Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Movie Marathon

I just saw Magika last night. Reached home at nearly one.

Lied down on my mattress for a while, when I realised that I have a 9.45am Press screening tomorrow, for Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak 2.

I can't risk sleep, so I got up and did a movie review for Legends of the Guardians, which to me is the best movie of the year, barring Magika of course. I always have a soft-spot for films which I had something to do with.

So here I am, article finished and probably published Thursday (read it!), hoping not to sleep till morning.

You know, some idiots think doing entertainment journalism is easy. A walk in the park.

Well, it IS easy, if you know what you're doing. It is also easy if you are a soulless bastard with no conscience. And no pride.

I'm now back on the field, after a year playing desk jockey. It will take a couple of weeks of adjusting, after Raya and all, but I'm making good speed.

Things will come. Slowly.

I enjoy the camaraderie of entertainment journalists, and find it hard to understand why so many people are afraid of covering local entertainment. Only a small few dare to traverse these waters.

I'll tell you a secret.

When I first came to KL, back in 1998, the local mainstream entertainment scene was the last thing on my mind. I sought the intellectuals. The smart ones who do these really creative projects. Short black-and-white films. Installation art. Books of poems. Experimental theatre.

And when I say experimental theatre, I don't mean talking to yourself on an empty stage, though the best theatre piece I've ever seen was just that - a monologue.

I'm talking about a dozen girls pogo-ing onto a clearing, simulating masturbation. I'm talking about a performer holding his/her outfit out in front of him/her and and spitting on it.

I'm talking about the worship and derision of shoes.

(All this, incidentally, in the same theatrical dance performance)

I discovered that SOME of KL's intellegentsia before the new millenium spoke English, drank hot chocolate at Paddington Station, have trust funds, but are finally, irrevocably, human.

They have their own fuck-ups. Their own cliques. Their own politics. It's just like high school, but with bigger words. And big-name dropping. And quoting the 'Great Books' written by 'Great Authors'.

Notice that I do not regularly quote the 'Great Authors'. 'Kafkaesque', to me, is a swear word. A curse.

Not because I'm better than them. Oh, no. That's not the point. I just want to quote comic book writers. I think they make as much sense - perhaps even more, to me - than Murakami or Raynd or Proulx.

ANyway, for the longest time, I resisted the local mainstream entertainment scene.

Until one day, I sent applications to 52 companies and the first one to reply was the thing that lead me to entertainment journalism. I'll tell the full story one day. I even remember the dress my first interviewer wore - a tight, blue minidress with black prints.

I find an affinity with the local entertainment scene. Surprise! I found that they're just as screwed up as the intellectuals. The same hang-ups, the same complaints. The same politics.

Because essentially, everyone is just people. If you can deal with one crowd, you can deal with any crowd. There's nothing to fear from people. If you're afraid of people, you might as well either:

a. Die


b. Kill everyone else

So really, there's nothing to be afraid of from the local entertainment scene. In fact, if you look real hard, there's always beauty everywhere.

I used to resist the local mainstream entertainment scene. Now, I'm pretty much in the thick of it, though I am far from being a complete expert. Not that I am welcomed everywhere I go. Or that I am a celebrity. I do not have those allusions or delusions. Like dung beetles and intellectuals, I serve a purpose. A function. And that is what I do. My job.

I don't know everyone. I don't know everything. I don't need to. I know enough. And that's as good a place as any, to start. Again.