Ingmar Bergman R.I.P.

The end of an era. From the Guardian film blog:

Was Bergman in touch with the European mind of his generation? Perhaps he simply was the mind of his generation. Of the great post-war directors, he was the one who shouldered the burden of moral questions: is there a God? Is there a God who is exists, but is absent? Should we behave as if God exists, if we suspect he doesn’t? If he is merely absent for some unknowable millennial span, then how should we interpret this indifference, or this rebuke? And why, finally, does anything exist at all?

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The Last Wayang – 31 Aug

Was browsing the pamphlet for the upcoming Singapore Art Show (which btw comes with special post-its attached) when this event caught my eye:

The Last Wayang

Situated at the disused Capitol Theatre, The Last Wayang provokes a reflection on Singapore’s old films.

Date: 31 Aug
Time: 7pm – 12am

I emailed NAC for more info:

The Last Wayang is a project helmed by Lasalle Masters students and graduates. It consists of video projections on the facade of the disused Capitol Theatre. One projection is of stills of old film posters, and the other is an MTV style video.

Below is an excerpt of the project description from the artists “The video comprises of [sic] images of past films and how they have contributed to the flourishing local films of today. The highlights will be done in a trailer / MTV superimposition to apply this contradiction of nostalgia and modern times. “

I often wish the Capitol would reopen as a cinema.

(earlier posts about the Capitol)

Invisible City (备忘录)

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Clever advertising for Invisible City at the Arts House — except that if you were already there then there was a good chance you were already going to watch it, like the Better Half and I.

Still, great concept (probably by Mindwasabi) that echoes the subject matter of Tan Pin Pin’s latest documentary very well.

(You’d probably have read all the reviews by now, so I don’t need to tell you that Invisible City is about how people remember and how those memories are recorded or – often – not)

She said, during the post-screening Q&A, that one of the points she wanted to make is that the act of remembering — whether dredging up personal memories, re-recording old footage, or literally digging in old army forts — requires much effort and time. The process is painstaking.

Invisible City is also meant to be a record of its own, as the Mandarin title implies. 备忘录 might be the more accurate title: a record prepared with the expectation that one will forget.

Moreover, it seems clear that remembering is rarely appreciated, in this country at least. In the documentary Han Tan Juan, trying to carve out what he sees as the rightful place of 1960s Chinese student activists in Singapore’s history, remarks after a talk he gave to students that they didn’t seem to care about his story, let alone Singapore’s history.

So at the risk of sounding trite, this work is as much about forgetting as it is about remembering. If I may borrow Alex Au’s words:

By the end of the film, I was slumped in my seat, feeling quite defeated. Ken Kwek, a Straits Times journalist, told me on the way out that far from showing us how history is recorded, the film showed “how big the gaps are”.

(earlier posts on Invisible City)

Wandering hours

In 1656 the Campanus brothers had built a night clock for Pope Alexander XII. In a total innovation, they replaced the then conventional hands with hour figures on rotating discs, which performed a semicircular arc across the clock face […] The concept is that the moving hour display keeps an almost metaphorical count of the passing minutes rising and setting along the hourly arc.

(From The Watchismo Times. The link takes you to more wandering hour clocks and watches)