Despite reaching such a venerable age, the 20th Singapore International Film Festival is far from losing steam—over 300 films from 40 countries are being featured leaving moviegoers as spoilt for choice as ever. Already underway, here are our picks of essentials are the action really begins to hot up.
Premiering is local upstart Kan Lume (The Art of Flirting) and debutante NTU student Loo Zihan’s Solos (Apr 25, 7pm, National Museum). About the relationship between a man (Lim Yu Beng, Singapore Dreaming) and a boy (the multi-talented newbie Loo Zihan), expect some hot same sex action scenes in this one.
Not all locally made productions restrict themselves to Singapore, however. Local director Khee Jin Ng has travelled all the way to China to film Feet Unbound (Apr 22, 7pm, National Museum)—a story about a young woman who traverses 5,000 km by road across Beijing, Jiangxi and Sichuan provinces, and meets six elderly army women along the way.
Pride of Asia
The diversity of this vast continent is reflected in the huge range of Asian films on offer.
One for the action junkie, Bloody Tie (Apr 29, 9:15pm, Lido) is about police corruption and crime set in Pusan. Directed by Choi Ho (Who Are You?), this could be Korea’s answer to The French Connection.
The sub-continent is not left out either, but you will not get any Bollywood flicks here. Bangladeshi film Dollhouse (Apr 29, 11am, Lido) is a story of anguish and love between two refugees as they flee the Bangladeshi War of Independence in 1971. An offering by veteran film-maker Marshedul Islam (The Alienation).
Best of the Rest
Tantalising material also sums up the other offerings at the festival.
Be prepared to don your thinking caps when watching His Big White Self (Apr 28, 7pm, National Museum). Courtesy of Nick Broomfield (Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer), a name big in the British documentary scene, this is an intriguing flick featuring the enigmatic Eugene Terreblanche—a white South African who thought the apartheid did not go far in enough in its racial discrimination.
If war is more your thing, check out The Colonel (Apr 22, 3pm, Lido) by director Laurent Herbiet. Set during the Algerian war, it is a dark portrayal of how war dehumanises people.
No festival would be complete without some heavy duty arthouse fare. Look out for Container (Apr 22, 9:15pm, Lido), Lukas Moodysson’s (A Hole in My Heart) most avant-garde film yet, as images of a cross-dressing man are voiced over by a delicate monologue courtesy of Jena Malone (The Ballad of Jack and Rose).