Tanda Putar – A Total Abject FAILURE
KL ZOMBIE RULES!!
I knew Tanda Putera would be a box-office bomb, admits director
SEPTEMBER 04, 2013
LATEST UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 04, 2013 10:01 PM
Tanda Putera director Shuhaimi Baba says that Malaysians are not into historical films. The Malaysian Insider pic, September 4, 2013.Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba is not surprised with the poor reception to her government-backed historical film, Tanda Putera, noting that local movie audiences preferred the horror-comedy genre instead.
“Yes, realistically, we expected this (the poor reception) and we knew we wouldn’t be able to make any money from this.
“But we did it anyway because it had to be done,” she told The Malaysian Insider today.
The critically-acclaimed director, who is behind popular horror movies like Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam and Layar Lara, revealed that this was the reason why most film-makers stayed away from making serious films such as the RM 4.8 million Tanda Putera.
“We are going against the flow. It is not possible to make local historical films without any grants from the government,” she noted.
Tanda Putera is a box office bomb in its first week and has been reduced to being screened in halls with smaller seating capacity at cineplexes.
The movie that contained questionable scenes of the May 13 racial riots opened nationwide last Thursday and only collected RM500,000 from ticket sales from opening day until Monday.
“This is shameful and sad,” said Finas Compulsory Screening Scheme (CSS) chairman Datuk Mustapha Maarof, pointing out that the film production cost was RM4.8 million.
The CSS sets out the rules for Malaysian cinema houses to give prominence to local productions.
Mustapha told The Malaysian Insider yesterday the box office takings from Tanda Putera was “very poor” when compared with another local production, KL Zombie, which raked in RM3 million over the same period.
Shuhaimi said she had realised that historical-based films would not do well in Malaysian cinemas after her previous movie – 1957: Hati Malaya – also tanked at the box office, having raked in only RM760,000 despite being made at a cost of RM3.6 million.
1957: Hati Malaya focused on Umno founder Dato Onn Jaafar’s struggle to raise Malay nationalism spirit against the Malayan Union in 1946. Like Tanda Putera, Hati Malaya also received a government grant.
Shuhaimi had earlier said that the low attendance on opening day was because the film opened in mid-week.
She noted that despite the bad press and negative comments by politicians, the film still raked in commendable earnings, especially for a historical film.
Shuhaimi today said screening both Tanda Putera and KL Zombie at the same time had proven to be a big challenge.
“One producer told me it was suicidal. But we took it as a challenge because that’s the reality of the current local movie scene.
“We fight for audiences the best way we can,” she added.
However, she explained that historical-based movies had a longer shelf-life and had more residual value.
“For example, it probably will get picked up by a TV station and viewership will pick up over time,” she said.
“I am hoping that the Malaysian audience will get themselves familiarised with this genre besides just horror-comedy”.
Tanda Putera has been the centre of controversy following concerns that some scenes and dialogues in the film could incite racial tension.
DAP and MCA had criticised the movie for showing that the Chinese was responsible for the May 13 riots in 1969.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang was upset with Tanda Putera, which showed a scene of several young Chinese youths urinating at a flagpole in the compound of the former Selangor mentri besar Datuk Harun Idris. – September 4, 2013.
Few takers for ‘Tanda Putera’ in KL
According to a cinema cashier, the movie has not been very popular, while an attendant said only 48 out of a total of 274 seats were occupied for the 2.15pm show yesterday.
“That’s not even half the cinema, and it’s been like this since it started showing,” he said.
There were about 60 cinema goers for the 5.15pm showing, and only a few advance bookings were seen for the 7.45pm and 12.45am screenings, despite it being a Saturday as well as a public holiday.
The movie, directed by Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba, costs RM4.8mil to produce, and was a joint effort by the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) and the Multimedia Development Corporation.
Tanda Putera is a story of Malaysia’s second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and his good friend, the then Home Affairs Minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman.
Several groups have complained that the movie had portrayed minorities in the bad light, with some alleging the film does nothing for national integration, but instead, stokes hatred.
A similarly cool response from cinema goers was also seen in Penang yesterday, with a check revealing that only 42 tickets were sold for a 305-seat hall at the 2.25pm screening at GSC Queensbay Mall.
However, it was a different scenario at the Mega Cineplex Megamall Pinang in Prai, where Permatang Pauh Umno Youth chief Mohd Zaidi Mohd Said booked the entire 160-seat cineplex for the 1.45pm screening for members of the division and his friends.
“I did not see any sensitive issues or elements in the movie which might incite racist sentiments.
“There is a scene which depicts a man peeing on the Malaysian flag, but people should be given the chance to judge for themselves whether it reflects the truth,” he said.
Azlan Ali, 37, who works as a driver, said he would consider watching the movie to find out for himself if the movie reflected a true account of what happened.
“Considering that it is controversial, I am a little cautious about the contents, but I hope that there will be a message at the end that will contribute to the values of National Day,” said Azlan at Queensbay Mall.
A 20-year-old student who wanted to be known as Hafiz Kulai said he preferred action-packed movies to those about history.
“Even if I decided to watch a local movie, I might not select Tanda Putera due to the reviews I received from my friends, who told me the story is less than balanced in several aspects.”
NOW DOES SHE MAKES MOVIES OR IS SHE A FREAKING CINEMA ENFORCER???
Cinemas may lose their licence, warns Tanda Putera director
Published on 2013-08-29 19:57:10
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