Tanjong Rhu : My memories of the flyover

Sometime last year, right after Jun Feng shared with me his new short film idea which was again based on another one of Alfian's stories, I had a chance to look at a titular element of the film - the location itself - Tanjong Rhu.

Bryan had always shared with me whenever my car whizzes past that Fort Road flyover, that Fort Road was a cruising area. So one day, we decided to cruise out the scene itself. From the carpark, we walked across the grass patch to the end of park, marked by a railing. In between, there was no one, kind of spookily empty. But of course, logic told me, it had to be more elusive than that. Indeed, moments later, we found a beaten track that led to an underpass. The underpass brough us across the road to the a heavily vegetated area. `This is where they would stand'. Bryan pointed to a railing that separated the walking track from the woods. I was not impressed. I think there could still be more happening than meets the eye... After a while we gave up, walked through the underpass and back to the side where we came from. It was already getting late and spooky. We strolled back. Then, we saw another beaten track jutting into a different direction..... (to be continued)
`Tanjong Rhu' 's shoot went on over the course of a 6 day period last week. It is about an entrapment of 12 men who were caught cruising in the area that I just mentioned. Each of the 12 men were imprisoned and even given 3 strokes of the cane. `Tanjong Rhu' takes a look at a special relationsip involving one of the 12 men. Listening to Junfeng's description of the storyline, I could already feel the tangledness of the characters' emotions. Let alone the shock, feelings of injustice associated with the arrest, there is a complex mix of guilt, regret, grief and moral dilemma. I knew this would be not be an easy film to execute because you need a very mature style. And I am glad Junfeng chose to take the challenge because the Singapore film scene, for too long, has been championing technically competent or simply well-crafted films but not enough of issue/cause driven films that challenge our thought beyond the domain of just film appreciation. We must have more of these `unsafe' films!
Though, I was not there for the whole shoot, I managed to get some idea of the extensiveness of it. Pierre, who came on the last day, was mistaken by me to be one of the leads but apparently, he was only a side. Then there was Kelvin whom my slutty eyes spotted while crusing around in Wei Dong's blog, only to find out later that he was only an extra. And Marisa the make up artist told me there were a few other kare-lare-fares on different days. Speaking to JF, I learnt there were a total of 150 + shots! So the hard work does not end there, it continues in the editing room where they have to tightly queeze them into around 15 mins.
Okay I photoshopped this a little to get the yellow-hued nostalgic look
I think I had a mix of fortunes coming in to kay poh on the last day. It was near my house and it was a the most exciting scene (See picture below to get a feel of the scene ambience, think bedroom). Yet, cannot see. Well, also cos I didnt want to ask as there were too many pple squeezed into that room. But I had to get to work with my cam so that I can post naughty pictures like these and get people to read. Well, only some pictures la!

`Siam ah!'

1. The missionary position 2. Nick's wardrobe for the 40 episodes of `Tanjong rhu' 3. Everyone loves the monitor 4. So cheena, outing must go temple? 5. An important pre-production task 6. What can we do without you Shu Ming?

1. The crew brought sand from Changi 2. mysterious sexy back 3. Shut me off la! 4. We need soem fresh air! 5. Romancing the monitor 6. Junfeng wanting to be a model 7. Nick's secret

`Sir, 2 hour $100.'
That beaten track. I felt an uncanny mix of fear, disgust, spook and nonetheless, adventure. It brought us to very dark spot (will NOT publish exact location). It was hot like a sauna. And I could not see a thing though Bryan was mildly ecstatic, like he found back a piece of his past. There were people there. But it was painful to know that some people cant even love openly but have to do it like mice. I left the place feeling angry that night.
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