Singapore | 92 min | English, Mandarin & Hokkien | English Subtitles | HDV
- Green Chilies Audience Award (2nd), Asian Hot Shots Berlin!
- In Competition for Fipresci Award and Official Selection in Indie Power Section, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2009 (World Premiere)
- Official Selection in Singapore Panorama, Singapore International Film Festival 2009
- Official Selection in Panorama Section, Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Films 2010
“Lei Yuan Bin’s film debut is one of the most promising of Singaporean cinema, which is quietly positioning itself as one of the more vital exponents of the continuing Asian renewal.” – BAFICI 2010 Programme Notes
“An impishly enjoyable debut that is notable for being so relaxed; and this in itself is refreshing.” – Mathias Ortmann (Read the full review)
“An experimental feature… that seems like a masterpiece. ” – Stefan Shih (Read the full review)
Dreaming of a trip to Taiwan but stuck in a city they can’t seem to leave from, three young people get together to create a friendship net that would save them from their inanimate loneliness. An unsterilized black & white image, with a documentary-like gray realism, provides the setting for a series of conversations and situations that have as much everyday nihilism as religious theories bordering the ridicule. With an overwhelming contemporary spirit, and a lucid pop art cinephilia, Tsai Ming-liang and Richard Linklater come together as explicit and essential references for White Days’ main characters, but also for its director, who combines the theme of young lethargic people engaging in sharp dialog –Linkater’s slackers– with the challenging aesthetics that implies taking a wide shot and creating a universe populated by Tsai’s vanishing point. (from BAFICI programme notes)
WHITE DAYS involves three characters who are dealing with their own personal crises. The film begins with a young man, whose trip out of the country is abruptly canceled when the friend whom he was supposed to go with dies. He reconnects with his friends back home, including a religious fanatic who has just returned from a pilgrimage to Israel, and a translator who has always wanted to move out of Singapore. Through a series of mordantly funny conversations, these young people gradually realize that what faces them is not the futility of life, but rather the transience and impermanence of it.
WHITE DAYS is a slice of the lives of three young Singaporeans. The story and its characters are inspired by the dreams, hopes and fears of the actors themselves. I hope the film has captured a slice of time in their lives. Through making this film, I’ve discovered that they were all searching for something missing in their lives. Either by going for a religious pilgrimage, watching and making films, or yearning to live somewhere faraway from home. Each of their personal stories seems different on the surface, but deep down they are the same… This film is a celebration of their continuous search for the meaning and purpose in life.
Lei Yuan Bin directed WHITE DAYS (Audience Prize, Asian Berlin Hot Shots!), was the cinematographer for RED DRAGONFLIES (Jeonju), HAZE (Berlin), ONE DAY IN JUNE (Rotterdam) and the art director for SANDCASTLE (Cannes). He was mentored by film maestro Hou Hsiao Hsien at the Asian Film Academy (Pusan) and interned for Tsai Ming Liang’s VISAGE.
Country of production: Singapore
Running length: 92 minutes
Black and White; Colour
Year of production: 2009
Language: English, Mandarin, Hokkien
Original Format: HDV
Screening Format: HDCAM
Aspect Ratio: 1:1.85
Director: Lei Yuan Bin
Writers: Lei Yuan Bin, Chris Yeo
Producers: Looi Wan Ping, Tan Bee Thiam
Cinematographer: Looi Wan Ping
Editor: Liao Jiekai, Looi Wan Ping
Sound Design: Takuya Katsu
Music: Gesang Martohartono/Arief Yudhanto
Yeo Kwan Hua
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