Wednesday, 18 March 2009
6:30 p.m. – Korean Studies Auditorium
Directed by Li Lin Wee
Singapore, 2007, 97 minutes
Clara, a forty year old ‘tai tai’ (wealthy lady of leisure) faces a mid-life crisis and decides to run away to the only place that has ever made any sense to her – the shopping centers. As she lives there, Clara crosses paths with Renu, an eight-year old latchkey kid who has been abandoned by her parents in a 24-hour mall and Aaron, an angst-y twenty three year old who skips work to hang out at the mall with his friends. Together, they find love, loss and liberation in the heart of Singapore. An official selection of the Hawaii International Film Festival, the Udine Film Festival in Italy and the Shanghai International Film Festival.
Ahmad (Cesar Montano) is a Muslim who lives in Manila as a doctor. His wife Fatima (Amy Austria) and only son Ibrahim live in Mindanao with Ahmad’s mother, Farida. Ahmad is devastated when he is told that Ibrahim has been killed by a stray bullet fired by vigilantes. Returning home, Ahmad finds himself opposing his family’s wish to stay in their war-torn homeland. In spite of his son’s death, Ahmad still wants to live a peaceful life and insists that the best solution is for his family to move to Manila with him. Musa, Ahmad’s brother, disagrees. Musa believes that a war against the unbelievers is the only solution, and even trains his young son for a Muslim warrior’s life. An explosion near a public marketplace thrusts Ahmad and his loved ones into the center of a bloody conflict between Christians and Muslims, the government and the Moros. Montanoâ€™s performance garnered him a Best Actor nod for a Gawad Urian, the Pinoy equivalent of an Oscar.
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
6:30 p.m. – Korean Studies Auditorium
Love Conquers All
Directed by Tan Chui Mui
Malaysia, 2006, 90 minutes
Malay, Mandarin and Cantonese w/E.S.
Ah Peng is a Chinese-Malay girl from Penang. She comes to the capital Kuala Lumpur to work in the simple food stall run by her aunt. At first she doesn’t seem to have time for the joys and dangers of the big city. She doesn’t go looking for them either. She allows her new life to come at her the way it comes. And, she realizes, the way it comes is not always the way you want.
The role of Ah Peng is played by debutante Coral Ong Li Whei. The candour of the young actress matches wonderfully the way in which Ah Peng faces up to the unexpectedly harsh life of the capital. Ah Peng starts a beautiful friendship with her younger cousin Mei. They become like sisters. Mei maintains a secret correspondence with an unknown pen pal. It looks like a playful announcement of what is awaiting Ah Peng: a love that is not what it seems and is not what it should be.
Soon after her arrival in the city, Ah Peng is noticed and followed by John. The fact that she has a boyfriend in Penang does not stop him from pursuing his fairly aggressive advances. Ah Peng doesn’t really resist, nor for very long. Even when John unashamedly explains to her how a pimp works, she seems deaf to any warning. And equally imperturbably, with a minimal use of means, the film follows Ah Peng’s fate. – IFFR
LOVE CONQUERS ALL won the Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.
“A delicate individual drama, which improves itself by the level and subtle relation that reality digital filming makes possible.” – Jean-Michel Frodon (chairman), Tikoy Aguiluz, Mabel Cheung, 31st Hong Kong International Film Festival
“Classical in style and structure, it is a film which speaks to the heart.” – Piers Handling (chairman), Lou Ye, Isaac Julien, Maria Kraakman, Teresa Villaverde, 36th International Film Festival Rotterdam
“The international Jury gives the award to Love Conquers All for its effective use of ambiguity and irony in constructing a surprising and subtly elliptical narrative.” – Francois Verster (chairman), Chris Fujiwara, Ana Katz, Jacqueline Veuve, Freddie Wong, 21st Fribourg International Film Festival
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Thursday, March 4, 12:00 p.m., Moore Hall 319 (Tokioka Room) Presented by Rohayati Paseng, Librarian/Bibliographer in the Southeast Asia Collection and
Paul Rausch, Associate Director in the Center for Southeast Asian Studies
This team talk/demonstration focuses on the development (2007) of an Asian studies course designed to teach advanced Southeast Asian language students at the University of Hawaii the skills associated with translating and subtitling film from Southeast Asia. Examples of student work will be featured, and the challenges associated with the translation and the development course will be discussed.
Rohayati Paseng is librarian and bibliographer in the Southeast Asia Collection. Born and raised in Indonesia, she speaks four languages, but is baffled by Javanese.
Paul Rausch is associate director and outreach coordinator at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. He works feverishly to bring Southeast Asian film into the wider film community, and spends most of his waking hours trying to figure out the technology needed to subtitle film from the region.
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