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Myanmar's movie industry:'Like an old place that almost collapsed'.
This film starts with a soccer game of Man 1, while Man 2 plays a guitars. Everybody meets everybody and when the sequence ends, the moviegoers are hysterical. There has been a great passion for Myanmar for a long time. In 1975, when Paul Theroux travelled to the United States for his The Great Railway Bazaar, he spoke of the appeal of film.
Myanmar's film-making began at the beginning of the twentieth-century but peaked in the 1950' and 1960', said former Grace Swe Zin Htaik. In 1991, after more than 200 pictures, she withdrew into retirement to work as a production artist. "We' ve had close ties with other parts of the area and our film has been shown all over the globe, from India to Japan to the UK," said Daw Grace.
For Myanmar's cinemas, the 1960' was a demoralizing period because the Myanmar Communist regime, which came to office in 1962, recognized the importance of cinemas and other art as an instrument of promotion and began to severely restrict the industrial sector. "Adopting so many do's and don'ts that they totally ruined the evolution of the industry," Daw Grace said, pointing to the government's reluctance to censor issues such as sexual abuse, drinking and domestic supremacy.
At the same time, the core controlling economics of the Nazi era made many of the material needed to make films hard to find. Cinema is still recuperating from the heritage of the past and Daw Grace has also seen changes in viewer preference. He was disappointed with the movie in Myanmar and accused the shortage of educational possibilities for young film-makers.
Myanmar flicks are also disappointing for many film lovers. One of them is Ko Aung, who recently came back to Myanmar after many years abroad. "against the Myanmar film. Wyne, the award-winning Myanmar Film Academy filmmaker, thinks the sector has taken a step backwards in the last ten years. This is because of a rapid reversal - some are shot in one afternoon - but he says that many in the business don't take enough notice of their work.
One of the new line-up of film makers is 24-year-old Tin Win Hlaing, who studied and worked in the film business for seven years. While agreeing that the film business has a challenge, he thinks the picture is clear. "Somehow the sector is getting stronger," said Tin Win Hlaing. "Things are going to get better in the next four or five years, because there are many new, young producers who are transforming the business and making their films better.
But there are other signs that the movie business is evolving. An Yangon-based multimedia corporation is in discussions with a leading motion picture academy in Europe for an educational programme that aims to "bring Myanmar back to its early days". The Daw Grace, who teaches movie courses, said she hoped that the next generations of authors and filmmakers will see their skills soar.
These films starring Daw Grace in the Palladium Theater, on an area manned by the Sule Shangri-La Hotel. Bogyoke Aung San Road between the streets Pansodan and Sule Pagoda and the top of the latter one. Yangon's oldest movie theater is the Waziya (formerly Excelsior) on Bogyoke Aung San Road.
Yangon Heritage Trust, in partnership with the Myanmar Motion Picture Association, has declared its intention to bring back the movie theater to its former splendour. The website states, however, that the idea for the site includes the renovation of the theater, the installation of electronic equipment and enhanced light and sound system, and the creation of a permanent exhibition documenting the story of film in Myanmar.
Jablon, who described the scheme as a win for town planning, said his long-term vision was to persuade the competent South East Asian government to have at least one historical auditorium in each major town. As Yangon's monuments' futures are heatedly discussed as developments change the fabric, the maintenance of a historical cinemas in the town becomes an important part of the game.
"There is a need for Yangon to welcome clerical staff and guests, so it has to leave the country to make room for new facilities, but it also has to keep its historical nature, otherwise it has no charms, no edge over any other big city," said Mr. Jablon.