proposal competition; We are 1 of the 3 films chosen. The other 2 films are : one of Malaysian history between WW2 & Emergency-by Fahmi; and another on the life of a transgender person by Indra; Ong attended an interview in Kl at KOMAS office as part of the screening process; a panel of 4 judges sat as the jury; a number of otehr submissions were also sent from Penang Film club members -showing a growing interests in film making in Penang -good development !
2. Ong met up with the FFF organisers and the Bigpictures consultants to go through the expectations in terms of timetable; reporting etc etc. A contract would be signed to formalise the undertakings from both sides.
3. A screening of all other related films on the jetties was organised as part of the fortnightly film screening at D' Space. Titles were made from ASTRO; Panorama program by RTM1; film by USm student and Australian academic were studied to look at their strenghts and weaknesses. Chew Jetty's Residents Association Chairman Mr Chew Hock Eam came to gave an encouraging opening to the session.
4. Meeting was held among the film crews -so the almost all-new line up are :
Director : Ong BK
Content Editor: Oswald phin, Xing Ying, Yoke Pin, Johnie Goh
Camera : Oswald phin, Chuin Nian;
DOP : Jia En, Siang Kai & members of Pg Film Club and Pg Graduates Youth Association;
Editor : Jia En, Johnie Goh
Anyone interested to join us as crew or extras, are welcome to call us to sign up in our suppport team ! You can help in all sorts of work eg designing, acting, lighting ...down to helping with transports, catering, running errands etc Afterall the Rm5k grant cannot be hoped to cover all expenses-we will most likely be doing some more fund raising after the budget is finalised. So you may be a valunteer -it will be worth it if you conside rthta this may launch you into an outstanding filming carreer !Enq. 013-5900339
5. Meeting with Johnie Goh: he offered to loan his camera and other gadgets -and also offer us to involved in his filming assingment in KL; Hopefully we can pick up enough to apply in the Clan Jetty film.
6. Currently we are almost finished with the script-and looking forward to shooting in the last week of June or 1st week of July. We need to prepare everything ahead of the shooting planned to take 3-5 days.
Wish us good luck !
Ong BK
Clan Jetties Filming Crew

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Review: Darwin's Nightmare -also our nighmare !

Halo folks,
Darwin's Nighmare: a review

Got a tips from Kris and went to Alliance Francaise at Jln Irrawady, P. Tikus to watch Darwin's Nightmare last night. Saw Johnathan instead -Kris missed the show because he came late (and the door was locked).

The longish show(111 min) made a strong point on the pollution of Lake Victoria where locals(Mwanza community of Tanzania) live off the carcases of a fish introduced to the lake in 1960's and caused an eco-cide in the lake as the new species took over the lake. The fish is quite big and good for mass production of fish fillets for EU market. A typical exploitative N-S issue.

The war in the lake among the fishes(reflected vividly by a shot of smaller fishes taken out from the mouth of a bigger fish) is reflected in an equally deadly war among the humans around the lake. The big planes which took away the fish brought back ammunitions and weapons for the warring groups here. The suppliers of the weapons are criticised by locals as the instigators of the local conflicts where people hardly can feed themselves with the fish carcases.

Apart from the content the film's making also shows many good points on how to make a good informative and moving films with a camera going to some far-flung places with little support facilities. The course sound from a record player at the office of a manager of a fish processing factory reflects enough of the situation there. The many conversations were recorded with 1 camera swing from 1 side to another.

If there is a complaint the interviewer -while never shows his face, was mumbling a bit when he asked the interviewees. A bit hard to hear him sometimes. This however cannot put down the film makers' tremendous effort in making the film, as reflected by the amount of local and non-local interviewees he got to speak to -from higher ups-politicians who dialogue leisurely with EU officials, to the lowest down-street kids, prostitutes, aids victims, fish carcase processors standing in the mud with maggots all over etc.

The film was released in 2005 -and needs some updating as things have been moving fast in the development there-including episodes where EU stop the import of the fish coming from the starving populations. And environmental laws being enacted in Tanzania since then.

