Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Boh Cameronian Arts Awards come to an end this year :_(

Thanks Sultan Muzaffar for the interview, and Raja Norashikin for posting it!

Tiara J:
"Saya rasa wajar sangat untuk awards event seperti ini diteruskan, kerana kita ada awards untuk penyanyi, filem, TV, so kenapa tidak untuk pelakon pentas, dan mereka yang perform on stage - dancers, singers, comedians and everyone else, kerana karyawan2 ini juga…they’ve contributed so much to the arts industry in their own way."

A quote by the honorable Minister of Culture:
"Sekiranya sambutan menggalakkan, kita tidak ada halangan untuk menilai semula dan mengadakannya pada perenggan yang lebih diterima masyarakat, ini semuanya bergantung kepada penerimaan masyarakat dan setakat mana ia betul2 popular, dikalangan khalayak kita. Soal teater adalah soal seni dan ia mencerminkan kehidupan kita.
Oleh itu kita harus mengambil berat tentang peranan yang dimainkan oleh seni teater, dalam memperkayakan budaya, seni serta tamaddun kita."

Monday, 22 February 2010

My one brush with Hollywood - Beyond Rangoon

I came across this on YouTube, a film a few Malaysian actor friends and I did around 1993, directed by John Boorman, best known for his feature films such as Point Blank, Deliverance, Excalibur, Hope and Glory, The General and Zardoz.

Beyond Rangoon is a 1995 drama film directed by John Boorman about Laura Bowman (played by Patricia Arquette), an American tourist who vacations in Burma (Myanmar) in 1988, the year in which the 8888 Uprising takes place. The film was mostly filmed in Malaysia, and, though a work of fiction, was inspired by real people and real events.

Bowman joins, albeit initially unintentionally, political rallies with university students protesting for democracy, and travels with the student leader U Aung Ko throughout Burma. There, they see the brutality of the military dictators of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), and attempt to escape to Thailand.

The film was an official selection at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, where it was one of the popular hits of the event.[1]


Beyond Rangoon opened my eyes to the way films SHOULD be made. I spent weeks on the set, roaming around the various departments in between filming, looking at how they made sets, organized the production of thousands of costumes, studied how the continuity sheets were so detailed compared to ours, studying how they organized production logistics etc which was such an eye-opener for me and interviewed a whole bunch of people who headed all the different departments so I'd understand how they all came together.

Since then, I dreamed of someday producing a film of a similiar-ish scale, that's how Puteri Gunung Ledang came about. I spent days talking to John Boorman about films and why he did the films he did. He wasn't the most chatty person, to be honest, and he seemed to be quite a headstrong type who only made films that he wanted to make, regardless of commercial value, but every bit of info was like pearls of wisdom for me and I absorbed what I could in the short time I had with John.

If you read the cast credit list, you will notice my name is credited as "desk clerk and San San". What happened is that, I was originally hired to play the role of the hotel desk clerk who tells Laura Bowman (Patricia Arquette) off for breaking curfew. Well, after I did my 2 days of shoot for the role, John Boorman asked me if I could audition for another role, the role of one of the university students, San San. I did, of course, and a few weeks later I found myself on set in Ipoh, my face painted dark brown with number 9 foundation so I wouldn't look like the hotel desk clerk, ha ha.

Teong Hin and I heard that John was in Venice when we were there with Puteri Gunung Ledang, and arranged to meet John for coffee and a catch up at his hotel, which was nice, some 10 years after Beyond Rangoon.


Boorman won the Best Director Award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival for The General,[2] his black-and-white biopic of Martin Cahill. The film is about the somewhat glamorous, yet mysterious, criminal in Dublin who was killed, apparently by the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

His most recent film, The Tiger's Tail, is set in contemporary Ireland.

Boorman's next project will be a fictional account of the life of Roman Emperor Hadrian (entitled Memoirs of Hadrian), written in the form of a letter from a dying Hadrian to his successor. The film is slated for a 2010 release. Antonio Banderas was initially in talks to be cast as Hadrian, but it is now believed that Daniel Craig will take on the role instead.

Beyond Rangoon - Part 12

This is the scene where I learn from the Professor that my husband, Min Han (John Cheah) was killed by the Burmese Army. It's somewhere towards the end of the clip. Look out for Hani Mohsin in his controversial role as a Burmese soldier in disguise as a Buddhist Monk at the beginning.

Beyond Rangoon part 5

Jit Murad, John Cheah, Patricia Arquette, U Aung Ko and I in the scene where the Professor first brings Laura Bowman to where the students were hiding from the Burmese Army.

