Perspectives Film Festival 2011


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Perspectives Film Festival is an annual film event highlighting breakthroughs in cinema, organized by students from the Nanyang Technological University, and supported by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, and the Wee Kim Wee Legacy Fund.

Perspectives' focus in 2011 is to curate a series of films that were once banned or highly controversial in their country of origin, but have over time made a strong, transformative impact not only on the very people who condemned them, but also on an increasingly appreciative and understanding audience, giving them socio-cultural insights into the complex world they live in.

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Perspectives Film Festival 2011

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  2. 2. BREAKTHROUGHS IN CINEMABreakthroughs in cinema often come in the form of controversy – unorthodox techniques,original manifestoes, or radical content. Yet, with censorship regulations and politically-society often get blocked from the big screen, stuck in all the red tape.This year, Perspectives Film Festival makes a breakthrough by presenting our audiences with aopportunity to transform mindsets. We hope to encourage audiences to examine issues thatsome societies refuse or are unable to face. “...FILMS THATthey were released, they are now understood to be critical PROVIDE Aworks that have altered the political, social and cultural CONTROVERSIALfabrics of the communities that once rejected their existence. OR EXCESSIVELY INCISIVE VIEW OFPerspectives Film Festival 2011 is proud to present these SOCIETY OFTEN GET BLOCKEDenthusiast should look forward to seeing. FROM THE BIG SCREEN...” BREAKTHROUGHS IN CINEMA 1
  3. 3. FOREWORD The Blue Kite | © Fortissimo Films Aarakshan courted intense controversy inIndia for its treatment of sensitive issues related to the caste system, prompting the The Kiss infamously showeda couple locking lips on screen, scandalising conservative viewers at the time. As thefascinating)﴿ part of the medium.We must admit that we are innately curious about controversies, though we would thinktwice about creating a storm in a teacup. Yet we feel this strange and primal attractiontowards someone who does something out of the ordinary, something that poses athreat to the establishment and its rigid social and moral codes. The more controversialand tension pleasing, but because we feel the need to take sides and defend what wetruly believe in.2 PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL
  4. 4. Controversies unite as well as divide us. Similarly, controversial “THE MORE CONTROVERSIAL SOMETHING IS, THEto gain appreciation and respect for their truthful portrayal of MORE REACTIVEthe social, cultural, and political circumstances of the time. AND RILED UP WEThat cinema breaks through strongly-held taboos and sheds BECOME, NOTlight on issues societies and authorities have refused to BECAUSE WEface – this is what led to the thematic conceptualisation of FIND CONFLICTPerspectives Film Festival 2011. AND TENSION PLEASING, BUTIn our fourth year, Perspectives 2011 seeks to explore a series BECAUSE WE FEEL THE NEED TO TAKEor proved to be highly controversial in their country of SIDES AND DEFENDorigin, but have over time made a strong, transformative WHAT WE TRULYimpact not only on the very people who condemned them, BELIEVE IN.”but also on an increasingly open-minded and inquisitiveaudience, giving us socio-cultural insights into the complex world we all live in. We willKoji Wakamatsu’s Caterpillar, which won Shinobu Terajima the Best Actress at the BerlinInternational Film Festival in 2010, and Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orangewhich has been banned here for more than three decades and will be featured for the th anniversary.Organised and managed by a wonderful team of talented undergraduates from theKim Wee Legacy Fund. On behalf of the team, I would like to take this opportunity towho has in one way or another contributed to the positive realisation of our festival.medium to tackle controversial issues in ways that provoke deliberation and debate. Weit an especially meaningful experience. ETERNALITY TAN Festival Director Perspectives Film Festival 2011 BREAKTHROUGHS IN CINEMA 3
  5. 5. brief history Every year, Perspectives Film Festival seeks to bring to our audiences a different perspective on breakthroughs in cinema. What do we mean cinema’s narrative capabilities, crea ting compelling stories out of mov fabricating convincing characters ing images, that audiences loved and hated. Som reality, charging the camera with the e documented task of recording life. Others man and space, excited by the unprece ipulated time dented plasticity of the medium. With the and that challenge the status quo in form and content. In 2008, Perspectives Film Festival’s inaugural year, we explored the Golden Age of Singapore cinema – a milestone era when local cinema blossomed as a homegrown industry and made a name for itself in the region. Beautifully named The Film Lovers’ Guide to Living Well, the festival opened with Yi Sui’s Lion City Seniman Bujang Lapok our audiences a glimpse of the glory days of early Singaporean cinema. Perspectives Film Festival is run annually by students taking the Film Festival Practicum course, offered by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. With help from instructors and professional collaborators, we learn the ropes of organising and and writing for collateral, securing locations and public ising the festival.4 PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL
