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!