Skip to content

Cambodian Films at the Berlinale

February 11, 2012

This video serves as a reminder of the stubborn materiality of film, actual film, not film-as-digital-file. It shows Cambodian master director Ly Bun Yim trying to spool the first reel of the Cambodian print of his masterwork Puthisen Neang Kongre (12 Sisters), that he used to show over and over around 2000 in Phnom Penh after he returned from exile in France. The rest of the film became victim of a flood, and now the only celluloid relic of his film in Cambodia was to be shown in the French Cultural Center, where this was filmed.

An apparently much better print will be shown at the Berlin Film Festival this week. On occasion of the screening of Davy Chou’s excellent documentary Golden Slumbers on the Golden Age of Khmer Cinema, the Berlinale has put together a mini-retrospective of films from this fascinating period. None of these films, which are some of the very few films from Cambodia from the 1960s that survived on film in bearable quality, have ever been shown in Europe, or at a film festival. I wrote essays on 12 Sisters, Peov Chouk Sor and Pous Keng Kong for the festival catalog.

For more on thi period, check Kon. The Cinema of the Philippines, a magazine that I published with my students last year.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2012 7:33 pm

    Hello Southeastasiancinema,
    I know what you mean, When it arrives to cinema, I absolutely love those crafted while in the 40’s and 50’s when in my watch, films had been formed not so considerably for their profitability, but for the art alone and the messages contained in. As a kid I would look at the localized model of The Sunday Matinee Motion picture and became familiar with actors like as Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and other people. This was the era of “film noir” which is outlined as motion pictures that are symbolized by dimly-lit sets, a bleak setting and middle on stories about corrupt and cynical characters. The plots of these films many times revolve approximately an anti-hero, a crime (and subsequent moral dilemma), and a intimate fascination for the films central character. The movies were shot in black and white colored, with shadow developing as very much value as dialogue. These films utilized out of the ordinary angles, silhouetted close-ups and somber tones to set up one-of-a-kind and strong storylines. These films had been manufactured during a approximately 20 calendar year period of time, start with 1940’s “Stranger on the Third Floor” (starring Peter Lorre and John McGuire) and the underrated “Brother Orchid” (Edward G. Robinson), to Orson Well’s 1958 vintage, “Contact of Evil.”
    All the Best


  1. Cambodian Films at the Berlinale … | Latest Films
  2. Today’s Links – February 12, 2012 |
  3. Ryan’s Criterion Link Collection For February 13th, 2012 | CriterionCast

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Categories

  • 12 Sisters Alessandre de Rossi Amir Muhammad James Lee Horror Amir Muhammad Malaysian Gods Apichatpong Weerasethakul At The End of Daybreak baguio Bayani San Diego Jr Ben Slater Be Quite Berlinale Brillante Mendoza Brilliante Mendoza bruce lee bulgogi Burma Cambodia Dreams Cannes Cannes Festival 2009 cinema Cinemas in Manila Cineplex cockfighting comedy Davy Chou Detlev Buck Dollywood Dontrey. The Music of Cambodia Don´t burn Dying to belong Dy Saveth Eric Khoo funding Golden Reawakening Hong Kong University Press John Rabe joseph estrada Kinatay King Norodom Sihanouk Kon. The Cinema of Cambodia Last night I Dreamed of Peace Lav Diaz Long Nguyen lvn Ly Bun Yim Martha Nochimson melodrama Mercedes Cabral Metrowealth International Group movie house Nhat Minh dang Peter Bogdanovich philippine daily inquirer Phnom penh Poan Phoung Bopha poem Pontianak Raya Martin Rose Chan Ruben Nepales Saint Jack Same Same But Different Sell out Siem Reap sound proof Southeast Asian Independent Cinema Stanley Harper Tea Lim Koun This week at Cine Lux Tilman Baumgaertel Tilman Baumgärtel Triad movies Yasmin Ahmad Yvon Hem “Sthapatyakam. The Architecture of Cambodia”
  • Awards Books Cambodia Censorship China Cinemas in Manila Competitions and Festivals Conferences Documentary Exhibitions Feature Grants hong kong Indonesia Interview Malaysia Miscancellous Museum Myanmar News Obituary Philippines Review Singapore Thailand This week at Cinẻ Lux Uncategorized Vietnam Visual Essay Webvideo
  • February 2012
    M T W T F S S
    « Jan   Mar »
  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Advertisements
    %d bloggers like this: