Cages now screening

Watching Cages, I was particularly struck by the actor Mokoto Iwamatsu who plays the grandfather. Very quickly, I got over the incongruity of Mokoto playing a Montagut shirted Chinese Ah Pek in Singaporespeaking with with a western accent . All good actors have that effect, the ability to suspend one’s disbelief in all kinds of inconguous scenarios by focusing on the emotion of that scene. Check him out.


The Grand Cathay hosted the premiere of Pink Paddlers at the Grand Cathay last night. All the 500 charity tickets ($30,$50) in aid of UNIFEM/Breast Cancer Foundation were sold out. It is a 62 min documentary, directed by Jasmine Ng about breast cancer survivors of all ages who dragon boat race. Through the device of the race, I learnt alot about what going through this cancer entailed. The characters spoke for themselves, simply and clearly. Kudos to the filmmaker and the producer. I hope they show it on TV very soon. It is a must watch. I wish I had my father along to see it.


We are in the middle of making Invisible City, editing, shooting, editing and shooting some more. We have spent the past week throwing out all our favourite scenes in an attempt,ironically, to find the heart of the film. It is a brutal process, if personal fancies are not aligned with the thrust of the documentary – out it goes. We are much lighter now, leaner, more emotionally focused. I tell Inez Ang, the editor that we have to make another film with all the discarded footage because I just can’t fit them all into this film and still have it make sense. So, I will think of Invisible City as a chapter of a long scroll with more chapters to come, Invisible 2, Invisible 3, Invisible 4. Below, Ryan Seet the camera man for Invisible City, he also shot Singapore GaGa


Silent women

Watch films by Naruse, Ozu and Mizoguchi in a 3hr screening on Wed, 21st March. They were all studio hacks, films were all made in 1933-1935, all silent, all on 35mm prints. Watching them all side by side, you will get a sense of the strength and weakness of each and the milieu in which they operated. Ozu is the most well known, and rightly so too. Even though they all worked with the same melodramatic material (long suffering female protagonists used by hapless men) Ozu had a surer command of the craft and could with a simple still life positioned at the right time, kick you hard behind the knees, harder than Naruse. Don’t believe me? See it for yourself. Organised by Asian Film Archive and CFA. More info. Sistic

Date: 21 March 2007, Wed, 7.30 pm
Venue: University Cultural Centre Hall, NUS, Ticket: $25 (3 films with live Gamelan performance)


Short courses

Continuing on from film school confidential, if you are looking for short film courses, apart from those conducted by DMA, Objectifs‘, look to the plethora of short film/video courses conducted by Australian Film and TV School . I attended the course by Rob Marchand on directing using Mike Leigh’s method of improvisation, it is highly recommended. He was able to articulate the craft very well. NFTRS (UK) has a similar short course programme. Singaporeans/PRs can apply for MDA’s Capability Development Scheme for partial funding.


I hope this film from Mali, Bamako, which uses unusual theatrics often employed by third world directors to air weighty topics is shown at SIFF. A review by JR

Ubuweb: Youtube of the Avant Garde

I was looking for Farocki’s Inextinguisable Fire (1969) and lamenting that it would be impossible to find it in Singapore when I stumbled upon an amazing trove It hosts works by Robert Frank, Peter Forgacs, audio of Om Kawara reading One Million Years amongst many others. With this site, one peeps into film from a parallel universe. Link

Its Your Home for the Arts

Substation News Flash: The Substation has a new website, clearer and easier to navigate.

Thomas Yeo holds an exhibition for the Substation, proceeds of sale go to Substation. Buy a painting or donate online here. Every dollar counts. Don’t take your independent arts institutions for granted. Thank you.

Closer to this house, the only full time film programmer in S’pore Kristin Saw is organising the 2nd Documentary Festival, our very own, starts next week, you even get a free preview (what more do you want?)

6-10 Mar 07
Free preview on 3 Mar 07
Tickets from (hotline: 6222 5595)

Evening screenings at The Substation Theatre ($7/$5 concession) Call 6337 7535 for more information.