Very the Gubra!
Warning: This will be a very long entry with tons of pictures. So, bear with me.
First things first, click on the poster below to read my review of Gubra on movieXclusive.com
Click the picture below to read about the interview we had with the Gubra gang over dinner.
Click on the picture below to read about the World Premiere of Gubra.
Well, on to my "story". I don't think it's a secret at all that I'm a major fan of Yasmin Ahmad and having had stumbled upon her blog about a two years ago, I've corresponded with her occassionally via her HaloScan comments board.
So, when I was told that Gubra was going to be released in Singapore first and that Yasmin herself would be in town to promote the movie, I was hyped. The best part came when we were given the opportunity to interview her.
26th February 2006 came. I had to miss rehearsal to meet the Gubra gang for an interview. The four of us, Stefan, Lokman, Richard and myself were called upon to serve the website and we waited patiently at the Esplanade for a fixed time and venue for our interview.
They had been having interviews the whole day long with our local media and we were to be the last ones for the day. And soon, in the late evening, we got a call that brought us to the KopiTiam at Swissotel Stamford where we had the interview.
Naturally, I was extremely nervous about the whole thing and the guys kept ribbing me. And then we stepped inside and there were Yasmin, her leads Sharifah and Alan, Thomas from Lighthouse Pictures (the kind man who granted us the interview) and Yasmin's producers (?) Tania and Anthony.
And get this, we must've been the only media that actually had a very casual interview with them. It was over dinner some more! It was just so weird for the four of us at that moment coz we weren't sure as to wait for them to finish their food or go ahead with the interview.
To cut a long story short, the dinner interview seemed like we were all old friends going out for makan. Golly gees. I had dinner with the Gubra gang. Okay, technically I only drank but still. And oh, the first thing Kak Min said to me was, "You look very familiar"
Gosh! And I had to reveal lah at that very moment that I read her blog, we've corresponded and she'd prolly been to my blog too. And she went "ahhh...the power of blogging"
The conversation ranged from talking about all our favourite movies to what we liked to do. We were all engrossed in the conversation that I was initially worried that we would not be able to cover much for our article!
But then we went into full gear and started discussing Kak Min's movies. She explained why she decided to go with the ending in Sepet and her rationale. Anyone who wants to know can ask me personally. We had a riot of a time talking about "kucing berak", a scene from Rabun. The scene was basically a scrawny kitten having a poop. Heh. Silver screen history!
At this point I must remind you that I never thought I'd have a conversation with Kak Min let alone have dinner!
And yes, they could have been at Tainted Flower. My beloved colleagues were nice enought to invite them on my behalf. Sadly, they had a Double Bill Session to attend to from Friday to Sunday. And then Sharifah and I discussed theatre. She told me about how she was part of a Malay production of Hamlet and I shared my experience adapting Julius Caesar into a musical.
And how could I forget Alan, our Star Wars man who also said the first movie that made him cry was Forrest Gump. Hehehe.
And we went on and on, although I must admit that Alan was pretty quiet most times. Kak Min listens to you intently and Sharifah is really a chilli padi in real life.
Soon enough, the interview ended, we took pictures with the gang and left. The four of us were walking around in a daze still trying to come to terms with our evening. So surreal!
Anyhoo, here are the pics from the dinner interview.
Kak Min sharing or taking a spoonful from Richard's dessert.
The interview process.
A group photo with them. Look at Stefan getting hugged!
Me and Kak Min!
Our experience didn't end there. The next evening, all four of us attended the World Premiere of Gubra. While only Stefan and I were on duty, I was expected to only review the movie. I didn't come prepared with paper and pen, only because I felt it the gala event would be like the Pride & Prejudice one where I didn't have much to cover.
But, I saw a whole lot of faces from various industries, so Stefan lent me his trusty notebook and pen and we were off in a pair, him being the designated cameraman.
But first, we arrived early. And when Kak Min saw us, she greeted us like we were old friends, with kisses on our cheeks! And Kak Min's just so warm and motherly that she doesn't mind if you're an old friend or new.
In any case, after talking to the Gubra gang, Stefan and I scooted off and we interviewed a number of people for the article I was writing. Here goes.
We caught accomplished playwright, Michael Chiang, of Army Daze and Private Parts fame and he revealed the number of times he had seen Sepet.
We also caught up with Suria Artistes like Anugerah winner Khairul Anuar, Anugerah finalist, Fauzie Laili, Norfasarie and Nurul Aini, who recently starred in Love Conceirge as Vincent Ng's love interest. She was in the same situation as Orked in Sepet. Okaylah, similar situation.
