Archive | May, 2005

Lengkaplah Kisah Penglipur Lara Moden

31 May

Ah, apa lagi yang hendak dikatakan tentang saga sebuah dongeng moden Star Wars ini? Episod ini memperjelaskan banyak persoalan yang sebenarnya telah terjawab pada trilogi Star Wars pusingan pertama iaitu Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back dan Return Of The Jedi.

Penonton tidak berpuas hati dengan persoalan dan jawapan dalam pusingan pertama trilogi Star Wars tersebut. Sebenarnya persoalan dan jawapan itu juga sudah tidak penting bagi mereka. Mereka mahukan penjelasan dan perincian tentang bagaimana watak jahat Darth Vader atau Anakin Skywalker itu bermula dan bagaimana transformasi itu berlaku. Belum pernah berlaku dalam sejarah filem sebuah trilogi yang telah lengkap memerlukan sebuah trilogi lagi dalam pusingan yang kedua untuk melengkapkan perjalanan cerita watak-watak penglipur lara moden ini.

Star Wars sebagaimana kisah penglipur lara kita, sarat dengan kisah kepahlawanan, kemanusiaan, kedurjanaan, keajaiban, keanehan, fantasi dan harapan. Ia berlegar pada satu zaman yang lama dahulu, yang berlaku di zaman antah berantah dan pada masa yang sama juga berlegar pada tamadun zaman yang terlalu jauh ke depan dari segi teknologinya. Ia berlaku di padang tandus, di taman bak syurga, di kengerian neraka dan juga di alam kayangan di mana penghuninya bebas berterbangan dengan kenderaan masing-masing.

Watak-wataknya terdiri daripada manusia, robot, binatang dan makhluk-makhluk aneh yang hanya terdapat dalam kisah dongeng penglipurlara.

George Lucas menjadikan episod dan trilogi Star Wars ini sepertimana dia menyusun mosek cerita. Bermula dengan kisah pengembaraan si kembar dua beradik Puteri Lea dan Luke Skywalker pada episod ke empat (yang asal) pada 1977, kelima dan keenam pada episod Return Of The Jedi pada 1983 yang mana trilogi pusingan pertama ini menunjukkan bagaimana Luke cuba menyelamatkan bapanya daripada dunia gelap kejahatannya dan berakhirnya sebuah tragedi yang menyaksikan watak jahat Darth Vader menerima pembalasan daripada kejahatannya sendiri.

Pengakhiran sebuah tragedi yang menyaksikan pertemuan kembali sebuah keluarga. Kisah yang berisi pesanan moral yang mudah sepertimana dalam kisah klasik, watak baik atau hero akhirnya menang dan yang jahat menerima pembalasan.

Lucas kemudian menyusun pula trilogi yang mengisahkan permulaan lahirnya si Darth Vader atau Anakin Skywalker dan pada episod yang ketiga ini iaitu episod Revenge Of The Sith menyaksikan lengkapnya transformasi kejahatan manusia tersebut.

Transformasi

Biarpun dalam episod sebelum ini (The Phantom Menace) aksi dan kehebatan teknologi yang digunakan dalam peperangan antara kuasa baik dan kuasa jahat, tetapi dalam episod ini Lucas menumpukan kepada kelemahan manusia dalam menghadapi cabaran, dugaan dan godaan. Ini yang menjadikan episod ini lebih emosional dan lebih dekat dengan penonton (episod yang terbaik dalam trilogi pusingan kedua ini).

Episod ini bermula dengan Anakin (Hayden Christensen) dan mentornya Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) terlibat dalam pertempuran untuk menyelamatkan Canselor Palpatine (Ian McDiamid) daripada penculikan oleh Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) yang kemudian dibunuh oleh Anakin. Peristiwa ini mendekatkan Anakin dengan Canselor yang kemudian mula menyaksikan bagaimana Canselor tersebut mula mempengaruhi Anakin untuk menyebelahinya ke dalam kuasa jahatnya.

Pada masa yang sama Padme (Natalie Portman) sedang mengandung hasil perkahwinannya secara rahsia dengan Anakin dan Anakin telah mendapat mimpi tentang Padme yang akan mati ketika melahirkan nanti. Hanya Canselor Palpatine yang dengan pengetahuan dan kuasanya dapat menjamin Padme selamat daripada tragedi ini.

