(Siffest stands for Singapore International Film Festival which turns 18 this year. A little above being under-age, but can’t be considered mature enough. Nice!)
This year supposed to be my, what, fifth or sixth year of experiencing Siffest? Yet there’s one thing keeps being repeated every year and you may accuse me of being ignorant or never learned from the past mistake:
extra rest or enough sleep for the next day’s 11 am show.
Because staying up late the night before would only result in waking up late the next day, and you’ve got to rush to the inaccessible Shaw Towers which takes about 30-45 minutes to reach from your place of stay. Add the mulling of Aki’s inability to find anyone up to the extra ticket he had, an anxiety over being late, the unforgivably dark cinema hall of Jade 2 that made us have to head almost blindly in searching for our seats, my first film of the fest this year turned out to be quite a mediocre, not as bad as last year’s bumpy start of Little Men though, if we talk about ‘watchable’.
Eastern Sugar (Szezon), the entry from Hungary, is being placed under time schedule that surely left its intended audience scratching their heads. An R21 (only 21 years old and above are permitted) film shown at the hour when most adults are still on the bed having hangover from the euphoria of Friday nite’s out? And the question is justified by the presence of its impossibly gorgeous cast of actors that seem to be taken out directly from any porn films.
Yet, those quality prevail in making people still turn their head and glued to the film until the end, although the film may have nothing much to boast about, except the overtly done homo-erotic tones which overlaps its half-baked story.
On the other hand, a film with quite an apparent corny title like When Beckham Met Owen made a delightful passing time activity.
Shot in digital format, the film presents an unpolished look of suburban life in Hong Kong, and this time it centers around rite passage of manhood from two school boys who embark on the quest of figuring out their sexual orientation, effortlessly.
Throw in the usual element of a girl in between the two, harsh life of lower-middle class neighborhood, the film has its charms as shown through many inside jokes that never fail to crack the audiences up. Too many of the jokes may seem to fill in the screntime of the film, leaving a forgettable abrupt ending that does not serve to be in synch with the comic potential of the film.
Still a great start after all, a fabulous encounter with an old friend who is truly a survivor of the region’s film festivals, and he’s none other than Zefri, my F-buddy whom I’m sure we’ll get to see each other more often the next days onwards.
That’s just one, more to come.