The news today mentions about the suggestion made by Malaysia Film Producers Association (MFPA) to increase the ticket price of foreign blockbuster movies to RM20, while local movies enjoy the same rate as it is right now.
As an avid movie-goer, this worries me.
First, the positive side. Our own local movies have always fought a losing war when it comes to foreign movies, especially those from the States. Placed side by side on the same time slot, local movies have always been the second, third, even the last choice for movie goers.
It’s not that we don’t have good and quality movies, but compared to the Hollywood giants, the usual perception is that theirs are always better. I’ve just watched Susuk recently, and I have to say, for someone who don’t like ghost movies (since they usually have suprise and suspense, but not scares), it’s pretty good. Pretty, and good. Especially in the end, when they reveal the mystery. Even when I praised Los dan Faun for being truly entertaining, Susuk somehow satisfies me more. I’ll write a review when time permits.
True, many of our movies fell short of being called a nuisance. Just a time filler for couples to be in a dark room, not watching the movie, but making one of their own. Or, to be shown during Raya. This was so true during the 90’s, but come the new millenia, it seems that our film producers have been trying very hard to change things. We ventured
into Computer Generated Image (CGI) scenes, different way of storytelling, experimental visual, and many others.
Many flopped, but some managed to live on and create a following.
This is the basis of my negative view on this issue. It’s truly unfair when we, the customers, have to fork out more money to see quality movies (not all, but many are), while our local producers still churns out crap (not all, but many are). We want to help the movie industry, but at times, it seems that film producers are just cashing on us.
Our movies are cheap. Very cheap, as compared to Hollywood movies that made it here. There are a lot of movies over there that are sub-standard (b-movies, those you can only find in pirated version here), but most that came here, cost a lot, and rightly so, since the level of quality os usually high. I don’t say that the story is better than ours, but technically, they’re usually superior than us.
“Chunk” Adnan, director of the recent Antoo Fighter had once showed the trailer and a snippet of the movie to Industrial Light & Magic Artist, Douglas Sutton (ILM is the company responsible of creating effects seen in Transformers, Star Wars, etc). Doug was so impressed, that all the special effects was made within that miniscule budget. Having said that, the Japanese churn out these kind of effects for their weekly programmes, although they have a strong followers of Ultraman and sentai (a team of youngsters in costumes fighting evil, usually with some fancy equipments like a robot. E.g Maskman, Flashman). It’s part of their tradition already.
We don’t need much money to have a good movie, but to have a high quality one, we do. But, when given the chance, will our local producers perform as how they promised? Or will movie-goers just grit their teeths, and pay more for foreign movies? And come to think of it, as far as i can see it (pretty short, actually), the only parties that will profit from this are the government (higher taxes, maybe), the cinema (I don’t think the extra RM10 goes to the taxes only) and pirated DVD peddlers, whose demand will rise for it’s cheaper (and less risky) to buy pirated DVDs than to pay RM20 and realised that the movie lulled you to sleep after the first 15 minutes.