Coming to Noo Yawk
Lelaki Komunis Terakhir screens at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City on 8 & 9 December. It is part of a programme called Asian Cinevisions which presents, erm, cinema from Asia.
At the risk of coming over all gushy, New York is my favourite city and the place where I first fooled around with the idea of making films. I took a course in NYU in the summer of 1995 and directed five 16mm shorts (I got a D for the first and an A for the last). In addition I managed to watch over 90 films not only at the NYU library but at places like Film Forum, the Angelika, the Anthology and, yes, MOMA.
I would never have gone there if I hadn't met and interviewed U-Wei Haji Saari in Malaysa two years before that in Kuala Lumpur. He had studied film in New York in the 1980s. His first feature film had just come out and he became the first person to make me realise that making films could be something I'd want to pursue.
I visited the city again this summer (the first time this century) to find that although much had changed (Times Square now seems like Disneyland), the old buzz was still there and the service staff as reassuringly rude as ever.