Friday, December 16, 2011


It was fun whilst it lasted. Writing has always been a passion. Something that makes me feel whole. If I write, I know I am alive...but only if what I write makes sense. Of recent, it hasn't. Not in its content, nor in spirit.
Maybe I need a break. Maybe I need to stop. Maybe I've lost it.
Whatever the reason is, anak wayang ends here.
In hindsight, I wished I had taken more time to post my thoughts.
I also wished I had the balls to also speak what was really on my mind. Even with muted words, I have irked a few. Well, I hope it's a few. If there were more, you have my apologies. So you can imagine what would have happened if I had disregarded decorum and just put some people in their rightful place.
Anyway, if there was anyone who thought that the reason for me starting this blog was to be well known, I have to say that they are way off base. Even when the anonymous comments, some of which I published and some of which I didn't, accused me of trying to hang on to my father's coattails, I really couldn't give these anonymous cowards a damn because those who know me, know that this is not nor have ever been the case.
I write because I love to write.
And I write what I see; I write what I know. Sometimes, it hurts others, but I cannot allow that to prevent me from doing what I have to do. Which was to set some things right, whenever or however I can albeit in measured terms.
I truly have to thank everyone who dropped by to read my blog and I do appreciate your kind words. Don't ever believe any writer who says that they are happy to write for an audience of one, and do not need compliments or in my case, criticism or condemnation.
As writers, we want to be read or heard. Our words mean nothing if it is never read. The world would not have changed if the words of Lao Tze, Socrates, Marx, Plato, Shakespeare, Gandhi and many others remained bound and hidden between covers, unread. This is of course not to say that my words are in the same league as these wise men, but if any of my writings and jottings did make my reader pause and think, and even elicit a small Ahaaa!! from them, I would be totally elated.
So, without much else, I bid all of you adieu, and selamat tinggal.
Elvis may have left the building, but for Anak wayang, he fades to black.
The End.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I won't delve into the recent FFM fiasco lah. Eventhough many of my readers and fans want my take on it, I would not offer my in-depth analysis of something that creaks and rattles every year.
If I did I would be repeating myself. It's the same thing over and over again, and I have already said my peace on FB about the quality of the jurors. The results of the recent FFM reflect the quality of the said jurors.
What I would like to repeat is that I still despise the racial separation of films in the festival.
It is called Film Festival Malaysia not film festival berbahasa Melayu.
So, you really cannot fault any movies made in Malaysia, by Malaysians, for Malaysians, and then tell them their films cannot qualify for the main awards. WTF.
I mean lets be frank about Merong Mahawangsa, Having watched it, I am quite sure there was more English dialogue than BM dialogue. Heck, even the Chinese princess and her maid were speaking the Queen's English.
So how do you justify MM for winning so many awards including the biggie Best Film Award?
If Great Day or even Homecoming, both which had more Mandarin dialogue than BM, were in cinematic terms a better movie than MM, shouldn't they be declared Malaysia's best film?
Or does FINAS want the non-BM films to start their own festival and chuck out the Bahasa Malaysia movies?
And how would we feel if these non-BM films win big in overseas film festivals and yet the BM films like Majika or MM do not win at any prestigious film festival overseas?
Won't the foreign film press make fun of our cinema industry? And are we happy when they they accuse our film industry as racist? Do we need another black mark in the global arena?
Now, if it is at all possible, can the people who organise the festival tell me, if I decide to make a movie like The Artist (a Cannes award winning favourite and now an Academy Awards hotshot), what category would the film be categorised in?
For those in FINAS who don't know about The Artist, it is a movie shot without dialogue.
Now, if I were to make a movie like that - with no BM dialogue, there's no English dialogue, and there's no Chinese dialogue. A silent movie as such.
It is bona fide Malaysian movie. Let's make it more interesting. I fill the movie with a hundred percent non-Malay actors, funded by Chinese producer, with Chinese psyche and cultural references. Tell me oh organisers of FFM, where would this film stand in competition?
Confused? Scared? Create another category for silent film?
Rules of festivals can be changed lah. Mistakes can be made and always happen. Only the Quran cannot be changed.
So, come on folks, stay with the times. Cinema is moving fast and it is borderless. The only language that matters in making movies is the language of cinema. Full stop.
FOOTNOTE: Are FINAS and the persatuans doing anything about the influx of foreign workers in our cinema industry? These includes actors, stunt directors, producers and directors. Are their paperwork properly done and legal? Do they pay government taxes? Do they have active work permits? Do we still need them?

Friday, December 2, 2011


Last month (November) after the mid year euphoria of local movies chalking up excellent coins - KL Gangsters pulling in RM11 million, Hantu Bonceng raking in RM8.5 milion and Bini-biniku Gangster tallying RM4.7 million), the box office report for October and November aren’t flattering.

The biggest earner is the horror-comedy Alamak Toyol! which to date has taken in RM3.5 million.

Sadly, scraping the bottom of the barrel were Abuya (RM210,000) and Apa Tengok Tengok (RM190,000).

The surprise B.O. showing of November would be newly crowned MFF Best Film Director Shamsul Yusof’s Aku Bukan Tomboy which is finding it hard to repeat the RM11 million taking of KL Gangster. The gender-bending rom-com took in only RM1.5 million though most pundits expect it to break RM 2 million. This box office taking will hardly cover its reported RM1.5 million production cost.

Only two other movies (apart from Tomboy and Toyol) recouped more than RM1 million at the box office. They are horror fare Al Hijab (RM2.3 million) and Klip 3GP (RM1.2 million).

Even the CGI fest Libas, produced and directed by Jurey Latif (who won Pengarah Harapan award at the recent MFF for this film) which bowed in on Sept 29th and entered the October screening window only managed to scrape in RM1 million at the box office.

The average total in box office takings for the 8 movies screening from October to November is just shy of RM9 million. This averages RM1.15 per title. Not a good average for the Malay film industry.

Producers and directors of Ombak Rindu (Osman Ali) and Misteri Jalan Lama (Afdlin Shauki) will be nervously checking the box office tally, as these two films bowed in at the end of November and their fate will only be known by year's end.

From what I heard, tearjerker Ombak Rindu is expected to do excellent business and may even break the RM5 million which is unusual for a drama-tearjerker. Misteri Jalan Lama is said to have been a casualty.

Next up would be Datin Ghairah, Songlap, Satu Malam Kubur Berasap and Papa I Love You, which would fill up the 2011 Malaysian movie slate.

Let’s see if the year ends with a bang or a whimper.

(All numbers are taken from Finas’s website at

FOOTNOTE: You really can’t trust foreign newspapers these days or you wonder where they get their facts from. Read these headlines from theguardian UK – “Malaysia's first gay film is a controversial hit” and AFP –

Malaysia's first gay film a box office hit”:

The following is an excerpt from the AFP report – “Malaysia's first gay-themed movie has been a hit at the box office but an official from the conservative Islamic party Thursday called for it to be banned despite its anti-homosexual ending.

"Dalam Botol" ("Inside a Bottle") raked in one million ringgit ($330,000) in the first five days, making it a local hit, the Star daily reported, despite Malaysia's conservative views on homosexuality.”

If this is true then Finas’s box office report must be false. Which is which? In the Finas website where I get all my box office information, Dalam Botol only took in a little over RM500,000.00. Not the million ringgit taken in five days as stated in the AFP report.

This does not make Dalam Botol a hit at all, even in local B.O terms.

If the foreign press are faking their reports, they then have another agenda which is to say that maybe gay themed movies are accepted by local film viewers. Hmmmm...if this is true than it is a sad state of affairs for professional journalism.