Review: The Legend of the Impacts

Sindie is privileged to be able to watch The Legend of the Impacts before it is out this Saturday, screened together with another local documentary, Before We Forget. These two locally made documentaries are screened as part of the Southeast Asian Film Festival 2012 that begun on 3 March this year.

The Legend of the Impacts has a feel-good, nostalgic air to it. The short draws us into an interview being conducted midway, where we are taken into the world of Mike who used to belong to a band that was popular in the 1960s called The Impacts.

Director of this short, Jeevan, who has directed tv series for Suria, Mediacorp, ad campaigns, and several documentary shorts, has a wonderful skill for the camera works as he takes the viewer immediately into the interview with Mike, a former band member of the fictional band, The Impacts. His choice of utilizing the camera angle and camera movements engages the audience well, and moves, literally, together with the story of the film. Also, the very slight choices of holding the camera also contributed to the story of the film, which I found it to be quite a nice touch. For instance, the shaky camera movements – at times it felt too intentional but I still get the fact that this was coming from a fictional student, low budget interview with an ex-band member of the 1960s. The editing though, could be improved with tighter, and shorter pauses to strengthen the storytelling. But nevertheless, still a nice touch from Jeevan.

Written by Ben Slater, this film is inspired by the vibrant 1960s music scene in Singapore where there are less foreign bands known in Singapore – but it was where Singapore’s music scene thrived with plenty local icons like The Silverstrings, Naomi and the Boys etc. 

Although The Legend of the Impacts is fictional, it is an excellent short that will remind older viewers how it was like back then, and give younger viewers privy into the roaring 60s where rock and roll was prevalent in Singapore, where brave younguns' channelled their idols and pursued to make rock and roll music in a country where Productivity and Excellence for a Good Future was constantly drummed in all souls in the society. They were exorcised and broke away from the zombiefied group of society, like the characters in The Legend of the Impacts.

Maybe it’s just me having just done the production talk for Ignore All Detour Signs, but I like how Slater compared the “lost” era of the rock and roll period back in the 1960s to modern days.

This short will definitely challenge and question one to take a step back and relook at our local music scene as a whole today. Have we lost the sense of urgency to make (more) music and to perform? Have we lost the community of people in Singapore who enjoyed music with such abandon back in the 1960s? They say we have more freedom than before, but if we look in the perspective of just our local music industry – do we really have more freedom than before? Are we truly embracing what we have right now? Have we lost our souls to the crunch of social demands in Singapore to have more money, more status, more property?

If this hasn’t teased you enough to want to watch The Legend of the Impacts, I don’t know what else will. It’s a pity the tickets for this Saturday’s show is all sold out. So, readers please do keep your eyes wide open and pray that this short would be screened at another time, another day.

The Legend of the Impacts
Date: 24 Mar 2012, Saturday
Time: 7.30PM 
Venue: Moving Image Gallery, Level 2, SAM at 8Q, 8 Queen Street

Film Festival: 2nd Southeast Asian Film Festival
Get tickets: here
The Legend of the Impacts Facebook page: here

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