2 items from 2015
A year ago, news that seven Singaporean directors were to collaborate on “7 Letters,” an omnibus film celebrating a half century of independence for the island nation, was met with incredulity, and not a little skepticism from filmmakers and the public alike.
“Everyone was expecting it to be a very rah-rah National Day Parade-type film,” says Tan Pin Pin, one of the seven directors invited to contribute to “7 Letters.” “I was shocked at how introspective it ended up being, how all of us grappled with what it means to be separate, what it means to be together.”
Indeed, the film, made with the support of Singapore’s Media Development Authority, has proven a surprise domestic hit. The premiere in July was scheduled to be followed by a short, three-day screening at the historic and recently refurbished Capitol Theatre.
When tickets were snapped up within three hours of their release, authorities immediately organized additional screenings, »
- Marcus Lim
You can’t be homesick unless you’re away from home. An anthology of shorts made by seven internationally known Singaporean helmers in response to the Lion City’s Golden Jubilee, “7 Letters” explores national identity and the concept of home, often from the vantage point of an outsider. Far from being flag-waving government mouthpieces, Eric Khoo, Jack Neo, Royston Tan, K. Rajogopal, Tan Pin Pin, Kelvin Tong and Boo Junfeng reveal facets of their society through voices that are by turns argumentative, contemplative, passionate and ironic. The highly cinematic project has garnered excellent reviews and should have long festival legs.
Supported by the Singapore Film Commission and produced by Royston Tan, the picture finds almost all its contributors celebrating their society’s multilingual, multi-ethnic fabric, but they are also uniformly nostalgic about disappearing traditions, landmarks and community values. An out-of-service train station, an old Malay song, a campy horror film, »
- Maggie Lee
2 items from 2015
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