Radio Station Forgot To Play My Favourite Song is a documentary on Singapore rock circa 2003, shot as a final year project. It’s up on the internet now — available for all to see.
(To be honest, I’m generally not as enthusiastic about rock/alternative music. I think our musicians are as good as any in the world, even better, but I’m not crazy about any music “scene”, local or foreign. I pick and choose – a few singers, the odd duo or trio. Anyone with solid lyrics and a pleasing arrangement.)
Wanted to highlight the saddest part, from the blog of one of the ex-documentarians:
The 3 of us have always enjoyed the compliments over the years but its also a little sad that none of us are within even sniffing distance of the hotshit rockumentarians we were 5 years ago – in fact we’ve all joined the SYSTEM and are civil servants now. If there were still anything remotely creative and edgy left in us, it probably would’ve been shat out of us by now. Sadly, we’re fading away instead of burning out. At least we still try to have our weekly beer sessions, which had its beginnings in RSFTPMFS’s preproduction stages.
Which reminds me of another postscript (post-mortem?):
The people who won the big awards in the NYU festival that year haven’t done much better than I have. I now live in Hollywood, as do many of my classmates from NYU. We all work day jobs to pay the bills, we all write screenplays in our free time. We get together and read one another’s screenplays sometimes. We go out for drinks and complain about our jobs and ponder whether any of us will ever direct another film.
Deep down we all still believe we will be making films again sometime soon. But the truth is time is passing and film school is receding into memory. And a few thousand more film school graduates move into town every year and compete for the same directing jobs.
NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information has teamed up with the National Museum to screen some very much older Singapore films from the 60s.
Featured are films which had reigned Singapore’s golden and most prolific film-making period:
P. Ramlee’s Seniman Bujang Lapok
Salleh Ghani’s Tun Fatimah
B. N. Rao’s Sumpah Pontianak
Hussain Haniff’s Hang Jebat
To add on, Perspectives Film Festival will also screen Singapore’s first Chinese-language film, Lion City by Yi Sui! Despite being our debut Chinese-language film, Lion City is rarely seen with its last appearance being 3 years ago at Screen Singapore 2005!
You’d think that a “school of communication and information” would come up with a better website, but here it is.
Most of these movies were made before Singapore became a nation-state of its own. Back then, almost everyone thought of themselves as “Malayan”. How meaningful is it then, to appropriate these movies as part of an ideal Singaporean film past?