The Asian Civilisations Museum played host to the retrospective screening of Yasmin Ahmad's movies - Mukhsin, Sepet and Gubra in that order, with the director in attendance to introduce the films, as well as to conduct a short Q&A after each screening.
When the movie rolled (off a DVD, initially I had thought it was 35mm), having seen Mukhsin in Hong Kong during last year's HKIFF, and in Singapore during its limited theatrical run at GV Vivocity's Cinema Europa, I felt that the vibes from the audience this evening was probably the best of the lot... but alas Mr Murphy decided to pop by and we're soon faced with jerky motions that slowly became unbearable, and the screening had to pause halfway to allow for the technical faults to be fixed.
However, things looked pretty grim as the minutes went ticking by, and the chances of continuing the evening with Mukhsin looked unlikely. ACM then decided to compensate the audience with a complimentary pass to its "On the Nalanda Trail" exhibition, and it didn't stop short after that with offers for a full refund. Initially it had wanted to propose if Sepet and Gubra can be screened instead, but the audience wanted nothing other than Mukhsin!
Trust our Madam Director in holding court with her conducting of the Q&A session, and going from the number of foreigners in the audience, they were intrigued by the scenes that had gone by, and some of the questions/answers I will try to reproduce here.
Q: How did you find the actor for Mukhsin?
A: It was not through an audition. Mohd Syafie Naswip was actually accompanying his cousin and I noticed him. I asked him to pick a girl from amongst a group of girls, and it's luck that he picked Sharifah Aryana.
(During the dialogue session after Gubra, Yasmin shared that she hired Mohd Syafie on the spot when he took off his shirt to scale a smooth metal lamppost when she challenged him to, and he did so in about 5 secs flat).
Q: What are the inspiration for your stories?
A: Orked is based on mine, my sister's and my mom's childhood. Orked's parents are based on my own parents.
Meanwhile, here's a video clip of Yasmin's introduction of Mukhsin this evening for the start of the retrospective, and keep your ears peeled when she surprises everyone with a pleasant announcement!
Mukhsin will continue to be screened though from where we left off, so those who have left, do come back tomorrow at 1pm to complete the journey!
SCREEN SHOTS presents...
It Must Be Love: Stories from Yasmin, the Storyteller
22 Feb 2008 - 23 Feb 2008
Friday & Saturday | @ Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, Singapore
Registration and Ticketing Details here:
Click here for my review of Mukhsin and the review of the DVD.