Saturday, February 18, 2012

Razaisyam Rashid

I want to tell you about my friend, Ely. Well. His real name is Razaisyam Rashid, which is a fantastic name, but now you know why he goes by Ely.

Ely is a gifted artist. He is an indie filmmaker with a hipsterish point of view. (Wait. That's totally redundant, isn't it. Who ever heard of an indie filmmaker who isn't a hipster. For that matter, who ever heard of a hipster who isn't also an indie filmmaker?)  For one thing, he is totally into typography and several years ago, put together this bouncy little ditty that still makes me smile. See what you think.

That piece is sweet and fun, but mostly he creates edgy little films with streetwise ironies, wobbly camera work and killer soundtracks. He has an interesting point of view and I enjoy his work even though I don't always understand it.

Because here's the thing - Ely is Kelantanese. An indie filmmaker slash hipster from Malaysia. Did you even know there was such a thing? It's true.

The fact that he typically scripts in his native language puts me at a distinct disadvantage for understanding some of his work. But with a little bit of context and a few trips to Google Translate, we Americans can leap across the language gap and enjoy.

This is a trailer for his new film called Tikam, which Ely described as follows:

  • Yesterday
    Razaisyam Rashid
    • this a sinopsys
    • Four desperate buddies plan a heist. Each come with a plan of their own. Who will eventually go home with the prize, alive?. Four childhood friends, one prefect heist, four different motives, one conclusion.

  • Yesterday
    Diane Streicher
    • haha
    • my first thought: oceans 11

  • Yesterday
    Razaisyam Rashid
    • hahahaha
    • no
    • its reservoir dog
    • hahahah

Before you watch, here is a quick translation of the subtitles in the trailer:

1 rompakan = 1 robbery
4 perompak = 4 pirates
4 sahabat = 4 friends
4 plan = 4 plans
4 muslihat = 4 deceptions

Tikam, which translates as Stab, will be showing this summer in Los Angeles, which is approximately six billion light years away from Kelantan. Culturally speaking. It's a really big deal and I'm proud of you, Ely.

This third film is my favorite. Shot at Desaru, a beach on the South China Sea in the Malaysian state of Johur, Ely has captured the sights and sounds of the Malay culture and a fun day at the seaside with such color and flair that it makes me want to run, not walk, to the airport and hop on the first plane I can find that is pointed west.

And that, to me, is the finest compliment that an artist can earn. To portray his own point of view in such a compelling and interesting way that others are drawn not only to the work, but to engage in the reality behind the art. Someday I will board that plane because I want to see this for myself. But for now, Ely...thanks for sharing.

Who are your favorite indie filmmakers? Link them up!


  1. buleh la nok mitok tulung nok buat short film kisoh skinheads di kb, maso mulo-mulo timbul 1996-2000 dulu

  2. what is this?? how did that belgian mouse get past security?

  3. in the name of GLOBALISATION!

    1. the kelantanese are getting ready to conquer the earth??

  4. Its not ely...its 'jerik' here in kelantan..

    1. Well, I call him "Ely" when I am in Kelantan too. But you may call him whatever you like. :)


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