Sunday, May 10, 2009

$ell-out : award winning movie at the Venice Film Festival

Release Date :: 7 May 2009
Language :: English, Malay, Cantonese
Classification :: 18PL
Running Time :: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Director :: Yeo Joon Han
Cast :: Jerrica Lai, Peter Davis, Kee Thuan Chye, Lim Teik Leong, Lee Szu Hung, Wong Wai Hoong, Hannah Lo.

i watched $ell-out at GSC, Seremban 2 today. I was proud and happy, yet partly disappointed at the same time. Why, you may ask?

Have you heard of the latest Movie $ell-out? No, it ain't just any ordinary movie. This film was in competition at the Venice Film Festival last August. It became first-ever Malaysian feature film to win an award from the prestigious festival. How cool is that? I'm so proud of MALAYSIA!!


Her name is Rafflesia Pong (Rafflesia=largest flower in the world, which reeks of animal carcass; Pong=stink). She's a bottom-ranking arts show host who's disillusioned with "those over-rated underachievers we call artists." He's Eric Tan (Eric=Eric, Tan=typical Chinese surname), a product designer who's just about to learn that it doesn't pay to be creative. They both work for FONY, a multinational conglomerate whose mission statement, copied from a Taiwanese company, is to be original.

In the face of such pressure, will Eric and Rafflesia retain their artistic integrity or will they finally sell out to fame, fortune or some other nasty thing that also starts with "F"?


Here's the list of awards:


Young Cinema Award for Alternative Vision
Venice Film Festival

Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival

Best Film of the Venice Critics Week 2008
-Italian Critics Poll, Cineforum

* * * * *

If that doesn't impresses you, there's more:

LIST OF FILM FESTIVALS (as of 25 April 2009):

1. Venice Film Festival
2. Vancouver International Film Festival
3. Karlovy-Vary International Film Festival
4. Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival (BAFICI)
5. Pusan International Film Festival
6. Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival
7. Zurich Film Festival
8. Hong Kong Asian Film Festival
9. World Film Festival of Bangkok
10. Troms International Film Festival, Norway
11 Era New Horizons International Film Festival, Poland
12. Barcelona Asian Film Festival
13. Rome Asian Film Festival
14. Singapore International Film Festival
15. Festival Paris Cinema
16. Melbourne International Film Festival

and even reviews!!


"a gem from Malaysia"
- Gertzan Zuilhof,
The New Straits Times

" A story of our time. ... (a) humourous, wink-filled comedy"
-Kong Rithdee, The Bangkok Post

"a film that involves and
constantly surprises the audience"

- Jury, Young Cinema Award

"punchy songs and comic routines"
- Derek Elley, Variety

"the daffiness and enthusiasm are infectious...
one of 10 best films of 2008 not yet released in the USA"
- David Walsh, the World Socialist Web Site

"moments of pure brilliance that
let you know Yeo Joon Han will be around
for a very long time"

- Matthew Tsang, Schema Magazine

"spunky performance from lead actress Jerrica Lai"
- Derek Elley, Variety

"a film that (feels) really new"
- Emma Engstrom, the Gotenborgs-Posten
(Swedish press)

"an infectious energy, brilliant at all levels"
- Jean Noel Nicolau, Ecran Large

"Sell Out! is one week's worth of laughter in 100 minutes"
- Now News, Taiwan

"the biggest surprise of the festival!"
- Taipei Golden Horse Festival

Why was i disappointed? While everyone else around the world was loving this movie, cheering and clapping for us,... it doesn't seemed so, over the other end...

Everyone was heads over heels over this movie, EXCEPT US... except the people here...

Well, the cinema was exceptionally cold today. Cold, in terms that Boon Lee and i were the only two person sitting on that long row of the cinema. Could you believe that? And on top of that, there was a guy behind us, not only asleep, but also snoring. I did a head count, there were only 15 people in that cinema, and it was a big cinema... 15 out of 450 seats!


Were you aware that it was one of the most popular films of the festival, both among critics and the general public? In fact, it was so popular among Italian critics, they voted it the best film in its category. It was so popular with the general public, it became the first-ever Malaysian film to find theatrical distribution in Italy!

I personally loved this movie!

