May 27th, 2015

With cap

Avant Premiere 2015: Lasalle Graduates Film Feature

Hi people!

I was recently invited for Avant Premiere 2015 but due to my hectic work schedule in the past 2 weeks, I had no choice but to give it a miss.

Avant Premiere 2015 is an industry screening of films by the graduates from The Puttnam School of Film, Lasalle College of the Arts. I was very honoured to be invited to attend this event and naturally, I couldn't wait to check out the local works produced by our budding film-makers.

When I had to miss it, I was honestly bummed out but Lasalle was so sweet to send me a programme booklet and a thumbdrive of the films that I've missed as a souvenir. Thank you Lasalle and Shi Pei for arranging! :)

In all, there were 5 fiction films and 3 documentary films featured. Whether fiction or documentary, both genres really appealed to me and I'm honestly impressed with the way some scenes were filmed. I love how the films were so uniquely Singaporean and touched on issues that were generally hidden in mainstream society but present a very real problem in the world we live in. Some films reflect stories that we can relate to while others struck a chord in me.

In this entry, I'll be sharing my thoughts on some of my personal favourites after watching the films.

Chen Jing

Directed by Alvin Soh

The film, 'Chen Jing' looks into the prostitution issue in Singapore with its focus on lead character, Chen Jing and the story of her life as a prostitute. In order to raise more money to free herself from prostitution, she had no choice but to betray her only friend in the brothel.

This film is a winner of several awards during the premiere, with the team bagging home awards for 'Best Editing', 'Best Director of Photography', 'Best Fiction Director' and 'Best Fiction'. This was the film that made me wonder how the team was able to shoot certain scenes so realistically and how a film like this could evoke so many emotions in a person.

If I could give another award, I will give a 'Best Actress' to the female lead who did an amazing job portraying Chen Jing. Besides having to film some very challenging, intimate scenes, her expressions of sorrow, fear and learned helplessness were gripping. I wished that the film would have a happy ending but I guessed this wasn't a fairytale after all but a realistic portrayal of life - some people are truly stuck in their situation with no other way to help themselves except to resign to fate.


Directed by Cheng Chai Hong

'Harbour' shares a story about people who exist in mainstream society but who do not belong. In this film, a lonely, middle-aged lady develops a relationship with a sex doll that she stole from a shipping port that she was working at. As her relationship grows with this doll, she became increasingly paranoid with her co-workers' suspicions towards her, forcing herself to eventually set fire to the doll.

When I was reading the Director's Message from the programme booklet, I honestly thought that I would be watching a film that was on romance but I didn't know that it would take the form of an unhealthy human-doll romance. The storyline may be rather disturbing, especially of the scenes where the lady was just gazing at the creepy-looking doll on her bed or worse, trying to make out with the doll (puke). But if you ponder deeper, the storyline was truly a close look into the world of people who are very lonely and socially awkward and who prefer to seek comfort and attachment with a doll that resembled a human being but who couldn't talk back or reject them. After all, wasn't it only a few months ago that there was a news article featuring middle-aged men who stopped looking for real-life love becaue they developed attachments to their sex dolls?

'Harbour' won the 'Best Production Design' and 'Best Screenwriter' and I think the film truly deserved its awards. :)


Directed by Aloysius Koh

'Torrents' is a film that looks into familial relationships, specifically the relationship between a traditional Asian father and his young working adult son.

The story centres around father and son who were living in an old apartment where things were worn out and rainwater was even seeping through the cracks of their ceiling on a frequent basis (although in reality, I have no idea how they could get away with a persistently leaking HDB unit for so long). The son was determined to sell the house in pursuit of a better life for both of them but the father refused to move. Father and son wage a cold war with each other until a particular rainy episode that made father and son eventually reconcile and accommodate each other.

