Hot Docs & Herzog
Lelaki Komunis Terakhir will make its North American premiere in competition in Toronto's Hot Docs , the largest documentary festival and market on that continent. I look forward to visiting Toronto for the first time in late April not only to present the screening and take in a few films, but also to meet with one of my filmmaking heroes. Yes, Werner Herzog will be getting a special award and giving a talk. Will he be as drolly strange and wondrous as his films? Only time and a very long flight can tell.
The only drawback will be the painful process of getting a Canadian visa. The locals who man the process here in Kuala Lumpur are total jerks. It's a truth nationally acknowledged that the biggest assholes in Western-owned organisations here are not the mat salleh themselves but the uppity Malaysians in them. I had to deal with them when applying to attend another festival 2 years ago and the resultant hassle was of the kind that inspires suicide bombing as a career option.
But as Herzog once said: "The world is not easily accepting of filmmaking. There will always be some sort of an obstacle, and the worst of all obstacles is the spirit of bureaucracy. You have to find your way to battle bureaucracy. You have to outsmart it, to outgut it, to outnumber it, to outfilm them -- that's what you have to do."
But then again, he also once said, of the ending of one of his films: "When I saw the dancing chicken, I knew I would create a grand metaphor -- for what, I don't know."
So in that spirit, it will be off to Toronto I go.