Singapore GaGa (新加坡风) is a paean to the quirkiness of the Singaporean aural landscape. It reveals Singapore’s past and present with a delight and humour that makes it a necessary film for all Singaporeans. We hear buskers, street vendors, avant garde musicians and madrasah school cheerleaders sing hymns to themselves and to their communities. From these vocabularies (including Arabic, Latin, Hainanese), a sense of what it might mean to be a modern Singaporean emerges. This is the first Singapore documentary to have a cinema release. It had a sold out 7 week theatrical run at The Arts House. With English and Chinese subtitles. The DVD released second half 2006 and it is still on sale at Objectifs.
Singapore GaGa world premiered at Singapore International Film Festival, Fringe, Goethe Institute, 2005
55 min, 4:3, 2013, with English and Chinese subtitles
"A subtly subversive yet thoroughly celebratory film… One of the best films about Singapore"
– THE STRAITS TIMES
"Singapore GaGa presents a brilliant alternative gaga view of the go-go Lion City"
– THE STAR, MALAYSIA
"If you see only one Singapore film, let this be it"
"55 richly textured minutes of sounds"
– 8 DAYS
"Ingenious, warm and ironic documentary about the rough edges of the most manicured city in the world. A documentary with character and real protagonists. With a sensitive ear and a sharp eye, she records what often is not heard or seen. The absurd in everyday life. Despite its light tone, the film has a lot to tell us about modern life, especially in Singapore. a country who wants to make rules for the unruleable."
– GERTJAN ZUILHOF, ROTTERDAM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Bangkok Film Festival Pick
– KONG RITHEE, BANGKOK POST
"In this revealing journey we hear people sing hymns to themselves and to their communities and a sense of what it might mean to be a modern Singaporean emerges without once resorting to the jingoism or rhetoric so often associated with such projects"
– SENSES OF CINEMA
"Singapore GaGa portrays bittersweet image of Singaporeans’ complex relationship with their homeland"
– SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
"With subtlety, humour and pathos"
– AGENCE FRANCE-PRESS
With appearances by
Melvyn Cedello – the late night performer by Novena MRT
Victor Khoo and Charlee – the Mickey Mouse of Singapore
Yew Hong Chow – the harmonica virtuoso
Margaret Leng Tan – showing 'The Art of the Toy Piano'
Gn Kok Lin (Mr. Ying) – the tap dancing, juggling and harmonica-playing performer.
Juanita Melson – The voice of the announcements on the MRT, Civil Defence Alerts ("This is an emergency"), and the Fujitech elevator ("Going Up!")
Chinese Dialect News Readers:
— Chen Yoke Chin
— Loke Tai Tay
— Nyeo Siok Kee
— Tan Tew Hoon
— Koh Pheck Lian
Produced and Directed by Tan Pin Pin
Production Manager Josephine Seetoh
Cinematographers Ryan Seet, Reu Low, Tan Pin Pin
Sound Recordists Brian Lim, Rafi Dean, Michael Lee
With Assistance from Jasmine Ng, Suryahti Abdul Latiff, Tan Siok Siok, Lian Tsui Yee, Sun Koh, Linette Heng, Tong Jo-Tsze, Yin Phua, Lee Wong, Woo Mun Sen, Nigel Woodford
Off-Line Editors Martyn See, Low Hwee Ling
On-Line Editor Chia Noi Kheng
Sound Designer Nigel Woodford
Sound Engineer Andy Lam, Yellow Box Studios
Colorist Nigel Fernandez
Post Production Producer Gavin Chelvan
Transcribers Daniel Tham, Low Chun Foon, Hazel Ngiam, Priya Balraju, Renee Chua Hui Ling, Wang Zineng
Website ohplay interactive
Subtitles Tan Dan Feng, Interlexis
With Support from Infinite Frameworks, Singapore Film Commission, Asia Reseach Institute, National University of Singapore, Lee Foundation, Maxell Professional Media, CameraQuip
Singapore GaGa was conceived with support of the Asia Artist in Residence Programme, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Stills from the Film
Featured Image: Margaret Leng Tan plays John Cages 4″33′ under a block of apartments