SIFF Singapore Shorts Showcase #4

`Singapore Cowboy' by Ng Sze Kiat

This one wins my heart. It is a simple family episode that stoked my feelings on a few levels. The establishment of the family and the day-to-day things they do that normalize them in my mind. Then, all togged up in identical red cowboy suits, they depart for what looked like a community centre in a taxi. So apparently, Mr Taxi-Driver has this big Cowboy in him! He even gets jealous at his wife’s conversation with another man and musters his Cowboy will to get back at his supposed nemesis – by scratching his car. When they return, he is still not satisfied. At bedtime, he digs out his Cowboy hat, puts it over a topless body and starts role-playing again (to himself only, to be exact =)) Finally satisfied, he gives in to slumber. And very sweetly, in the arms of Singapore Cowgirl, his wife.

Cleverly, the film exists on two layers, the straight-forward community centre outing and Mr Cowboy going a mission to conquer and win hearts. And the beauty of it all is that it plays out in one single naturalistic act. It also helped that the man playing Mr Singapore Cowboy-taxi driver was the result of an excellent casting decision. I am going to call him up!

`Stories Fron The Sea' by Kenny Png

Another documentary which is worth watching. It tells of the simple and contented lives of the people who live on a rural island. The split screen adds to the cinematic experience and beauty of the entire documentary. A film that titillates the senses.

`Fuk Xin Luk' by Alan Cai

An ambitious period piece that has a TVish tone but great caberet scenes that really look expensive! My thought a little disparate for this one so check out my previous full review written in Feb.

`One' by Ray Pang

One must be screened again. It is a gangster flick made good that proves Singapore can have blood-curdling gangsters in simple coffeeshop settings that display enough `seh’(Hokkien for style) to even convince your ex-gangster HDB uncle to want to watch. My presumption, that is. Jack Neo’s Ah Longs? Too gao xiao (comic). Royston Tan’s facial mask wearing teen gangsters? D*&^ so long yet no power. I think Ray hit the right note with this one. A combination of dare-devil violence, comfortable tropical weather style (i.e. n suits) and vulgarities spewed like you hear it from the horse’s mouth. One of my favourites from the selection and I have not even started to comment on how I loved the camera work, lighting and post-production yet!

`Jijik' by Khairil Abdul Rahim

Again, another piece I once wrote about in Feb. It was screened together a number of other shorts under the Kino Fest, Ngee Ann’s Graduation Showcase. But I remember being captivated by the acting and the sheer simplicity of the storytelling and mis-en-scene.

`Shhh...' by Thea Chan

Good cinematography and acting. Interesting views. Touches on family relationships and the many problems in which guys may face. Shhh... I should not reveal anymore, go catch it if you have the opportunity to do so.

CC - Clement Chua JS - Jeremy Sing
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