STOP10: 10 local films to catch in October 2017


In the month of October, SINdie’s STOP10 features a kaleidoscopic focus on women in Singapore. From a forty year old ‘tai tai’ facing a mid-life crisis, a housewife’s repetitive struggles at home, a mother struggling with the death of her child to two teenage friends coming to terms with one of them leaving Singapore.

It is important to note that a society's beliefs can be noted through its cultural production. As such it is heartening to see female characters deftly handled by some of our most talented filmmakers here.  And whilst some call attention to their statement of empowerment, others are subtle and perhaps not even making a statement explicitly - these are simply women being women. 

What these films show is that feminism comes in many forms, and their strength and resilience can still be seein in times where there is much at stake and of great turmoil or simply in the everyday act of simply being alive. Yet both are still revolutionary.

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Timepieces


30 Sep, Sat, 7.30pm, Golden Village Suntec
Utter 2017, Singapore Writers Festival

Singapore Writers Festival’s adaptation initiative Utter returns this year with newly commissioned shorts based on local writing. Commissioned by the National Arts Council (NAC), this year’s edition branded Utter 2017: Singlit Unearthed, highlights the remarkable poetry and stories of highly distinguished writers – J.M Sali, Gregory Nalpon, Tan Swie Hian and former deputy prime minister S. Rajaratnam. The filmmakers involved include K. Rajagopal and Lee Thean-jeen as well as animators Henry and Harry Zhuang as well as Jerrold Chong.

We take a closer look at two of these shorts – Timepieces by Lee Thean-jeen, about Margaret, a kindergarten teacher who admonishes a new student Ee Leng for bringing a dog to school, only to find a death threat on her desk at recess. The story is a surreal meditation on the pressures of contemporary urban society and the impact it has on both the young and the elderly.

Read more about the film and how you can watch it here.


What Has to Be


30 Sep, Sat, 7.30pm, Golden Village Suntec

Utter 2017, Singapore Writers Festival

Another darkly themed short by Jerrold Chong is an adaptation of S. Rajaratnam’s short story of the same name, What Has to Be explores a husband and wife grappling with the tragic death of their firstborn as they await the birth of their second. Their recollections reveal the dark, repressed history within the shared space they call home.

Read more about the film and how you can watch it here.


Gone Shopping

1-8 Oct, 2.30pm and 5.30pm, Art Science Museum
10th Anniversary Screening
Presented by Singapore International Film Festival, Co-Presented with Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum

October also celebrates Wee Li Lin’s 10th Anniversary of her full feature film directorial debut, Gone Shopping. The ironic look at Singapore’s retail fantasies was released to critical acclaim and its latest screening is co-presented by Art Science Museum and Singapore International Film Festival. Kym Ng stars in this film as an aimless tai tai who is addicted to shopping and the shopping centre until she finds an old flame who seems a ticket to a way out of her rut. Or is he?

The screening of the movie is part of ArtScience on Screen, which showcases the work of groundbreaking filmmakers and artists. ArtScience on Screen forms the backbone of the museum’s dedicated film programming, with the aim to inspire audiences to discover art and science through film and moving image. 

Read more about the film and how you can watch it here.


Sugar


2-15 Oct, available online on the Golden Village Facebook Page (public voting)

Finalist for the GV25 filmmaking competition
The Golden Village 25 Competition builds up to a finale in October with the screening of its three finalists. Under the tutelage of their mentors, such as Boris Boo and Kelvin Tong, the competition finalists have been hard at work finishing their films and members of the public will be able to vote to decide the winner. 

The first film is Sugar made by The Apex Project team. The team. normally an Acapella group of 5 members, take on filmmaking with a story about a mother and daughter's struggles to reconcile. The main pull is that the mother/daughter pair will be played by veteran singer Xia Hui (aunties and uncles who watch plenty of Channel 8 take note) and her daughter Jean Seizure, who is also part of The Apex Project.

Read more about the film and how you can watch it here.


Chiak


2-15 Oct, available online on the Golden Village Facebook Page (public voting)

Finalist for the GV25 filmmaking competition
The second film, Chiak, features a hardworking hawker who begins to develop dementia and his son's struggles in trying to cope with the situation. The group was inspired to create a film regarding dementia from personal experience. One of the team members had a life-threatening illness and had to undergo chemotherapy. Compared to the other teams, this team, which calls themselves 'Moonmen' is relatively younger and less experienced, but we are certain their personal, authentic touch to the film will touch audiences.

Read more about the film and how you can watch it here.


Raffles vs Utama: Dawn on Singapore


2-15 Oct, available online on the Golden Village Facebook Page (public voting)

Finalist for the GV25 filmmaking competition
Finally, the last  GV25 competition film Raffles vs Utama: Dawn of Singapore, is a comical work by screenwriter Marcus Goh and his friends (which includes a rather famous friend - Nat Ho). His film showcases a group of students bickering over the founder of Singapore and inadvertently summoning the ghosts of Sang Nila Utama and Sir Stamford Raffles in a battle to the -- erm, not death -- and the right to lay claim to who truly founded Singapore.

Marcus has actually written for familiar titles like Police & Thief, Incredible Tales, Crimewatch, and Point of Entry. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. Check out his site here where he writes extensively about almost anything!

Read more about the film and how you can watch it here.



12 Storeys


Now available on iTunes

12 Storeys by Eric Khoo recently turned 20 this year. A limited screening was held at The Projector but for those of you who have missed out or have somehow missed the film entirely, it is also available on iTunes. The film about three families living in the same HDB block stars Jack Neo (who sports buck teeth, so you may not recognise him at first glance), Quan Yifeng, Lum May Yee and Koh Boon Pin. Watching this film today provides a useful glimpse of where SG cinema has come from, and some ideas on where it ought to go next.

Read more about the film and how you can watch it here.


Chua Mia Tee, part of Art Through Our Eyes

7 - 29 Oct, 7pm, National Gallery Singapore
Painting with Light: International Festival of Films on Art

Eric Khoo pops up again with Chua Mia Tee in Art Through Our Eyes, an omnibus of short films inspired by Singapore’s modern Southeast Asian art collection. The film is part of National Gallery Singapore’s initiative Painting with Light: International Festival of Films on Art. The omnibus, features Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Brilliante Mendoza, Ho Yuhang, Joko Anwar as well as our own Eric Khoo. The directors each handpicked a masterpiece from the gallery’s art collection as inspiration for their short films, and provides a new dramatised interpretation of the artwork. 

Read more about the film and how you can watch it here.


The Pursuit of a Happy Human Life 

26 Oct, Thu, 7.30pm, Objectifs
Women in Film and Photography Showcase

Championing female voices, Objectif’s annual Women in Film and Photography Showcase features local filmmakers, such as Gladys Ng with her Singapore International Film Festival commissioned short film The Pursuit of a Happy Human Life revolving around Steph and Yoke, two best friends coming to terms with Steph’s imminent departure. 

Glady's work is easily recognisable by now, with her meticulous focus on the minute and seemingly mundane. However with this more recent work, it feels like a concerted attempt at a more structured dramatic story.

Read more about the film and how you can watch it here.


Woman at Home

26 Oct, Thu, 7.30pm, Objectifs
Women in Film and Photography Showcase

Another short film in the showcase is Woman at Home by Megan Wonowidjoyo, a more experimental work regarding a homemaker’s repetitive chores and devotion to take care of her husband and children.

The mundane takes a haunting and surreal twist, with its interpretation of the Singaporean home and housewife. A strong idea executed in the simplest of means, it reminds us of what a housewife sacrifices.

Read more about the film and how you can watch it here.


Written by Rifyal Giffari

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