A role in a new production seems lucky for young actress Vicki until the torture that awaits her is revealed, struggling to come to terms with the price she has to pay for making art. Read More »
In 2066, a survivor of an enigmatic cult recounts his country’s traumatic history and the events leading to the rise and fall of the cult. Through his reminiscence, ghosts from 2014 and before appear as witnesses. Part dream documentary, part city symphony, this film traces the lineage of oppression as inscribed in Singapore’s landscape and collective unconscious. Read More »
In a high-rise, a young man jumps to his death. His ghost remains in the building, observing and consoling three households. San San, fat, silent, and alone, hears the ghost of her mother constantly upbraid her. She futilely seeks the friendship of a wealthy woman with whom she was raised. Ah Gu, a tofu soup vendor, is at odds with Lily, his materialistic wife, a Chinese immigrant who longs for something he cannot provide. Meng spouts every moralistic bromide of the striving middle class, wears a T-shirt reading “My block is the cleanest,” and is unhinged by his teenage sister May (“Trixie” to her boyfriend) who won’t study, parties all night, and seems doomed by youth culture. Read More »
Francis (Bosco Francis) is a man at the end of his tether. He has a 10-year-old son he loves desperately, but sorrow, guilt and constant inebriation have made him an ineffectual father. The son (Jathisweran) is a stoic ‘old soul’ who has learned to bury is affection for his old man and to cope with his chaotic life. A broken spirit and a single parent, Francis hopes to redeem himself and win his son’s love and respect. He makes a painful – and bizarre – return to magic. An unexpected incident one night sets father and son on the road. In dilapidated building, these two wounded souls come to terms with their love – a love which is as deep and acute as their grief. Read More »
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 »
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 »