Sunday, August 08, 2004

A Foreign Critic's views on "Sepet".

ah loong & orked
Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller.
(Jan Uhde is a Czech-born film reviewer residing in Canada. He is also a professor and film expert teaching at Waterloo University, Ontario.)

Dear Yasmin,

Many thanks for your letter. I was very happy to make it to your screening. What a coincidence and a pleasant surprise!

Yvonne and I came to KL to meet with Tuck Cheong of the Film Society and his friends. Anchalee was also there and she told us about your film.

Actually, it is I who should thank you for letting me watch Sepet. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

To call it a "little film" would be an unnecessary understatement. I liked your film's sincerity, truthfulness, subtle humour and a sensitive portrait of the two cultures.

I laughed a lot. I recalled the early films of Forman and Truffaut I saw a long time ago and which I still like to watch.

It is refreshing to see people who look and act like real people -- so much unlike the slick Hollywood emptiness.

The Rusalka aria was quite an unexpected experience. I was listening and could not believe my ears: It was in Czech! I know the opera, you cannot be a Czech and miss it, but I have not realized before seeing your film, how close its theme relates to a story far away in time and space.

It is hard to find room for improvement in an accomplished work. But I don't want you to question my sincerity, so here is one detail: I think that a slight shortening of the final emotional scene (mother/ daughter in the car) would be more in step with the rest of the film.

Really sorry we had so little time. It will have to be the next time. Please stay in touch.