Well, I loved Malaysian Made movies, from Spinning Gasing to Sepet, Cinta, etc... and now $ell-out... i have not got a chance to watch Talentime yet. You know, it's really hard to find people to accompany me to watch these genre of movie.. Apparently, only my zhimuis from high school (BoonLee, SukTeng, ShinLoo, Audrey, etc) enjoyed Malaysian movies.

Perhaps, it's of personal preferences. So, if you had liked movies like Sepet, you would probably love this too. I find movies like this very 'Malaysian'... It made me feel close to home... The scenes, the people, the habits and lifestyle...

and of course, i loved musical dramas!! and how often have you watched a Malaysian Made Musical Drama in ENGLISH???? THIS IS LIKE A TOTAL MUST-WATCH MOVIE!!!! and the songs are great!!Oh boy... can they sing... it's angelic, the voices... I WANT TO GET THE CD!!!

There was a part where i think the audience was suppose to sing along, like an Karaoke... i thought that idea was very creative :)

The movie was published in The Star Nespaper: A Malaysian Delight....

Last but not least, if everything above had not attract you to this movie yet, well, there's always this:

Charming, smart, tall, handsome, funny, with a Brittish Accent..

How can anyone not like Peter Davis????
(casting as Eric Tan)

185cm height, shoe size 9.5


Check out more about $ell-out here


  1. excellent movie! will watch it again in Penang:P Hopefully there will be no one snoring behind me again :)

  2. SHIN YIN!! Absolute funny!!.. You're doing a great job promoting it!! Geesssh.. I love it by just looking at that short video!!

    Proud being a Malaysian, it looks wonderful, and yes, I'm flying back to M'sia to watch it!!! :D

  3. I too wanna watch it. I saw the advertisement about it in Astro last Friday. Hmm... but very hard to find kaki to watch local film... =x

  4. boonLee,.. i feel like watching it again too ^^ nice le, the movie~
    khek yang, haha... i sound like advertising for it?? it's a Malaysia movie, and we all should be proud of it! and i'm so glad you'll be back in Msia soon! i bet you miss here very much~
    Dann, i have to agree... it's very hard to find kaki to watch local movie... last time i wanted to watch hati malaya 1957 and Talentime but no kaki... siGh...

  5. Boon Lee, need to watch it twice!! Another time in penang?! So nice??

    ShinYin, no eye candy for the guys? :(

  6. Kris, eye candy??? what do you mean???

    Peter Davis is so charming... shit! i think i'm in love...

  7. Just dropping a note. Those who are interested in getting the soundtrack - I know a lot of people are addicted to the song "You're Not My Type" - well, you can! By now most Rock Corner shops would have had stocks of the soundtrack CD to sell.

    And, okay, I know the temptation is there to download the songs illegally ... but director Joon Han stated that he used his own money to fund the printing of the soundtrack CD and is dependent on it for his income, so do support original in this case, please!

  8. how come there is no publcity? promotion? hope they still show it in S2, or I can try KL this weekend. honestly I don't know abt this. should be good since you highly recommended it.

  9. McGarmont,
    of course! we should get the original and support Malaysia's movie!! =)


    actually they had publicity over the radio and Astro... it's an 18PL movie though... erm... i would advice you not to keep your hopes too high up... not many people enjoy this kinda genre... well, the guy sitting behind me slept... and there was only 15/450 ppl... so ya... and the story line was just okay... but the art, the meaning, the darkness, i liked that... and it gave me a very Malaysian feeling... =) i hope you get to watch it in S2... you are from seremban, huh?

  10. ShinYin,

    I mean why no eye candy for the guys in this movie? :P

  11. knitfreak-to-be, you can't be serious!!! no cinema in PD?? how can?? there's like two in seremban: GSC (terminal 1) and TGV (s2)!!! come seremban watch la then :)


    Kris,hmm... i still don't understand what is eye candy... but Peter Davis is like WOW!

    Eye candy: n. Informal.
    Someone or something that is visually attractive or pleasing to look at.

  12. such a great way to pull out a promo on local film by talented malaysians.I hope i can watch this when i get back..


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of love

Today, i heard a story which was not a story of falling...
of living in the dark end of winter turmoil..
instead, it was a love story..
of a couple who did not live happily ever after...
but they live, loving each other..