Celebrate Drama - `Colours' by Derek Lui & Lee Chee Tian


Is it true that Celebrate Drama (16th Aug) was an event meant to allow youths 12-30 years of age showcase their works? That means Kelvin Sng, father of 1 (or 2?) is apparently a youth and I am over-aged for this. Guffaw! Thanks to Facebook, I learnt about this event and decided to pop by to catch some of the films I missed out from other showcases. Unfortunately, they jumbled up the screening order so I had shuffle in and out of the cinema avoiding the pain of sitting through I had watched at least 3 times before. Two films stood out from my experience. The first was Colours by Derek Lui and Lee Chee Tian. I came across the title sometime ago on http://www.mandy.com/ It intrigued me. I really liked how the film mused about life in the beginning withholding the real subject matter. Many films end with a question, this one begins with one (actually 3). I can’t remember what they were but they questioned, in fact, challenged common perceptions of what we see in everyday life. Then a girl (in colour) appears. Everything around her is in Black and White. Lest you think it is another quirky gimmick(bordering on the tacky), it turns out the girl is colour blind. In class, she fails to identify the colours held up by the teacher. At the canteen, she fumbles at where to deposit used plates due to the colour coding of the basins. And nobody around her seems to know, highlighted by the colour contrasts used.
Then, she seizes a chance to make a turning point in her life when she finds a rainbow-themed pair of shades at a playground. Its toy-like appearance belies the magical powers it has – to `colour’ her world. Then, the visuals change and we are dancing to a more joyous tune as our Cinderella's world changes for the better. She revisits the earlier scenes but in full colour, in a way that would thrill the kids watching it. But one technical point though, the colours looked very saturated, I suspect it's the fault of the screening facilities. Or was it a directorial decision? That because she experiences too much colour, she starts to see things she was not prepared to see. Upon googling, this film actually won a prize at the Auburn Children's Film festival and has travelled to many children's film festivals, which made me realise the lack of children films in Singapore.

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