I normally don't do this, but i guess i am in a mental state of mind where i am sick and tired of people generalising that all local filmmakers have no educational background and are a bunch of whinning artistes.
I personally think that it is unfair for people to generalise and judge based on their limited knowledge of a subject matter but rather to be more ojectively inquiring and not stereotyping when in discussion.
I do this entry in response to an ANONYMOUS blogger known only as WEBBER, basically this is in response to his response of my previous entry. (errr... or something like that)
His respond reads...
my experience as an engineer, kitorang kalau design something, and then present something to the judges at any competition, we always have something we dont agree with the rulings and the way our design is judged.
But year in and year out, there are many designs and engineering work that go around the rulebook but still manage to stay within the means of the rulings. And some even came out with an even better idea whenever they came with an obstacle provided by the judges.
You filmmakers can learn a thing or two from us engineers. We accept any "censorships" as challenges for us to be better and to be more "open minded," and not the other way around.
Im not disagreeing that more freedom means more creativity, but the reality of it is, you wont get total freedom, not in filmmaking not in life. So, getting the censorship board to ease up a bit, wouldnt make much of a difference.
And i think, you can actually use the censorship to your advantage. Macam the iranian films where there is no touching between men and women. I think hollywood or the rest of the world are more interested nak tengok macamana producer film can make a film with those restrictions.
Mungkin scene baling pemadam tu dilihat sebagai menjatuhkan maruah guru, but maybe there's a way that filmmakers can do something yang at least menggambarkan something of that perbuatan.
In the engineering world, at least 80% of the best engineered things came from restrictions. Contoh like formula one car where the car used a fan to suck the car to the road. It was banned, which afterwards led to extensive aerodynamic work. Dari situ, we all dapat all those wings and winglet that you see nowadays. Less material, less moving parts, less electronics, and less cost.
Even kat malaysia pun, we have some of the best mind in engineering, tapi the reality is ... most of them, banyak education, tapi tak banyak applications. Whereas the filmmakers kat malaysia pulak, banyak application, tapi tak banyak education.
I guess what im trying to say is, prove what you're capable of within that restriction, and we'll let the public decide whether the censorship should ease up a bit or not.
Or what we all engineer say, " let the right part fits and not the other way around."
p/s: i lived in kampong before, tapi tak pernah pun tengok anak beranak duduk kat tangga sikat rambut sambil berkemban. Actually, ive never seen my family or my sedara mara, berkemban dalam rumah all the time like in Sepet. So i think that women berkemban dalam dan luar rumah is kind of an exegeration. Actually, i think 30% of the movie dalam sepet tu, tak melambangkan reality orang melayu. And most of my kampung or bandar frens agreed.
Tue Nov 01, 01:33:56 AM 2005
This is my uneducated response...
Dear webber yang dihormati,
First of all, let me share with you that i completely agree that education, knowledge and wisdom is the key for anybody who wants to improve in life and other matters. I believe problems are our best teachers and discussion is the route to problemsolving.
In the context to what you have said above,
Thank you for bringing up our much admired Iranian friends in the film industry and i guess i know now, that this is why, me, being an ex-architect turned filmmaker, have never told engineers how do design engines, because i don't really comprehend the situation you guys are in, since i am not in your industry and that is why you are the engineers because it is your craft.
In Architecture and i believe the same can be applied to engineering (please correct me because i could be wrong), We design by using the construct of the laws of design and in pricipality, within the design brief that is given to us. Yes i agree that, from this, we can find who has found the best way to manipulate the rules that are given to us, to find out who can create the best design. As where the design process itself is up to the individual's ingenuity, every designer still works with the same set of rules. Now, in the context of the global filmmaking industry, i believe that this is not the case as Malaysians are playing by different, and are handicapped by their, set of rules.
As for the iranian censorship, i completely agree with you that their filmmakers have managed to make an impact (eventhough not huge compared to the hollywood machine) by making movies within their censorship guidelines. BUT this is the thing, their CENSORSHIP IS CONSISTENT! ours seems to be ad-hoc and new rules are created when certain parties feel that they are not shown in a good light in the cinemas. As in our learning of history, we will not be able to see the value of our independence from our invaders if we do not see the tyranny of the opressors.
The other thing is, If you have never seen your family and sedara mara berkemban on a tangga menyikat rambut, does it mean it doesn't happen?. My father, has at one time put my mother in the hospital because of an argument, just because it happens in my family, do i have the right to say that it happens in yours?
Raping your own child is not something that everyone does, is it? but does it actually happen in real life? does that happen among your family and friends? I'm sure they will say NO..
Just because something is not in the news due to its un-sensationalic nature does it mean it doesn't happen? Reporters won't report "hari ini keluarga PAK ABU telah di jumpai dalam keadaan menyikat rambut sesama sendiri diatas tangga dalam keadaan berkemban!" in their breaking news, because it's not news worthy, but doe that mean it doesn't happen?
Most of your frens in the kampung and in the bandar, accumulatively, do they make up at least 2 percent of the total malay population of malaysia?
i also like the F1 example that you gave, in that new controls and restrictions might push the boundries of design to make things better. In F1, when that happens, it is good for the sport because everyone plays by the same rules. It is not however applicable when somebody says "why are malay movies not as good as foreign movies?". Personally, i would not mind censorship if EVERYONE plays by the same rules, ie the local and international filmmakers, then we will see how great the western cinema is as opposed to ours. Do you think that our American counterparts can make a movie with the same budget we have, which is usually even smaller than their catering budget?
Just a few things to ponder.
If you don't see it, does that mean it is not there?
I think the quran will disagree with you on that bro, or i could be mistaken. Because i am merely an uneducated filmmaker and not an learned engineer.
Personally, i believe that we have reached saturation point in this industry in terms of the content that we can make and it has personified itself in the downward trend of the cinema going audience. Except for stories like KL MENJERIT 1, which has proven that the local viewing audience is still there and proven that peole want to hear more thoght provoking stories. I believe KLM1 has done well because the subject matter is one that is quite recalcitrant; ie. street racing. It is against the law but nonetheless the public wants too see it, because of curiousity and the taboo-ness of the subject matter. Instead of skewing it into something to be glorified, BADAR squewed street racng to something that is to be avoided.
People don't eat maggots and are jijik by it but do they flip the channel during FEAR FACTOR, some people might do it, but do you think a television network would buy the program it there was no demand for it?
Let us regain our market share and promote our cultural sensitivities by being able to play with, if not the same, more relaxed rules of censorship. Personally, i am not even really that concerned about the no V,H,S ruling because it's the other stuff like bribery, honour, integrity, and looking at ourselves objectively as a people in Malaysia is what i am really interested in. So i say it again... RELAX OUR CENSORSHIP LAWS AND BE CONSISTENT WITH IT.
Or what all we filmmakers say, " If the right part doesn't fit, let's see what other part is siutable for the actor."
EMPOWER THE PEOPLE