Niche is not a place. No, it's not how the french say Nice. It's also not the philosopher Nietchschszche. Niche is a focused, targetable market sector. A random FB stalker (I love stalkers and don't you know it haha) tell me that he is a part of this blog's niche readers.
Since when do I have niche readers? If I do, trust me, it is not at all intentional. I thought afiqsays is a mesh of random subjects I store in my brain.
Talking about a mesh of random subjects, I have decided to write a screenplay about my past. I think I have some good stories based on my past that can be adapted into films. I've always avoided making films about myself, because I thought that it will inflict unwanted pain but after writing about my past in my blog, the result is unmistakably therapeutic.
So yes, which part of my past do you think is more film-worthy?
a) Tahfiz: my experience in the Tahfiz
b) School: the complexities of interracial dating
c) Family: The abuse, divorce, transitions etc.
d) Crush: The complicated guy-guy crush
We've finally finished both PAY and Road Euphoria! Wooohooo!
Road Euphoria is precautionary tale of a person who seeks cheap thrills on the road but with a twist ending. Watch Road Euphoria here.
PAY is a commercial video/ad/PSA about the importance of paying attention while driving. You can watch PAY here.
Enjoy! If you have any qualms, questions or comments, you can just write in to me and I will respond personally as promptly as I can.
Since Maria's disqualification, I have a little grudge against BMW Shorties but that didn't deter me from attending its Gala. I went to the Gala with my good friend Puteri and we had a lot of fun. Some chaos here and there but fun nonetheless.
We would stand at the most circulated corner and grab little h'orderves as we wait for our noir photograph to be printed.
At one point during the award presentation, Puteri looked at me and asked "How do you feel?" I answered "I feel like killing all of them." I was being brutally honest. I felt like I was denied of something I've wanted for years and I will, in due time, prove that I will surpass them (including the judges) in every way possible.
Then I smiled at Puteri "You want something to drink?"
Tabloids are like candies. Very nice to consume but if we have too much of them, it can be hazardous to our health. And since there's no point of buying trashy magazines anymore (Internet ftw!) I read gossip blogs and websites.
If you're an avid gossip blog reader, you will notice something all gossip blog have in common. The content or subjects may vary but all of them have pictures of celebrities. And also, all of them have a string of comments from 'religious and concerned' readers.
There are so many holier-than-thou comments, you would think that PAS has a special branch to lecture the online community. Keyword alert:
2. Dunia akhir zaman
4. Tak ingat tuhan
Menyampah, menyampah juga tapi hairannya kenapa ustaz-ustazah ni suka betul lawat blog gossip. Kalau dah tahu dosa, buat apa baca ye tak?
My favourite comment that sums my sentiments towards this type of commenters:
A good friend of mine Muttaqee Misran wants to join Mufors Road Safety competition so I'm helping him out by writing a short film and a PSA. He is a very talented and ambitious DOP (director of photography) and cinematographer who happens to be on his way to becoming a doctor! Gila!
So this weekend we will shoot both videos.
Euphoria is a shortie about a guy who experiments with things that makes his heartbeat go gaga on the road.
Pay is a cause and consequences PSA about the importance of paying attention while driving. Pay attention or pay with your life. I'm picking a leaf from Thai ads by attempting to make this otherwise serious ad funny and unexpected.
And unlike Maria, it will be on youtube (and vimeo) so you guys can watch them when we're done.
My most recent short film Maria will be screened at Balai Seni Lukis Negara for Rantai.art on the 23rd of December. If you're going to Rantai.art, make an appointment with Maria. It will be worth your while. Oh, and I will be there to answer your inquiries. Fun fun fun!
I was fortunate enough to be invited to a private screening of the film Estet by Mamat Khalid a month ago. Here is my review of the movie.
If you're a fan of Mamat Khalid's sense of humor, I urge you to get your ass to a nearby cineplex and watch Estet.
As a budding (and learning) filmmaker, I hate hate hate describing a movie in detail because you know, what's the point of watching the actual movie when you know what's going to happen? What's the point? To show off as a film critic? Bah!
Personally, this is my least favourite Mamat Khalid film. It is as if everyone is trying too hard to incorporate many elements (1Malaysia being one of them) in what was supposed to be a feel good romantic film. While we're talking about romance, Estet teases its audience with the malay hero and indian heroine's budding love for one another BUT there is no fucking romantic relief! I wasn't too surprised because all Mamat Khalid films have sucky, dry and unsatisfactory endings.
The sequent and flow of the film is so badly constructed that I can't make sense of the interconnecting elements of the film. In layman terms, susunan babak yang mengelirukan dan tak membina.
Fortunately, Estet is a compilation of Ujang-type jokes. There are plenty of funny scenes to make a cynic like me a happy chap. The funniest would be the suicide attempt. Oh so so funny!
I read somewhere in the newspaper that Mamat Khalid is frustrated because he didn't win Best Film for Estet in Festival Filem Malaysia. It was said the some of the judges were biased and the column writer even compared his situation with the late Yasmin Ahmad's loss in FFM.
But actually ah macha, FFM aside, Estet is not an award-worthy film, not unlike the actual winner of FFM. There are plenty of good films by Malaysians but they never get to be nominated in FFM. (Instead they are recognized in Berlin, Japan, Venice and Cannes. Yes, we Malaysians are stuck with mediocre films made by mediocre filmmakers with self delusions of thinking they are all film mavericks and geniuses.)