  6. 6. Monster Mania, the second installment to Perspectives a genre that drew both young and old, and one that people loved and kept coming back to. With a free outdoor screening of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah to open the festival, we presented audiences with a Nosferatu, the collaboration with three musical groups in Singapore to produce an original and contemporary explored and experimented with in cinema. That was also our focus for Perspectives 2010. For our third attempt at exploring breakthroughs in cinema, we between what is real and what is made-up. The documentary Waltz with Bashir feature animated documentary in cinematic history, and Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark only feature shot in an uninterrupted 96-minute carving for themselves a new space between the longstanding genres of documentary and drama.As the iences an enjoyablewe seek each year to offer our audand enriching festival that is known for curating e you enjoy Perspectivesgroundbreaking cinema. We hop the years to come!2011, and come back for more in BREAKTHROUGHS IN CINEMA 5
  7. 7. THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS Dir. Gillo Pontecorvo 1966 | Italy, Algeria | 121 min | PG | 2K Digital In Italian, French and Arabic with English subtitles The Battle of Algiers | © Casbah Entertainment Inc. SCHEDULING INFORMATION GV VIVOCITY THU 27 OCT | 9PM6 PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL
  8. 8. The Battle of Algiers was created based on events during the Algerian AWARDSAlgerian insurgents plant bombs, demonstrate in the streets, and plan Venice Film Festival Won Goldenout and dismantling the terrorists’ operation system. Filmed in a raw Lion anddocumentary style and released not long after the revolt, The Battle FIPRESCI prizeof Algiers was so realistic that audiences thought it was actual war Oscars Nominated for Best Director,the former colonists’ and soldiers’ resentment against its sympathetic Originaltreatment of Algerian insurgents. An important commentary on Screenplay, and Bestto illustrate the problems the US faced in the Iraq War. With the 50th Foreign Language Film2K Digital format. The Battle of Algiers | © Casbah Entertainment Inc.RECONSTRUCTING HISTORYBy Prof. Heitor Capuzzo, School of Art, Design and Media, NTUThe Battle of Algiers our perception to go beyond the mereexperience. The director Gillo Pontecorvo understanding of historical incident. Itpresents a vigorous display about the instead allows for a powerful and dialecticprocess of independence for Algerians immersion into the revolutionary process.from the occupying French in the 1950s. about urban guerrilla strategy in modern societies. Because of that The Battle of AlgiersWhile the French soldiers used methods of was forbidden in many countries with thetorture, the Algerians on the other hand, mislabelled status of “terrorist propaganda”.planted bombs in public spaces escalatingthe violence to the level of a civil war. rethink many recent international incidentsPontecorvo used the documentary style where violence became the answer againstin reconstructing facts with a strong the advance of neo-colonialism. In thisimpression of reality. Algerians are here the sense, The Battle of Algiersmain characters of their own history. The the past to alert us, in the present time,narrative works as a time machine allowing about our urgent need to face the future. BREAKTHROUGHS IN CINEMA 7
  9. 9. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE Dir. Stanley Kubrick In English and Nadsat, a slang invented for the novel A Clockwork Orange | © Warner Bros. SCHEDULING INFORMATION GV VIVOCITY FRI 28 OCT | 8:45PM8 PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL
  10. 10. Set in a dystopian future in Britain, this bold and satirical crime-drama AWARDSfocuses on Alex, a young, domineering delinquent whose penchant forviolence and sex leads him to be set up by his resentful gang. In prison, New York Film CriticsAlex volunteers to undergo an experimental psychological treatment Circle Awardsdeveloped by the government as a cure for all criminal problems. Alex Won Best Filmis conditioned to feel nausea in relation to violence and sex, and returns and Directorto society soon after – but is he really cured? Based on the 1962 novel Oscarsby Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange shocked audiences with its Nominated for Best Picture,in the United Kingdom, with accusations that it inspired copycat Director,crimes involving gang rape, manslaughter and adolescent violence. AdaptedHostility to A Clockwork Orange mounted, prompting Kubrick to ban Screenplay,its distribution in the UK, effectively preventing any further screenings anduntil after his death in 1999. This Kubrick masterpiece has never been Film Editingscreened commercially in Singapore. Perspectives is proud to present BAFTAs th Nominated for Best Film, Art Direction, Cinematography, Screenplay, Editing, Soundtrack A Clockwork Orange | © Warner Bros.A WORD FROM JAN HARLANJan Harlan was an assistant to the producer in A Clockwork Orange, and has worked closely with Stanley Kubrick in Eyes Wide Shut. He is Kubrick’s brother-in-law and directed a documentary about him,titled Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures.Great artists, who are