>Sufian Abas Seluloid

Posted on Februari 12, 2009

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Ini review tentang 4 cerita aku yang dibikin filem oleh studen Sunway. Aku tak pergi, walau ada email jemputan, sebab aku tak suka tengok baca atau dekati apa yang aku tulis selepas ia sudah diterbitkan. Atau macam kata Alan Moore, bila dah dijadikan muvi, tu bukan harta mak bapak kau dah…

[p.s. The chick in Aisha should be way way hotter]

Young urban souls
MAX KOH

THE graduating students of Sunway University College’s Department of Media and Performance seem to have a keen eye for adapting wonderful materials for their productions.

The bubbly bunch first eyed Huzir Sulaiman’s Atomic Jaya as their swansong stage production before leaving the heady times of their varsity days.

The 90-minute show, under the guidance of lecturer and established director Chee Sek Thim appeared to be a success as when the final bows were made: it was met with roars of approval and thundering applause.

After the satirical Atomic Jaya, the students seemed to have taken a sombre turn to examine matters of the heart in their final-year video production, Jiwa Hari-Hari.

The four shorts — Ooh! Jimi, Tak Nak, Aisha, and Malam Ini Malaikat Tidur — were arranged to follow the natural progression from dawn to night.

The quirky nature of the first short, directed by student Balram Tikaram Kami, saw the titular character Jimi who, after witnessing two cicak (house lizards) mating, decided to dress up as a one, then went around Bangsar looking indiscriminately for a suitable girl.

The scene was amusing if slightly alarming as Jimi humps a random girl in the middle of a mamak shop filled with people.

Balram said in a forum after the screening of the shorts: “It was quite amazing only one guy in the shop noticed us and kept telling us to stop it.”

Without any dialogue, the short possessed an intrinsic carnal quality, heightened by a haunting soundtrack. It posed the question: When the human condition is stripped of all desire for meaningful relationship and moral scruples — what remains of us? Are we not different from other creatures with similar carnal desires?

Tak Nak saw two friends on a sunny afternoon involved with drugs and a quirky samurai fight scene. Among the four, this one was the most upbeat although it appeared to be slightly lost in translation from screenplay to video. With some tweaks, the thrust of the storytelling could have been strengthened to drive the message home.

Faiq Syazwan’s Aisha offered a man questioning his own existence. A girl laid on a bed holding Dante’s Inferno, while the man pondered on questions left unanswered. Faiq captured the mood very well with bleak visuals and the main actor’s narration was almost mesmerising.

The shorts ended with Sony Deol’s Malam Ini Malaikat Tidur, which saw a mother trying to connect with a child who prayed to God for a unicorn but never got one. The mother said: “Sayang, malam ini malaikat tidur” (Darling, tonight the angels are sleeping), we were reminded of our own childlike yearnings and how we got over them.

All four shorts were adapted from Sufian Abas’ short stories in the collection, Kasut Biru Rubina. Judging from the students’ efforts, their addition to the local performing and media scene would make for interesting times.

A scene from Faiq’s Aisha about a man questioning his existence
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