Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Movie, May 4th: Half-Moon (Niwe Mang)

Iranian-Kurdish film director Bahman Ghobadi ("Turtles Can Fly", "A Time For Drunken Horses") takes us on a road-trip from Iran to post-Saddam Iraq on a minibus. And just like the previous two movies we screened, "Goodbye Boys" and "Ten Canoes", the director uses non-professional actors and actresses to play the characters in his film.

Besides the driver, the passengers are an old Kurdish musician called Mamo, and his "children" -- actually his ex-students. The famous Mamo wishes to travel with his band to Kurdish-Iraq for a concert, his first in Iraq in 30-plus years. Saddam Hussein had repressed Kurdish culture in Iraq during his rule. The situation is better in Iran, but by not much... women are prohibited from performing.

The trip to Iraq would be risky, and a village elder predicts that serious danger would befall the old musician. Still he presses on with his dream to play in Kurdish Iraq.

Along the way he searches for his singing partner, a woman named Hesho, to join his group. Old Mamo also faces obstacles from the overzealous Iranian police, ever on the lookout for religious transgressions... such as female singers.

More info here

Location: 4th floor, 60 Weld Quay

Time: 7PM (Sunday), 4th May

Admission: Free

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April20: Bernard Chauly's "Goodbye Boys" (2006)

The year 1990. Ipoh. A former mining town now surrounded by a moonscape of abandoned mining machinery & quarries. Eight Boy Scouts (Kinta Troop No.2) from St. Michael's High School embark on a camping expedition to earn their Scout badges. For the trip to be successful, they must cover 100 kilometers of ground around Ipoh on foot. No "help" from any other transport (pedal-powered, animal-powered, or motorized) is allowed. Some aim to complete the expedition fairly, some plan to cheat...

Bernard Chauly's low-budget film takes us through the minds & antics of the eight as they trek through Perak's Kinta Valley; their friendships, the childish pranks they play upon each other, pimples, family relationships, the upcoming school prom, the impending final exams, ... and their future after graduation...

At the end of the expedition, which nearly turned tragic, the eight schoolboys have changed... each of them now with an entirely new outlook on life, and new post-highschool ambitions...

The movie is in a mixture of Malay, mostly English, and some Chinese. But subtitles are provided. From what I've read, most of the actors are first-timers.

Location: 4th floor, 60 Weld Quay

Time: 7PM (Sunday), 20 April

Admission: Free

Monday, April 7, 2008

We Will Be Moving Soon

"Ten Canoes" was screened to an audience of 10 people yesterday night. Although the Australian-Aboriginal dialogue in the film wasn't subtitled, the voiceover of the narrator and the visuals provided the clues for the audience to figure out what the characters were talking about.

The movie also provided us a glimpse into ancient Aboriginal practices (laws, culture, music, hunting activities, etc.) and storytelling. One wonders if a similar film could be made featuring one or some of the many indigenous Orang Asli tribes of Malaysia...?

As our lease on our current premises at 60 Weld Quay is expiring, the Penang Film Club will have to move. We have a new place in mind, very close to where we are now. We'll let you know soon... once all the paperwork has been finalized.

But our next film, "Goodbye Boys", will still be screened at 60 Weld Quay. It will most likely be our last film to be shown at this place, however.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

6 April: "Ten Canoes"

This Sunday, we will be screening an Australian-Aborigine movie. Filmed in Northern Australia, "Ten Canoes" is set in a time long before the arrival of Europeans on the continent.

A story within a story, the elder aboriginal Minygululu tells a fable to Dayindi, one of the members of Minygululu's hunting expedition. Dayindi is young, but inexperienced, and he desires one of Minygululu's wives for his own. The whole movie is both in English narration and Aboriginal language.


Location: 4th floor, 60 Weld Quay

Time: 7PM, Sunday, 6 April

Admission: Free