critical of theirsocieties, are one of the achievements Later, the press also entered the foray asof a free and democratic society. Stanley a form of revenge against Kubrick, whoKubrick was one of them. He was a great disliked journalists. The whole hype turned A Clockwork into an uncomfortable attack on KubrickOrange, is still considered a worldwide who received many threatening letters.success, for it stands out within its genre This led Kubrick to ask Warner Bros. toas a work of art. However, it has to be said that the intenseKubrick, neither understanding nor seeing one cannot deny that A Clockwork Orangefelt that the rape scenes were excessive th anniversary, it is unfortunatebut Kubrick always felt that a rape onscreen should be shown as the vicious and relevant, now more than ever.disgusting crime is. This in fact heightened BREAKTHROUGHS IN CINEMA 9
  11. 11. SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul In Thai with English subtitles Syndromes and a Century | © Fortissimo Films SCHEDULING INFORMATION THE ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE SAT 29 OCT | 1:30PM10 PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL
  12. 12. In Syndromes and a Century AWARDSWeerasethakul explores the complex web of human relationshipsand the elliptical nature of memory, starting with the love life of a Venice Film Festival Nominated fordoctor there confesses his love for her. She, however, recalls fondly Golden Liona burgeoning relationship with an orchid breeder, who in turn seesher as no more than a friend. Later the same dialogue is reprisedwith the same characters in a starkly contemporary and urban setting,with different outcomes. Based on the love stories of Weerasethakul’smother’s and his father’s perspectives respectively. These areinterspersed with loosely connected stories, characters and meditativelong takes of their physical environment. The Thai Board of Censorsreplace the scenes with scratched celluloid in a show of resistanceagainst censorship. Syndromes and a Century | © Fortissimo FilmsINTRODUCTION TO APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKULBy Assoc. Prof. Adam Knee, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, NTUApichatpong Weerasethakul is at the pieces, moreover, did not initially havemoment probably the most globally known much of an audience in Thailand and started to develop their reputation,2010 win of the Palme D’Or at Cannes for his Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall of art cinema. It is perhaps emblematicHis Past Lives. This is a bit of a paradox, of Apichatpong’s outsider status thathowever, since he is on multiple levels an Syndromes and a Centuryoutsider to the Thai commercial and art while arguably his most accessible featuremost of those associated with the new Thai censors, for scenes perceived as irreverentcinema, which has developed since the late in their attitude towards Buddhist monks1990s, are based in Bangkok and many got and medical professionals.their training from the highly successfulThai television advertising industry.However, Apichatpong grew up in more release in Thailand—and went on to helprural northeast Thailand and received his form the Free Thai Cinema Movement against censorship with other Thai activists, intellectuals, and cineastes.and video shorts, features, and installation BREAKTHROUGHS IN CINEMA 11
  13. 13. CZECH DREAM In Czech with English subtitles Czech Dream | © Taskovski Films SCHEDULING INFORMATION THE ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE SAT 29 OCT | 4:30PM12 PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL
  14. 14. Czech Dream AWARDSstudents into young, aspiring businessmen as they launch a nationwideadvertising campaign for a hypermarket of the same name. The only Cracow Film Festivalproblem: the hypermarket does not exist. Eventually they succeed in Won Dongetting 1000 Czech citizens to turn up for the hypermarket’s opening Quixote Award – Special Mention Brusselsagainst consumerism quickly became fuel for political debate and a Europeanchannel for the citizens to vent their insecurities. In a time when the Film Festivalex-Communist republic has to decide whether to enter the European Nominated forUnion, the name “Czech Dream” also made them question – is Golden Iristhe government’s promise of a better country after joining the EUtrustworthy? Will it be another fantasy just like the hypermarket? Whilerevealing the tactics advertisers use to persuade the public, this light-their ridiculous excitement over a good discount.A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR: FILIP REMUNDAseveral other prizes at festivals in Europe and the United States. Petr Lorenc and artist Krištof Kintera, who organised a grand public opening of thepropaganda pervaded. However the GIDADIGA Supermarket, which offeredcountry is now capitalist and inundated with non-existing products. When I heard aboutcommercial propaganda. Supermarketsand shopping malls are expanding quickly,and people are spending whole weekends a script and wanted serious companies andvisiting them. Czech Dream was our artistic business professionals to be involved.response to this. We wanted to be controversial. We wanted to provoke. We succeeded in prompting the media. The international press understood what we were getting at with Czech Dream,Philosophy of Photography, we talked but the Czech media did not. Nonetheless,about the “electronic images” of our time, the Czech language today has gained a new term of expression. “Czech Dream” isan incident involving his friends, actor often used to refer to political trickery. BREAKTHROUGHS IN CINEMA 13
