7th Singapore Short Cuts - 'Aemaer' by Loo Zihan

Jeremy: This is one film that is both affecting as it is alienating. While it draws its inpsiration from historical accounts, it creates a contemporary parallel that actually feels quite close to heart in the way it exposes the performer Georgia Wall's sensitivities. It was easy to dismiss the piece as just a play on aesthetics and soundscapes but watching it for the second time (it is actually available online), I am able to draw some form of wisdom from the way it strings together history, modern experience and very primeval human reaction to things. I can't help but feel so intimate with Georgia in the video from the way she describes the burning smell right at the beginning. That's my entry point to being emotionally engaged in the film. Does she make you feel the same way?

Raymond: I love this film because I think it is the most intellectually stimulating out of Saturday's lineup. Obviously, there is a very real visceral and visual enjoyment to be gained from this film, with a wide gamut of different (and random) video footages pieced together, all extremely beautiful in their own way. While the programme booklet describes it as aiming to raise a variety of issues through the juxtaposition of fragmented images and sound, I disagree with its success in doing so. Personally I feel it is not the content of the issues raised (or rather, tries to raise) that makes the film endearing or thought provoking, but rather how its post-modern styling lends itself to the film's intention to 'highlight the ongoing negotiation between filmmaker and performer, actor and character'.

The film constantly and intentionally denies the audiences any chance to relate. Every time we come to the interview bits of the performance artist, Georgia, we briefly engage with the strongest human presence in the film, and yet very quickly, the scenes are switched to random shots and very jarring computerised narration and we are lost. The more we try to grasp the narration, the more we are perplexed, because the narration, just like the images are fragmented and, for a lack of a better word, random. The film is essentially, a performance (the parts featuring Georgia) within a performance (the entire film as a construct). The director is foregrounding the artifice of the film and hence the film works as a sort of metaphor for the relationship between the audience and the screen.
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