31 December 2003

The Year in One Minute

(or 1 minute and 15 seconds)

I had the honour of getting the Video Renegades' film shown at Zouk yesterday. On the whole, I think the audience liked it. Then again, it's rare to see a non-abstract, non-experimental short film. I can't remember the last local short film that had an overt commentary on current affairs. The mainstream attitude is "We're Singaporeans, no politics, please."

A One Minute Review for a One Minute Film

The agenda was simple: the Video Renegades are a recently-formed association of underground filmmakers who have taken to refine their skills at producing short films on shoestring budgets.

"The Graduate" was shot in one day (4 hours, in fact), the props cost less than $5, and the humour in it is probably priceless.

When we made this film in February as a tribute to the tenacity of Singaporeans in this annus horribilus, we didn't expect the film to get more and more relevant as the months went by.

For one, the $1.99 Shop line announced its closure a month after we shot the film at its Far East branch (and with it, went our hopes of getting that shop to bless our film). Then, more and more grads remained unemployed... and our leaders said we should be more price-competitive with the workers in China. Of course, they never managed to get our wages cut to $1.88 an hour, but I suspect they're still plotting.

And yet, no matter how lousy this year was, we must agree that excessive misfortune becomes, all too easily, the blackest and funniest of comedies, especially if all this misfortune takes place in everday life, around us.

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