After watching a special surprise screening of Singapore Dreaming for a test audience, a local movie which I find as the best for this year thus far, I was curious to find out about directors Woo Yen Yen and Colin Goh's earlier effort, TalkingCock the Movie. Not that I never heard of it, since I'm a regular reader of their #1 satire website TalkingCock, but somehow I didn't manage to catch it in the theatres back then. Thankfully, Cine.SG provided an opportunity to do so now, in its original cut some more.
Though I could understand the rawness of the movie in terms of production, editing, etc, but it was really a crazy, crazy comedy, leaving no stones unturned. The opening alone, starring Colin himself as Mr Censor, is worth the price of an admission ticket. Poking fun at you-know-what, I believe this was even before Royston Tan did his Cut. And in true Singaporean TalkCock style was this movie filmed, in various languages and dialects (Singlish too, hooray!), poking fun from everything starting right at the beginning of local history when Sir Stamford Raffles (Neil Humphreys) tried to select a name for this once swampy place.
In fact, this movie is truly Singaporean, with a multi-racial cast given individual segments to address issues, poke fun and laugh at themselves. You have the eAhLong (Chinese), a Bollywood inspired mini musical with its lead having a penchant to swear in Hokkien, and a Malay-majority Mat Rocker band. Comprising of various segments, I certainly had clear favourites, like the Turbanator and Hoot U(niversity) pieces... KUA SIMI!!!
While some segments worked with laugh a minute moments, others did not. For example, the China-girl episode leaned more towards a dramatic piece rather than a crazy comedic episode, and ended quite flatly too. So did the eAhLong segment, which somehow dragged a bit towards the ending. But I must salute the way each segment introduced the other, each time differently, with various transition techniques used.
The dialogue were authentically Singlish - don't shy ok? Cos that's the way most of us speak during our cock talking sessions, and the witty names of characters which are a hallmark of the website, made it to the movie as well. Some filler characters were used to run through the entire movie, like the lecherous Ah Pek with his umbrella, and the va-va-vrrooooom chick with incredibly long armpit hair. Eeewwww. And hey, don't forget the many songs used (in all languages), and the jab at product placement, with the Auntie Auntie conglomerate marketing absolutely everything useful (and of course useless) in the show!
If you're looking for authentic local comedy, go no further than to start with TalkingCock. No regrets, bruddah!!!
After the movie, Woo Yen Yen and Colin Goh were on hand for a Q&A session - Sorry, no pics or vids this time, my cam didn't like the lighting in the hall. Scattered throughout the audience too were some of the cast and crew, including the Project Dierear/Belakang Boyz, that pop group boy band (ha!) who was featured in the final segment of the movie.
They recounted and shared the inane experiences with the censorship board, the red tape they encountered to get this movie released, the cuts that were requested of, even with the vulgarities intentionally bleeped out.
The subtitles, if you notice too, were all in grammatically correct English, and even the Hokkien swear words were translated into their respective body parts like Vagina and, I like this one, Holy Penis. The original DVD release, which has already sold out years ago, had its subtitles for the Hokkien swear words replaced into harmless stuff like "Lunch Box" (eh!), but what the heck, watch out for a re-release of the DVD sometime next year, with more bells and whistles!
Surprisingly, TalkingCock the Movie has been shown in about 10 festivals worldwide, and just returned from Poland. And Colin recounted how curious the French were about "Auntie Auntie".
Many questions were asked pertaining to the making of the movie, if the directors had any prior experience (no), where did they get funding from (mostly from their own pockets), and how long it took to develop it (one week for the script, 16 days of shooting).
Congratulations to Yen Yen and Colin, indeed it's remarkable that they've learnt so much from this movie, that you can see the stark and vast improvement in their upcoming movie Singapore Dreaming. Not that TalkingCock was bad to begin with (hey, it did entertain, ok?), but as they mentioned, this movie was their film school, an experience which no school can provide.
And one more thing, if you'd like to get some TalkingCock merchandise, you can take a look here. I got my autographed Coxford Singlish Dictionary already :-)