Singapore Short Film Awards - Man in Snow Globe by Koo Chia Meng

This is must be the last part of a Kelvin’s physical trilogy. The first being ‘Tanjong Rhu’ by Boo Junfeng, the second being ‘Anniversary’ by Royston Tan and finally ‘Man in Snow Globe’ by Koo Chia Meng. Kelvin is the actor playing the lead here and he seems to have reached some kind of ‘muse’ status. This time, it more physiological than physical – he is blind and slowly regaining his sight at the expense of losing parts of his memory (with the help of a kind of technology). It opened with a montage reminiscent of Julian Schnabel’s ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, flashing gauzy intimate images of people and scenes. Then, we are at pore-distance to the lead’s face, subjugating us into a journey of the man’s coming to terms with his loss.

The situation is grave. However, the actor looks a little too young and athletic to evoke a feeling of diminution. This is a pity because the Chia Meng has cleverly manipulated some visual tools to obliquely convey the pain of blindness. These included the girl (Julie) with her faced partially eclipsed with a birthmark as well as the sprinkling of powder over his body to elicit his sensitivity to touch since his ‘vision’ is failing him. In fact, the powdering scene was a signature moment that made the film and a thoughtful payout to the title. A tantric kind of feeling in both an emotional and sensual way (yes, it’s about his body again!). Aided by camera work that has a freehand sort of expressiveness and sure-footed editing, ‘Man in Snow Globe’ is a like pretty poetry. I only hoped it had more bite.
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