Thoughts on Films

Thinking aloud on films in Malaysia and beyond.

Episode 86: Viva la Vivo! (part 2)

September 7th, 2021

The second of a two-parter completes Fikri and Ezzah’s discussion on short films made for VIVO and the Malaysian International Film Festival. This episode focuses on ‘Burger RM15’ by Muzzamer Rahman and Chong Keat Aun’s ‘The Incident’. Along the way, they share their love for Adibah Noor, find the perfect candidate to play Dr. Norman Yusoff in his biopic, and delight in being mistaken as Chinese.

Episode 85: Viva la Vivo! (part 1)

September 5th, 2021

Recorded some time ago, Fikri and Ezzah take a closer look at a number of short films made for VIVO and the Malaysian International Film Festival. The first of two parts focuses on Nadira Ilana’s ‘Mansau Ansau’ and ‘The Last Thread’ by Fabien Loo. The final section of the episode somehow became a rant against outlets cutting short the end credits of films, so random projectionists in Indonesia and Korea, beware!

Episode 84: Let’s Talk About Secangkir Kopi Bersama Dia

August 14th, 2021

Probably the shortest run-up to an episode, ever! Having stumbled upon ‘Secangkir Kopi Bersama Dia’ by Faliq Shariff some time ago, Fikri stumbled out of bed for a lightning recording session with Muzzafar. Based on the short story of the same name by Syaihan Syafiq, it is inspired by the fact that Fikri and Muz previously made a short film, ‘Kopi Dan Dia’, based on the same story. In the first half, they take a closer look at Faliq’s film, looking at some similarities and differences, before recalling their experience making their film nine(!) years ago.

Episode 83: Selected Films from the 17th Mini Film Festival

July 28th, 2021

Another week, another episode! Fikri and Ezzah sit down to discuss selected films from the 17th Mini Film Festival. The three films are ‘Tempat Letak Kereta’, ‘The Dalang’s Tale’ and ‘Kaalam Maari Pochu’. Nominated in the Open Category of the festival, this complements our previous coverage of the category’s other films. They discuss how the films connect with Malaysian society, domestic abuse and discussions about family.

Episode 82: Let’s Talk About Chili Powder and Thinner

July 14th, 2021

In our 82nd episode, Fikri and Ezzah share their thoughts about Chili Powder and Thinner. A short animation looking at the issue of police brutality in Malaysia, it has caused some controversy, with its producers questioned by the authorities. They discuss the filmmaking style, considering how using animation for real-life events may affect its reception. They also situate it in the Malaysian bigger picture, wondering how it may affect filmmakers in being open about their thoughts and feelings.

Episode 81: Let’s Talk About Mandi Safar

July 9th, 2021

For this episode, we're going to go back... way back, to 1962! Fikri sits down with special guest, film historian and all-round good guy Hassan Muthalib in discussing 'Mandi Safar'. Directed by Mohd Zain Ibrahim, the film depicts a Malay tradition no longer practiced as it's deemed to be 'unIslamic'. We discuss how close the film's representation match the reality of the day, consider factors related to colonialism in the making and reading of the film, and how well it fits in with the rest of Zain Ibrahim's filmography.

Episode 80: The Craft of Shadowplay (part 2)

June 18th, 2021

Let’s get ready to rumble! Fikri is back with Tony Pietra Arjuna for the second part of their discussion of his film, ‘Shadowplay’. This episode’s focus is on the film’s geography and distribution methods. Fikri is especially interested in the portrayal of Kuala Lumpur, and Tony divulges how the city’s development transfigured the cityscape as both a location and a witness to the proceedings in the film. They also discuss how the deal to place ‘Shadowplay’ on KiniDia came about, and the film's other other distribution and exhibition plans.

Episode 79: The Craft of Shadowplay (part 1)

June 14th, 2021

This episode features Tony Pietra Arjuna in the hotseat! With his film ‘Shadowplay’ dropping on KiniDia, Fikri figures the time is right for an in-depth discussion into the craft of the film. The first of a two-parter, this week focuses on the narrative arc and origin, as well as how the characters are developed. Along the way, they consider the influence of David Lynch and works like ‘Run Lola Run’, the importance of his previous film ‘Cuak’ to this one, and whether the term ‘cloudwalker’ is included because Tony couldn’t get the rights to ‘skywalker’.

Episode 78: Heating up the Stars in Malaysia

June 11th, 2021

Back after a hiatus! Fikri and Ezzah sink their teeth into a number of juicy news bits. First up is a look at Disney+ Hotstar, which finally made its debut in Malaysia on 1st June 2021. They consider the role it plays in bring Malaysian films and television shows to new audiences, and how it fits into the local streaming landscape. In the second half, they react to Chloe Zhao’s Oscar win, and wonder how Malaysians would react to one of their own doing the same.

Episode 77: Speculating on the Future of Film

May 30th, 2021

Recorded in January 2021, this week's episode is a special look at digital technologies, identity formation and what the future might be like for media like film. Hosted by Tan Meng Yoe of Monash University, it is a follow up to a guest lecture conducted by Fikri on the same topic. Additionally, these two can't make such points without a little bit of Power Rangers chat, and on that note, may the power protect you!

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