SIFF Singapore Shorts Showcase #2

`Wish We Last Forever' by Raymond Neo

A film which leaves you thinking and musing what is wrong with society these days. Children abandoning their aged parents, conveniently forgetting the pains the latter took to raise them through the years. The silent struggle amid the strong resolve, the selfless sacrifices upon sacrifices. The ethereal strains of a Faye Wong timeless hit and accompanying chinese poems are haunting and causes one to introspect.
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`Do’A' by Muhammad Sulaimi Bin Ismail

This is a religiously contemplative film about the meaning of a Muslim prayer or Do’A. It ruminates what the prayer preaches over the darker reality of life among real Muslims in our current society. Scenes of fights, detention centre, Young man surfing internet porn are intercut between one another. A despondent and regretful voice hovers over these images. I guess when the Arabic text (I suppose from the Quran) appeared at the end, this film had a chosen audience. Incidentally, one of the finalists in this year’s Silver Screen deals with a similar issue with also similar motifs.
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`Two Minutes Away From Launch' by Jaryl Lim

Easily one of the best among the lot, this beautiful animation had the audience lapping everything up and enjoying every single moment. The awesome visuals and rich colours bring out the vibrant nature of the cute birds and animals. This animation surely deserves many more screenings and awards. An unsung hero! Well done!
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`Don’t Stand so Close to Me' by Rajarathinam Tamilmaran

The casting mistake made it hard for me to digest the film at the beginning. A young man who looked like a brother to his younger sister was meant to be her father. Okay, that said, I like the storytelling, and how the characters interacted with each other. I am not sure if this is typical Indian drama fare but the poignancy of the issue did resonate with me. Father has an affair outside with a lady the family knows about. Daughter has a boyfriend but her mother openly checks her diary to find out and vehemently disapproves of it, all that while being oblivious to her own husband’s misdeeds. One night, when the daughter decided to seek a little justice by telling her mother, regret also catches up with the adulterous husband who was at the time topless in bed with the girl in Hotel 81. Enough and effortlessly said. And the film ends.
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`My Best Beloved' by David Lee

If you are not homosexual, trying to dress up more like your loved one can spell disaster. This was a quirky little film that tickles the mind about a behavioural oddity that not many people can identify with. I somehow know it exists but I am not sure who in my life I could point a finger to. Two school girls cross a puddle on their way to school. One loves to imitate the other. One begins to wonder if it is going to lead to another homosexual relationship when they grow. Thank goodness we are spared the cliché. The imitator grows up to get a boyfriend and dates but as the dates go by, her dressing changes to become………………well, you guessed , a double take of him. Then suddenly, it is being revealed that she is doing an act in the middle of a take, complete with boom mike and reflector. She reveals she just enjoys acting now. If this short film was a speech, this line is the speech saver. Kind of clever, but still hard to identify with.
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`Seeing Double' by Tengku Lamilah

Year after year, among the entries to the SIFF Silver Screen competition will be some classroom projects. Why not? Anyway, there are not many opportunities to get an audience for some hard-earned product. Seeing Double feels like one. The subject matter borders on being mundane and the approach a little banal. It is 2 interviews with 2 different pairs of female twins (quite well-to-do ones, cos they both stay in landed property). At the end of it all, it is the mother of the 2nd pair of twins who caught my attention. She looks like a cross between Violet Oon and your principal. Charismatic, yet control-freakish, but definitely commanding a lot of screen presence. Casting directors, watch out!
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CC - Clement Chua JS - Jeremy Sing

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