More film festival movies (21st - 24th July 2008)

Monday, 21st July 2008: Tonight, I went to see another film from the 37th Wellington Film Festival 2008, this time held at The Film Archive located at the corner of Taranaki and Ghuznee streets. The movie, The Elephant and the Sea, was one of the 2 Malaysian films screened in the festival.

I got myself a good seat for the screening - guess going alone helps when it comes to getting good seats in the house :) Though if you're talking about comfort, the seats here aren't very comfortable. Reminded me somewhat of slightly plush university lecture room chairs...Again, I didn't see fellow Malaysians whom I knew at the screening.

Compared to the other Malaysian movie I watched on Saturday, this movie was somewhat thought-provoking and brought out the ugly side of the world the average Malaysian may be living in - pollution, illegal gambling, prostitution, deception, etc. Was to an extent disturbing however a true reflection of life in Malaysia and there were moments where the movie reminded me of my own life when growing up there. Probably those who have not lived in Malaysia may feel disgusted or in shock to see such life beneath the tourist destination but I'm sure it is not just the reality of life in Malaysia but many other countries as well.

I have to say that I'm quite proud of the 2 productions I've seen, showing Malaysia to the world as it is. It would be great to see more budding filmmakers from Malaysia showcase their talent in the next festival :)

Thursday, 24th July 2008: Despite the horrible weather outside, it did not deter the many Wellingtonians to come out of warm homes to the Embassy Theatre tonight to see Brazilian film, Elite Squad. Of course, this time around, I saw several familiar faces - not surprised that more than half the theatre was filled with Brazilians living in Wellington, many of whom I've known over the years. Was nice to catch-up briefly with a few before the movie :)

If you have seen the movie, City of God, Elite Squad comparatively is even more violent and shocking. Gagging gang members with plastic bags so they would tell the truth, burning a man alive - this movie has plenty of shooting, swearing, torture, drug trafficking and corruption in the lives of the police and thugs in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. I cannot imagine what it'll be like living inside the slums. True, you would probably be quite safe inside with the protection of gang leaders though when police forces the likes of State Police Special Operations Battalion aka BOPE comes in and does a sweep, everyone's lives are at risk. Makes me so grateful I'm living in NZ where we have nothing extreme as in Rio.

I would recommend watching the film despite the gruesome brutality - the way the movie was filmed and the storyline is fantastic. Plus, for those who think that Brazil is all about song, dance and party, this movie will stun you and give you a different light of what Brazil is.

2 more films to go this weekend and that would be my 5 festival films done!


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