April 18 – 19, 2001

American Cinematheque presents...

Singapore Nights: New Films From Singapore

Sponsored by Substation Singapore and the Singapore Film Commission

Series compiled by Wahyuni A. Hadi and Andrew P. Crane.

Special Thanks: Wahyni A. Hadi/The Substation, Singapore; Kimberley Browning/Hollywood Shorts; The Singapore Film Commission.

Tickets available 30 days in advance.

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Singapore. A city, a state and a young country -- only independent from Malayasia and a host of other powers since 1965. It is the only Asian nation where English as the official language, although Mandarin and Malay do figure prominently, owing to Singapore’s multi-cultural makeup. As other Asian nations’ film industries explode, most notably Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and China, and their films are seen around the world, Singapore’s fledgling industry is just awakening. Now is the time to get in on the ground floor and explore some of these new visions in this two night showcase. Several of the filmmakers will appear in person. All films in English unless otherwise noted.

 

Wednesday, April 18, 7:30 PM

Director CheeK In Person!

CHICKEN RICE WAR, 2000, Raintree Pictures, 98 min. Dir. CheeK. A modern Romeo & Juliet love story re-framed as a comic battle between two food-stall owners in Singapore. The first feature film under the Singapore Film Commission’s "feature film investment scheme," as well as the first romantic comedy to come out of Singapore Cinema. A smorgasbord of interesting characters, showing the charm of Singapore’s people and culture. Two young lovers, one a Chan, the other, a Wong. They have eyes for each other, but as they come from families who are competing "Chicken Rice" sellers, there are obstacles aplenty in this broad, hilarious look at petty feuds. (In English and Mandarin with English and Mandarin subtitles) Plus CheeK’s "Beansprouts & Salted Fish" (1996, 6 min). A docudrama that slowly reveals a woman’s past as her present is shown. Discussion following with Director CheeK. A reception with a fusion menu will follow in the courtyard of the Egyptian.

 

Thursday, April 19, 7:00 PM

EATING AIR, 1999, United International Pictures, 100 min. Dir. Kelvin Tong and Jasmine Ng. A high-energy, rip-roaring ride through a teenage land of motorcycle gangs, loan sharks, mystery girls, neon & spiky hair. Beautifully shot in the streets, alleys and concrete canyons of Singapore’s urban environment. A recent winner in the Singapore International Film Festival 2000 Young Cinema Award, this film is the first Singapore feature film to compete at the Deauville Film Festival in France for the Lotus Award. Cast with mostly unknown newcomers, but written and directed by the main film journalist for Singapore’s biggest daily paper, Kelvin Tong and TV director/editor, Jasmine Ng, this film has been described as a motorcycle, kung-fu, love story. Kit Chan, one of Singapore’s most popular singers, appears as the "mystery girl." Jump aboard! ( In English and Mandarin with English and Mandarin subtitles). Plus Kelvin Tong’s "Moveable Feast" (1997, 14 min.) As the name implies, the many culinary loves of one man. Make sure to eat before or during this gastronomic delight. Actor Pierre Png will appear for discussion following. (*Kelvin Tong, co-writer/co-director will not be appearing as was previously announced)

 

Thursday, April 19, 9:30 PM

LA Premiere! Cast & Crew In Person!

RETURN TO PONTIANAK, 2000, Vacant Films, 82 min. Dir. Djinn. Seeing its first release in Singapore in April, this low-budget digital misadventure is set somewhere in the jungles of Malaysia. A female, horror, Asian, vampire tale. This could be the Southeast Asian version of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Starring Hiep Thi Le (HEAVEN & EARTH, GREEN DRAGON, CRUEL INTENTIONS), as an American who wishes to find the resting-place of her birth parents who disappeared in this jungle some twenty-five years ago. The ornery, mismatched group who accompanies her start out enthusiastic enough, but things go awry as they come across a Pontinak; a Malay female banshee reputed to be beautiful, but demonic as a result of the mistreatment she or her children received from the men in their lives. Woe to these travelers. Plus Royston Tan’s "Sons" (2000, 10min.) Gorgeous cinematography and a poignant universal story combine in this artful film. (In Hokkien with English subtitles) In person: Director Djinn Ong, actress Hiep Thi Le (she starred in Oliver Stone's HEAVEN AND EARTH), producer Juan Foo and the cinematographer.