Showing posts from June, 2009

here, not there

After Transformers on Wednesday, I can confidently say Here was definitely more enjoyable. It was playful and beautifully filmed, playing up the density of nature and the cold concrete of the hospital. Friends, if you are thinking of visiting the cinema today, why not spend your 90minutes and $8.50 on a film by Singapore artist and filmmaker Ho Tzu Nyen at the Picturehouse/Cathay? Warning: Spoilers ahead Here 's film-within-a-film (within-a-film...) structure is not new. But it did give rise to some interesting devices. The mockumentary and multiple "videos" made of and by the mental patients constantly shift the audience's gaze, keeping our curiosity about the screen. In one transition, the closeup of a tree outside a window blurs seamlessly into what an impressionist rendering of the image would be, a sublime moment of nature, colour and transformation that takes the viewer in. Another device of introducing each character via a shot of their signature on a consent

look and learn

the water that we (eventually) drink - photo of lower peirce by J The school holidays are coming to an end. Marianne Suresh* (13) and her cousins, Ignatius (11), Victor (10), Jacinta (8) and Julitta (6) have been spending most of it at their Grandmother's flat at Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, and clearly running out of things to do. Between helping grandma make dinner or her suggestion to Marianne to "bring your cousins to the reservoir and see the monkeys?", the latter won more votes. The reservoir is not far away. Marianne can see the mass of trees from the 10th floor corridor where her Grandmother pointed out the traffic junction where she would find the road leading to the reservoir. It was early evening last Friday when J and I bumped into their little excursion as we, too, took our bicycles to the Lower Peirce Reservoir . We cycled on the path along the periphery of the reservoir, until it ended at a little bridge that led to the golf course nearby. The famous five had also ga

spare the grandma (spoil the child)

9 lives - click for larger flickr view Y: Hey, look at this! [ points at image in the Butterflies of Singapore book .] J: What's that? Y: It's a caterpillar! You know, the young one of a butterfly...before it transforms and becomes a pretty butterfly. Duh. J: [ grunts ] Y: Anyway, the book says that in order to avoid being eaten by its predator, this caterpillar of a lime butterfly "adopts the shape and colour of bird droppings". Haha... J: Haha... Y: Caterpillar A meets his friend Caterpillar B on a leaf and says - "Hey man, what's wrong with you?" J: ... Haha, I know I know - "Hey man, what's wrong with you? You look like shit today!" J and I finished this drawing today. The idea was inspired not by our corny conversation but triggered by the monologue at the dinner table next to ours last evening. It wasn't difficult to eavesdrop, given the agitated tone of the speaker - a lady in her 30s - and the volume of her frustrations

the more (you keep) the merrier

100yen to store the world. All images by J The impulse to acquire starts with the fear of having nothing, but the impulse to collect becomes the fear of not having everything. Barbara Flanagan wrote an interesting article "To have and to hold" in last month's I.D. magazine observing the creativity and energy - particularly that of America - that goes into designing storage solutions. From the 20cm long tupperware to the 20foot wide shipping container, she reminds readers that what started as the go-west pioneers' need to stockpile for winters and that rainy day, eventually became a suburban romance of self-sufficiency in the 1950s and today's enslavement to acquiring things that are desired but not needed: New items categories of acquisition demanded new storage concepts, as items from the outside world moved inside: contractor-grade power tools, gym-quality exercise equipment, commercial kitchen appliances, hotel-scale furniture, and theme park-like lawn inflata