Untuk hampir tiga dekad, kisah Star Wars sebuah dongeng untuk remaja akhirnya menutup tirainya sendiri. Sebagai sebuah filem, Star Wars telah menghidupkan kisah dongeng fantasi sains dengan meneruskan tradisi naratif klasik Hollywood yang dipinjam dari filem The Searchers (John Ford) yang menggabungkan kisah penglipur lara masa silam dan kemajuan teknologi komputer terkini untuk mencipta dunia mayanya sendiri.

Ketika Star Wars pertama kali muncul, teknologi visualnya telah mencipta standard baru dalam penciptaan efek khas dan seterusnya telah membentuk budaya baru tontonan filem.

Bukan itu sahaja, Star Wars juga bukan sekadar filem tetapi ia adalah sebuah industri besar yang menghasilkan pulangan berbillion ringgit.

Utusan Malaysia

Ezann Lee Is The Next Big Thing To Eric Khoo And MediaCorp

30 May

SINGAPORE : Slim, petite, baby-faced and impishly pretty, up-and-coming actress Ezann Lee is blessed with youthful looks that she reckons are assets in show business.

“It’s not so bad because I’ll probably have a longer shelf life,” said the personable 23-year-old MediaCorp artiste. “For now, I treasure this youthful look that I have.”

Having migrated from the now defunct broadcaster, MediaWorks, Ezann’s biggest claim to fame now is not that she’s sexy Ericia Lee’s younger sister, but the fact that she was a lead actress in Eric Khoo’s film ‘Be With Me’.

The movie is expected to open in cinemas worldwide soon after it dazzled audiences and film distributors earlier this month at the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight programme.

It should open in Singapore in the August-to-October time-frame and perhaps help catapult Ezann into the local A-list of stars.

Currently seen on children’s programme Happy Sunday Kids, Ezann is also in the midst of taping Destiny, an upcoming Channel 8 drama starring Joanne Peh, Ix Shen and Hong Kong hunk Harwick Lau.

She had played a rebellious 14-year-old in a MediaWorks drama and a rebellious 17-year-old junior college student infatuated with another girl in Eric Khoo’s movie. In Destiny, slated for a July opening, she plays a 19-year-old whose love for Lau’s character is unrequited, causing her, again, to be rebellious.

Speaking in English and Mandarin, Lee said she is not like her new television character.

She doesn’t have tattoos, isn’t so bold that she will pursue boys, nor does she embrace a punk image. “It’s quite fun sometimes to act younger,” she said. “But it’s not easy because I have to act hyper in the show, which is not (how I am).”

And lest there be any confusion about reel life and real life, the currently single Ezann is not a lesbian, even if she had to kiss co-star Samantha Tan, who also plays a JC student, in Be With Me.

Khoo had cast her after her stint on his The Seventh Month mini-series last year, giving her a part that was tough because of its exploration of a girl-girl relationship and its paucity of dialogue.

“I felt it would be a challenge when Eric told me it was a lesbian role,” said Ezann, a former St Anthony’s Convent and Serangoon JC student who’d observed same-sex relationships first-hand.

“I feel it’s a very open thing in this society.”

To prepare for their on-screen kiss, Ezann and Samantha, 21, went drinking to know each other better and puckered up for a trial run. “It was quite awkward because I had never kissed a girl before,” said Ezann, sounding slightly abashed.

“(At first), we both looked at each other and laughed. After I kissed her, I collapsed onto the sofa,” she recalled.

“After that, it was very cool, very natural.”

Ezann, who said her family was supportive of her showbiz career, said she would try more daring roles if these didn’t require her to go further than kissing another girl.

But, she would stop short of doing sexy photo shoots, unlike her 27-year-old sister Ericia — who was the sultry bikini-clad cover girl of Citta Bella this month — and several local female artistes.

“She’s very sexy right?” the self-proclaimed tomboy said gleefully. “Is it too sexy? I have a different image.”

A lover of the outdoors who was into water sports before her acting duties meant she couldn’t get too tanned, Lee said her sister is more of an outgoing clubber-type than she is.

