Malaysia

Ming-liang Tsai – Hei yan quan AKA I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone [+Extras] (2006)

Forest fires burn in Sumatra; a smoke covers Kuala Lumpur. Grifters beat an immigrant day laborer and leave him on the streets. Rawang, a young man, finds him, carries him home, cares for him, and sleeps next to him. In a loft above lives a waitress. She sometimes provides care and attention. More violence seems a constant possibility. They find another man abandoned on the street, paralyzed. They carry him. While no one speaks to each other, sounds dominate: coughing, cooking, coupling, opening bags; music and news reports on a radio, the rattle and buzz of a restaurant. It’s dark in the city at night. We see down hallways, through doors, down alleys. Who sleeps with whom? Read More »

U-Wei Haji Saari – Kaki bakar AKA The Arsonist (1995)

Proud of his Javanese heritage, Kakang is trying to bring up his children in Malaysia and instill in them his own traditional values and beliefs. Seeing clearly the social inequalities that allow him to be exploited his defiance results in profound consequences for his youngest son, a boy who shares his father’s uncompromising integrity. Read More »

Ming Jin Woo – The Tiger Factory (2010)

Quote:
Casting aside the humor and striking visuals that made “Woman on Fire Looks for Water” appealing, rising Malaysian helmer Woo Ming Jin jumps full-on into wearying miserablism with “The Tiger Factory.” A predictable tale of a young woman ground down by poverty and exploitation, the pic never lets up in its drive toward nihilism, culminating in her loss of compassion. Lensed in a coldly observational manner (inspired perhaps by Brillante Mendoza), “Tiger” will remain chained to rarefied fests partial to this particular brand of Southeast Asian low-budget despair. Read More »

Yasmin Ahmad – Mukhsin (2006)

Synopsis:
The story takes place in Sekinchan, Sabak Bernam in 1993, revolving around the first love of a 10-year-old Orked when a 12-year-old boy, Mukhsin, comes with his elder brother and aunt to spend the school holidays in her village. Around this relatively simple plotline of a blossoming young romance between the film’s two young protagonists, are interweaved scenes of Malaysian village life and the dynamics of different types of families. Most of the family scenes revolve around Orked and her mother (Mak Inom), father (Pak Atan), and the family’s close maid who is almost like a family member (Kak Yam). Read More »

Zarina Abdullah – Chermin AKA Mirror (2007)

Malaysian horror/suspense thriller with Islamic themes about a woman who is haunted by a vengeful spirit trapped in an antique mirror. The plot centers on Nasrin (Natasha Hudson), whose face has been disfigured in a mysterious car accident. Read More »

Yasmin Ahmad – Sepet AKA Chinese Eye (2004)

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Plot:
Because of their shared love for Wong Kar-Wai’s movies, a 19-year-old Chinese VCD seller dude and a 16-year-old Malay schoolgirl in Ipoh fall in love. She doesn’t try to convert him. Instead, they talk about films and poetry. Read More »