The host of the film screening, Alliance Francaise, could have done better if they initiate some discussion of such a good film at the end. About 10 people watched the film -and I'm sure some if not all of them would have something to say about the highly charged issues raised. But may be the film screening was more a diplomatic affairs ? The premise was quite pleasing -a well-maintained pre-war house, though some noise can still be filtering through from outside.

Ong BK

Thursday, May 17, 2007

World Environment Day Screening : An Inconvenient Truth

It is strange that the well known film about climate change by a well known speaker had not been shown publicly in Penang yet. So Penang FilmClub would use the occasion of this year's World Environment Day to screen the very recommendable film-both for content as well as the make :
Date : June 3rd (Sunday)
Time : 8.00pm
Venue: D' Space (60 Weld Quay, 4th Floor of Wisma Oh)
Entrance : FREE -limited seats -1st come 1st served !
Enq.013-5900339 (Ong)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Screening of Clan Jetties films

Halo folks,
Next screening : Films on Clan Jetties
There are 4 groups of short films on the clan jetties which we will show this Sunday (May 13th) at 8.00pm, at D' Space:
1. By Astro (with 4 segments-2 on Chew Jetty, 1 on Koay Jetty)
2. By RTM -on demolished Koay Jetty
3. By visiting USM students -on demolished Koay Jetty
4. By Australian academic -on history of demolished Koay Jetty.

We can only show as much as time permit. The reason for showing these films are : we have enough people who want to watch them-which include people who are involved in the making of the new film on the clan jetties. The group had won a RM5k award from FFF organiser recently.

Discussion about the films and also the making of the film will follow the screenings. All welcome to the screening.

Other film projects around Penang:
BM Film by Xing Ying to be shown in June
A member on this mail list Xing Ying (previously trained in Han Chiang) is making a film about her own home town -with teh good and bads all thrown in. We look forward to her production to be shared with us when it is ready. This seems to follow a good trend to start to look into our history-especially local history.

Ghost films by Chuin Nian
D' Space has agreed to allow Chuin Nian to use the venue for shooting his new short film which happen to be a ghost story. Get scared-and very, very scared! He also look forward to make a longer feature film in the same genre. Best of luck.

Screening of videos on 2 recent by-elections: May 12th (Sat) 8.00pm, D' Space
There will be discussions about the by-elections after the screening. Speakers : Ong BK -accreditated election observer by Election Commission; Lee Khai Loon -Coordinator of Youth For Change-organised a bus trip to the 2 by-election to acquint youth to Malaysia's electoral process -and for that they got a threat by the Higher Education Minister to go after the uni students involved ! What a shame ! Lee is also a Penangite.

Ong BK

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Venezuela Bolivariana : inspiring people's power !

Halo folks,Screening of `Venezuela Bolivariana' 12 people attended the screening of the film described as `agitating' by an attendant. Even though it is a film made from a certain partisan perspective the pro-people stand of the doco derive its authenticity from the numerous interviewees from the street level. The results from the Venezuela revolution led by Hugo Chavez eg land reform, ban on intrusion of trawler ships into shallow seas, improvement of literacy etc become concrete reasons for the people's undying support for the President when he was hijacked through a coup d'tate in 2002. The street mobilisation despite numerous people being killed by anti-Chavez snippers finally caused the President to be brought back !
It is a miraculous success -especially compared to the fate of another democratically elected president in Chile (Allende) who was deposed through the coup staged by the upper class. The Chavez's success had since spawn a `domino effect' on the S. America as more changes of government take place in the last 5 years.
After the screening we had a discussion on how far the people should defend the democratic process and the constitution in the event of military coups. The situation is also contrasted with the coup against the more conservative Thaksin regime in Thailand. But the real debate actually relates to how far the very corrupted democratic process in Malaysia can be trusted to bring about real changes to the people !
The Venezuela situation showed that even if the City Council in the capital city was in the hand of the Opposition the Chavez government did not abolish the City Councils' election as happened in Malaysia as far back as 1965 ! But how far have and would Malaysian citizens fought against this denial of their citizens' rights ?
Next screening
Videos from the last 2 by-elections by MALVU (Election Watch group) + other proposals. Chuin Nian called to suggest that he MAY be able to bring along a copy of the Inconvenient Truth by Al-Gore the American Presidential candidate-about climate change. Hope he can confirm soonest for us to publicise it earlier. Since both the videos & the film have interests beyond the Film Club members we will publicise it beyond the mail-list. Cheers,Ong BK

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Screening of Hitler Speaks during Kg. Berembang Tragedy Cultural Night (14 April)

A gig and art exhibition will be held this *Saturday (14th April)* for the victims of the Kg. Berembang tragedy.

