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A Malaysian Renaissance

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By Benjamin McKay

The recent success of Malaysian films on the international festival circuit comes as no surprise to those of us who have been watching the recent independent films emanating from Kuala Lumpur and supporting their development over the past seven years or so. A small but dynamic burgeoning independent film culture exists now in the Malaysian capital and the other film cultures of Southeast Asia have begun to take an active interest in developments in new Malaysian cinema. With Tan Chui Mui’s recent success at Pusan and Rotterdam for Love Conquers All (2006) and the award of the International Jury Prize in Berlin to Yasmin Ahmad’s Mukhsin (2006) it seems the world has finally realized the value of the work being produced in Malaysia.

The independent film community in Kuala Lumpur works parallel alongside an existing and long established mainstream commercial film industry. The Malaysian mainstream has however rarely in the past forty years or so managed to make much of an impact outside of its own national borders. Producing Malay language films and featuring largely Malay performers and storylines these films often ignore the cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity that is a feature of plural Malaysian society. The mainstream cinema is an ethnic rather national cinema. The emerging independent film culture challenges that narrowness by embracing the diversity of the society that is producing it.

The Malay language film industry does however have an impressive lineage born out of a studio based production culture that was largely centered in the city of Singapore. Singapore was a part of the British colonially controlled larger Malay world until it became an independent city state in 1965. The first screenings of films commenced in what was then Malaya in 1901 and the region has consistently had some of the largest cinema attendance figures in the world since those days. Local productions in the Malay language began being produced during the 1930s. Production stopped during the years of the Japanese occupation, but commenced again in the post war era after 1947.
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Written by Nika Bohinc

March 3, 2007 at 7:03 pm

Posted in English, Mirror

Kako je bh. režiserima oduzeto pravo da snime osrednji ili loš film: Nevolje sa nagradama i film kao kolektivna svojina

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By Adisa Čečo

Na ulazu u berlinsko kino Palast, nekoliko minuta prije početka novinarske projekcije filma Grbavica Jasmile Žbanić u okviru Berlinala, postariji Skandinavac kaže svojim prijateljima: »Lijepo je vidjeti da nas, ljubitelja bosanskog filma ima ovako mnogo Njegova rečenica zanimljiva je iz nekoliko razloga. U prvom redu jeste neobično vidjeti da se u rano jutro radi debitantskog filma neke mlade Bosanke pred kinom iskupe stotine novinara. Još interesantnija je njegova upotreba sintagme »bosanski film«. Šta je to u stvari i da li uopšte postoji? Šta podrazumijevamo pod »bosanskim« ili »novim bosanskim filmom«, i kako takva klasifikacija zvuči nama, Bosancima i Hercegovcima.

Na prvi pogled to je grupa veoma različitih režisera, filmova i poetika- ali ma koliko zagovarali tezu da Srđana Vuletića, Pjera Žalicu, Ahmeda Imamovića, Danisa Tanovića, Nedžada Begovića ili Jasmilu Žbanić ne možemo svrstati u isti koš, oni očigledno dijele sličan talenat, zatim obrazovanje na sarajevskoj Akademiji scenskih umjetnosti, i što je još važnije, slično (ratno) iskustvo koje im omogućava da kao mladi ljudi snimaju iznenađujuće zrele filmove. Međutim pravi zapleti i prava priča o »bosanskom filmu« nastaju kada je film već završen a Bosanci i Hercegovci sačekaju odluke međunarodnih kritičara da bi znali da li će im se i koliko domaći film dopasti.

Posebno interesantan i ilustrativan primjer za priču o bosanskohercegovačkom filmu je Grbavica, nagrađena Zlatnim medvjedom. Prije dvije godine Jasmila Žbanić bila je dobro poznata u filmaškim krugovima kao autorica nekoliko odličnih dokumentaraca (Crvene gumene čizme, Slike sa ugla, Rođendan) ali šira javnost i takozvani »obični ljudi« o njoj nisu imali pojma. Kada sam, duboko dirnuta njenim dokumentarnim antiratnim filmom o raspadu jedne generacije Slike sa ugla, poželjela sa njom napraviti intervju, u svom magazinu, inače veoma naklonjenom filmu, dobila sam jedva jednu stranicu i stubac prostora. U tom intervjuu Jasmila je najavila i snimanje Grbavice koje je kasnije proteklo bez veće medijske pažnje. Danas, nakon Zlatnog medvjeda, Jasmilu svi poznaju. Najtiražnije dnevne novine štampaju njen poster, a sve bh. Novine – od političkih sedmičnika, preko ženskih časopisa, do listova sa ukrštenim riječima, svi je imaju na naslovnoj stranici! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Nika Bohinc

March 16, 2006 at 5:28 pm

Posted in B H S, Mirror