Dear Emily, Hi - sorry for the delay in getting back to you re: Tim's books. I'm posting 3 books attention to you. Tim has requested for two books to be presented to your colleagues, whom he met during his visit. I hope you don't mind passing the books to them. 1. For the (*college name*) Library - Keeping the Faith - The Polish Community in Britain 2. For Mei (lecturer) - Tying the Knot - Bradford weddings 3. For Su Lin (lecturer) - Bradford in Focus (I apologise if I've spelt their names wrongly!) Thank you for your assistance and please let me know once you have received the books. Warm regards, PatrianaJust in case you are wondering, Tim here is the British top freelance photographer by the name of Tim Smith - who came at the invitation of British Council to give a talk on photography to the Mass Communication students here. He brought some books of his work with him and we even checked out his portfolio/website (pity I can't remember the full address! -.-). He was down in Malaysia for a photography exhibition on Muslim communities worldwide which was at display at Balai Seni Negara (I think) in KL and another centre in Johor. Anyway, he is a very nice chap - married with a young baby - and is from Bradford and he goes around snapping pieces of very down-to-earth, mellowy things. Rustic would be the word. It does not the stylistic feel of photographers in the fashion industry but more of the...hmmm...everyday simplicity of life itself. He takes pictures of anything and everything that tickles his fancy - from an abandoned textile factory in Bradford to pictures of a doctor on rollerskates in a British hospital (which has incidently been on the cover of many medical journals out of the UK). While he was down here for the talk, I was admiring one of his work which was basically all about weddings of the Bradford community - which is made up of Indian, Muslim and many other races. I found the accompanying text amusing at some point and it gave the book a very nice, feel-good yet realistic expectations of why and how people were getting married in a multicultural community in the UK. I reckon he's an observant man because a few months after he left (he came here towards the end of the March semester - which finishes in July), in comes an email and my gift - this morning... What exactly did I get? An autographed copy of Tying The Knot: Bradford Weddings - the very same book I was admiring and hoping to get myself but somehow forgotten all about it. It's certified. Someone out there is praying and watching out for me. ^_____________^ ps: Will post a picture of the book and what-not later tonight! *beams* |W|P|109478806121704381|W|P|I got a present!!!!|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
Has stepped out to the bank to get change for store. Be back shortly!O_O! It was just me and my students in the store. One of my students remarked that it was easy for people to steal stuff and just walk out. Instead, I told her that the guy probably assumed that people who go to stores like this are educated and refined - definitely not shoplifting type. Although I suspect that that is debateable! ^_^ Now, I'm going to see someone a very nice little e-card! *beams somemore and winks cheekily* Overall, I must say I had a good day! ^______________^ |W|P|109463353088943816|W|P|Good day, ay? Yes.|W|Pemail@example.com
Now my Malay isn't all that great and I was never really into Malay history/myth to begin with in the first place. Nevertheless, I found this movie a good watch despite reading otherwise about it. For a once-aspiring film graduate whose aspirations crashed because of the harsh realities of the film industry in Malaysia (and the fact that I prefer writing more than filming - hence the double major in journalism as well), I must applaud the efforts of the people involved in the production. It is not easy trying to make a film on a very tight budget, and it is especially not easy trying to sell the film to people who only appreciate Hollywood films and will have loads of bad stuff to say (without watching it first).
I saw nothing wrong with the film save for the pacing (it was slightly over two hours and by the end, some people were bored - so they left...I suspect they were expecting some adventure, over-the-top romance to occur between the two leading characters in the film. Pfft!). The execution, script and even costum-ing was suitable for a film of this genre. Bear in mind that PGL is not suppose to be another Hollywood flick. I reckon this is why it didn't sit well with some people. We, Malaysians, have this tendency to expect the our directors (and films) to be like Hollywood and when we do churn out movies that try so hard to be Hollywood, they get criticized heavily. I mean, what gives? Also while immersed in a heated discussion about PGL, I also wondered if it has anything to do with the fact that we expect everything to be so..."Hollywood"...because it is the only thing that we know and can 'appreciated'.
