Sunday, January 23, 2005

Going Out and Finding Art

One of my New Year's resolutions which I didn't actually get round to writing down (due to present fuzzy brain syndrome perhaps) is to get out to see more local plays, films, and art exhibitions. I haven't been good at this. A lack of money over the past several months hasn't helped. But there's also an indolence about me, particularly as I so often have to wade through the Why-aren't-you-staying-at-home-cooking-for-me-caring-for-me scenario, which means that I have to pick my outings quite carefully, and friendship maintenance tends to take priority over going out to see something. (Should actually combine the two rather more, shouldn't I?)

We moan about how KL is a cultural backwater, when there's plenty of excellent work by local artists out there. It is vitally important to support the work of others.

This week I really have made the effort. Went to the opening of an exhibition Lenswork by Five at Darling Muse Gallery. I thoroughly enjoyed the photos - many of them hand-tinted to great effect. Particularly enjoyed the more "architectural" photos - love old buildings and as in Alex Moh's picture left, old wall with layer upon layer of peeling paint and the accidental beauty of plants growing in tin cans.

Love the way that photography affects the way that I see the world around me. Perhaps I am inspired to start taking black and white photographs again. (Okay another resolution taken right now - must get my SLR cleaned up - fungus-fuzzy lens syndrome has struck - along along with the indolence which prevents me from doing anything about it.)

Didn't however, enjoy the crush of people and hope I have a chance to go back and spend quiet time with the pictures I like best.

Yesterday made it to Kelab Seni Filem's showing of Ho Yuhang's indie movie Sanctuary.

I've know Yuhang for a while. It came as a surprise to learn that he is a filmaker. An award winning one at that. He always used to hang out in Raman's shop, using the computer. Really a nice guy - always makes me laugh.

I was teasing Yuhang last night - not only did he write and direct the film, he was also doing all the front of house selling the club memberships.

Sanctuary tells the story of three people:
Lai is a perpetual gambler who whiles away his days at a pool hall. See's days are monotonously spent at a photocopy center with its endless duplication. The Old Man has found peace and comfort taking care of a sick partner in his old age home. See would like to mend a rift created long ago between her and the Old Man, and Lai consistently refuses See's requests to put an end to his betting. Can these three people find a place where they can reconnect?
The film was ... and now I scramble for words ... unusual, for sure ... almost a non-film if you see a film only in terms of dramatic action. Sanctuary focuses on the small details of the everyday lives of these folks in unflinching detail. There's little dialogue, little outward show of emotion from the cast.(At least two of whom have never acted before.) But the film feels so totally honest and you have the impression that you are watching real lives, real tragedies unfold. I really liked it and would love to see it a second time.

There was a q&a session afterwards, chaired by Yasmin Ahmad (so that's her - my goodness, she's so beautiful!).

Hmmm ... now what are my chances of being able to make it for the showing of Amir Mohammad's films tonight?


Anonymous said...

i finally saw you in person, two nights in a row!

i was also at the HELP screenings. my girlfriend pointed you out to me. she recognised you from the MPH Writers' Circle session.

Slow Reader aka The Visitor

bibliobibuli said...

Took a peek at your blog ... you're The Vistor! Yes, have heard of you.

You saw me and didn't come and say hello?????? I'm really sad. Always happy to make new friends and buy them teh tarik.

So you know that I did make it to Amir's films ... and I was very glad I did so.

Allan Koay 郭少樺 said...

aiyah, i velly shy wan lor!

next time la, if i c u again, will definitely come over and say hi.