What I love about this film is how relatable it is to the viewer. Asian parents, unlike typical Western parents aren't outwardly affectionate towards their children and hardly express their feelings of love through words. They express it through subtle means, such as making breakfast for you before you go to work. The child who has been exposed to Western and modern values naturally developed a conflict with his father when their ideas and beliefs clash with one another. The child, being busy with work, also became detached from the family. While he wasn't around to spend quality time with his father, he expressed his care for his father through subtle and possibly material means, such as purchasing a new house for them.

When I watch this film, I think about my family and the other families I've seen in the past and I saw a true depiction of the interactions within a typical Asian family. So thumbs up to 'Torrents' for showcasing a film that reflects our lives and congratulations for winning 'Best Sound'.


Directed by Rave Phuah

My absolute favourite documentary was Quinn and I actually watched this documentary twice.

Quinn relates the struggles of a young couple who gave birth to a baby with deformities after a shotgun marriage. They struggle with learning how to be parents + they had to cope with their limited finances of raising a child and the potential difficulties of looking after a child who may not be able to walk properly in the future.

A film like this really teaches you that there are people in our society who are facing real struggles on a daily basis and yet they have to press on and live their life as well as they can. When you see the kind of challenges they had to go through, you can only keep your fingers crossed that nothing like that will ever happen to you in your life.

But life is unpredictable and sometimes, you are faced with situations that you have absolutely no control in. Every parent wants a beautiful and healthy child. When heaven gives you a child that has physical deformities, it forces you to make a decision on aborting or keeping the child because each decision you make changes your life forever. This film really struck a chord in me because it reminded me so much of the clients and familles that I used to work with and their constant daily frustrations that honestly made me feel limited in my capacity to help them.

Kudos to 'Quinn' for making such a great and educational film and congratulations for winning the award for 'Best Non Fiction Director'.

That's all for my wordy entry and I hope you've enjoyed reading!

Many thanks to Shi Pei and Lasalle for inviting me and also giving me an opportunity to feature the students' great works on my humble blog. :)
Ze Cartoon

Event: The Entertainer Hot Summer Nights Launch Party

Hey people!

In August last year, I featured The Entertainer mobile app on my blog and I've also been using the app since then. The Entertainer app allows you to enjoy 'Buy-1-Get-1-Free' deals when it comes to dining, leisure, body and travel services.

I've used it a couple of times when I'm out dining with my family or with friends and everyone's happy when you can share a deal with someone and half your expenses. After all, who doesn't like cost-saving deals?

The Entertainer recently launched their 'Hot Summer Nights' hotel promotion and guests were invited for the launch party yesterday night at The Bank Bar + Bistro.

The Entertainer app is currently having a 'Buy-1-night-get-1-night free' hotel deal with over 90 leading hotel partners from all over the world. This also means that if you are going on a weekend getaway to say, Bali and you are booking a hotel for 3 nights, you can get another 3 nights for free!

Isn't it amazing that you can extend your holiday stay at only half the cost?

Picture credits to The Entertainer.

The 'Hot Summer Nights' hotel promotion ends by 31 Dec 2015 so whenever you're thinking of booking a hotel accommodation in your next holiday, think about The Entertainer app! For more information on this hotel promotion, check it out here.

All Entertainer Members who have purchashed an Entertainer 2015 product can get to redeem a 'Hot Summer Nights' offer. If you're interested to become a member, you can purchase any of the Entertainer 2015 products here.

I expected myself to be alone at this party but thankfully, I bumped into familiar faces along the way and was glad for some good company.

Had an awesome time hanging out with my 5 blogger friends  - just chatting, playing games, talking nonsense and taking photos. I even made a couple of new friends along the way. It really felt like TGIF and I was happy to just unwind after my very stressful, #noworklifebalance working life in the past 2 weeks.

William also treated us to yummy pizza and truffle fries for dinner! Thank you soooo much!

We took some group photos and I love how the pictures turned out. All group photos are credited to William!

Our best photo!

This Joey catching flies with his mouth.

Funny face shot!

Meanwhile, the June holidays are coming soon so if you're thinking of going on a holiday, remember to check out the un-un-un-un-un-believable hotel deals on The Entertainer!

Goodnight all!