Thursday, 24 June 2010

How P. Ramlee anticipated Facebook

One of the running gags in Masam-Masam Manis (1965) is that Cikgu Shaari (P. Ramlee) posts updates on his relationship status on the inside door of his closet.

Since he's a bachelor who lives alone, it wouldn't be 'logical' for these updates to be read by anyone other than himself. But the film's canny use of cinematic space actually draws us into a cosy complicity with him; there are several moments where he addresses the camera (and therefore us) directly. So the updates that he posts are simultaneously private and public, since his 'wall' can be seen by his 'friends' (here interpreted here as: anyone who has paid to watch his movie.) The distinction between private and public space thus collapses.

It's uncanny how not only his blurring of private/public space but his relationship updates are similar to what we now have with Facebook.

Maseh Bujang = Single

Dah Ada Kawan = In a Relationship

Burong Dah Terbang = It's Complicated

In this respect, P. Ramlee showed himself to be a nujum (seer) like the one he played in Nujum Pak Belalang six years earlier.

27 comments:

hicsuntdracones said...

Burong Dah Terbang = Twitter

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhhhh..... buuuuuwwooooonnnngggggg

mizzyN said...

huhu

.:HalogAmora:. said...

never get bored of his film. he's brilliant!

faheypairan said...

why do you translate them like that?i strongly think they shud be:

"dh ada kawan" -have a friend now
-currently friends

"burong dh terbang"
-the bird has flown
-the bird flew away

don't confuse readers.

Amir Muhammad said...

Your Facebook settings must be different from everyone else's, then.

hicsuntdracones said...

Literal translation spoils the fun -- she must be from 'friendster'. Hehehe. Just kidding.

Vitamin said...

hehehe. entri ni buat saya tergelak seorang diri. tq..

AMMOSHAM said...

huhuh..cool la abg ramlee

FaMY said...

Eh? How come tak pernah perasan the sticker kat closet dia tu?
Pelik... :-/

Pet Shop Boys said...

haha genius both of u...

jumari jipan said...

interesting.

Ara said...

omygod,can i share this on my fb? :)

Amir Muhammad said...

Ara, share away.

W. Hidney said...

hahaha didn't see that coming. anyway, i stumbled upon your blog and rest assured i will keep on stumbling here (i mean no harm LOL)

hidney

Asrif said...

One of my favorite P. Ramlee scenes was from this movie. The morning he enjoyed a pack of unfiltered Lucky Strike over some jazz and "kopi semalam". A great 3-minute summary of what being a guy is all about, if you will.

mukhsen said...

Sampai skang, cikgu adalah golongan teramai yang wat keje part time, macam cikgu shaari. :)

Eldora said...

Coooooooooooool and nice blog.. Nice posts.

writingsbyho said...

Heheheh...
what a coincident!

Raizzèn said...

Dont think its a coincident. P Ramlee was genius who transcended time.

For example, he's plucked Malays' busuk hati tendencies so far far long ago, to name a few.

faheypairan said...

oh. u were referring to facebook terms. i'm sorry..i don't have a facebook account.

guess i'm yuppie enough,eh?
:P

joey glider said...

tried to listen to jazz music after the 'kopi semalam' scene..and still listening to great music of jazz... P Ramlee showed us how to enjoy it at early morning before go off to works...genius!

Eeleen Lee said...

lol, I saw this movie when I was young, its one of the highlights of P. Ramlee's cinematic career

Eeleen Lee said...

wonder if these films can be bought on DVD?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant observation, Amir! I so love it. Boleh tak, pakai saja untuk FB Melayu - kan FB asyik mintak orang tolong translate ...

hidupsantai.com said...

haha.. cool!

lolahunny said...

This is such a good article!

I'm in love with P ramlee.. , his songs his , movies and his legacy.

I'm gonna follow your blog if you don't mind.
xoxo
warmwombat