Right in the Heart: “Siti Vampire” (2021)

Content warning: Eating issues, body image, some blood I’ve always been a fan of supernatural dramas and wished Singapore would come up with a local response to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed and The Vampire Diaries. Recently, Siti Vampire, a Viddsee Original series by M. Raihan Halim, caught my interest for being that and more. With a sincere story, wonderful … Continue reading Right in the Heart: “Siti Vampire” (2021)

O人tation (O-“ren”-tation): How Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre’s Permanent Exhibition Negotiates Local Chineseness

One foreign ambassador asked me why it was necessary in Singapore to have both a China Cultural Centre and a Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre.I replied that it was absolutely necessary to separate the two or else there will be confusion. I suspect that he was testing me.George Yeo Asserting yourself globally is hard because countries … Continue reading O人tation (O-“ren”-tation): How Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre’s Permanent Exhibition Negotiates Local Chineseness

“Growing Up” (1996-2001) Doesn’t Think Activism is a Western Import

CW: Sexual assault Is social justice a Western import? Growing Up doesn’t think so! Remembered for its heartland wholesomeness, Growing Up is a classic 1990s family drama that charts a family’s journey alongside Singapore’s walk into the present. Through its run, Growing Up envisions methods of social engagement that spring naturally from Singaporean ground. Embedded deeply within and engaging with real local … Continue reading “Growing Up” (1996-2001) Doesn’t Think Activism is a Western Import

Looking and Knowing in “Wet Season” (2019)

Thirty spokes converge on a hubbut it’s the emptinessthat makes a wheel workpots are fashioned from claybut it’s the hollowthat makes a pot workwindows and doors are carved for a housebut it’s the spacesthat make a house workexistence makes a thing usefulbut nonexistence makes it workDao De Jing 11:1-2, Red Pine translation In his post-screening … Continue reading Looking and Knowing in “Wet Season” (2019)

“A Land Imagined” (2018): Radical Inclusion at the Borders of Being

A Land Imagined (2018) is not an easy film to watch - and I mean this in the best way possible. Loosening the structures of narrative and form, A Land Imagined demands persistence as it dissolves the boundaries of person, culture and nation. Tied into this dynamic is a difficult ethical question that everyday life evades: where does … Continue reading “A Land Imagined” (2018): Radical Inclusion at the Borders of Being

Dignity and Self-Narration in “$alary Day” by R. Madhavan (2019)

What is the ethical purpose of film in light of capitalism, migration and labour?  As the first film acted, directed and produced by migrant workers in Singapore, $alary Day offers a few ways of thinking about representing the self through the screen. Resisting the notion of the cinema as that which quietens and tames its audience, $alary Day is … Continue reading Dignity and Self-Narration in “$alary Day” by R. Madhavan (2019)

The Ghosts on the Screen – “Stranger Things” (2019) by Nigel Cheah & Royal Estate

Time flies, never to be recalled, and so does the tunnel that carries my car into the night. Yet, perhaps against my better judgment, I cannot resist looking backwards. "Stranger Things" by Nigel Cheah and Royal Estate is an attempt at resisting the growing distance between the man I am now and the boy I … Continue reading The Ghosts on the Screen – “Stranger Things” (2019) by Nigel Cheah & Royal Estate