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Sell Out!

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Sell Out!

Sponsored by: McAuslan

Montreal Premiere

  • Malaysia 2008
  • 106 min
  • 35mm
  • Manglish/english/mandarin/cantonese with English subtitles
WINNER: Young Cinema Award for Alternative Vision, Venice International Film Festival 2008
WINNER: NETPAC Award, Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2008



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“Support good storytelling, and enjoy a great film!” — A NUTSHELL REVIEW


Director: Yeo Joon Han
Screenplay: Yeo Joon Han
Cast: Jerrica Lai, Pater Davis, Kee Thuan-chye, Lim Teik-long
Producers: Yeo Joon Han
Print Source: Amok Films

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Camera Lucida   

Camera Lucida



You! Yes, you! You like snarky satires that take pot-shots at all your pet peeves? You like Monty Python-style musical comedies that break into the strangest songs at the strangest times—songs about the merits of brownnosing your boss or ask that eternal question, “why doesn’t money like poor people?”—all with a festive flair? Then Malaysia’s SELL OUT! is the movie for you!

On one of the numerous networks owned by the FONY conglomerate, Rafflesia (Jerrica Lai) hosts a high-minded television show. As is often the case with smart TV, viewership isn’t nearly what the network’s directors would like and they’re threatening to cancel her program, to be replaced with a reality show. Good luck of sorts lands in her lap, though, when her ex-boyfriend, a terminally ill poet of minor acclaim, dies on camera in mid-interview with Rafflesia. A new concept in reality TV, one with a truly broad appeal, presents itself—interviews with ordinary folks on their deathbeds. Meanwhile, Eric (Peter Davis), an idealistic dreamer who’s the chief product engineer in FONY’s electronics division, is in a tight spot. His new prototype, the Super Soya Maker, is flawless—and that’s a problem. He needs to concoct a way to have his device break down right after the guarantee expires or he’s out of a job, because at FONY, the dollar is the bottom line. That’s not Eric’s only problem, either. He’s got a crush on Rafflesia but she’s frosty to his advances. She’s so uninterested in him that she’ll even spell it out with a zany musical number!

It’s clear right from the first scene, in which an interview with a naked filmmaker goes horribly awry, that SELL OUT! is a peculiar cinematic firecracker packed with strange and delightful surprises. Acerbic, hilarious and spirited, Yeo Joon Han’s debut feature SELL OUT! skewers reality TV, corporate thinking, the ever-present yet rather dubious “human interest” angle in the media and the ubiquitous hunger for cash and fame—and tops it off with a little self-parody. The charming screenplay is supplemented that by song-and-dance numbers of his Yeo’s own devising. Nobody has crafted musical comedy as brilliant and biting as this since THE MEANING OF LIFE. Don’t miss this chance to catch SELL OUT! on the big screen with a crowd. Feel free to sing, yell and laugh along as loud as you want—this movie will transform the Hall theatre into a giant karaoke club!

—Nicolas Archambault (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)

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