Filem Malaysia arahan Chris Chong, KARAOKE menang anugerah utama di Festival Filem Calgary Ahad lalu.
"Visually stunning and mesmerizing, "Karaoke" is cinematic poetry, arapture of energy and release. Graceful filmmaking, strong performancesand karaoke allegories combine to create a profoundly sensual journey."
Saya berdoa agar pihak akhbar dan majalah hiburan tempatan menyokong dan turut membantu mempromosikan filem kecil yang berjiwa besar ini.
Karaoke akan ditayangkan di GSC Mid Valley mulai 26 November depan.
Syabas Chris, Shanon Shah, Zahiril, Mislina dan ramai lagi.
Reviewed by Shaz Bennett
Directed by: Chris Chong Chan Fui
Written by: Chris Chong Chan Fui, Shanon Shah
Starring: Zahiril Adzim, Mislina Mustaffa, Mohammad Hariry, Nadiyatul Nisaa
Visually stunning and mesmerizing, "Karaoke" is cinematic poetry, a rapture of energy and release. Graceful filmmaking, strong performances and karaoke allegories combine to create a profoundly sensual journey, visceral in its effect on the viewer. Combining the powers of observance and understatement, debut feature director and media artist Chris Chong Chan Fui is firmly at the helm of this wholly unique and original film.
With a poetic nod to art-house filmmakers like Pen-ek Ratanaruang and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the story is told with long shots, minimal dialogue and exquisite tension in the frame. "Karaoke" is a thoughtful, evocative portrayal of family, coming home, longing, love, and the sometimes static nature of life.
A karaoke bar on a Malaysian palm oil plantation provides the backdrop for this thoughtful film. The lead man, Betik, returns home from the big city of Kuala Lumpur. Betik expects to turn his life around and build a future back home with his mother after the death of his father a few years past. Yet Betik's mother sees his absence from the funeral as a silent betrayal. She has other plans for the karaoke bar and her life.
During the day, Betik takes a job shooting karaoke videos. At night, he helps his mother at the family's karaoke bar, where all the locals gather and sing. Each song resonates with the crowd - schmaltzy love songs and religious songs are the soundtrack to the film, echoing the themes of love and loss. In the karaoke bar, Betik meets a girl who seduces him with promises for the future.
The art and artifice of karaoke songs and his job of making the videos is an allegory for the film. Betik embraces the unreal world of karaoke videos, which is filled with love and happiness. But the video façade ultimately fades and Betik has to take a hard look at the reality of his life. Nostalgia has blinded him from seeing how much his home and family have changed in his absence.
One of the more powerful moments comes in the middle of the film. The tone and visuals of the film change. Betik walks through the overgrown oil palm trees that grow in endless symmetry - an artless product created in an artificial environment. Betik discovers there is a new factory at work that creates palm oil incessantly. The lush, slow visual exploration is underscored by the unreal stylings of karaoke singers and adds great effect to the power of the moment.
Despite the weighty ideas explored in "Karaoke," the film is not without humor, especially the ironic scenes portrayed pitch perfectly about the making of a karaoke video.
Fui tells his story largely in images, with few words. Some people will tire of this, and the film is definitely a slow burn, but the hypnotic style becomes a powerful meditation, puncturing the surface of this world in the most surprising ways.
See the trailer and more information at the filmmaker's site.
Moving Pictures offers you the unfiltered voice of the director at Karaoke as Magic and Artifice.
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