Watching PGL reminded me of a lot of French arty-farty movies who draw very little commercial attention but heaps of positive criticism from film critics; films that are rich, intellectual and thought-provoking...films that ARE NOT cliche. For crying out loud, PGL got themselves invited to the bloody Cainnes Film Festival - if that means anything to you movie buffs out there. Did you honestly think that those people on the film festival are blind? Nuh uh. I don't think so. I think PGL was invited because it showcased something good, something unique and something DIFFERENT from the rest of Malaysian films. It gave us an insight to some of the wonderful improvements happening and affecting our dying film industry. And frankly, it gives people like me and my friend great hope for future filmmakers and practitioners.
I reckon one of the reasons why I appreciate a GOOD film like this - especially more so if it is Malaysian - is because of my exposure to independent films which are not available to the general public. I can safely say that these filmmakers are not bad directors; their works are not bad...they are GOOD actually - very unique and full of style. Unfortunately, it is not something which you can sell in Malaysia because we are xenocentric and we happen to like mass-produced, commercialized stuff. I am so hoping that this movie makes it on DVD (if not here, then overseas...) - I WILL BUY IT if and when it does...because frankly, if we cannot support improvements in our film industry, it will collapse into nothing and it will not bring up the industry. By the by, I just realized something - we have great cinematographers in Malaysia. ^_^ the scarfer gives Puteri Gunung Ledang 3.8 balls of yarn with a special recommendation for the effort, great cinematography and the very fact that it is not another COMMERCIALIZED, over-dramaticized, cliche Malay love story. [UPDATE] I got a lot of flank from a few comments I left at another blog. It brought up some anger in me mainly because I once have been part of the film-making industry - I know and feel what some of these directors have to go through for the love of the industry. And here I get all these negative comments and constant comparisions to Hollywood films/method which have more money, more options, more locations, more everything...including the support. Why can't people be more supportive AND ENCOURAGING - at least give the movie a chance? And oh, here is an indepth article as to where the 15M went and what the filmmakers have to go through to get this film out. People assume that my past aspirations means me wanting to be a director - no...I wanted to be an editor, or producer - part of the post-production process at one point in time. I sometimes wonder what goes on in other people's head when someone else like me goes up and gives them a different opinion. I get called all sorts of names ranging from ones that describe me as a person who goes around bashing other people for thinking differently to a person who take things literally (and basically being an ignorant twat). I like the movie for the above reasons. And like one person said in another blog, perhaps our Malaysian audience isn't ready to appreciate films of this stature. I will not ruminate on 'why' - lest I go bonkers or worse, depressed. >_< |W|P|109422571204667713|W|P|REVIEW: Puteri Gunung Ledang.|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
The demonisation of Dr Mahathir Mohamad by Western governments over the Anwar affair reflected more than outraged over what they perceived as unfair treatment of the former deputy prime minister. It hightly a widespread antipathy among foreign leaders and officials towards the Malaysian Prime Minister, arising from his sometimes abrasive personality and non-conformist policies. In the year before Anwar Ibrahim was sacked from government, Mahathir had railed against foreign stock market and currency speculators, and alienated the US administration and like-minded government with his criticism of Western democracy and his jaundiced view of human rights activism. As he increasingly championed Third Word, or South, causes and warned developing countries to be on guard against 'neo-colonialism' - read United States - his antagonists in Washington grew. Dr Mahathir is always courteous to foreign visitors but often appears detached - as if he were still a medical practitioner meeting a patient for the first time. His manner is friendly but he displays warmth to only close friends and family. Yet he is not an insensitive person. He can be overcome with emotion when speaking of matters about which he feels strongly, such as his desire to make Malays more goal-oriented and competitive. Nevertheless, he often comes across as aloof. Armani-suited Anwar, on the other hand, presented a congenial image to the West. Foreign leaders found him charming and personable. He was seen as the liberal face of the Malaysian government, who would bring change and a more Western brand of democracy to Malaysia. United States and European government heads chose to ignore the many contradictions in Anwar's personality and his radical Islamic background, which made it questionable whether he would steer the nation in a direction favourable to the West, far less prove