10SingaporeFilmsYouSimplyCantMiss

10 Singapore Films You Simply Can't Miss

In 2008, I was given this incredible opportunity to be a part of Asian Film Archive’s Symposium on Singapore Cinema. As a jury member of The Asian Film Archive Young Jury Awards, I had to watch almost 30 Singapore films as part of the judging.

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10 Singapore Films You Simply Can't Miss

In 2008, I was given this incredible opportunity to be a part of Asian Film Archive’s Symposium on Singapore Cinema. As a jury member of The Asian Film Archive Young Jury Awards, I had to watch almost 30 Singapore films as part of the judging.

It was a tremendous experience because I’d never thought I would say I want to stop watching movies, and because I’ve never watched such good films, such good Singaporean films.

From stories about living in HDB flats (12 Storeys) to taxi drivers dreaming about a better life in Perth (Perth), I found myself captivated by each character I watched on screen. With my new-found love for local film, I started recommending Singaporean films to my friends. Their response, save for a few, shocked me. The kindest told me that Singapore films are sub-standard and not worth their time.

That was five years ago.

Made-by-Singapore films no longer carry such a stigma, thanks to directors like Royston Tan, Anthony Chen and Tan Pin Pin. In fact, Ah Boys to Men’s success in grossing over four times of its budget is optimistic for Singapore cinema.

Here are 10 films I think you simply can’t miss.

12 Storeys by Eric Khoo

Eric Khoo’s “12 Storeys” follows the struggles and quarrels of three families living in the same HDB block. Released during a time where happy films were the norm, “12 Storeys” made a daring commentary on the underbelly of society and the Singapore government. Follow three families and their daily struggles: trying to control rebellious siblings, dissatisfaction with their standard of living and living in the shadow of their dead mother.

 

Eating Air by  Kelvin Tong and Jasmine Ng

The love story of Ah Boy and Ah Girl develops against the backdrop of gang fights, motorcycle races, and a drug deal gone bad. You’ll enjoy the wistful youth of the protagonists, the epic comic kung-fu segments, and be moved to tears by the tragic ending.

 

 

Perth by Djinn Ong

Taxi driver and part-time security guard Harry Lee wants to migrate to Perth. While trying to attain his dream, Harry becomes a driver for an escort service that gets him into unwanted trouble.

 

Singapore Dreaming by Woo Yen Yen and Colin Goh

 

The Loh family is a typical working-class family aiming for a better life, but harsh realities make it an almost impossible dream for them. This film may not be exciting, but it’s as real as any film can get. Who knows? You might see yourself in one of the characters.

 

Ah Ma by Anthony Chen

Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Afr32A2N87s
A family tries to cope as their Ah Ma lies on her death bed. The silence in Anthony’s film is deafening; it’s a very, very quiet film with minimal dialogue. Get ready your tissues.

 

Homeless FC by James Leong and Lynn Lee               

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ssu9_snmGTg                                                       
Follow a Hong Kong homeless football club as they aim to win a better life. This film by Singaporeans James Leong and Lynn Lee is a leader in its art of portraying the human spirit.                                                                                                       

                                                                         

Singapore GaGa by Tan Pin Pin

 

If you think you know all the sights and sounds of Singapore think again. “Singapore GaGa” shows you the quirkiness of Singapore’s aural landscape, and is guaranteed to make you want to find out more.                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

The Team by Ray Pang

Watch the film herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6JqHiHMNo4
"The Team” is a story about kids who set aside their racial differences for their love of soccer. Set in the 90s, this short clip is a nostalgic reminder of the time when our national football team was made up of players of different races.             

                                                                                              

Zo Gang by Jacen Tan

 

Watch the film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXNnCJeTIAs
This film might be only nine minutes but asks big questions about Singapore’s film industry and how Singaporeans view themselves. It tackles the Singaporean habit of complaining, by complaining.  

 

Cut by Royston Tan

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ssu9_snmGTg
Royston's tongue-in-cheek response to MDA making 27 cuts in his film “15” is a musical satire not to be missed. Jonathan Lim and Neo Swee Lin’s chemistry makes this short film a must watch. PS: Spot Royston’s cameo!                                                                                 

This article was originally published on ConnexionSG

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