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  • A Land Imagined by Yeo Siew Hua won Golden Leopard

    A Land Imagined by Yeo Siew Hua won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival 2018, awarded by a jury presided by Jia Zhangke. The film also clinched the first prize at the festival’s Junior Jury Awards, plus a Special Mention from the Ecumenical Jury (for “sensitising the viewer to religious, people-related, and social values”). In addition, independent critics presented A Land Imagined’s lead actress, Luna Kwok, with the Boccalino d’Oro Prize for Best Actress.

    Ultimately for Yeo, the greatest reward for winning at Locarno is to know “that what we have achieved here is something that will form ripples and have larger implications on cinema from this part of the world”.

    “I am heartened to hear some filmmaker friends from Singapore and the region who felt that my winning the grand prize in a top festival is a sign that a larger international audience is now interested in hearing our stories and feel encouraged to make their own films. We can’t just always celebrate our thriving economy. I think it’s time people look our way and see the dedication and sophistication in our arts. But before that can happen, we need to be able to embrace our own and care for the health of our arts here. It’s a film dedicated to this land, made for my audience here, and I hope it starts a conversation – not elsewhere but here”. – Yeo Siew Hua

    Excerpts from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/yeo-siew-hua-land-imagined-locarno-film-festival-grand-winner-10633608

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  • Screen and Art Forum review A Land Imagined

    “Writer/director YEO Siew Hua and cinematographer Hideho URATA swiftly establish a film noir-style ambience as detective Lok (Peter YU) drives through a neon-lit Singapore like a latter-day Philip Marlowe or J J Gittes. City lights twinkle through the haze of tumbling rain and vast industrial landscapes are silhouetted against blood red skies. The score is jazzy, the mood is fatalistic and there is the sense that the case of one individual will reveal bittersweet truths about the state of the nation.”

    Allan Hunter, Screen

    “The mutability of territory is embedded in the very title of Yeo Siew Hua’s A Land Imagined, winner of the festival’s top prize, the Golden Leopard, which was awarded by an international competition jury led by Jia Zhangke. The film takes on the issues of land reclamation and migrant labor in Singapore via an oneiric blend of detective genre convolutions and male melodrama intimacies. Cinematographer Hideho Urata lends the film’s night scenes the lurid neon-noir aesthetics of Miami Vice, and editor (and great filmmaker in his own right) Daniel Hui delicately maintains the film’s balance between its serpentine plotline and understated political commentary.”

    Leo Goldsmith, Artforum

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  • Art Forum reviews SNAKESKIN

    “Another successful experiment in hybridization was Snakeskin, which had its world premiere at Doclisboa, following director Daniel Hui’s winning of the Revelation Prize for Eclipses at last year’s festival. Documentary is crossed with science fiction as the sole survivor of an apocalyptic cult in the year 2066 meditates, via voice-over, on interviews and footage filmed in 2014 in his native Singapore. In its unraveling narrative, this unusual, thoughtful evocation of time travel probes one of history’s most complex sites of colonialist intrigue.”

    Travis Jeppesen, Art Forum

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  • Art Review on SNAKESKIN

    “Watching Lav Diaz’s epic five hour From What Is Before (2014) is like binging on a slow-cinema version of a soap opera box set, as Diaz theatrically restages his native Philippines’ 1972 revolution. Daniel Hui’s Snakeskin (2014) similarly acts to revise the history of the director’s homeland, Singapore, ambitiously rejoicing in the medium of film as a Chris Marker-esque agent of time travel and mythmaking, complete with a reincarnated cat.”

    Justin Jaeckle at Art Review

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  • 03-FLATS on Straits Times Film Picks

    03-flats on st

     “…on the surface the film seems to be about singlehood, ageing, public housing and the female experience. But slowly, mesmerisingly , a more complex and interesting picture emerges.”

    John Lui, The Straits Times, Life! Section, Friday, November 14, 2014

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  • Review: AS YOU WERE

    “Much more interesting, at least in terms of forms of expression, is the second feature of the Singaporean Liao Jiekai, As You Were. Discovered in 2010 with Red Dragonflies, Liao revisited issues of memory and the perception of the weight of the past in the relations between people. In particular, As You Were, built in three sections that oscillate between past and present, embroider on the crisis of a relationship, where the memory of a loving childhood sweetheart does not match the misunderstanding of this. There is something Antonioni about Liao’s approach – unfathomable alienation of his character. All this, however, is filtered through an aesthetic approach (deconstruction and fragmentation of the line of the story, elegant composition of the painting, minimal dialogues, layered sound) owing its influence to recognizably contemporary Asian Masters (from Hou, Koreeda, through Weerasethakul), including the attempt to entrench the discomfort of the protagonists in the connective tissue of the socio-political Singaporean – although presumably using the obliquity and metaphor. The result is perhaps too cerebral to move, but Liao is certainly a director to keep an eye on.”

    Paolo Bertolin reviews AS YOU WERE on www.mymovies.it (google translated from Italian)

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  • Indiewire on 03-FLATS

    03-FLATS featured on Indiewire as one of the best of New Southeast Asian Cinema in Busan.

    “The use of long shots from a static camera allows ample time and space for the eye to immerse itself in the setting: to notice the type of cereal on the counter, the strange way that hangers dangle from the kitchen cabinets. Some images loom with an eerie hints of temporal imprisonment. None express the monotony of a pendulum better than a close-up on a barred window shut off from the outside and sitting just above a bland clock ticking slowly, like the lulling rhythms of the film itself. In fully entering the quotidian intrigues of what transpires inside Singaporean flats, Lei Yuan Bin demands your patience.”

     

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  • AS YOU WERE on Lianhe Zaobao

    lianhe zaobao

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