Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles Partners About Us Contest
Search MX >>   powered by FreeFind

The Cine.SG Gala - 5th June 2006

Tonight marked the very first Cine Launch, a landmark event in the local cinema scene, where new films made in Singapore or by Singaporeans will have the opportunity in having them screened at the spanking new Gallery Theatre at the National Museum.

Guests made up of supporters, sponsors, local filmmakers and film fans alike, got treated to a sumptuous buffet spread at the reception, to mingle around with the director, cast and crew prior to the screening of Unarmed Combat, Cine Launch's first offering.

And director of Unarmed Combat, Han Yew Kwang, chirped throughout his opening speech,peppered constantly with humour, which was a sign of things to come in the movie. He encouraged all to relax and enjoy the light hearted film, to ask along both friends (if you enjoy the movie) and foes (if you don't) to watch Unarmed Combat, and a tongue-in-cheek plea to the audience not to leave the show midway, or at least do so by pretending to have to answer that important phone call as you leave. But the movie was was good enough to prevent anyone from really utilizing that tactic, and you can
read the review of Unarmed Combat by clicking here.

Questions and Candid Answers

Catherine Sng warmed up the shy audience with point-blank questions like "Do you like the movie, do you think it's nice?", eager to know if tonight's audience had enjoyed themselves. Yew Kwang started off the session by briefly explaining how the idea for the movie came about, from a friend who had visited Japan and had discovered an arm wrestling competition for middle aged women, and combining a news report about a woman who barged into a KTV, slapping her husband in front of his friends, for not being at home training with her.

Hence the idea was born, and in fact, a 20 minute short was made prior to developing this feature, with funding from the Singapore Film Commission's Film Incubator Programme.

Johnny Ng shared his experience as a cross dresser, including his cheeky response to his daughter that what he looked like in drag, will be exactly what she'll look like too, 30 years down the road. He had no qualms in taking up this role, and felt that beneath all the jokes and laughter, there indeed were some serious topics that this movie tried to address.

Rajan, who played Kasi in the movie, was the sole Indian character in a Mandarin movie, which made an interesting talking point. He shared that he doesn't speak Mandarin, so he started out "blur" throughout the initial shooting period. However, things got translated for him, and therefore he managed to understand the plot. He got to know director Yew Kwang when the latter approached the theatre group which Rajan was involved in, for an actor in the short film called The Call Home, and as they say, the rest is history.

Some members of the audience were amazed at Catherine's ability to keep a straight face during certain humourous scenes, but as a professional, she did what the director told her to do, and how he wanted it. And someone from the audience commented on the gender of a tom-boyish female character in the movie with regards to a certain plot point. Hmm. some things really got to be spelt out I guess?

With regards to the art direction, there was a conscientious effort in having the movie set in modern times, yet having characters dressed like the 70s and 80s, with nostalgic props used, although certain elements from modern times did betray the setting. And of course certain familiar brands ended up as subtle product placements as well, with some being really in-your-face. Let's see if you can spot these products amidst the beautiful nostalgic sets.

For those interested in the more technical issues of production, Unarmed Combat was made under the Film Incubator Programme, with a S$100K budget, half of which was in cash, and the other half in equipment and post production. Some conditions are attached to the programme, such as filming using Canon mini DV, and keeping production under 15 days (though Unarmed Combat took 19 days). Therefore most scenes had a maximum of 3 takes, and some shots had to be cut down, in order to avoid overrunning.

Besides logistical challenges, the real challenge was to get people interested, and to have it screened for an audience. They had difficulties because of the screening format - it'll be costly to convert the DV format to film, and distributors were quite reluctant to give it a go because the synopsis provided couldn't help them decide since the genre was unclear and was a mixture of arthouse and commercial elements. This of course will reduce the chances of having a film screened.

But of course, with Cine.SG, herein is a platform that could make it all possible.

For more information about Cine.SG, you can click on this link to their official website, and to find out which movies are scheduled for the months ahead. Tickets are already available through TicketCharge. Keep abreast of developments by signing up in their mailing list.

Unarmed Combat is now on at the National Museum Gallery Theatre from June 5 to 16, and June 18 at 1930hrs. Tickets from Ticketcharge, and concession rates are applicable for students, NSF, Senior Citizens and SFS members.

The Cathay Cineplex will also screen Unarmed Combat on June 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 1530hrs. Check the Cathay website for ticketing details. No concessions available.
Report: Stefan Shih | Photos : Lokman BS & Cine.sg
DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004-2006, movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.