to be a better leader than Dr Mahathir.To go on, Stewart speaks of how Mahathir is easily dislike because he "does not pander to the interests of the West" instead choosing to look to self-dependancy or at least other more developed Asian countries. Remember his 'look East' policy? The sacking of Anwar was a climax of several events, starting from the recession that hit in 1997 with the forex going downhill, Anwar suggesting to go to the IMF for help (thankgawd he didn't!) and increasing interest rates (that would kill businesses), changing economic policies...basically the protege was rubbing shoulders comfortably with the powers that Mahathir so detest and for a good reason. People such as John Pilger and other investigative journalists have shown us time and time again that the IMF creates more debt than gets rid of them, that the reliance on a dominant power strips developing countries of their resources, their independence and even their people. The United States doesn't have a good track record when it comes to butting their noses into people's affairs - look at Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan (pre-Taliban takeover days), Indonesia...should I go on? Mahathir, being a young man who grew up during the Japanese occupation didn't want to see history happening again and he feared Anwar's continual turning to the West would undoubtly lead to Malaysia's doom. So he got rid of his protege. Now it is up to here that I have no problems with his reasons. I was disappointed that a man of his calibre got so fearful of his protege that he did the worst thing possible. He 'staged' the sodomy thing (I suspect) and he 'abused' his power. Effective, nonetheless but disappointing because according to Dad, people holding criminal records can never run for elections...unless that has changed as well. ~_~ Besides a lot of the older generation Chinese who grew up with these leaders know of Anwar's radical track record when it comes to ethnic/racial issues - they were worried. It is hardly surprising if Mahathir did buckle under the pressure of the Chinese community, the people who hold a good bulk of the Malaysia economy on their shoulders. Yes, justice was served today (but according to who? Sorry...couldn't resist putting that in...) but did it have to come to this in the first place? Yes, Anwar has been released. What now? Instead of rejoicing and chanting that justice has been met, why can't people sit down and think more about why this happened in the first place? And what is the REAL story behind doing this now? I suspect it is not for the sake of justice (if it was justice, he would have been released earlier not now...) but for the sake of politics. Pak Lah - since his appointment - has been trying to mend ties with the US, in the light of post-September 11th and the rise of terrorism. He has worked hard to convince many Western countries - who once were very negative of Malaysia - that it IS possible to have a moderate Muslim country whose people are peaceful and whose way of life is democratic. How else can you explain his actions towards the US, towards Anwar, and towards our own Malaysians who are of a different race? Observe the feedback from foreign countries and I dare you to tell me that I'm wrong. :p Know something? Still water runs deep. And I wouldn't jump to conclusions as to what these two men will be up to in the near future. What I want to see now is how the new administration is going to cope with the release of Anwar and his political actions (if he has plans for any).|W|P|109411335166109818|W|P|Anwar has been released.|W|Pemail@example.com
And here is a leaflet obtained from the fateful day - from the fateful exhibition that featured this man and countless of other photographers whom he worked with...their photographs, his words and the videos. Never will any of my Malaysian students ever see this stuff unless we - the lecturers - get them from external sources.
A picture of Robert Kennedy and his wife, Ethel, on their flight into California. He was assasinated the very next day - after this photograph was taken. Shot by Curt Gunther in 1968.Reporting The World: John Pilger's Great Eyewitness Photographers Plucked from the introduction to the book, here are John Pilger's words...read them and feel the way I do when I still read them now - two years after first encountering this brilliant journalist.
This collection of photographs, selected from the Barbican exhibition, Reporting The World, is the realisation of a fond dream of mine. Almost from the day I went on the road as a newspaper correspondent in the 1960s, I worked with photographers. We were a team, often assigned to places of upheavel, but also to peaceful streets, the sinews of people's lives, to ask ordinary people to tell their extraordinary stories in words and pictures. Time and curiousity were allowed then, and generous space on the page was devoted to worlds far removed from London's media village; and not because of the importance of the images in a current geo-political game. This was a new kind of reportage, pioneered in post-war Britain by Picture Post, following Life and Look magazine, whose essays allowed pictures and words to complement each other and the meaning of both to speak to the reader.
