Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"The Women Round Here..."

This went online a few days ago. It's actually the video from a site-specific installation at a karaoke lounge in the Bugis area which is part of the art/film tour State of Motion, mentioned in my last post. The video is by Amanda Lee Koe, a writer and poet, whose collection of short stories Ministry of Moral Panic was widely acclaimed in 2013. It's directed by Kristin Tan, whose debut film Pop Aye just opened the international section of Sundance, and picked up best international screenplay too. As far as I know, outside  the work done by Toh Hun Ping focussed on locations, this is the first time (as far as I know) that a Singaporean artist has directly 'responded' to Saint Jack. Amanda addresses the complexity of her relationship to Saint Jack as a text, while presenting a real, precious history of Bugis Street alongside Saint Jack's documentation of that storied place. It's cool, funny, provocative and I wish it were longer...

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Singaporeana in 2017

Two related events coming up incredibly soon.

Firstly a talk entitled 'The World of Saint Jack' will be at the National Library on the 7th January. This is an attempt to get away from the very general introductions to Saint Jack that I normally do and present matters relating to the film in a more informal and digressive way, without apology! So, it's a structured ramble through some alleyways and side-streets connected to the movie. There will be a revelation or two around the identity of at least one person who Jack Flowers was based on - which involves poetry (!), plus something I just noticed about the 'Jack of Hearts' Treatment, and a tribute of sorts to Pierre Cottrell and Tony Yeow.

It's actually part of an event State of Motion, which is an annual exhibition around art/film curated by Kent Chan with help from my good friend Toh Hun Ping, who you will all know from his amazing locations archive. I'd like to think that this year's theme 'Through Stranger Eyes' is inspired by the work I've done as the films they are focussing on have featured on this blog over the years, and they are showing Ring of Fury by Tony Yeow.... Talking of which:

A week later, on the 14th, Sherman Ong and myself will present Tony's Long March at the National Museum of Singapore, in a double-bill with Lost in La Mancha. It's the first time the film's been seen since the Singapore International Film Festival in late 2015, and about time too! We'll be introducing it and doing a Q&A afterwards.