Time we give Malaysian films due recognition

Christmas is a week away, and with some of us going on holiday soon, it represents a time to catch up on the latest movies or television series.

Or, it could be a time to revisit some old favourites.

As mentioned in previous editions of this weekly ‘Diary’, When Harry Met Sally is one of my favourites.

The romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal still tickles the funny bone – 33 years after its release.

On Thursday, it was one of 25 films chosen to enter the United States’ National Film Registry (NFR).

The NFR is the United States National Film Preservation Board’s collection of films that “showcase the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation.”

There are 850 movies in the NFR, including the oldest – The Newark Athlete, from 1891.

Perhaps the only surprise is that When Harry Met Sally, a Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner classic, took so many years to gain entry into that prestigious list.

Also added to the list is 2008’s Iron Man, the film that started the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Looking at what the Americans have done, it is time we had a Malaysian version of the NFR.

For starters, every Tan Sri P. Ramlee and Puan Sri Saloma movie should be on that list.

And we can incorporate the 33 Malay films from 1953 to 1973 that were recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), as “an important part of Malay heritage”.

So what will you be watching this Christmas?

LESS THAN 10,000 COVID-19 CASES IN THE PAST WEEK

Malaysia celebrates two milestones this week.

In the past seven days, there were less than 10,000 Covid-19 cases (7,571). The last time we had less than 10,000 cases in a week was between April 30-May 6 (9,467).

On Sunday (867) and Monday (809), there were less than 1,000 new infections in a single day. The only other time that happened this year was on May 3 (922).

Malaysia now has 5,016,023 reported Covid-19 cases.

For the sixth consecutive week, recoveries (11,471) outpaced new cases, making it 4,962,707 patients who had beaten the coronavirus.

Sadly, another 47 fatalities brought the death toll to 36,795.

Worldwide, there are 657,060,111 cases and 6,669,951 fatalities.

CROWDS FLOCK TO EATERIES TO WATCH FOOTBALL AGAIN

The FIFA World Cup ends with the match between Argentina and France tomorrow (11pm), and it has been a boon for restaurants, pubs, bars, and eateries.

Although football fans returned to these venues to watch the European leagues earlier this year, the month-long World Cup, with matches on 24 of the 30 days, meant a steady stream of customers for these eateries.

As the World Cup is in Qatar, it meant that during the group stage, matches kicked off at 6pm, 9pm, midnight, and 3am.

One worker in a restaurant in Subang Jaya, who identified himself as Jannatul, said: “This is the busiest we have been since 2020. After two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, life seems normal again.”

ARE BRITISH NAMES A LUCKY CHARM FOR ARGENTINA?

When you think of Argentine names, Houseman, Brown and Mac Allister do not come to mind.

But in 1978, the South Americans had a winger named Rene Houseman. In 1986, Jose Luis Brown marshalled Argentina’s backline.

In both those tournaments, Argentina emerged champions.

Fast forward to 2022, and La Albiceleste (The White and Sky Blue) is in the final. In its squad is a midfielder named Alexis Mac Allister.

Could these “British names” be an omen that Argentina is destined to win a third World Cup? Stay tuned.

CHOCOLATE FRUIT CAKE

As we count down to Christmas, here is a chocolate fruit cake recipe. For an extra kick, soak your fruits in dark rum. Personally, I would soak them for a month before baking, but a week would suffice.

HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER)

John Lennon, murdered on Dec 8, 1980, by Mark David Chapman, released this Christmas-cum-protest song in 1971.

While it celebrates Christmas, Lennon was also against the Vietnam War that would end in 1975.

Until next week, stay safe.

https://youtu.be/g_kj60DIq2M