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The Future Home of Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive

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Careful where you point that: How the first portable film camera was based on a rifle

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Our films, our heritage

  13.04.09 1:21pm

What if film is an historical object? No. The Act states that “historical object” means any artefact or other object to which religious, traditional, artistic or historic interest is attached and includes any:

a) ethnographic material such as a household or agricultural implement, decorative article or personal ornament
b) work of art such as a carving, sculpture, painting, architecture, textile, musical instrument, weapon and any other handicraft
c) manuscript, coin, currency note, medal, badge, insignia, coat of arm, crest flag, arm or armour or
d) vehicle, ship and boat, in part or in whole, whose production has ceased.
Unfortunately, cinema or film seems to have no importance and significance in our history and culture.

Protecting our cinema history

Our cinema history is just under 100 years old, an industry that began with the first feature film, Laila Majnun, directed by B.S. Rajhans and produced by the Motilal Chemical Company. It was screened in Singapore in 1933. Maybe something that is less than 100 years old is not considered historical?

I find it hard to accept that a historically important movie like Laila Majnun is not considered a heritage item. Film as a form in itself is not that old, just a mere 150 years old today beginning with the first images recorded on film by the Lumiere Brothers who invented the first moving picture camera in 1895 in France.

Read more: Our films, our heritage - Sunday Life & Times - New Straits Times