WE’RE rubbing our hands with anticipation as the countdown to the Singapore Film Festival Melbourne begins.
If you haven’t already bought your tickets, you should. And if you haven’t realised we’ve still got two pairs of tickets to give away, it’s not too late to enter our competition. (Simply email your name, age, address and phone number to email@example.com with the subject heading “SFFM”.)
Held over five days from September 4 to 8 at Greater Union and Cinema Nova, tickets are $17 each, except the Gala Night, which costs $30.
Day 1. The Gala Night on September 4 is one to go for if you’d like some red carpet action complete with Singaporean tapas, canapes and drinks.
Organisers have chosen to open the film festival with Singapore Dreaming, directed by husband and wife team Colin Goh and Woo Yen Yen. Perhaps it is because the film encapsulates so well the Singaporean psyche through the tale of a working class family coming to grips with their aspirations. The dark humour that punctuates the 105-minute long film only adds to make the story more poignant.
Day 2. Wee Li Lin’s Gone Shopping (September 5) revolves around Clara, a 40-year-old tai-tai (rich man’s wife) who faces a midlife crisis and runs to the shopping mall for refuge. It’s the only place that has ever made sense to her. And there, she crosses paths with Renu, an eight-year-old latchkey kid abandoned by her parents in the 24-hour shopping complex; Aaron, an angsty 23-year-old who would rather hang out with his mates at the mall than work; and Valentine, an old flame who is now the manager of the bed and linen section of a department store.
Together, these characters leads audiences on a journey of love, loss and lunacy through the heart of Singapore, where they find that their dreams can be bought and sold. The shopping theme is a most befitting one for a city state’s fast paced urban development that has been likened to a shopping trip – characterised by the incessant reorganisation of physical space, replacing original soils and vegetation cover, borrowing drainage ideas from Paris and buying in plants from Africa, Caribbean, Latin, Middle and Central America to “green-up” the city.
Day 3. Boi Kwong’s The Days (September 6) is based on a true story. Set in the late 1980s, it is a cautionary tale of two brothers who find themselves entangled with the underworld. In a misguided attempt to teach “Baby” (Ivan Lim) independence and offer him “protection”, Zi Long (Justin Chan) introduces him to his gang, nicknamed The Four Heavenly Kings. The decision proves costly, and throws the brothers into a world of violence and tumultuousness, which inevitably lands them behind bars.
Visit the festival website for more information about ticketing and film schedules.
Meld Magazine still has 2 double passes to the festival to give away. For your chance to win, email your name, age, address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading “SFFM”.