All in all, Estet is worth watching for its jokes and not for its story, cinematography, music or anything else for that matter. If you're a fan, please fan the fire of this film so Mamat Khalid can make more unintentional anti-climax films. If you're not a fan, you can just wait for its TV premiere on the second day of raya(?) next year.
Oh I don't like balloons. I don't hate them but I don't love them either. Just now I decided to make animal-shaped balloons with my cousin Nael for his brother's birthday.
Cringe cringe cringe.
One word to describe the ordeal: Allahuakbar!
One word to describe the ordeal: Allahuakbar!
I am saddened beyond words. The reason cited was I won student competitions before even though BMW Shorties 2010 is an open competition for everyone. A representative called me and told me that Maria was disqualified and they changed the rules for next year's competition so Maria is an eligible competitor, even with its new theme.
When I first heard the news, I was angry beyond words. First of all, they are very very few film festivals in Malaysia so it is extremely difficult to be exposed in Malaysia. Secondly, I have only won student competitions and never ever entered open-for-all competitions.
It is so hard to make it here in Malaysia and BMW Shorties have poured molting hot salt water on my wounds.
Whatever it is, I am going to keep making films and learn from my mistakes and BMW Shorties will play no part in my journey to make the greatest film in the world.
Go ahead, mock my self-confidence and ambition. The fire in me is radioactive today.
My sexuality was a concern to many people around me. My family, my friends and strangers whom I have never met have indirectly hounded me to know where I stand. Am I gay, straight or bisexual.
Since I was very very young, I was very mild-mannered. I dressed up smartly, tucked in my t-shirts, wore vests and made sure that my socks match my shoes. Fortunately nobody called me 'Pondan' because I was quite a ruffian when my mother is not around so instead they called me 'Kertas' because my skin was fair and I like to make stuff out of papers.
When I approached my teenage years, I was an open book.
You know, for the better part of the years I spent in this world, I always, always ask myself this question. Who Am I?
I personally do not believe that we were born with a constant personality. I am a strong believer in change that applies to every aspect known to man. This is why I don't believe in labels. And it is also the reason why I want to believe that I believe in labels, because if my personality is ever changing, I want to believe that everything else is not.
It gives me comfort to tell you that I think Lisa wants to be with Khai because Lisa wants a train ride to a posh lifestyle. This may not be true. It also might be true now or later, or it might not be true at all. I want to believe that my presumptions are true so I not will hate it, because I hate everything that changes.
The only thing constant about me is the puzzling fact that I both believe and hate change. I believe and hate stuff. That is my relationship with everything I believe in in this world. I believe in love and I hate it. I believe in trust and I hate it. That is why I hurt my family a lot. That is why I keep breaking the hearts of the people I love, the people I believe in. And that is why I hate myself. Every fucking day, I hate myself. I want to destroy myself and at the same time I want to change. I believe in myself. I hate myself.
I hate change. I believe in change and I hate it.
I hate it.
The most modern definition of the word Nostalgia is 'wistful yearning for the past'. I never yearned for my past but it keeps on sneaking on me. It wants me to tell its stories. Maybe it wants me to make a film out of it. Maybe.
Last night I dreamt the day I was sent to the Tahfiz, a sekolah pondok to some.
Hot and humid wind whizzed through the crevices of the taxi's window and into the sleeves of my new white robe. I smelled of factory-fresh cotton. I looked at my mother and looked back outside. She was not looking at me. She was looking outside too.
I clutched a small Quran tightly in my hands. If I could, I would compress the Quran into a ball of marble and leave it in the taxi. There is a bucket beside me with toiletries my mother bought from Giant. There were all green and labeled MADBA, my initials. This is my new name now, MADBA.
I was surprisingly calm. I was empty. I was emptied. The taxi driver hit a bumper violently and made the windscreen tilt open. The surge of wind blew my fringe and tickled my eyes. The wind was warm and sickly. I quickly closed the windscreen shut. If I had known that that was the last time I'll be able to feel the sensation of sharp threads of hair stinging my face to the rhythm of the wind, I would have left the windscreen open and basks in its playful twinge. But I didn't.
I looked outside. It was raining. It stopped raining. It started drizzling. "Make up your mind!" I looked at my mother again. She was talking to the taxi driver. I looked outside. "Why are you doing this to me?"
Cars and buildings. Motorcycles and shops. Roads and more roads. A left corner. A small road. A big toad. "Jom Afiq, dah sampai." Something fell in my stomach. It was heavy. It made me breathe harder. I took a deep breathe and lifted that thing to oblivion. I sensed a smile. I looked outside and there was an Ustaz looking down on us from the balcony of the Tahfiz building. I didn't smile back and busied myself with my bags and bucket and blanket.
Some older kids in white robes and white turbans rushed out from the white house and carried my bags without any hesitation. They knew I was coming. Everything was planned. My mother proceeded to the Tahfiz's office. I followed her. There is a distant rumbling from outside and as we neared the office, the reverberation revealed itself as a collection of incoherent readings of the Quran by dozens of children.
I waited at the office while the Ustaz talked to my mother.