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Filmmaker Screening of Davy Chou's "Golden Slumbers"

By: totalllyrandomman Posted: January-19-2012 in

The 1960s and early 70s were a golden period for Cambodian culture. During this period, Cambodia developed its own distinctive rock’n’roll style, infused with the hypnotic rhythms of traditional Khmer music. Cambodian cinema also flourished, with large crowds drawn to cinemas around the country to watch Cambodian films. Then the Khmer Rouge came to power and this flowering of culture was torn out like a weed. Actors, directors artist and musicians were systematically murdered, only a precious few managed to flee the country. Of the 300 plus films produced during this period, only 30 have survived the purge. Today, the majority of Phnom Penh’s old cinemas have become restaurants, karaoke clubs or squats.

It is in response to this landscape of decimation, forgetfulness and neglect that director Davy Chou has created his film Golden Slumbers (Le Sommeil D’Or), a collection of old clips and survivors stories, which attempts to weave together a poignant patchwork of the glories of a lost generation.

Chou has a strong vested interest in telling this tale. His grandfather, Van Chann, was one of the major film producers in Cambodia during the 1960s and 1970s. As a custodian of the Khmer cinematic tradition, he feels responsible to help rebuild Cambodian cinema, as well as drawing attention to the great wellspring of talent which has been forever lost.

And Cinema is not the only medium of Cambodia’s golden age which Chou celebrates. The movie is infused with and unified by some of that great legacy of Cambodian music from legendary performers including Sin Sisamouth and Ros Serey Sothea.

This is the first feature length production for Chou, a French-Cambodian filmmaker, who moved to Phnom Penh in 2009. Soon after his move to Cambodia, he curated Golden Reawakening, an exhibition about the golden age of Cambodian cinema in the 1960s and the 1970s, and founded Kon Khmer Koun Khmer, a collective of young Cambodian students and artists.
He is currently preparing a fictional feature film about young people in contemporary
Phnom Penh.

The showing of Golden Slumbers at Meta House on will include a Q&A session with Chou. This will be followed by a DJ set from Professor Kinski of the band Dub Addiction which mixes classic Cambodian 1960’s pop with modern beats.
Golden Slumbers will be shown at Meta House on Sothearos Boulevard on at 7pm on January the 19th. Entry is free.


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