A Change of Guard

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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Golden memories . . .សុវណ្ណអនុស្សារ


Kloy Snae’ - Eng Nary & Rous Sareysothea

NB: The advent of the cinema as a popular mass entertainment medium, reaching its highest peak in the 1960s and early 1970s opened up a flood gate for the efflorescence and expression of the arts in Khmer culture. This had been a brief but ‘golden’ period in cultural revival for a country and its rich, diverse ancient artistic heritage and glorious civilisation that had endured concomitant occasions of savage foreign invasions and acts of vandalism, lasting into our own era and time at the sacred site of Prasat Preah Vihear. If the love of the arts and a keen sense of the aesthetics have tended to distinguish the Khmers from many of their neighbours, it is also these creativity and genius that invited covetous, envious glances and ill intentions from these neighbouring cultures, fearing the enduring medium through which culture itself posits its genes and reproduces its organic entity, thus strengthening its prospect for survival and growth. It is not hard for us to see why a country seen throughout the colonial and post-colonial eras as ‘idyllic’ and self-sufficient in the main; the least in need of radical overhaul or an agrarian ‘revolution’ had been subjected to the most violent and senseless post-mortem history has ever recorded. But returning to the subject of the cinema...! This was beginning to play a critical role in a country’s bid for national emergence and rehabilitation after those centuries of destructive foreign attacks and vandalisms. The cinema not only provided the arts and culture with a new, unprecedented communication platform; it also enabled these human elements to realise and capture their expressions in all their colours, glories and tragedies, and to project them in an elevated, enhanced dimension. And it is here that the arts and their purveyors found their true callings: if there was a story worthy of being shared with others [humans are known to like sharing things with their fellows] then the cinema was the ultimate platform for doing so, and there was of necessity that consideration of financial incentive to boot! Of course, for the true artist the reward and satisfaction lie in the achievement itself rather than in monetary incentive as such. So it comes as no surprise to us that some of the finest and most popular songs ever composed had been done for the cinema and its bewitched audience in mind; as is the case in point with this movie sound track aboveSchool of Vice


'Why do you love Sin Sisamouth?'

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