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EATING AIR (Singapore)


Starring: Benjamin Heng, Alvina Toh, Joseph Cheong, Andy Chng, Ferris Teo, Michelle Chong, Deborah Png, Mark Lee and Kit Chan
Director: Kelvin Tong and Jasmine Ng
Rating: PG
Year Made: 1999


- Music Video
- Theatrical Trailer
- Audition Madness
- About Kelvin Tong & Jasmine Ng




Languages: English/Mandarin/Hokkien
Subtitles: Chinese & English
Aspect Ratio: 4x3 Letterbox
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 2 hrs
Region Code: 3
Distributor: InnoForm Media



A romance between opposites, Eating Air follows the lives of two teenagers during the hottest month in the history of Singapore.

For Boy, breaking into bridal shops under moonlight is as wildly exciting as taking Girl on her first motorcycle spin through the blinding fluorescent tunnels of the CTE.

For Girl, hurtling down the highway faster than the speed of sound is as intoxicatingly firghtening as wondering where Boy rushes off to every time he receives a page at midnight.

About the joys and pangs of teenage love, Eating Air seeks the delirious madness that makes 18-years-olds an age invincible to low fuels, fists and oil puddles on the road. Eating Air is about a boy, a girl, a motorbike and no brakes.


Former film critic Kelvin Tong and award-winning creative director Jasmine Ng definitely schooled the locals on how to make movies with Eating Air. Eschewing the tested formula of tired social commentary and loathsome urban alienation, the duo brought an excellent addition to the local film cinema history with a gutsy essay on male companionship, innocent love and being young.

Benjamin Heng played the role of his career as Boy, a skinny Ah Beng with wild comic kung-fu hallucinations caught between the disasters wrought by his best bike buddy Ah Gu and the love interest Girl. The directors probably wanted Alvina Toh to breathe some precociousness to the film material with her wide-eyed presence, but she did not cope well with her role, unfortunately.

However, the failings of the amateurish cast were doubtlessly anticipated by the directors, hence the story is light on the emotions and heavy on dramatic stylized scenes. The similarities and struggles precipitated by Boy’s relationship with Ah Gu and Girl are modestly highlighted through the use of recurring gestures and the erotic symbol of the motorcycle (or rather the riders’ postures atop a motorcycle) without unnecessary embellishments. Eating Air is praiseworthy because its realistic dialogue and unpretentious storyline augmented the core themes of the movie instead of detracting from them.


The Special Collector’s Edition contains the theme song music video, a breathy bittersweet number by Juliet Pang; the theatrical trailer; cast audition snippets as well as some background information for directors Kelvin Tong and Jasmine Ng.

Eighteen exceptional tracks from the movie soundtrack produced by Murmur Music are also included, running the gamut from wistful themes to loud affairs by the band formerly known as the Boredphucks to the obligatory Hokkien ballads and techno mixes. The music managed to outdo the movie here and it is the sole reason for the 5 star DVD rating.


The visual transfer faithfully reproduces the imperfections of the 1999 film and the audio track is available in Dolby Digital 2.0. By the way, the decidedly low-end technical specifications of the DVD actually added to its flavour.



Review by Lim Mun Pong


Other titles from Innoform:

. The Host

. Forbidden Siren

. Under The Same Moon

. Hell

. Ghost Valentine

. 4:30

. My Name Is Fame

. Letter

. Born to Fight

. Lizard Woman

. Chai-Lai Angels

. Helen the Baby Fox

. Love Asia

. The Commitment

. The Story of X-Circle

. Beautiful, Wonderful, Perfect

. Hit Man


This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm


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