Sunday, August 21, 2005

[Screen Singapore] A Night with the Original Pontianak

When Maria Menado arrived at the Alliance Francaise, she was greeted with numerous camera flashes. Dressed in a beautiful red baju, everyone was eager to get a photograph of the star of the original Pontianak.

As with all special appearances in Screen Singapore, the invited guests are to say a few words to the audience. Maria (she's part of Malaysian Royalty btw) exclaimed that she was extremely happy to see many people attending the screening for Sumpah Pontianak, especially when the film was close to 50 years old, and some members of the audience were not even around when it was screened for the first time (i.e. people like me).

She went on to recount the days of making the Pontianak films, and lamented the loss of the films when the director got rid of them, as she had planned for her children/grandchildren to watch some of the movies. Luckily, Cathay-Keris had this one in its archives, which she joked was the best of the trilogy, since there was no way we could've watched the original two.

Pak Wahid Satay was also amongst the invited guests who graced the occassion, and he too gave a light hearted account on how "Satay" became part of his name (no doubt, he probably is synonymous with it given his screen time with the food, as well as the catchy song sung)

During the screening, they were seated 2 rows diagonally in front of me, and from time to time, I glanced to see them nodding/laughing/shaking their heads, probably reminiscing the good old days which those not involved in the production wouldn't know about.

Maria was swarmed by fans and autograph hunters alike, and she was gracious in signing autographs and posing for pictures. Alas, I didn't manage to take a picture with her (ok, somehow I thought I would look as weird as my Perth pic with Lim Kay Tong, and also, no one to take picture for me leh), though I did get an autograph

Maria Menado Autograph

and a far-away picture when she posed with cast/crew/organizers/current TV personalities.

Maria Menado

Didn't manage stay for Djinn's (Perth) version of Pontianak (Return to Pontianak), though on hindsight, I probably should. Oh, Djinn was there too.

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