MARG1N Issue 1: pirate.lov3r.2024.mkv


Author: Savunthara Seng (editor)
ISBN: 9789924993605
Publisher: marg1n
Format: Paperback

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SKU: 9789924993605 Categories: , ,



MARGIN is a Southeast Asian film magazine based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This annual publication links two Southeast Asian countries under a single theme, exploring cinema peripherally. Each page reimagines the region’s cinematic pulses, uniting  readers, writers, and filmmakers under the tapestry of words and images and highlight beyond what has been directed, written or read.

— From the introduction by editor-in-chief Savunthara Seng —

Cinema used to transcend generational barriers. When Hong Kong action films dominated the piracy market in Cambodia, I could connect with my parents for less than fifty cents. Nothing felt homier-even more, communal than sitting on the floor to watch a pirated Stephen Chow flick on our Toshiba CRT.

Ironically when things grew more interconnected in the 2000s, that type of familial gathering disappeared. The shift to online spaces only allowed me to share download links with strangers. Years later, the lockdown reorganized this shift: more people in more concentrated groups streamed films together. We became lonely with others. Look no further than this issue: I haven’t met half of the writers in the following pages IRL. They were once strangers who also reminisced about collective viewership and that time when pirated DVDs were once part of our cinema culture.

Conversations between friends and online strangers developed these recollections into the concept of this first issue of MARGIN. We examined our viewing habits: our saving, sharing, and stealing. We found that piracy, an unspoken procedure, brings sus a quiet guilt that always lingers in the awareness that we may may be “robbing” our favorite filmmakers. Even though it is an open secret, piracy is a convenience that is just there. It exists. And we had already grown so accustomed to that life before the internet even virtualized it.

This first issue is dedicated to a familiar time that has perhaps been made obsolete by digital rippers. Phnom Penh, a notorious haven for pirated DVDs, resembles the familiar milieu also experienced by Filipinos. The pairing of Cambodia and the Philippines in this first issue of the magazine connects our common images and stories, born through the nexus of Southeast Asia as a diverse, rapidly transforming cultural and economic sphere. From declarations to in-depth analyses, this issue highlights thoughts from filmmakers, actors, critics, and viewers. We also feature fragments of fiction, personal essays, comics, and photography. The magazine’s pieces interweave, untethered to nations, each echoing and reacting to the other.

20 contributions from the two countries will highlight the concept of piracy as an integral part of our cinema culture. Let’s enjoy the thoughts and images derived from the glitches of pirated CDs, one last time.

Even though the title of this issue mimics a file name attributed to pirated copies, this magazine neither endorses nor admonishes whatever access or opinions one has about watching films.