SIFF Singapore Shorts Showcase #1

`(S)439965' by Elgin Ho

Nope, the title is not a mathematical sum nor numbers for punters to place their bets. Every area or building in Singapore is represented by a numerical postal code and (S)439965 is actually the location of a block of apartments in Katong which is scheduled to be torn down for redevelopment by the authorities. The protagonist revisits many of the places which he grew up in and attempts to capture the fond memories which he had by taking photographs. This film is a nostalgic mood piece which is both sensitive and mature, appealing to the sentimental within us.

`Damn Murphy' by Ng Jing Jie

Girlfriend tries to find out from different parties where her man spent the previous to have brought another girl home. Then walked the man’s mum, she is not spared too. Complete with annotation that read `Lee xxxxxx, 56, mother of two’, she sat down and gave her account crime watch style. Guffaws throughout. The style is repeated a few times. I think I have to take my hat off to this bold one-joke novelty of a film. It was unabashed and fun. I correct myself. 2 jokes. The second being the offering of barley water by the mother to the angry girlfriend, just after she asked her man for a cum inspection. (by right hor, what can she expect to see? Beats me!)

`In Our Own Words' by Melinda Tan
This 16 minute documentary starts out on an uneven footing but has you cheering it on soon after. Two young boys, Amos and Joseph are just like anyone of us, just that they suffer from kidney failure. It is a debilitating disease which becomes fatal without any medical intervention yet our young over comers live their lives in such a way which will make any parent proud. They live a life of normalcy, playing soccer and indulging in their favourite pastimes besides attending school. Their parents deserve much credit too for bringing them up in the right way. They do not practise favouritism nor excuse them when they do wrong, rewarding and punishing them just like they would do to their healthy siblings. This inculcates in them the right values and that they are no different from others. Reach out your hands and hearts to them today for they inspire and show us that sickness and pain in the body is only temporal.

`Strifey' by Bay Rui Hong

I attended a career talk once and someone mentioned the earning power of animation artists over filmmakers. But there is just not enough screening opportunities for animators to inspire such careers I guess. When screened with fiction shorts, they are either a welcome `genre-cutaway’ or an easily forgotten oddity. Strifey sits on the fence. It is a cutesy, sweet little tale about a short boy trying to come to grips (literally) with the things in life. Visually, it is appealing especially the 3D hallucination portion where all the insults congregate in his brain. It has candy colours that resemble Ou De Yang’s music videos though the characters here have bad body proportions and stumps for hands. The stumps seem to encapsulate what I really feel about the film – cute but just cute.

`Coffee' by Cheung Pui Chung

Coffee is one of those shorts that might have been devised over, well, er, a cup of coffee. Not meant for deep thought but for laughs. In his quest for a proper `coffee’ moment to make his day, the lead gets into a series of mishaps. It is a mild camp of a short film judging from the acting and plot. It fell short of full camp because the largely physical and `post-production-effects’ jokes were tickling but not challenging enough. Guess the only thing thrust me out of my sniggering comfort zone was the bitch between wife and ex-girlfriend. People love cat fights!
`Secret Of The Red House' by Danny Lim
A girl wakes up one morning and finds her pet chicken missing from its coop and embarks on a journey to find it. She meets with many shady and unsavoury characters along the way and learns to deal with the evil schemes which they plot against her. A comedy drama with credible acting but is marred by an incredulous and far fetched plot.
CC - Clement Chua JS - Jeremy Sing
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