Criticine: Love Letters


Dear James,


It wasn't a case of love at first sight. I’d made an early career of following your film journey, watched you grow through your artsy short films and your features. Sometimes I fell asleep. I remember the first time I watched Ah Beng Returns, (2001) in a small art space somewhere in KL. I was dying for a pee. It seemed interminably long because it was so painfully artfully slow and oblique. I cursed you under my breath. And that strange ending on the highway! What was that all about? I escaped to the loo when the credits rolled.

But through the years I always gave you more credit than others did. Call it blind faith. Or call it a foolish kind of loyalty.

I decided your films needed to be studied. That way, I’d stay awake, playing and re-playing certain scenes on my computer, figuring out composition, watching characters eat their way through their everyday lives from day to day, meal to meal. Could they really be this bored or this boring? Surely there must be meaning behind these banal scenes of purposeful non-acting?

[Read Full Love Letter by Khoo Gaik Cheng…]
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