The Khmer Rouge Gestapo, known as 'S21', tortured to death more than 20,000 men, women and children at Tuol Sleng, a former school at Phnom Penh. People were mutilated on iron beds like this one, which was still surrounded by blood and tufts of hair when we found it. Shot by Eric Piper in 1979.
In the summer of 1979, Eric and I, with film director, David Munro, cameraman Gerry Pinches and sound recordist Steve Phillips, went to Cambodia in the wake of the Vietnamese overthrow of Pol Pot and the genocidal Khmer Rouge. In Phnom Penh we encountered a silence of the kind you never forget. It was as if the city had suffered a nuclear cataclysm that had spared on the buildings. Houses, flats, office blocks, schools and hotels stood empty and open, as they had been vacated four years earlier when the Khmer Rouge marched the occupants into the country side, many to their death. Personal possessions lay trampled on the front path, a tricycle crushed and rusted in the gutter, a pair of glasses on an open page. There was little electricity and no water safe to drink; bodies were still being found in wells. At the railway stations, trains stood empty at various stages of interrupted departure. Pieces of burned clothing fluttered on the platform. As they abandoned Phnom Penh, the Khmer Rouge had set fire to a carriage filled with wounded civilians.
Hearn Boung, a young man who stepped on a land mine, lies in Battambang Hospital in western Cambodia. The hospital lacked almost everything, including blood. He died soon afterwards. Shot by Nic Dunlop in 1991.
In our first hours there, neither Eric nor Gerry took a single frame. Such was our incredulity, or shock. We had no sense of people, of even the remmants of a population; the few human shapes we glimpsed seemed incoherent images, detached from the city itself. Only when we pursued several and watched them forage, did we realise that they were children. In a crumbling Esso petrol station, an old woman and three emaciated infants squatted around a pot containing a mixture of roots and leaves, which bubbled over a fire fuelled by paper money, hundreds of snapping, crackling brand new notes. Eric's pictures of this morbid irony followed an assignment of two months earlier, when he and I had followed Pope John Paul on his return to Poland, and had seen Auschwitz (Nazi death camps for Jews, for those of you who aren't familiar with the history of the Holocause - tens of thousands died there...) for the first time. Now, we saw it again in Souther East Asia: a scaled-down version called Tuol Sleng, where a Khmer Rouge gestapo, 'S21', had systematically murdered thousands. People were mutilated on iron beds and we found their blood and tufts of hair still on the floor. Eric's picture of one of the beds still chills me. We found eight survivors, including four children and a one-month old baby.It doesn't just stop with Cambodia. John Pilger and his photographer-companions go on to travel around Asia and South America and even the USA where he write on politics in Indonesia, Phillippines, Vietnam, Nicaragua, South Africa...the list goes on.
In Nicaragua, two children rescued from a house destroyed by a 1000-pound bomb dropped by the Nicaraguan dictator Somoza on his own people during the Sandinista uprising. They died soon afterwards. Shot by Susan Meiselas in 1979.
The courage implicit in the working lives of great photographers is sometimes confused with the nihilistic bravado for which some of their war-chasing colleagues are famous for. You would never know from their almost diffident way that Phillip Jones Griffiths and Steve Cox had beckoned danger with their lens. This is also true of Susan Meiselas, like Phillip, a celebrated Magnum photographer, with whom I worked in Nicaragua. Susan documented the popular uprising, led by the Sandinistas, that overthew the Somoza tyranny in 1979. She photographed frequently under fire, yet in her pictures there is an understanding of the endurance of civilians, even gentleness in her images of violence. Her picture of two children lying dying, having been rescued from their bombed home, is grievous, yet you do not look away; you ask why?
Edith Ventner, a Johannesburg socialite, at her couturier's. Like many Souther African whites, she says she never supported apartheid. The necklace she is wearing is worth 100,000 pounds. In the 'new' South Africa, the white five per cent of the population still control more than eighty per cent of the nation's wealth. Shot by Keith Bernstein in 1997.I think I should stop now. Somehow, while preparing this material - it took me a good one hour to type everything out - I have gone from being rather calm and neutral to extremely depressed and disheartened. Forgive my depressive babble but it is at times like this which I feel that it is best that I should either be dead or apathatic. |W|P|109402204110199005|W|P|Finally it is here...|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org