It was 19th October, a fine thursday night. i have just finished watching "Open season" on IMAX and have been both amazed and tired of experiencing the 3D effect (again, last time was "Polar Express"). After saying goodbye to my friends in Times Square, i sped my way to Angkasapuri, get lost for a while cause the hidden entrance was so freaking hard to find! finally by 11.20pm, i managed to, after much worried and frustrated, find the glitzing grand entrance of our famous government owned radio and television stations - RTM.
This was not my first time here, last time i was visiting my friend who worked there as news editor, so i was very well awared of the procedure of surrendering my identity card and some interrogation... haha... like visiting palace like that. then i walked my way toward the radio building and looked for AiFM. when i walked pass a whole stretch of radio studios, i can feel the coldness, not only from the centralized air-cond, but also of the clean empty well-lit corridor, which really was lacked of human warmth, and i wonder to myself - who would want to work here? it's the feeling of loneliness that killed me.
Half way through the corridor i found AiFM, i showed myself in to the guest room and i saw JiAn (the DJ) and Ho YuHang (film director) were inside the recording studio doing the 1st 2 hours of the show. I was scheduled for the 2nd half which is very much graveyard 12-2am. it was a torture for old man like me to stay up and awake after 12am nowadays, and of course the DJ noticed this, so this has been some sort of practical joke for the programme that whole morning... sigh...
so, how was the show? i must say... boring... maybe because of the topic we discussed, or maybe because of the mode of delivery, or maybe it's due to the content that lacks depths, or even maybe due to the late hours, i can't help yawning...
2 films we discussed. the 1st hour we talked about "the sound of music", the ever ever classic musical. and the 2nd hour we talked about "dancer in the dark", the ever ever cult musical. i told JiAn that for the classic i will mainly focus on my nostalgic but faint memories of watching it, hence it'll be mainly personal, but for the cult i would really like to discuss the inconventional usage of musics as motif and style. but i have to confess that i was and am still disappointed that we ended up recalling the plots and playing the songs.
i have to admit that i'm not familiar with the show at all... maybe his format is like that - talking about plots... but i'm sure that's not the case with other guests like Tsai MingLiang or Yasmin Ahmad... maybe it's me... i don't know... maybe because of the DJ's lack of interest in musical genre. OK, i was the one who wanted and suggested the topic - musical films, and JiAn already told me that he wasn't too familiar with musicals, and even he is kinda cynical towards musics in films. He believes that if films can touch people without music, why do we need music? and he also expressed his disgust of the "abuse" of music in most Hollywood films. i dare not agree at all.
here's my arguments! i studied music, i played piano, i learned music theory, i have my diploma in pianoforte performance. to me, music is an expressive channel. musicians use music to express their love, hate, passion, anger, without the help of visuals. musics has its own history thousand of years before film. So, i always believe that if use properly, music can be a very effective element in telling film stories. let's not condemn music simply because a few films overload with meaningless music. i can give you tons of examples, but i guess i'll save this for future post.
that's the reason why i would like to talk about musical on his show - to argue for the importance of music in movie, and to talk about few films that creatively use music... but we ended up talking craps... i was also deeply disappointed of myself not being able to uphold my intention due to the domination of the DJ, just like i was told by a few friends that the DJ was doing perhaps 80% of talking. it is not easy to cut in an unplanned speech of an agressive DJ. i was known as the most, if not second most, sarcastic lecturer in my university, or even my ex-college... but i was shot down that night - for my age, my job as lecturer in an "university", and my all-so-mainstream taste of films - which i unwillingly laugh it off during the show. it's pointless to argue with a young and talented DJ, which only will make me 'sound' shallow on air.
ok, i'm not here to backfire or anything, if i want to talk bad about this i may go on and on for 2 nights. in fact i'm flattered that an unknown guy like me was invited to a national radio to talk about films, and i admire his (the DJ) passion towards films - i mean how many people will dare to host a radio show about films? more so, with an intention to promote local films and independent and alternative films. but i told JiAn over the phone 2 weeks before the show that radio is just not THE medium to do show like this. i meant to say that radio is mainly an "audio" medium, hence it is weak to convey a "visual" medium like films. Television will be a perfect medium. but i still think the show is necessary looking at the lack of programme of this kind. some TV programmes are targeting movies, but they are just a mere promotional tool to promote mainstream commercial movies, nothing critical. hence, i still think the shows should go on. so, gambatte JiAn.