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Monday, May 27, 2013

James Lee uploaded his entire 2009 feature film, CALL IF YOU NEED ME 黑夜行路 on Youtube

These days, the Malaysian director and independent film pioneer James Lee had been uploading his works on his Youtube channel Doghouse73pictures. Both short films and feature films, from his earliest to his latest.

Last month, in April, he uploaded his 2005 breakthrough film THE BEAUTIFUL WASHING MACHINE (one of the seminal films of the Malaysian New Wave) in its entirety.

Today, in conjunction with its screening at the CineMalaysia in Tokyo (a new film festival that is showing only Malaysian films), James has uploaded his 2009 gangster film CALL IF YOU NEED ME 黑夜行路 online for us all to see.

This film, which stars Pete Teo, Sunny Pang and Chua Thien See, won the Silver Digital Award at the Hong Kong Film Festival 2009. It chronicles the lives of two cousins and a woman who came between them.

The first time I saw it was around 2009, on an editing suite. An associate producer of the film was making DV copies of the film to submit to film festivals and had to make sure each copy was fine, it was tedious job, since she had to rewatch the film over and over again. So I agreed to liberate her from her pain by volunteering to help her "check" one of the tapes, which actually allowed me to catch the film.

Slightly different from the domestic dramas that James had been doing up until then, I was rather fascinated by some of the genre conventions that he had to work with when making this film. Of course, after that, James would actually cross over to more commercial, studio fares, like PETALING STREET WARRIORS, THE COLLECTOR and a few others, but this film, I find it interesting because there's something rather pure about it.

Anyway, James Lee and I will be collaborating on my next short film project, "FLOATING SUN", with me directing and James producing.

For now, go watch CALL IF YOU NEED ME.