shnit International Shortfilmfestival (Out of Curiosity: Sinema Showoff! Rojak)

The Sinema Showoff! curatorial team recently screened a selection of local shorts as part of shnit International Shortfilmfestival. This marks their virgin stab at collaborating with an internationally acclaimed film festival. Some of the shorts have already been reviewed here before, so I've chosen to review the one that left the strongest impression on me.

Love In Any Genre (Directed by Suffain Zain)

Love In Any Genre is part romantic comedy, part parody, and an absolute riot - funny, charming, imaginative. Reminiscent of some of the comedy sketches by Youtube superstars like Kevjumba and Niga Higa, there is an attention to detail - the colouring, the costumes - that distinguishes the film from its internet counterparts.

The film comprises of four segments, each featuring the same pair of lovers, in the vein of the Hollywood, Bollywood, Korean and Malay film genres. While indeed reminiscent of a run-of-the-mill Youtube video parody, there is a strange heart to the film, despite it ostentatiously poking fun at the different genres; in essence, it has weight as both a romantic comedy and a parody. By carefully attending to the details of conventions in the genres it spoofs, the film also shows an ironic reverence to them. When it could have all too easily devolved into a cynical, tasteless mockery of genres - and don't get me wrong, it is still a parody, no doubt, but with more sweetness and less revulsion - its final message that love is an universal language ends up validating all the absurdities of the different genres it spoofs.

I liked that it is also alert to the bewildering phenomenon of the Korean pop culture wave; people all over the world who don't even understand the language- Americans, Europeans, South-east Asians - are getting hooked onto Korean drama and pop music, and here in Singapore there is a growing number of Malay people who are riding on the K-drama wave.

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