Saturday, 14 April,
D’Space, 60 Weld Quay, Georgetown
5pm: Urban pioneers’ struggle art exhibit
8pm: Gig feat. Coma, Firefly, Weot Skam
More info here

If you don’t know what happened in Kg. Berembang, find out here:

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Review of "Night On Earth"

An impressive low-budget film directed by Jim Jarmusch, "Night On Earth" is a 30 to 40 minute vignette on the lives of five different taxi drivers in five different cities around the world. Each of the five separate snapshots is supposed to take place at the same time, with the clock rewinding itself when transitioning from one story to the next...

In LA, a chain-smoking (Lucky Strikes) 18-20 yr old girl (Winona Ryder) drives a middle aged Hollywood exec. who is looking for looking for young undiscovered talent and sees it in the driver. She refuses, adding that she has her life all planned out to be a taxi driver, and more.

In New York, an East German immigrant and former circus clown tries to drive a New Yorker who complains about racial inequality e.g. that he usually can't get a taxi because most taxi drivers fear being robbed by a black guy (this is NYC in the early 90s). This story also highlights the cultural barriers between the East German and the black passenger from the suburbs of NY. If you observe, Helmut's driving skills improve at the end. Is this intentional?

In Paris, African diplomatic officials (Cameroon) insult African (Ivory Coast) immigrant driver. It shows that blind people have character as well e.g. can be sarcastic, rude, confident. The Rome story relates to humour, religion and parodising the Church while in Helsinki, the idea of sadness as being relative and the personal problems of the poor and retrenched are exposed.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Read what you missed in last night's screening :

Halo folks,
We had a good turn out at the special screening of Julian Cheah's new Malay film `Penyesalan tak Berakhir' last night-with about 20 attendants ! Those who missed the screening really should regret it !
Before we started 3 special short clips were screened :
1. Julian's filmed congrat to Victoria for her real marriage -Victoria being the one married on screen to the character played by Julian in the film `Have you ever married a Chinese man?' A cheeky presentation !
2. A funny clip by visiting film maker Fahmi from KL. The short juxtaposed the notorious demolition of Kg Chubadak's housing with the PM's upbeat new year speech. A certain poignancy is achieved in the short where there was no other narrator. Thanks Fahmy.

Fahmi's sharing of his film research on unsung Independence struggles heros
Fahmi is in Penang till Wed to do some filming on a film project -to document a period between WW2 & Emergency to uncover the unsung heros for Malaysia's Independence struggle. Good effort ! He offer to share his research up to this point with anyone interested on Tuesday evening at D' Space around 8.00pm. Anyone interested are welcome for this teh-tarik discussion session ! He do have a few funny clips to share around ...Please indicate your interests to attend to allow me to gauge the level of interests for this `program'. With the country set to celebrate 50th/44th Merdeka in a major way soon the relooking of our contested history is much needed. A great nation cannot grow from enforced ignorance or lost memories !

3. A 36 sec clip by Jia Meng-whose photographic shop along Penang Rd was raided by 4 MPPP enforcement officers on 21-03-07. The clip had attracted 700 + viewing at You-tube and pages of lively discussions in at least 5 web sites which linked to it. At Low Yat web site the discussions had run into 7 pages at last check ...what an underreported scandal where even Malaysiakini failed to report despite alert ! There is a report in Star which was only available in print version. To watch the clip go to and search for `Keganasan MPPP'.

After the exciting shorts we went into the 62 min feature by Julian Cheah. (see another post for full review).

We finished our last bit of `mental masturbation' (as one member said of our post-film supper) at the usual place (Kassim Mustafa) at around 1.00am. Wonder how 6 guys can talk over 2 days just about some plastic matter/films ....

