Monday, July 23, 2007

4th Singapore Short Cuts - Preview

This evening was the media preview of the upcoming Singapore Short Cuts, which is into its 4th edition, and if the selection of what was previewed today was any indication of what's to come, then I can safely say that audiences attending the showcase will be in for a real treat!

Presented by Zhang Wenjie, Assistant Manager of Programmes, National Museum of Singapore, and Kristin Saw, Programme Manager, Moving Images, The Substation, we were treated to 6 out of 19 shorts in this edition's showcase, and my verdict is that I've enjoyed them all, and can't wait to spend the coming Saturday afternoons soon enough to see the rest of them.

As Wenjie advocates, if anyone is interested to find out how Singapore films are like, then look no further than the talent in our local short films. I couldn't agree more, especially after today's preview. As he shared, the shorts for this year's edition includes topics which are not covered in the local feature films (with reasons on returns on investment and the likes) and is high on innovation, and not to mention, experimentation. As Kristen puts it, it's not about screening award winning works. Local short films deserve an audience, especially the radical ones that continue to push boundaries. And trust me, they do.

Boo Junfeng (Changi Murals), Jacen Tan (of TakGiu and Zo Peng fame) and Sun Koh (The Secret Heaven) are popular contemporary short film makers, but this edition of the Short Cuts features a week from the archives of 67 year old local filmmaker Rajendra Gour. I've always been a fan of any movie which features scenes of old Singapore, from Tan Pin Pin's Invisible City, to Bobby Suarez's They Call Her... Cleopatra Wong, and even Peter Bogdanovich's Saint Jack. In Rajendra's shorts (2 of which were featured this evening), despite the obvious aging of the film, the important gems are how lifestyles in those days were captured for posterity, touching on common themes of a mother's love and fears in My Child My Child, and in my opinion, a musical montage piece called Sunshine Singapore just deserves to be watched repeatedly for scenes that no longer are, and should be a visual treat for any historians or those born here in the last 20 years, to see how Singapore was once like.

LtoR: Sun Koh, Boo Junfeng and Jacen Tan

Boo Junfeng's featured short Katong Fugue (which won the Special Jury Prize in this year's Singapore International Film Festival) should be familiar to those who have watched Asian Boys Volume II, being an adaptation of the play, while Sun Koh's Bedroom Dancing is inspired by real life events, and one which I'd bet will definitely raise some eyebrows (eh, Singapore can do films like that?)! Jacen Tan, who has garnered a cult following on the Internet with his earlier two movies Tak Giu and Zo Peng, has his latest short Zo Gang (Go Work) showcased here, so online fans, it's time to journey outdoors to the Museum to catch this on the big screen - Zo Gang shows plenty of signs of a short filmmaker becoming comfortable with his craft, and is an entertaining one at that, dedicated to local filmmakers and musicians. I was surprised with how animation and live-action combined in Pok Yue Weng's superDONG, and you'll never look at toilet graffiti in the same light ever again!

Singapore Short Cuts is a celebration of local short films, so show your support by picking up the free tickets (and make sure you turn up at the door on the actual day - don't waste tickets!). I'll be there for the screenings, so see you all at the National Museum! And if you can't make it, stay tuned to yours truly for the weekly reviews and coverage of the Q&As!

Venue: National Museum, Gallery Theatre, Basement
Dates: Every Saturday from 11 August to 1 September 2007
Time: 2pm
Free admission
All screenings will be followed by discussions with the filmmakers.

Sat 11 Aug / From Mon 6 Aug
Sat 18 Aug / From Mon 13 Aug
Sat 25 Aug / From Mon 20 Aug
Sat 1 Sep / From Mon 27 Aug

Free tickets to the 4th Singapore Short Cuts can be collected at the National Museum of Singapore (Stamford Visitor Services Counter) on the Monday at the beginning of the week, before each weekend’s screening. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis, and limited to four per person. Any remaining tickets will be given out at the door on the day of the screening.

Stamford Visitor Services Counter
National Museum of Singapore
93 Stamford Road
Singapore 178897
10 am till 8 pm


Sat 11 Aug, 2 pm

Flat Dreams by Eva Tang
Zo Gang by Jacen Tan
Bedroom Dancing by Sun Koh
Yesterday’s Play by Ryan Tan
A Suicide Symphony by Deng Kaile
(Films duration: 72 min. Rated R21)

Sat 18 Aug, 2 pm

Wrong Turn by Charles Lim
Tracks by Gavin Lim
superDONG by Pok Yue Weng
Fonzi by Kirsten Tan
Take Me Home A.K.A I saw jesus by Gözde and Russel Zehnder
(Films duration: 65 min. Rated M18)

Sat 25 Aug, 2 pm

A Labour of Love - The Housewife by Rajendra Gour
My Child My Child by Rajendra Gour
Eyes by Rajendra Gour
Sunshine Singapore by Rajendra Gour
(Film duration: 45 min. Rated PG)

Sat 1 Sept, 2 pm

Ah Ma by Anthony Chen
Embryo by Loo Zihan
Elefant by Willie Koh
5 Steps To Becoming An Actor by Kan Lume
Katong Fugue by Boo Junfeng
(Film duration: 64 min. Rated NC16)

Patrons are advised that a valid identity pass showing proof of age is required for all screenings.

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