Monday, June 12, 2006

The Poster

Mukhsin's wedding
Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller.
My mother favours this picture over all the others. So do I.

Maybe it's because we're part Japanese, ancestral voices have annointed us with an inexplicable penchant for the clean and Zen-like.

What I see in this picture is innocence, in a sort of dream-like environment. The day is bright and sunny, but if you listen closely, you can hear a slight breeze, and the hushed rustling of the padi.

Behind them the world looms large. And yet your eyes fall on the children, the only two people in the picture, as if to say that at the centre of this vast, vast universe, lies Love, pure and simple.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

And now for the tagline.

Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller.
We've been cracking our heads on this one too. Here are some premises we've been working around:

"What if your first love was your last?"

"It stays with you to the end."

"The one that got away."

"The one you can never forget."

"Love that never leaves."

"Does friendship end where love begins?"

"What happens when you fall in love with a friend?"

"Everyone has a first love story to tell."

Any suggestions?

"My First Love Story"

Our Singaporean distributor, Lighthouse Pictures, and us had many laughs recounting the many ways our Singaporean friends mispronounced "Sepet" and "Gubra".

"Sepet" wasn't that bad. We had "Septet", "Sepat", and "Sepit".

"Gubra", on the other hand, was stretched to unforeseeable limits.

It all started with our subtitler referring to it as "Galupa" (sounds fishy, no?). This was quickly followed by "Gupta" (possible title for a Bollywood remake?), "Garuda" (to be sponsored by Indonesia's national airline?), and finally, "Jeebra" (to be shot in Kenya and in black and white, perhaps?)

So when we were discussing the possibility of working again on "Mukhsin", they politely suggested that we might perhaps consider an English title for Singapore and for the rest of the world.

We went through several babies and me
We had "Where Tears Come From" (which frankly was too adult, given the subject matter), "My Best Friend Mukhsin" (which I felt sounded too much like "My Best Friend's Wedding"), and just "My Best Friend" (which is too similar to Herzog's "My Best Fiend", but not as clever).

Then it occured to me that somewhere in the course of the story, someone reads this 17th century poem which begins with, "The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you..."

And there it was. In that first sentence of that beautiful poem. "My First Love Story".

I like it because you can actually read it two ways. It's either My FIRST LOVE Story, or it could also be My First LOVE STORY. It can either be something she actually went through, or something she had heard about. One is love fulfilled, the other unfulfilled.

So, fine. My friend from "Lighthouse Pictures" seems to like it.

Now, the question is this: Do you, my friends, think that I should also change the Malaysian title from "Mukhsin" to "My First Love Story"?

Of course, I could always re-name it to "Mukhsin. My First Love Story." But do we feel it's too much like Peter Chan's "Comrades. Almost A Love Story."?