Category Archives: film industry

What happens after the movie is made?

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.

Part I:

(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.

written by Tom Edgar, a co-author of Film School Confidential. His and his co-author’s stories are here on their website.


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?

Japanese Film Festival 2007 – tickets on sale today!

(More info on the JFF festival website:


(from Imamura Shohei’s Eejanaika)

Japanese Film Festival 2007: 15-23 Sept 2007

As with previous years, most of the screenings in the Japanese Film Festival are free — just turn up on the day of the screening. Queue numbers are given out from 10.30am on weekends and from 7pm on weekdays.

Some of the screenings are ticketed, and you can buy tickets through Gatecrash:

  • On-line at
  • Through GATECRASH Hotline: 6222-5595
  • At the Substation, all SingPost Branches & S.A.M. Kiosks.


Director-in-Focus: Imamura Shohei – one of the few directors who received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival twice in his lifetime. Best remembered for depictions of humanity at its most raw, primitive and energised level.

Actress-in-Attendance: Yoshiyuki Kazuko – collaborated with Imamura in one of their earliest films: NIANCHAN, a gritty, realistic look at poverty in a mining town. This work will be screened at the Festival along with two of Ms. Yoshiyuki’s recent films: ORIUME and GABAI GRANNY, in which she played leading roles.

Director-in-Attendance: Ichikawa Jun – one of Japan’s most acclaimed postwar directors, with an internationally established reputation for his unique film vocabulary and eloquence in depicting emotional subtleties. Three of his films (including his latest, HOW TO BECOME MYSELF) will be presented at this year’s Festival.

More info on the JFF festival website:

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)

Alfonso Cuaron’s comments on the Guardian film blog

A nice companion piece to the NYT article I posted earlier today. Alfonso Cuaron asserts that the popularity of his and his friends’ films (you know which ones) are not some kind of legitimisation of Mexican cinema.

I have a huge appreciation of backgrounds. What I have a problem with is borders. The language of cinema is cinema itself: it doesn’t matter whether it is filmed in Spanish or English or French or Japanese. The same goes for the people who make it. Yes, I’m a film-maker from Mexico. But I also belong to the world.

Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog – film: Film-makers without borders

Hear hear.

On a side note, I thought Babel was overhyped. Just because you chop up a narrative and mix up the sections to mess with the chronology doesn’t make you brilliant. Most of the edits destroyed the pacing of each section and distracted the audience. Sections were juxtaposed but without informing each other. The result? Audiences who know what’s going to happen already and have little incentive to be interested in watching characters they don’t identify with suffer.

The Tokyo sequence is the sole exception. Having the audience follow deaf-mute Chieko (played by Rinko Kikuchi)’s desperate search for communication helps save the film from falling apart under its ambition.

NYT – The Mystery of the Missing Moviemakers

The NYT asks where some promising filmmakers of the ’90s went after much-lauded debuts.

The Mystery of the Missing Moviemakers

(If you can’t access the article, it’s also available on SGFilm.)

Towards the end of the article, it suggests that Hollywood’s lack of artistic rivalry is to blame:

More than any other factor, though, Hollywood veterans cite the absence of the kind of creative ferment that coursed through the Hollywood of the 1970s, the challenge that one cinematic triumph posed to other artists.

At least that’s what Cameron Crowe, the writer and director of “Jerry Maguire,” “Almost Famous” and the more recent critical disaster “Elizabethtown” suggested, as he was leaving a recent tribute to his hero, Billy Wilder.

“There’s no community,” he said. “We need to encourage one another.” He cited the rivalry between the Beach Boys and the Beatles in the ’60s, when one group’s innovative album spurred the other to do it one better. “It’s like ‘Pet Sounds’ and ‘Sgt. Pepper’s,’ ” Mr. Crowe said. “It becomes a cycle that feeds on itself. One great work leads to another.”

There is powerful evidence of that dynamic in three ambitious, critically hailed movies in 2006 that were, in no small way, the fruit of mutual challenge and frank criticism. The films — Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Babel,” Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” and Alfonso Cuarón’s “Children of Men” — were constantly reviewed and critiqued among the three directors, who are all Mexican.

“These films are like triplets, they are sisters,” Mr. Cuarón said in a telephone interview from Mexico. (In the middle of the conversation his cellphone rang, with Mr. Iñárritu on the line. “I am trashing you as we speak,” Mr. Cuarón told him in Spanish.)

Sounds right.