NEW blog for Nonay Film Club
Actually we didn't just talked about films -we discussed many things -including starting a blog for NONAY Film Club since we are approaching our 6 month anniversary-the self-set target for NONAY film club to re-establish itself on a more lasting basis. Notice we are still without even a name to start with ! Johnathan will call a meeting sometime this week to brainstorm on how we can design the blog. If you have any ideas please forward to us through this discussion list.

Next screening : We need 10 interested people to screen `Night on Earth' -3 agreed -7 to go-after we postponed the screening of this title twice before due to various reasons. HURRY !
Since we will be looking at the brainstorming result from Jonathan there would be something to chew over for Nonay Film CLub -hope the members would make it a point to come and contribute our ideas for our 6 month anniversary due in June !
Date : 1-4-07 (Sunday) No April Fool !
Time : 8.00pm
Venue : D' Space.
There is a April Fool joke competition on -please submit your try and win handsome, eye-popping prizes !

That's all for the moment folks !

See you !

Ong BK

`Penyesalan Tak Berakhir' to end Julian's filming `penyesalan' ?

`Penyesalan tak Berakhir' well received !After screening 3 exciting shorts we went into the 62 min feature by Julian Cheah. A well received film if we go by the positive responses after the screening. A few things stood out : the `low budget' Rm18k film was done with a 1-man crew ie the director/actor/etc etc -Julian Cheah ! He even filmed himself when he was acting his part !

The film did utilised an imported talent of a recognised TV actress who played the lead actress role effectively. The film's simplicity did not detract from the fact that its story focus on a nerve centre of Malaysia's almost unrivaled urbanisation -from 30% in 1970 to 70% in 2005. But the price of broken or strained family relation is poignantly played out in the film-which was telling a story of how a son who left for the city neglected his adopted mother -and regretted too late when he found his mother dying in a paddy field in the closing scene.

The scenes of rural life was much appreciated by the audience too -the eating of sireh, the washing of cloth by getting water from a well; the grinding of curry herbs etc. The using of royalty paid traditional Malay music was also a plus for the film.

Some critcisms were raised about the simplicity of the film which did not adequately explained the crucial change of the son from the cold hearted self to another where he went back to the village to look for his mother. It happened after a series of events which unfolded relatively quickly in a slow moving film : 1st the predicament of the old women caught attention of a by-stander (Willian played by Julian)-who happen to know his son-who then confronted the son Borhan/Jeff-which was noticed by his girlfriend-who then wanted to split from him and stop the fund for Borhan/Jeff's housing project. Did Borhan change his heart due to sincere regret -or simply another cold hearted calculation to hang on to the financing for his housing project ?

The ending scene where the old lady was found dying in a paddy field was found to be inadequately explained by some members of the audience. May be it would be better if she could be found dying near a fishing pond, someone suggested.

Some suggestions to improve the film eg the walk from the village to Borhan's city apartment by the old lady was not shown to show the effort of the old lady need to make to see her son. Another was some helpful lines which tell of how many youngsters had left for the city and run into emotional crisis with their family -to solidly contextualise the story in the bigger social `movement' of Malaysians from rural to urban society.

Instead of making his own film Julian actually made this film where the inspiration came from one of the actors in the film-a neighbour who sympathised with the old lady's predicament. Ther are different opinions as to if this is good or if Julian should keep to making his own films to emphaisze authorial authenticity. However all agreed that this film was a marked improvement from the last 2 shown here-something which Julian himself did not quite agree-he thought that all his films are different.

Review by : Ong BK

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Never-Ending Regret by Julian Cheah

We just screened Julian Cheah's The Never-Ending Regret (Penyesalan Tak Berakhir) last night.

It portrayed how materialism and urbanisation affected individuals and this was also Julian Cheah's first film where he was not involved in the script as part of his adventure into filming other types of stories.

Criticisms from the audience include confusing situations due to missing scenes, sound quality and poor acting of some of the extras though worth noting is the low budget of this film (~18k) and the one-man film crew of Julian himself.

Please paste your comments about this film below, including other facts and trivia about it. If you missed it, you can contact us here to find out how you can see it again.

The New Blog

A bit of history - the Penang Film Club, formerly known as the NONAY (No-Name-As-Yet) Film Club is a group of individuals who share the same common interest - watching and making films.
Welcome to the new blog!