Beyond Rangoon - The ending

Watching this episode brings back memories of filming in the scorching sun on the Perak River, it might even have been during fasting month(?). You will see Jit Murad in the river crossing scene, he gets shot and dies, and you'll see Hani Mohsin whose role as a soldier who disguised as a Buddhist Monk to escape the army raised a ruckus back then. I'm in a blue top and pinkish sarong, somewhere in the river-crossing scene too.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

My first movie, Irisan-Irisan Hati

...came across this while researching my old films - have a good laugh. This was one of my first films, a Malaysia-Indonesia joint venture movie called Irisan2 Hati. This was my first experience on a big budget film set during the Indonesian-Malaysian confrontation in the 1940s. I had the pleasure and honor of acting alongside Christine Hakim and Deddy Mizwar, Indonesia's biggest heavyweights. Thanks Abang Cantik for posting it, brings back some fond memories.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Battle For Zorgon

I just had to post this. I found this on the desktop of my Imac, a piece my 10-year old son Dani had been working on all weekend. He never used to be so interested and engrossed in writing before this, but of late, I noticed he was starting to enjoy exploring the use of interesting adjectives in his English work; I'm hoping it might have to do with a new Creative English class I have started him at about a month ago. He's been so involved in his story that he can't wait to come home each day to continue working on it, which is so unlike him - Dani usually needs constant nudging and reminders to get on with homework.

Who knows, somewhere inside him, there might be the trappings of a film-maker or scriptwriter, who knows. And the Malay proverb of gravy spilling on rice will prove true again.

Anyway, here's Dani's story on The Battle For Zorgon, enjoy...

The Battle For Zorgon

“We’ve made it boys.” Captain Sam pronounced with joy and delight as his massive dart shaped space ship with 3 laser turrets and a cockpit, landed on their blue healthy planet with heaps of fresh air looking much like earth, that planet was called Galactor. The space ship was returning from a mission to assassinate their arch enemy called Loki in his red hot scorching planet with no fresh air whatsoever, for his planet is filled with ash and factories that send out nasty smelling fumes. That dark stinky planet was called Zorgon, Loki’s home planet.

When the space ship arrived, they stepped out to announce their mission success and smell the fresh air of their beautiful planet Galactor. When the crew stepped out, a Galactorian soldier carelessly mistook the ship for a spy plane and shot the poor innocent red haired engineer called Mojo. Blood splattered flying everywhere and poor Mojo flew at 80 mph back and dislocated his ribcage. The General of the Army gave them orders to aim their ray and beam blasters to the ground for he recognized the captain of the ship Sam and gave clearance for the crew members to step out of the aircraft and show their face. ‘We have won the war and succesfully completed the mission by assassinating Loki.” The crowd cheered for them in the happiest way as possible.

“Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!” Cried Mojo as he was taken to the planets hospital as quick as possible. A few hours after that he woke up and had not even a scratch on his skinny, boney, fleshless body for the technology they used could fix any injury other than death, for the nurse explained.
“It can bring life but I suggest not to for there’s no point of living when you don’t feel alive.”

His captain Sam came to visit him.
“Are you feeling better Mojo?” He asked Mojo curiously.
“Not a single bruise on me sir” Mojo replied happily. He then explained that the man they killed was a fake in disguise to look like Loki.
“I know that you’re upset about the confusion but that’s the truth and the truth never lies, so if you like it or not you’re getting on that ship NOW!!!” The captain shouted with a completely different tone of voice.

The ship was setting off now. They all got their tools and weapons ready, the engineer took his tool box, the doctor brought his medical kit, the soldiers getting their positions on the look out, and finally the pilot turning his thrusters on to launch off.
“Good luck out there boys” the captain screamed and shouted with all the breath in his lungs attempting to get over the sound of the ship take off the planet.

“GO GO GO!!!” The captain shouted as only 8 special force troopers leap off the aircraft with their camouflage parachutes, gas masks and armor ready to take down anything in their way.
“Over there!” Shouts a trooper as he spots an armed enemy base. Silently and swiftly the troops managed to pursue the base and in less than 3 seconds the base was annihilated completely before you could set even a tiny glimpse on them.

While the troopers stalled others, the ship kept searching for Loki on his massive planet Zorgon.
“Sir I think we’ve found him.” The ships tracker told him.
“Where is he?” The Captain asked him hoping for an easy simple location as an answer.
“On the most terrible place on his planet, Penetrate Paradise City.” The locator told him as the captain took a deep sigh of depression as he got the opposite of what he wanted. They took out their special planet hopping G.P.S. tracking device to help them with their search for Loki.

