One after Another after Another….

First, it was Edward Yang. Then Ingmar Bergman and now Michelangelo Antonioni.

I am not overly sad nor will I be protesting unreasonably on how life is so unfair nor am I crying my eyes out, probably because I am not related to them in any way and would not pretend to be very sad (like some people did as if someone in their family died). However, I am related to them in another way. The movies that they made moved me and had a strong impact in my movie world and for that, I feel sad that the world has lost three of its great filmmakers.

I remember watching “Yi Yi” and got bowled over but that is nothing compared to, in my opinion, “A Brighter Summer Day”. Although 4 hour long, I just got hooked on it and appreciating his art of storytelling. For me, Edward Yang will be remembered for these two movies, and of course, that he was the husband (later divorced) of one of my favourite Chinese Diva, Tsai Chin. I have watched two of his other films, “The Terroriser” and “In Our Time” but those two did not have the impact that “Yi Yi” and “A Brighter Summer Day” did. I would like to watch his other movies and it is great news that the guys at the Film Club (Kelab Seni Filem) will be holding a retro of some of his films this coming end of August.

I will remember Ingmar Bergman for his “The Seventh Seal” and “Persona”. I also loved “Wild Strawberries”, “Cries and Whispers” and “Fanny and Alexander”. Bergman’s images are so strong, it still sacres me sometimes when a certain scene from “Cries and Whispers” popped up in my mind unexpectedly. Who can forget Death and the Dance of Death? The look of Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson on screen, interchanging until we are confused with who is who? The colours in “Fanny and Alexander”?

I will always remember Antonioni for “L’avventura”, “La Notte” and “Blow Up”. What style he has and how he teased us over and over again.

You know what, I will probably watch all the movies again back to back this weekend but cannot do so thanks to the Malaysian Film Festival in Penang. Looking at this, I cannot but help to contemplate on when the Malaysian film industry can come produce such masters as Edward Yang, Bergman and Antonioni (in fact, we actually have Tsai Ming Liang, come to think of it, yes?)

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