A ‘secret’ screening


We were hurdled in this room for a screening of films that would be considered “political”. As political screenings (its kept deliberately vague what this is) aren’t allowed under the Film Act without huge penalties for the organisers (Martyn, Choon Hiong) and the screening venue (Post Museum), we all had to pre-register to give the event a semblance of it being a private gathering which was presumably less culpable.

Martyn showed Speakers Cornered, Choon Hiong showed ????? and Seelan Palay showed a short film of his protest against the Hindraf activists’ incarceration. There were several filmmakers amongst us there as were opposition politicians and their grassroots helpers who were the subject of the videos, we sat crossed legged on the floor alert and watching.

Now that the Film Act will be applied with a “lighter touch” (what does this mean?) on political films, do we need to go through this pre-registration process? I hope they will re-submit the films for censorship so that we can see where each of these films stand.

The re-look into the Film Act wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t persisted. My hats off to Martyn for being so steady when the whole weight of the governmental machinery bore down on him for so many months. There is definitely a place for civil disobedience in Singapore.

Left to right Ho Choon Hiong (in red), Martyn See, Seelan Palay

Naomi Kawase

Singapore Film Society is showing a retrospective of her work at this year’s Japanese Film Festival. She will be in attendance for the screenings. Link here. Interesting line up. Her documentaries are very personal in the sense it feels that she is ruminating about her life and the turns they have taken. Her art comes from making the very personal relevant to everyone else.

I just realised we are born in the same year.

Purveyor of Fine Goods

Kinokuniya bookstore has been most supportive of local books and films. One of the things they supported last weekend was the launch of two DVDs, Eric’s Remember Chek Jawa and the 3-DVD set. Thanks to all who showed up and Objectifs, our distributor who organised this event. Next stop Books Actually on 29 August.

Taken by Tym. At times it felt like I was giving a cooking demo, see the floral arrangement

The archaelogists Chen Sian, Sheau Thng and Kang Shuo came too


Eric chatting with a fan, he is donating the profits of Remember Chek Jawa to a conservation group

Two things tomorrow, launching the DVD boxed set in a bookshop (meeting and greeting and cajolling random bookshoppers to buy the set) and after that, I am on a panel at the Singapore Theatre festival with two playwrights talking about History. Never launched a DVD in a bookshop before, nor been in a theatre panel. These cross medium activities are making me nervvouus.

Olympic sport

At the corner coffee shop watching the Olympic Opening. The man in front jumped up and stood erect when the Chinese national anthem was played