STOP10 May 2017: 'Foster' by Tam Chin Wang (and 4 More ciNE65 IV Films!)

In the fourth season of the ciNE65 Short Film Competition, filmmakers were invited to share their take on the theme “Home • Truly” through a 3-minute film. Here are five that we have picked out for you:

Foster (watch the film)

65-Word Review: A child has just lost his parents. Foster unspools from this simple premise, wordlessly conveying the emotions of both the child and his foster parent amidst this upheaval. The film takes pains to attend to them both, evoking their frustrations and distress through an effortless montage and a carefully placed camera that keeps us focused on them and the family that they must build afresh.

Is This 'Home Truly'? For its generous depiction of the families and homes that the less fortunate among us must find, Foster receives a 'Home Truly' rating of 4.5 Kit Chans.

4,374km (watch the film)

65-Word Review: Actor Ronald Goh plays a broody adolescent Chinese male who itches to leave Singapore. Nearly a prequel to Boo Junfeng's Keluar Baris, except this protagonist escapes instead to Australia. The clever bit is how he comes to miss home: instead of spoon-feeding us his nostalgic memories, the film revisits how he forces a smile through a family reunion—except his resentment sweetens in hindsight. Heartwarming.

Is This 'Home Truly'? For its willingness not to sugar-coat the reasons why we miss home, 4,374km receives a 'Home Truly' rating of 4 Kit Chans.

FamilyChat (watch the film)

65-Word Review: This film opens on a typical millennial, peeved about her father nagging her to get home early for dinner. But she seems to 'obey' him defiantly, bringing home a McDonalds takeaway bag, making a beeline for her room, and then going to shower as her dad is almost done cooking. The family appears to communicate almost entirely over text. What can possibly bring them together?

Is This 'Home Truly'? For the glimpse it gives us of homes that aren't bound by our conventional expectations, FamilyChat receives the full 'Home Truly' rating of 5 Kit Chans.

Mr Sandman (watch the film)

65-Word Review: 
Who can resist a musical interlude? Set to the barbershop tune of the same name, Mr Sandman is a lively musical filmed on the iconic sloped buildings of the NTU School of Art, Design and Media. The film embraces the ‘artificial long take’ style of movies like Birdman, creating a virtuosic effect as the camera swoops around seamlessly from the dance number’s start to finish.

Is This 'Home Truly'? Despite its engaging dance sequence, Mr Sandman doesn't touch a whole lot on what home means to us. Hence, it will have to settle for a 'Home Truly' rating of 1.5 Kit Chans.

Nasi Opera (watch the film)

65-Word Review: 
Another musical interlude, this time to the operatic strains of Georges Bizet's Carmen. Nasi lemak has never smelt better than in this film, where the frying of sambal inspires a slow-motion coffee spill, a furious scattering of void-deck chess pieces, and the sudden apparition of animal masks. The film offers your typical feel-good community PSA, but laden with a fair bit of imagination and pizzazz.

Is This 'Home Truly'? For its lively rendering of a close-knit HDB community, Nasi Opera receives a 'Home Truly' rating of 3.5 Kit Chans.

Written by Colin Low

For the full list of May 2017's 10 films under STOP10, click here.
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