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Thoughts on Films

Media & Entertainment Podcasts

Thinking aloud on films in Malaysia and beyond.

Thinking aloud on films in Malaysia and beyond.




Thinking aloud on films in Malaysia and beyond.




Episode 70: Selected Films of the Fat Bidin COVID-19 Mini Docs Film Competition

Not long after the last one, Fikri and Ezzah are back for the 70th episode of Thoughts on Films. They dig deep into a long-planned but never-executed episode focusing on selected films from the Fat Bidin COVID-19 Mini Docs film competition! An event that ran in the middle of the year, a top-three was chosen from a shortlist of over 20. Fikri took a closer look at the podium finishers, while Ezzah (having seen them all) shared her thoughts on the best of the rest. Finally, we would like to...


Episode 69: Of Oscars, Princesses and Islets

Fikri and Ezzah get together to sembang some news of Malaysian cinema in the past weeks and months. At the forefront is a discussion about Emir Ezwan’s ‘Roh’ being selected as the nation’s submission for the Academy Awards in 2021. This is followed by a chat about ‘Puteri Gunung Ledang’ being on Netflix, powered largely by Ezzah’s enthusiasm. Finally, they spend more time on Namewee’s film ‘Babi’ and ‘The Story of Southern Islet’ by Chong Keat Aun; though both have gained acclaim elsewhere,...


Episode 68: The Buzzing of Bees and Crickets

After an unplanned hiatus, Fikri returns with a special episode in the bag! He interviews Cheng Thim Kian, a Malaysian filmmaker with not one, but two films released in 2020. In the first part, they discuss BEE, My Friend, looking at its theme of education and charting the journey from being a video made for a school to one that is selected for international film festivals. In the second half, they focus on When the Crickets Sound, a film competing in the My RODE Reel, billed as the world's...


Episode 67: Let's Talk About Roh

Returning from a short hiatus, Fikri and Muz return with an episode looking at Emir Ezwan’s film, ‘Roh’. They consider the film’s technical and thematic merits, discussing ‘Roh’ in the context of Malaysian horror. Along the way, Muz relates it to other films from Iran and the United States, while Fikri links it to happenings back home in Malaysia. Recorded some months ago, this episode is released now in conjunction with the exhibition of the film in Malaysian cinemas on 6th August 2020.


Episode 66: Let’s Talk About The Masseuse

The 66th episode features Fikri and Muz for another chat on Malaysian cinema, beginning with commiserations on the passing of animator Rosdi bin Othman, a key part of the film ‘Legend of Ancient Borneo’. They briefly touch on updates on the new CEO of FINAS, and the official standard operating procedure for film production in Malaysia, before delving deeper into Tan Ce Ding’s ‘The Masseuse’. Fikri is enamoured with the film’s aesthetics, while Muz considers its links to the cyberpunk genre....


Episode 65: All Hands on Deck

The 65th episode brings with a smorgasbord of films news to discuss! Fikri and Muz sit down to talk about the appointment of Zakaria Abdul Hamid as the chairman of the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS). They also consider the other board members appointed to their roles, before considering the reasons and implications of the lack of a more official COVID-19 guideline for Malaysian filmmakers (with a brief contribution from Nadira Ilana). After the break, they briefly...


Episode 64: An Inner View with Anwar Johari Ho

Selamat Hari Raya to all! Recorded at the end of Ramadhan, this episode is a special interview with Anwar Johari Ho, the director of ‘Forget Me Not’. Fikri sits down with him (online, natch) to discuss his career thus far, and how his education journey has helped (or not) with his film one. In the second half, they delve deeper into Anwar’s film, discussing issues related to Chineseness, how it relates to his own personal contexts, and the peaks and troughs experienced in making the film....


Episode 63: Let’s Talk About Memories of Murder

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing: Hafiz Rahman! This episode sees Hafiz, a keen film fan, sit down with Fikri for a stroll down the killer memory lane that is Memories of Murder. Directed by Bong Joon-ho (probably the one filmmaker with the dreamiest of 12 months to look back on), the film tells the story of South Korea’s first serial murders in history. Sparked by Hafiz’s recent splurge on his films, they consider the political context of the film’s setting, the film’s representation of...


Episode 62: Obituaries in World Cinema

For once, an episode hitting more sombre notes. Fikri and Muz sit down to discuss the recent passing of three personalities in world cinema: Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor and Kamal Ishak. Part one sees the discussion of Irrfan Khan’s impact, particularly through the films the boys were first introduced to him. The second half focuses more on ‘Bobby’s Rishi Kapoor and the impact of that film, as well as Kamal Ishak, the Malaysian filmmaker most prominent in the 1990s with films such as ‘Cinta...


