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Monday 23rd July 07 was the media preview of the upcoming Singapore Short Cuts, which is into its 4th edition, and if the selection of what was previewed today was any indication of what's to come, then it can safely be said that audiences attending the showcase will be in for a real treat!

Presented by Zhang Wenjie, Assistant Manager of Programmes, National Museum of Singapore, and Kristin Saw, Programme Manager, Moving Images, The Substation, 6 out of 19 shorts in this edition's showcase were previewed to the media, and my personal verdict is that I've enjoyed them all, and can't wait to spend the coming Saturday afternoons soon enough to see the rest of them.

As Wenjie advocates, if anyone is interested to find out how Singapore films are like, then look no further than the talent in our local short films. As he shared, the shorts for this year's edition includes topics which are not covered in the local feature films (with reasons on returns on investment and the likes) and is high on innovation, and not to mention, experimentation. As Kristen puts it, it's not about screening award winning works. Local short films deserve an audience, especially the radical ones that continue to push boundaries. And the shorts in the preview really show that they do.

Here are some of the preview highlights

Preview Highlights

Go Work / Zo Gang
Dir: Jacen Tan
2006 / Singapore / 9 min / PG
Mandarin, Hokkien, English

Filmmaker wannabe, Ah-Tan, is sick of his day job. Join Ah-Tan on his way to work one day, as he discusses and pokes fun at local film and music, while plotting his path to become Singapore’s next great director.

This dark comedy on the difficulties of making film and music will leave you wondering about the state of the arts in Singapore!

Director’s Statement:
Zo Kang was written in two hours one afternoon. Initially, I was trying to come up with a script and had too many ideas. So I thought, why not combine them all? Ah-Tan is basically speaking out on the issues that were running through my mind.

MX Loved it for: Accurately portraying the local filmmakers and musicians’ woes in the most amusing manner. For anyone who dabbles in filmmaking before, Go Work will stick close to heart.

Bedroom Dancing / Chun Guang Dang Yang
Dir: Sun Koh
2006 / Singapore / 20 min / R21

March 2006, Singapore. A man was arrested for masturbating in his own flat. This fictional adaptation of the true story is ironically a celebration of sex.

Director’s Statement:
Chun Guang Dang Yang, when loosely translated, means ‘sexual display, or undulation’.

This film was made in reaction to a criminal case widely reported and debated in the Singapore media, of a man who was arrested and fined S$6,500 for masturbating while naked in his own flat. A woman who lives opposite and has been watching him every weekday morning reported the ‘act of indecency’. Ironically, I read about the case in the Malaysian newspaper “The Star” while on a trip to Kuala Lumpur.

When I first started to write the script, it was a film about the invasion of privacy. I had wanted to make the man into a victim, and the woman, the offender. But as I got closer to the shoot, it became clear that this film is aboutvoyeurism.

However, I didn’t want to make a negative film about voyeurism - how shameful and repressive it is. We’re allvoyeurs to some extent, and I personally enjoy watching very much. Come on, who doesn’t?

So Chun Guang Dang Yang became a film that celebrates voyeurism, and how it brings a couple closer together, despite the man being punished by the Singapore authorities for acting like a ‘pervert’.

MX Loved it for: Numerous amounts of sex scenes! See! We got your attention now. Now Now, Don’t be shy. Beside that, we loved it for the absurdity issues in the case presented and exploration of the true perversion between the voyeur and her victim.

Dir: Pok Yue Weng
2007 / Singapore / 4 min / M18

What happens to toilet graffiti when we're not looking?

Director’s Statement:
I've always been amazed and curious about toilet graffiti and the people that drew them. I like to think about how they looked like and how their lives must be. I like to think of them as lonely people, as people left out by society, but I also like to think of them as artists, seeking an audience or just a thrill.

MX Loved it for being: The Most Crude and Vulgar short of all other short films but it’s also the most hilarious and definitely an intriguing use of animated special effects.

Sunshine Singapore
Dir: Rajendra Gour
1968-72 / Singapore / 8 min / Rating TBC
No dialogue

This silent film features the sights of sunny Singapore set to music. The film captures the hopes of the young filmmaker and the beauty of a young nation, tempered by the familiarity of daily life.

Director’s Statement:
A film for everyone to see. Draw your own conclusions or just enjoy the arty film with pleasant visuals, or bathe in Singapore's sun…

MX Loved it for being: Probably the most important short film that we seen among the other shorts in the preview session. Some of the scenes captured in this short are impossible to do so as time changes our city facial structure. It’s backdated but if you take a closer look and ponder about the technology available then, you will appreciate and be amazed by the editing, filming and soundtrack scoring ability of the film director. Think of it as a time capsule which showcases the amazing capacity of films.

Katong Fugue
Dir: Boo Junfeng
2007 / Singapore / 10 min / PG

A boy with a hidden life and a mother desperately trying to reach out. This is a film adaptation of Alfian Sa’at’s short play of the same name in Landmarks: Asian Boys Volume 2.

Director’s Statement:
For every boy, girl, man and woman living a life hidden from a loved-one.

MX Loved it for being: Vague but eerily familiar and absolutely heart wrenching to watch. It felt impossible to grasp by hand but yet always, just under the skin.

Singapore Short Cuts is a celebration of local short films, so show your support by picking up the free tickets (and make sure you turn up at the door on the actual day - don't waste tickets!). We'll be there for the screenings, so see you all at the National Museum!

Venue: National Museum, Gallery Theatre, Basement
Dates: Every Saturday from 11 August to 1 September 2007
Time: 2pm
Free admission
All screenings will be followed by discussions with the filmmakers.

Sat 11 Aug / From Mon 6 Aug
Sat 18 Aug / From Mon 13 Aug
Sat 25 Aug / From Mon 20 Aug
Sat 1 Sep / From Mon 27 Aug

Free tickets to the 4th Singapore Short Cuts can be collected at the National Museum of Singapore (Stamford Visitor Services Counter) on the Monday at the beginning of the week, before each weekend’s screening. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis, and limited to four per person. Any remaining tickets will be given out at the door on the day of the screening.

Stamford Visitor Services Counter
National Museum of Singapore
93 Stamford Road
Singapore 178897
10 am till 8 pm



Sat 11 Aug, 2 pm

Flat Dreams by Eva Tang
Zo Gang by Jacen Tan
Bedroom Dancing by Sun Koh
Yesterday’s Play by Ryan Tan
A Suicide Symphony by Deng Kaile
(Films duration: 72 min. Rated R21)


Sat 18 Aug, 2 pm

Wrong Turn by Charles Lim
Tracks by Gavin Lim
superDONG by Pok Yue Weng
Fonzi by Kirsten Tan
Take Me Home A.K.A I saw jesus by Gözde and Russel Zehnder
(Films duration: 65 min. Rated M18)


Sat 25 Aug, 2 pm

A Labour of Love - The Housewife by Rajendra Gour
My Child My Child by Rajendra Gour
Eyes by Rajendra Gour
Sunshine Singapore by Rajendra Gour
(Film duration: 45 min. Rated PG)


Sat 1 Sept, 2 pm

Ah Ma by Anthony Chen
Embryo by Loo Zihan
Elefant by Willie Koh
5 Steps To Becoming An Actor by Kan Lume
Katong Fugue by Boo Junfeng
(Film duration: 64 min. Rated NC16)

Patrons are advised that a valid identity pass showing proof of age is required for all screenings.

Report: Richard Lim Jr
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