Now that she has been an artiste for nearly a year, Ezann said boys have been approaching her.

“They come up and ask if they know me from somewhere,” she said. “I guess they just find me very familiar-looking.”

In the next few months, as Ezann’s star rises, it won’t just be the boys who feel that way. – TODAY

Powered by Channel News Asia

Ezann Lee Is The Next Big Thing To Eric Khoo And MediaCorp

30 May

SINGAPORE : Slim, petite, baby-faced and impishly pretty, up-and-coming actress Ezann Lee is blessed with youthful looks that she reckons are assets in show business.

“It’s not so bad because I’ll probably have a longer shelf life,” said the personable 23-year-old MediaCorp artiste. “For now, I treasure this youthful look that I have.”

Having migrated from the now defunct broadcaster, MediaWorks, Ezann’s biggest claim to fame now is not that she’s sexy Ericia Lee’s younger sister, but the fact that she was a lead actress in Eric Khoo’s film ‘Be With Me’.

The movie is expected to open in cinemas worldwide soon after it dazzled audiences and film distributors earlier this month at the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight programme.

It should open in Singapore in the August-to-October time-frame and perhaps help catapult Ezann into the local A-list of stars.

Currently seen on children’s programme Happy Sunday Kids, Ezann is also in the midst of taping Destiny, an upcoming Channel 8 drama starring Joanne Peh, Ix Shen and Hong Kong hunk Harwick Lau.

She had played a rebellious 14-year-old in a MediaWorks drama and a rebellious 17-year-old junior college student infatuated with another girl in Eric Khoo’s movie. In Destiny, slated for a July opening, she plays a 19-year-old whose love for Lau’s character is unrequited, causing her, again, to be rebellious.

Speaking in English and Mandarin, Lee said she is not like her new television character.

She doesn’t have tattoos, isn’t so bold that she will pursue boys, nor does she embrace a punk image. “It’s quite fun sometimes to act younger,” she said. “But it’s not easy because I have to act hyper in the show, which is not (how I am).”

And lest there be any confusion about reel life and real life, the currently single Ezann is not a lesbian, even if she had to kiss co-star Samantha Tan, who also plays a JC student, in Be With Me.

Khoo had cast her after her stint on his The Seventh Month mini-series last year, giving her a part that was tough because of its exploration of a girl-girl relationship and its paucity of dialogue.

“I felt it would be a challenge when Eric told me it was a lesbian role,” said Ezann, a former St Anthony’s Convent and Serangoon JC student who’d observed same-sex relationships first-hand.

“I feel it’s a very open thing in this society.”

To prepare for their on-screen kiss, Ezann and Samantha, 21, went drinking to know each other better and puckered up for a trial run. “It was quite awkward because I had never kissed a girl before,” said Ezann, sounding slightly abashed.

“(At first), we both looked at each other and laughed. After I kissed her, I collapsed onto the sofa,” she recalled.

“After that, it was very cool, very natural.”

Ezann, who said her family was supportive of her showbiz career, said she would try more daring roles if these didn’t require her to go further than kissing another girl.

But, she would stop short of doing sexy photo shoots, unlike her 27-year-old sister Ericia – who was the sultry bikini-clad cover girl of Citta Bella this month – and several local female artistes.

“She’s very sexy right?” the self-proclaimed tomboy said gleefully. “Is it too sexy? I have a different image.”

A lover of the outdoors who was into water sports before her acting duties meant she couldn’t get too tanned, Lee said her sister is more of an outgoing clubber-type than she is.

Now that she has been an artiste for nearly a year, Ezann said boys have been approaching her.

“They come up and ask if they know me from somewhere,” she said. “I guess they just find me very familiar-looking.”

In the next few months, as Ezann’s star rises, it won’t just be the boys who feel that way. –

Channel News Asia

Want To Pamper Yourself?

23 May


Want to pamper yourself?

From facials to pedicure, it’s all Ayurveda style at Sowkhya


TAKE THE HERBAL ROUTE Feel the goodness of Ayurveda at Sowkhya

Why would a 3,000-year-old system like Ayurveda need the assurance of a doctor in a white coat? Maybe to convince cynics, dazed by the crazy rate at which the beauty industry is growing, that Ayurveda is the way to go.