Episode 61: The Fourth is Strong with Them

Happy Star Wars Day! For this episode, Ezzah reminisce over her trip to Tunisia a number of years ago, during which time she managed to snag a visit to the original Star Wars set. She dove deep into her thoughts and feelings at the time, including the journey of getting there and how the experience and emotions affected her. In the second half, Fikri and Muz delve into a discussion on the future of the Star Wars series, including how the conclusion of the Skywalker saga may affect their own...


Episode 60: Challenging Infections with #KumanPicturesChallenge

For the 60th episode, Fikri and Ezzah celebrate the festival of creativity that is the #KumanPicturesChallenge by looking at a select number of films. Organised by Kuman Pictures, it is a competition designed to encourage filmmaking under lockdown conditions, with the winners walking away with RM1,000. Given that there are over 200(!) films, we have been very personal and prejudiced in the films featured in this episode. However, while that is no guarantee of quality, we certainly had a good...


Episode 59: Disney Plus Plus

Disney+ is in town, and so are Fikri and Muz! In this episode, the guys sit down to chat about its position in the streaming landscape. Reflecting on their experience of streaming the House of Mouse, they talk about the upsides (e.g. the surprisingly low cost), as well some of the surprising downsides. In the second half, Fikri talks to Ezzah about two articles they wrote on streaming back in 2016, and consider how things have changed for them in the four years since, focusing on the...


Episode 58: A Macro Look at Microdocs

58 up! For this episode, Fikri and Ezzah sit down to have a chat about microdocumentaries. Inspired by Ezzah’s current professional obligations, the discussion includes videos produced by the likes of Vice, Vox, and anything else that begins with the letter V. Along the way, they consider the good, the bad, and the information colonisation of the genre, as well as various regional and local alternatives. All this and more on the only film podcast in the world where you are not required to...


Episode 57: The One with Two Muzzes

The 57th episode of Thoughts on Films sees Fikri and Ezzah get together to reflect on some contributions from their friends. This includes the two Muzzes, one (Muzzafar) sharing his thoughts on being inside the world’s largest COVID-19 lockdown, while the other (Muzzamer) expresses his thoughts and feelings on the postponement of his film, ‘Takut Ke Tak’. We also have a listen to Lin Ariffin, one of the persons behind Aussie Malaysian TV in Melbourne, Australia, as she describes a special...


Episode 56: COVID-19 and Malaysian Cinema

Though the world now has much bigger things to think about, the team gets together to discuss their feelings on the situation, shedding light on life under different types of lockdown in Malaysia and England. Coming back into the mix to do exactly that is Ezzah Mahmud, as she and Fikri consider the impact of COVID-19 on Malaysian cinema. This includes the exhibition of films cut short or postponed due to the Restricted Movement Order since 18th March 2020, as well as other significant film...


Episode 55: The Winding Road

The Winding Road is a panel discussion at the 2019 Young Filmmakers and Digital Content Forum. Though the path to making your debut feature film is filled with many challenges, many still see it as the top of the mountain, a peak to aim for in one’s career. With that in mind, this episode features an in-depth discussion with Ineza Roussille (director, M for Malaysia), Muzzamer Rahman (director, Prebet Sapu) and Nadiah Hamzah (director, Motif). Having recently made their first feature films,...


Episode 54: Let’s Talk About Ninavau

This week, Fikri and Muz are back to discuss the film ‘Ninavau’ by Bebbra Mailin. The film enjoyed a banner year in 2019, winning numerous awards and selections for festivals in Malaysia and beyond. The boys consider the film in its own right, discussing its fine technical merits, before expanding the discussion to the bigger picture context. This includes talking about pressures on minorities, inter-religious tensions and whether it would be more accurate to discuss the concept of Bornean...


Episode 53: The 2020 Academy Awards

Hot off the press! Fikri and Muz take some time out to run their rule over the haves and the have nots of the 92nd Academy Awards. They consider the merits of the films they have seen (as well as those they have not), discuss briefly the process of voting in the American/Western awards season, and consider the significance of the Oscars in a global setting. More pertinently, they also consider the question of whether the success of ‘Parasite’ and Bong Joon-ho is truly a victory for Asia. All...


Episode 52: The Final Skywalk

Spoiler alert! The latest (and basically last) Star Wars film has hit the screens, and Fikri and Muz is here to give the lowdown on ‘The Rise of Skywalker’. They talk about the good, the bad, and the weird of a film that nevertheless hits a lot of the sweet spots. Along the way, they consider what they would have done differently had they been in the director’s chair, and what Star Wars mean to them now that the so-called Skywalker Saga has come to an end. All this and more in the 52nd...


Episode 51: The Boys Are Back in Town

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages: the boys are back in town! We relaunch a new season of Thoughts on Films, the podcast with an especial look on films in Malaysia and beyond. Returning for more fun are Fikri and Muz. Since the last episode nearly four and a half years ago (!), they have been this way and that throughout the globe, and this episode sees them catch up on their major cinematic experiences since half a decade ago. Without further ado, let’s get cracking...