Winner of the top prize at last year’s Locarno Film Festival, Yeo Siew Hua’s third feature is a clever, evocative shape-shifter that begins as a kind of dreamy noir and ends up a sober, politically incisive work of social realism. First we follow gruff, disenchanted detective Lok (Peter Yu) as he searches for Wang (Liu Xiaoyi), a missing construction worker from mainland China. We’re then ushered back in time to see Wang’s life before his disappearance—and what had seemed a typical noir scenario instead turns out to be far more in line with reality as we know it today. Read More »
Helmed by three female filmmakers from China, Thailand and Singapore respectively, the stories of these three films, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, occurs at a specific mealtime.
In Breakfast, Mei travels by train from the north to visit her boyfriend who has settled down in the south. Breakfast explores the theme of finding one’s own bearings when in love.
Lunch starts off with two teenagers who skip school to have lunch and plans to watch a film. The two teenagers spend the afternoon talking about life and their dreams. Read More »
Between the end of the Second World War and the early 1960s, the Cathay Organization and Shaw Brothers produced a string of films in Singapore, that were made for the Malay-speaking audience in what was then called Malaya. Both companies are today better know for their Cantonese Kung Fu flicks and other genre movies, that they started to produce when they moved to Hong Kong after Singapore separated from the Malay federation and became an independent, Chinese-dominated city state in 1963. This was the end of this “Golden Age of Malay cinema”, since it became difficult to distribute Singapore-made films in Malaysia due to political pressure. Read More »
IMDb Description: A painfully shy noodle-shop owner and a prostitute have a chance encounter when destiny arrives in the form of a car accident.
In terms of raw power, the new Singaporean film “Mee Pok Man” can be described as “Taxi Driver” without the latter’s cathartic violence and Scorsese’s visual pizzazz. Eric Khoo makes an impressive directorial debut in a rather depressing tale of two alienated youths whose lives fatefully intertwine. Though damaged by a last reel that is unnecessarily long and a bit indulgent, pic deserves berths in festivals and perhaps even limited theatrical release if only for its novelty, being a rare export from Singapore.
The lead performers, Joe Ng as the slow-witted man and Goh as the world-weary prostitute, are decently credible if not totally engrossing. Still, pic’s overall impact is disturbing, showcasing a new director who is seriously intent on documenting the malaise of contemporary life in Singapore. Read More »
A kindergarten principal finds a series of morbid cartoons drawn by a docile pupil. A porn actor struggles to rise to the occasion while filming his first porno. A middle-aged nightclub bouncer faces off with a rebellious teenage stripper. Director Ken Kwek tells three iconoclastic stories in a short film that pitches political correctness out the window of Singapore mainstream cinema. Read More »