Monday, April 28, 2003

Hitherto, a mixed bag of films at the Singapore International Film Festival, but unfortunately there seems to be more disappointment than pleasant surprises so far. 2 films, China's Dazzling and Japan's anime A Tree of Palme have turned out to be duds. Let's hope the remaining 3 films will be good ones, well at least, ones that I like. With commercial releases like My Little Eye, Together fighting for the limited time I have now as the SIFF is going on, I seem to be living in and out of theatres as of late.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Program for this year's Singapore International FIlm Festival ( SIFF ) have began with Love at 7-11, a portmanteau Taiwanese film revolving around the love lifes of 3 different parties of people. Next came Lilya 4-ever by Russian director Lukas Moodysson, a heavy, sobering film depicting the perfidious child sex trade still very much active in the now defunct USSR. Whilst it had an urgent and important message to deliver, it was also the saddest and grimmest film I've watched in a long time. More films coming up.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Director Choi Ho's modern romance, Who Are You ?, tries to capture the essence of the N (Network) generation, Korea's young people who grew up with e-mail, instant messaging, cell phones, and the Internet in one of the most wired nations of the world. The film centers on an Internet game called "Who Are You" a sort of ultimate dating game where players pick partners and interact in a simulation of the real world. As far as romance movies go, the plot is nothing new. The role of new technology in the realm of dating is a subject that was explored in 1995's The Contact, with actor Han Seok-Gyu and actress Jeon Do-Yeon, and again in the 1998 Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks film "You've Got Mail". Who Are You? is simply the latest version, a technological update of this genre.

However, as a snapshot of today's youth, this film is highly relevant and asks some hard questions. In one scene, Hyung-tae outlines the Seoul skyline with his fingers and says that from that angle, it looks like a scene from a game, an interesting commentary on the increasingly blurred line between the real world and virtual reality.

Although the film's ending was not really to my liking, finding it lacking in a certain satisfying, emotional impact, I was nonetheless enamoured by the overall youthful and energetic feel of the story, something perhaps lacking in an essentially stolid and mundane real working world, not to mention the wonderful and romantic possibilities existing only within the walls of a deftly crafted film world. For that 100 minutes as I sat in the theatre, I wish I was living it.