“It’s time we recognised our own strengths, even Madonna is getting her tablets flown out of India, so that she can conceive her next child,” says George Koshy, MD Sowkhya.

“The most important difference about this parlour is that we don’t allow you to decide what’s good for you,” says Koshy. At Sowkhya, the Ayurvedic Cosmetology Clinic, you can get your massages and therapies only after consulting Dr. Sajina and filling in a detailed file-sheet. From pedicures to massages its all ayurveda style. “Even the steam is herbal,” says Koshy.

Beauty packages

A plain massage costs Rs. 225 while the Devangana facial treatment, “in vogue centuries back among the Royal family of Kerala” will cost you Rs. 1300. The packages are inclusive of ayurvedic medicine, diet and yoga asanas prescribed by the doctor.

“We don’t assure you of becoming Cinderella in a day, no way. It takes time,” says Koshy. The clinic promises to pamper its clients and will take on only three to four people at a time. Strictly by appointment since the herbal concoctions will be made fresh. A mixer and a mortar and pestle have been kept aside for that — no bottled recipes, no preservatives here.

According to Koshy, while we have regular servicing of ours computers and cars, we still wait for breakdowns when it comes to our body. “We don’t spare time for ourselves, but then we find time to sleep in the hospital for twenty days,” he says. Treatments for rheumatism and diabetes will be available soon. And yes, the clinic is strictly for women. Men will have to wait but not for too long, Koshy promises to set up more clinics. Sowkhya, 2nd floor, Sunnyside, No.49, 1st Main Road, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, ph: 52117171, 52116262.

MEERA MOHANTY


Hindu On Net

Innocents' Day Out

9 May


Innocents’ day out

Ajay Devgan shares his experience about working with a child and acting like one in “Main Aisa Hi Hoon” with RANA SIDDIQUI

History proves that if you play up a child in a film with the sensitivity that the character deserves, it goes down well with the audience irrespective of the age group. And it is so because whatever the age of the audience, they identify with such films. We have Sadma, Eeshwar and Koi… Mil Gaya as examples in which Sridevi, Anil Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan, respectively, brought out the child in them to perfection. Going by such precedents, Harry Baweja’s latest dish-out, Main Aisa Hi Hoon, is likely to strike a chord with many.

Ajay Devgan portrays a man with the mental age of a seven-year-old. He is also a father to a seven-year-old daughter played by child artist Rucha.

For Ajay, acting with children is difficult, not only because of the their “mood swings” but also because it is “challenging.” Remember he has worked with children in Tera Mera Sath Rahe and his own production Raju Chacha, and thus knows they are quite capable of stealing a scene from their adult counterparts.

Admits Ajay, “It is not actually easy to work with children. After all they are kids and have lots of mood swings. They would not be ready to do a shot and have to be pampered a lot. But at the same time they are very honest. They don’t plan, plot or manipulate. Whatever they feel, they do. And it is here they steal the show. I was lucky to have a child like Rucha in the film who was very natural in her approach. While she was behaving naturally, I had to act her age.”

The child’s show

And he feebly confesses that in the climactic scene where he gets separated from his daughter, Rucha’s acting indeed “moved him”.

“It is the scene where the daughter runs away from the hostel at night to meet her father,” says Pammi Baweja, producer of the film. “She cries intensely on meeting him. Rucha was the more mature of the two in it.” And for Ajay, this scene is important also because he himself is a father of a four-year-old girl. “Yes. It makes a lot of difference. You can feel the pain,” he adds.

To act like a child, he met many mentally challenged children, observed them from close quarters and tried to absorb that in his acting. He also had to be cautious not to go overboard.

“I had to be conscious all the time, because to every action, the reaction I had to give was abnormal. I never did that kind of a role earlier. So it was complete unlearning of acting in one way,” he says.

Though Ajay denies he had any hangover of the shots, it did creep in at times.

“One day on the sets, Ajay was going to the bathroom walking like a seven-year-old. Suddenly he realised it was not a shot,” recalls Pammi.

Following Main… Ajay has three films in his kitty. Prakash Jha’s Apharan, Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Samna and one as yetuntitled film by John Mathew.

Good going!


Hindu On Net