I now present a review of Sell Out from a friend of Unseen Films, Mr C. I was introduced to Mr C and his website Planet Chocko by Mondocurry.
While I had been aware of Mr C for a while, I only met him in the flesh this weekend and it was an absolute joy. I spent three days at the festival with him and all I can say is that if you want to have a good time take him along.
By the second day of watching movies and talking I asked him if I could write something up for the blog. He kindly did so. Actually he did it twice, since he's also written up a piece on BKO: Bangkok Knockout which I'll be posting a little later.
With any luck I'll be able to convince him to do some more writing...
And with that I turn you over to Mr C and his take on the vry funny Sell Out
The SELL OUT screening on day 4 of the NYAFF on July 4th was one of the highlights of the festival so far for me. It was a day to celebrate Malaysian cinema as comedy, satire, & cynicism reigned supreme in this musical tour de force! Director, Yeo Joon Han and actor, Peter Davis were on hand before & after the screening to add some silly malay spice to this boiling hot pot of a potential sing along karaoke movie!
The story of the film would set off non telegraphic stinging jabs at corporate greed and the followers that would heed that type of philosophy in their day to day lifestyle. I imagine the theme of corporate selfishness is universal and crosses over to all nations and racial barriers which is why everyone seemed to relate as balls of laughter would steadily stream in during the screening when the over the top silliness would slap us in the face! A sprinkle of sarcasm that was brought to light in the film which seemed to be racially charged that was Malay or Far East asian specific was about the relationships and discriminations against pan-asian/eurasian or in plain terms, mixed races of asians with european genes. Some pure blood asians feel that asians mixed with caucasians are perceived to be prettier and more accepted by western society which creates an inferiority complex among some. It almost has that racist thinking of being too black is wack and being light is alright which is a ludicrous statement but unfortunately some still hold this to be the truth.
Rafflesia Pong, one of the main characters in the film is a host of a TV program in maylasia that is owned by a corporate conglomerate headed by two selfish & uptight stiffs ready to discard you to the trash if you don’t follow their greedy formula for success. Rafflesia seems to be a staunch believer of the phrase “By any means neccessary” as she aims to do just that to stay afloat in the doggy dog world which includes firing back at a fellow co-worker who is a pan-asian beauty that uses her strengths to the fullest! In between all of this, another employee of this evil corporate entity who is an idealist & good hearted in general played by Peter Davis is getting the run around for being too honest and earnest with creating a reliable '8 in 1' soy bean machine! That, while being Eurasian and having a true english accent instead of a malaysian inspired one, leaves room for our two corporate antagonists to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee as they do their best verbal abuse versions of laurel and hardy on our European-asian hybrid, Eric Tan! There are some really outrageous scenes scattered throughout the film that will have you chuckling and cackling about! Some funny sets would include documenting death to the very last breath on a reality tv show, a scene involving an exorcism, and one skit that would take place chasing someone down like a mall rat! Memorable musical performances from the cast include our Malcolm X inspired TV Host - Rafflesia singing about relationships, our Eurasian idealist singing the truth about money, & our two asian office space monsters that would make “Bill Lumbergh” from INITECH (Office Space) look like an excellent vice president! The music soundtrack to this film is a must have and in fact, one of our cinephile friends Earl, the wandering asian who also attended the screening won a CD soundtrack to the movie with the raffle giveway at the end of the show! We were able to take a few video snippets of the Q&A session with the director and our favorite 8 in 1 soy bean machine inventor, Peter Davis with Marc from Subway Cinema acting as the moderator! DB from Unseen Films was also in da house and made his presence known by having a question for the director about the film during the Q&A session! Stay tuned below with videos from the Q&A!
Sell Out was a very entertaining film and we recommend watching it wholeheartedly! A few laughs might actually bring down that high blood pressure of yours and from the film, it seems like adapting a Malaysian lifestyle might increase your life expectancy! The movie was subtitled in English but there seemed to be no need for the translation because they were all speaking English! All be it, some of them were speaking half English. (joke from the movie!) It was also very amusing to hear some of the cantonese (Chinese) tones like “la” & “ma” added to the end of the ‘engrish’ dialogue by some of the malay characters most notably from Rafflesia and her videographer.. Of course, I normally would hear the “la” & “ma’s” coming from a Cantonese conversation but hearing it with manglish was a trip! Go check this film out, y’all! I’m not sure how accessible Sell Out will be but CELESTIAL seems to have rights to this film which is a good thing for distribution!
Introduction before the screening with the Director, Yeo Joon Han and actor, Peter Davis.
Q & A session after the film (1 of 2).
Q & A session after the film (2 of 2).