STOP10 Jul 2017: ‘Coming Attractions’ by Ting Min-wei

In ‘Coming Attractions’, director Ting Min-wei remixes the video and sound footage from numerous well-received American war movies into a two-channel video. The result is a film that critiques the Hollywood portrayal of non-white populations around the world, filtered through the lens of the American soldier at war.

As part of the upcoming Asian Film Focus 2017, audiences can thus have a sampling of how such popular Hollywood war films as Katheryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now or Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket have portrayed the foreignness of the enemy, even when that 'foreign' enemy hails from as familiar a place as Southeast Asia.

In our interview with Ting, he shared that ‘Coming Attractions’ was inspired during his graduate studies, when he realised that the favourite war films of his youth (like RamboMissing in Action, and older films like Battle of the Bulge or The Longest Day) were all about American wars on foreign soil, and the enemy would inevitably be of a different race, religion or culture.

In keeping with this newfound realisation, he focused specifically on Hollywood war films that had been released since 1977, the year of his birth. The choice of Oscar-nominated films also helps to give audiences a jolt of familiarity, even as his juxtaposition of the footage helps to give it a new alienness. The result is uncanny. The sniper and the stripper, the watched and the watching, the Arab and the Asian: ‘Coming Attractions’ offers a snappy glimpse at the exoticism that plagues the portrayal of even the most anti-war of American war films.

Screening Details:
15 July, Saturday
8:30pm to 9:30pm
Objectifs Centre for Photography & Film
Tickets here:
There will be a post screening Q&A session 

Coming Attractions will be screened as part of Objectifs' Asian Film Focus 2017: Time Machine, which explores the different uses of archival and found footage.

12 to 15 July 2017
Admission: Screenings $5 per session, buy tickets
here or at the door. Talks are free.

This year’s Asian Film Focus explores notions of archival and found footage in the context of contemporary filmmaking in Asia, highlighting works from Vietnam, India, the Philippines and Singapore. What can we glean from these glimpses into the past, and what does it say about our present and our future?

Ever since its advent, film has been used as a means to record significant moments. From personal memories to historical milestones, its particular qualities have helped create time capsules that historians, archivists, artists, and filmmakers have turned to for insight into the past and creative inspiration. As the process of recording and archiving film continues to evolve in our lives, found footage has emerged as an important storytelling device as filmmakers seek to appropriate material to shape different narratives, and capture space and time.

Written by Colin Low

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