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