They flew past the worst and most dangerous place on Zorgon and spotted slaves being tortured and forced to do work for the Zorganian people, “shouldn’t we help them sir?” Asked the kind-hearted engineer. “If we make it out of here then I promise we will, is that ok?” Answered Sam. “yes that would mean a lot to me sir, thank you.” He replied.
“There he is!” a soldier tells the pilot excitedly as he spots Loki in his training area expecting them just waiting for their 1st attempt.

Crash, clash and boom was the noise of the soldiers kicking open the metal protective door as it opens bit by bit. They went through the door and surrounded Loki.
“You do know that there was an open button for the door right?” he asked the soldiers as they get furious at each other. When Loki stood up, Mojo and him looked at each other curiously just like he did when they assassinated the fake Loki almost like they knew each other long long ago.

He remembered all of a sudden they were playing one day and they were calling each other something he thought was an imagination. He called him brother…
“Remember when we swore that we would the best brothers in the world, well that all changed completely when mom deserted us, you stayed with dad ever since however I on the other hand didn’t, I ran away and lived with a man in the army who adopted me. Ever since he adopted me he taught me how to handle a weapon properly and professionally.”

“Well I guess that there’s only one thing to do, I challenge you to a battle brother!!!” Loki exclaimed as the two brothers chose their weapon.
“Let the battle begin brother.” Loki says to Mojo as he draws his laser saber.
“You asked for it so now your gonna deliver it to you bro.” Mojo replies with fury racing through his mind as he aims his mantle ray rifle directly at his head.

“3…………….2……………….1……………. LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!!!!!!” Shouts one of Lokis workers in order to start the fight. The battle was epic and one of the greatest batle known to man kind. When Mojo shot at Loki he just defended himself every time he was shot. Then what Loki was surprised at, Mojo the man with no experience what so ever shot him on his collarbone. “You’ve gotten much better at fighting brother. But I’ll be sure to send your ashes back to Galactor.” Loki explained to Mojo as he held his injured collarbone and cut the room free off the planet into space about to crash into Galactor. Mojo couldn’t do any thing to stop it.
“Warning… warning... room will have impact with Galactor in: 10………9…….8…………..7…………..6…………….5…………………4………………..3…………………2……………1………”

The room had been destroyed along with the corpses of the two brothers Mojo and Loki. By Dani Effendi.

(for some reason I couldn't extract the visuals, sorry)

Dart shaped spaceship.


Images taken from: images/star_dart22.jpg

and from: 20...

True fact!
Did you know that that red planet is actually called Epsilon Eridani? Well incase you diddn’t, it’s true. Cool right?

Thank you for listening.

I'm adding on something exciting to this piece - a "cover" design, by another talented boy we know named Nicolas Ayoub Jr, inspired by Dani's story!


Sunday, 7 February 2010

Hearsay...PGLtM versi Inggeris? in today's KOSMO

Sam Kassim alerted me about this article in Kosmo today. My, my how news travels so fast in this city! Anyway, here's the story:

7 Februari 2010


PGLtM versi Inggeris


KALAU sudah namanya Datin Seri Tiara Jaqualine, semua benda yang kecil boleh jadi besar. Semua benda yang orang fikir mustahil, akan berjaya dilakukannya. Itulah dia, Tiara yang memang inovatif dan selalu bersungguh-sungguh dalam setiap perkara yang dilakukannya.

Paling membuka mata banyak pihak adalah saat Puteri Gunung Ledang The Musical (PGLTM) dipentaskan tidak lama dulu.

Diva ingat kembara PGLTM sudah berakhir selepas musim tayangannya tamat dan ia sukses luar biasa.

Rupa-rupanya Tiara dan produksi masih belum puas. Ini kerana Diva dengar cerita mereka akan kembali mementaskan PGLTM dalam versi bahasa Inggeris tidak lama lagi.

Khabarnya, seluruh tenaga produksi akan duduk semula untuk membikin skrip dengan bahasa Inggeris yang sesuai serta akan melakukan sekali lagi uji bakat untuk beberapa watak muzikal fenomena ini. Hebat!

Diva jadi tak sabar nak menonton PGLTM versi Inggeris untuk menggali bahasa-bahasa Inggeris yang menarik selain rindu untuk melihat kehebatan muzikal ini semula.