i should mention that i am back from the oh, the wonderful melbourne. when i told a friend about my trip, he said i sound like i’m in love. i haven’t sound like that for god knows how long. i should blog about the feelings i’ve for Melbourne, but i’ve been telling so many people about it, it feels stale right now, i think you know what i mean. till when i have that longing for sweet Melbourne, then i would put thoughts to this page.
what i want to share or more like tease you is on the most recent work i’m doing, which is a funky site on banned materials around South East Asia. today, i want to showcase some hmm, interesting video that has been censored and banned in this region.
first off, one must definitely check out Royston Tan’s Cut, that quite aptly sums up the filmmakers and audiences sentiments in regards to films being chop up.
Cut, by Royston Tan, a video he made in reaction to his film, ’15’ having taken a huge amount of cuts from the Singapore Censorship Board. ’15’ takes an unflinching look into the lives of Singaporean youth marginalised in a world where good grades and smart appearances are valued over individuality. These outcasts turn to drugs, self-mutilation and to kinship offered by gangs. Biting back after ’15’ suffered no less than 27 cuts, Tan’s “Cut” has gone viral by mocking the artist’s gratitude to the censors for protecting Singaporeans from his work. Other singaporean films that has gone viral online after being banned or censored by the authorieties are One Nation Under Lee and Singapore Rebel. The filmmakers of both films, Seelan Palay and Martyn See have been investigated or being charged by the authorities for being critical of the government.
2nd up is this film from Thailand, apparently doctors do not kiss, no, not at work. boy, the censors there should really watch Grey Anatomy.
Syndromes and a Century by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Two “sensitive” scenes involve doctors engaging in “inappropriate” conduct (kissing and drinking liquor) in a hospital. Meanwhile, censors objected to portrayals of a Buddhist monk playing a guitar and two monks playing with a remote-control flying saucer. The censors refused to return the print unless the requested cuts were made. Director Apichatpong refused to cut the film and withdrew it from domestic circulation.
He explained his reasons for doing so in an article in the Bangkok Post:
“I, as a filmmaker, treat my works as I do my own sons or daughters. I don’t care if people are fond of them or despise them, as long as I created them with my best intentions and efforts. If these offspring of mine cannot live in their own country for whatever reason, let them be free. There is no reason to mutilate them in fear of the system. Otherwise there is no reason for one to continue making art.”
3rd is a feature film staring Mel Gibson made by respected political filmmaker Peter Weir. Then president Sukarno felt threaten by this film. makes me wonder what he isn’t afraid when a film can scares him shitless eh.
The Year of Living Dangerously is a 1982 Peter Weir film adapted from the novel of the same name by its author Christopher Koch, Weir, and David Williamson.The film stars Mel Gibson as Guy Hamilton, an Australian journalist, and Sigourney Weaver as Jill Bryant, a British Embassy officer. The story is about a love affair set in Indonesia during the overthrow of President Sukarno. It follows a group of foreign correspondents in Jakarta on the eve of an attempted coup by the so-called 30 September Movement on 30 September 1965 and during the beginning of the violent reprisals by military-led vigilante groups that killed hundreds of thousands. It was banned from being shown in Indonesia until 1999. The title The Year of Living Dangerously is a quote which refers to a famous Italian phrase used by Sukarno; vivere pericoloso, meaning “living dangerously”. Sukarno borrowed the line for the title of his National Day speech of August 17, 1964
4th of course something so typical of South East Asian, morality! ah, showing men ogling women in strip joints is fine in films but no way can women play with phallic symbols?
TV network GMA-7’s i-Witness program, a popular TV magazine, was suspended for two weeks after airing an episode titled, “Lukayo: Hindi Ito Bastos (Lukayo: This is not obscene)” in July 2006. What the censors found objectionable: the episode discussed the custom of elderly women’s dancing and playing with phallic symbols during weddings in a town in Laguna province, south of Manila. Notwithstanding the tradition being tied to fertility rites and long-held local customs, censors insisted that the content was objectionable and not fit for general viewership.
lastly, one from our home.
“Lelaki Komunis Terakhir” is a semi-musical road movie documentary tracing the towns in which Chin Peng (the exiled leader of the banned Communist Party of Malaya) lived from birth until independence in 1957. Unlike various books freely available in Malaysian bookshops, the film does not even include any interviews or photographs of Chin Peng and he is only mentioned once during the interviews. The movie was passed uncut by the Censorship Board and was given the rating of U, meaning suitable for all ages. Due to the potentially ‘sensitive’ subject matter, a special screening was organised for 20 Special Branch officers who, according to the movie’s director, raised no objections to the film. And yet it was banned. The decision was based solely on a series of articles which appeared in Berita Harian news daily even before the movie was screened. In fact, not one person in Berita Harian, nor any of the people they interviewed for their opinion of the film, had actually seen the film by the time, yet their comments were made the basis for the picture’s banning.
one can obtain this dvd from Singapore. or various underground dvd/cd retail shop. but if you really wanna know more about communism back in those days, check Fahmi Reza’s latest flick Revolusi 48, which actually does the job in style.
so, has your value system begin to tumble down around you yet after watching such videos? 🙂 think about that the next time someone in authority said it’s for your own good. maybe it’s more of for their good.