And of course, Suria Artiste, Azhar Nor Lesta was also there. He gave such profound comments that, I could relate it to my actors. Woohoo~
We also approached Kenneth Tan, the Managing Director of Golden Village Cinemas. He was very nice and provided us with a lot of insights and the promise of supporting all of Kak Min's films!
Sharifah and Alan doing a promo of Gubra for Suria.
"Classic Richard Moment"
This space is dedicated to my friend Richard Lim Jr. Poor fellow was running around town to obtain a Sepet DVD to get Kak Min and Sharifah to sign. We were laughing so hard when we saw it selling at GV Grand at $16. He was late because of the same DVD which he got for $22.90.
Richard Richard. But hey, at least Kak Min kept refering to you as her darling Richard right?
Remember I mentioned that I thought this guy was pretty quiet? I thought wrong lah. Throughout the gala event and after the movie, we actually talked a lot and I felt that really made him very comfortable. He ended up being the most buddy buddy with us. Alan, if you're reading this, you da man!
Sharifah was pretty busy herself the whole evening running from one quick interview to another. She did, however, manage to stop for a quick bit to take photos with us all.
And of course Kak Min herself who was being swarmed by almost everyone else! But she was very nice to us! Hehehe!
And then we watched Gubra.
Remember I mentioned how buddy buddy Alan was? During the movie, I was laughing so hard at one the scenes he was in that he reached over from behind and smacked me in my shoulder.
Yes, we were seated in front of the cast and crew. Heh. Richard and Lokman got great seats lah. It was fun to watch the movie with running commentary from the cast and crew. Different from other people talking during the show one!
After the gala, we were pretty reluctant to leave and all. Eventually, Thomas from LHP whipped out a whole stack of Gubra posters and started giving them away. Of course, after the crowd had died down that is. And since everyone was still around, we also got our posters autographed.
Soon enough, we left albeit reluctantly, bidding our final goodbyes but secretly hoping that we would meet again.
And that we did. Heh.
ARMY DAZE EXPERIENCE
Stefan had attended the Double Bill screening one night and told Kak Min about our plan to ask her and gang out for dinner. The next morning, I, being the designated caller, called her up.
Our dinner plan on Tuesday had to be altered because she was going to watch the staging of Army Daze. Thinking that we were down on our luck, I was about to say goodbye until she said that she would be watching the play alone. Then she remembered that I was the one who had a play not to long ago and invited me to join her to watch the play.
Quite honestly, at that very moment I couldn't stop smiling as I felt truly blessed. I've managed to talk, have dinner, etc with someone who's inspired me so much and now watching a play together?!
And so I was supposed to fetch Kak Min at Gallery Hotel at 7pm. She got a little delayed and she got me to come up to her room first. Stupid me didn't realize that the suite numbers were on the floor. She got a complimentary observatory suite! Bloody gorgeous lah! And oh, I told her that my Mum had sent her, her regards and she was like, "Really? That's sweet!" and another time, "She sends her regards? That's sweet!" Hahakz.
Anyhoo, we rushed off to the National Library for the play, reaching on time too. Whew~
Kak Min was very absored by the play, often leaning forward, concetrating on what was being said. In the end, I was scared that she couldn't get the very Singaporean bits but I was wrong. Heh. And she really liked Hossan Leong's acting! hahakz. No surprise there!
We then met Stefan, Lokman and Peiyu who were waiting for us at the lobby. We then headed for TCC at Bugis where we continued our talk on movies. We discussed more scenes, this time from Gubra. How she managed to ilict a heightened emotion from a particular scene without informing Sharifah what to expect. Richard also joined us but Kak Min was visibly tired and was in need of panadol. Stefan's friend Sara also joined us but only managed to talk to Kak Min for a few minutes as Kak Min headed for 7-11 with Richard and Lokman while the rest of us were gently evicted from the premises as it was closing time.
Sara, offered to drive Kak Min back to her hotel. Funny thing happened. Kak Min refused to sit in front, jumped for the backseat and ended up getting squeezed by Peiyu, Stefan and Lokman. After we dropped Kak Min off, said our proper final goodbyes and hopes of meeting again soon, we went for a drink at Siglap.
After the drink, Sara drove each of us home. God bless this girl I say for being such a nice person. Sara's just so bubbly and cheerful that she's so fun to be around!
This has been a blessed two weeks for me really.
The whole Gubra experience, the play and most importantly, the building of new and beautiful friendships. Wow. And here's Sara and me!
Sara and Me
Did I say that the past two weeks have been very Wow?
And oh, before Kak Min left this morning, she sms'ed everyone thanking us for the friendship and for making her feel at home.
And now, all I can do is to smile. Not Gubra anymore. Hehehe.
P.S. If Singaporean made Gubra hor, I think it would've been called Kanchiong!
Alamakkkk! I'm lying lah.
It's still all too bloody surreal! Heh.