This is about a day when I watched four movies in a row. Nothing special.
I can’t remember if I have ever done this before. Sure, I probably had done three movies in a day (across different locations!) during Singapore Film Festival decade ago when it was THE occasion to catch movies unlikely to get commercial release in Singapore. These days, there were far more opportunities to access non-commercial work.
I think I will miss the curation of SIFA when it changes hand from next year onwards. The O.P.E.N. film last year was a great feast for me to just wander into any previously unknown films whenever I could find time. This year, one ticket restricts you to six screening. Still, it is a steal.
So I found myself booked for only one movie on 08.07.17 but ended watching four that day.
This was the one I registered prior to the screening, and it did not disappoint. In fact, it awed. It set out to be theme-less, thus untitled. Yet, the incidental sequence revealed more depths of life on this planet than any themed work that I have ever come across. The co-existence of brutality and beauty life presents itself in the journey taken by the film maker across the dark continent had me holding my breathes throughout the film.
Quite a number of reviews available online, e.g. this one.
Autumn, Autumn (Chuncheon, Chuncheon)
AT and CN texted me that they were both catching this, which made me decide to stay on at The Projector to continue. Another reason was that I did registered for the closing film this year which was a Korean film. By this bizarre association, I found myself interested in checking out this Korean film as well.
It turned out to be alright. It was made up of stories of two protagonists taking place in the same location. It was full of undercurrent of sadness, beneath the seemingly mundane conversations they had with other characters along their paths.
I did enjoy it but friends (AT and CN included) I spoken with outside the movie theatre were mostly underwhelmed.
CN pre-registered this because she was a self-professed railway geek. I joined in because (a) AT and CN were staying on, thus providing momentum to me; (b) I have always enjoyed journey on railways, which possibly made me a closeted railway geek; (c) I’ve always enjoyed my holiday trip to Thailand; (d) I have recently watched Pop Aye – a road movie took place in Thailand by a Singaporean film maker, and loved it.
I did enjoy it though it did not shake me up like Untitled. For me, its main merits lie in capturing the glimpses of the country from south to north, without many spoken words. It took years to make, covering the entire railway network across the country. These days, I have great admiration for work made with great patience.
It made me wonder how interesting it would be for a film maker to document Singapore in similar manner – via journeys on MRT across the island.
The Dreamed Path
CN decided against staying for this one. AT decided to join me.
Like Autumn, Autumn, this was also consists of stories about two protagonists. It has such unconventional, refreshing way of informing audience about the emotional states of the characters … by landing cameras on the reactions of people surrounding the protagonists instead of the later. I was truly engaged in the first protagonist’s journey. Somehow the camera language did not develop further enough in the second half for me.
AT and I went for supper after the show. AT looked at this one from a D.H.Lawrence-ial points of view. That was intriguing to me. I was looking at it purely from a rather restraint story telling technique.
So that was the day when I watched four movies. Thanks S.I.F.A 2017!