Seniman Bujang Lapok - Outdoor Screening | State of Motion 2018: Sejarah-ku


The selected films were produced at a time of great change with the Malay community grappling with modernity, nationalism and the imagining of a new society. Malay legends, star-crossed lovers, aspiring comic actors and scheming mothers-in- law were just some of the familiar archetypes embedded within discourses and cultural ideas of a burgeoning new Singapore – waiting to be rediscovered on screen more than 50 years later.

Visit https://stateofmotion.sg for full programme lineup.

Seniman Bujang Lapok (1961)
The Nitwit Movie Stars

Directed by: P. Ramlee

Produced by: Malay Film Productions (Shaw Bros.)

Runtime: 121 minutes

Language: Malay (with English subtitles)

Rating: PG

Seniman Bujang Lapok is a comedy that follows Ramli, Aziz and Sudin—the eponymous “bujang lapok”, or cruddy bachelors—on their misadventures living in a crowded long house and auditioning at the Jalan Ampas film studio in a bid to become movie stars. Much to the chagrin of the director, the Malay Film Productions employs them despite their inexperience and total ignorance of the film industry. The popular film is a satirical take on the Malay-language film industry and the Malay community in the 50s and 60s.

Film Still: Seniman Bujang Lapok, 1961. Image Courtesy of © 1961 Shaw Organisation.


Films serve as records of social histories and latent discourses - more so during tumultuous times when change was most imminent.

The 2018 edition of State of Motion explores film as a site of cultural and ideological production in the last decade of pre-independence Singapore. Reactivating snippets of our national past, Sejarah-ku (Malay for 'My History') comprises a selection of seminal Malay-language films produced predominantly by the now-defunct Shaw Malay Film Productions Ltd, as well as a diverse line-up of artworks and performances made in response to the films.

In revisiting these films of the past, audiences are asked to reflect on how the ideas and discourses then return with ever greater relevancy now.


Sat Jan 13, 2018
8:30 PM - 10:30 PM SGT
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Malay Heritage Centre, Lawn
Seniman Bujang Lapok - 13 Jan, 8.30pm FULL
Venue Address
Malay Heritage Centre Singapore
Asian Film Archive