NEWS: Asian Film Archive’s A Fear of Monsters Is Back With 27 Seminal Films
From the multilingual Pontianak and the mammoth Godzilla to the genre defining Orang Minyak (oily man) who seeped his way across borders, Asian monsters have long entertained and united audiences through shared fear.
Which is why the Asian Film Archive’s State Of Motion 2019: A Fear of Monsters is back – after an initial run earlier this year. Running from today (Jun 7) till Jul 21, this programme is the cinematic continuation of the showcase that features seminal Asian horror films from the 1950s – 2000s.
Kicking off this round is Ishiro Honda’s Godzilla – regarded as the King of the Monsters in film history and considered one of the most influential and essential viewing in the monster movie genre. The original 1954 version titled Gojira, was made at a time when Japan was reeling from nuclear attack and H-bomb testing in the Pacific, and has since spawned over 30 sequels and adaptations to date.
Another film to revisit is BN Rao’s 1958 Sumpah Pontianak. Starring Maria Menado, this is the third in a trilogy of pontianak-themed films that capitalised on the local population’s fear for “the most treacherous of vampire”. It also boasts a film score written by Zubir Said, who composed Singapore’s national anthem.