  15. 15. THE BLUE KITE Dir. Tian Zhuangzhuang In Mandarin with English subtitles The Blue Kite | © Fortissimo Films SCHEDULING INFORMATION THE ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE SAT 29 OCT | 8PM14 PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL
  16. 16. Set in China during Chairman Mao’s regime in the 1950s and 1960s, AWARDSThe Blue Kite conveys the impact of political movements on thefamily unit. Told through the perspective of a young boy, Tietou, Tokyo Internationalthe story portrays the evolution of his family through the course Film Festival Won Tokyo Grand Prix andCommunist China, different men assume the role of father to Tietou, Best Actressaltering the family’s dynamics and his relationship with his mother. Thecountries like Canada and the United States, allowing The Blue Kite tothe great works depicting the harsh realities of China’s history in theperiod following World War II. Tian Zhuangzhuang | © Fortissimo FilmsA STRUGGLE FOR POLITICAL FREEDOMByTian Zhuangzhuang is a fellow Fifth practice as a documentary within aGeneration Chinese Filmmaker along with narrative drama. Tian doesn’t attempt tothe likes of the better-known Chen Kaige lead the audience into taking a subjectiveand Zhang Yimou. His works have deviated angle, but simply conveys the curiosity offor a liberal approach to bold political most of us who are unfamiliar with thediscussion over blind political propaganda.In Tian’s The Blue Kite, its intended critique through his observation before personally deciding what to make of the happeningsover the decade has been restrained with depicted in The Blue Kite. Akin to theobjectivity through the witness account of Thean adolescent boy who grew up during Blue Kite is an important cinematic strugglethat time. It transcends traditional genre against restrictive state interventions. BREAKTHROUGHS IN CINEMA 15
  17. 17. CATERPILLAR Dir. Koji Wakamatsu In Japanese with English subtitles Caterpillar | © Wakamatsu Production, Inc. SCHEDULING INFORMATION THE ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE SUN 30 OCT | 4:30PM16 PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL
  18. 18. Lieutenant Kurokawa is the “god soldier” – a Japanese war hero AWARDSwho earns fame and glory for killing Chinese people in the Second Berlin Internationalhome as a war victim, deaf and mute, with all four limbs amputated Film Festivaland his face scarred with vicious burns. The burden falls on his wife, Won Best Actress,her duties as an obedient spouse in meeting with the lieutenant’s nominated forunending demands for food and sex. With Caterpillar, Wakamatsu Golden Bearof the same name, which was banned from reprinting in Japan for itstheme of sexual instinct. While the war is long past, what the audiencesees is its consequences upon those who were not at the frontline.Caterpillar is a potent critique of the nationalistic fever that grippedmilitarist Japan before the Second World War, and led the islandnation to commit terrible atrocities against its fellow Asian countries.It also examines the gender inequality that once pervaded, and tosome extent continues to exist in Japanese society today. Caterpillar | © Wakamatsu Production, Inc.CATERPILLAR: SEXPLOITATION WITH A DIFFERENCEBy Assoc. Prof. Stephen Teo, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, NTUCaterpillar is the latest opus of KojiWakamatsu, a veteran of the exploitation as a “war god”, the soldier continues hisgenre in the Japanese cinema who has existence making demands of sex on his wife who faithfully complies. Wakamatsu turns his material into deeper explorationsto describe soft-core porn movies)﴿. of human behavior preoccupied by theCaterpillar, however, resists the pinku eiga primal sex drive even if one partner iscategory although it undoubtedly carries deformed and mutilated. There is an anti-elements of the genre. On the surface, war message as well, but Caterpillar abovethere are scenes of exploitative sex, all exposes the rawness and the violence of sex. While war delivers horrible injuriesand mutilations that are par for the course on the male partner, his sex drive deliversin the genre. Set during the time of World both physical and spiritual violence on theWar II in Japan, the movie portrays a female. Wakamatsu conveys this messageyoung soldier who arrives home after in an uncompromising and thereforesuffering injuries that leave him a hump confronting manner. BREAKTHROUGHS IN CINEMA 17
  19. 19. 27 OCT THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS LOCATION TIME 9pm THURS 28 A CLOCKWORK ORANGESCHEDULE OCT LOCATION TIME FRI 29 OCT SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY LOCATION The Alliance Française TIME SAT CZECH DREAM LOCATION The Alliance Française TIME THE BLUE KITE LOCATION The Alliance Française TIME 8pm 30 OCT CATERPILLAR LOCATION The Alliance Française TIME SUN TICKETING Tickets are priced at $10 each. Students with valid IDs and senior citizens aged 60 and above can enjoy a discounted price of $8*. To buy tickets for The Battle of Algiers and/or A Clockwork Orange: RELEASE DATE BOX OFFICE WEBSITE SALE To buy tickets for Syndromes and a Century, Czech Dream, The Blue Kite and/or Caterpillar: RELEASE DATE BOX OFFICE WEBSITE SALE TELEPHONE AXS stations Now Available! Ticketbooth 62962929 Outlets** **Extra administrative charges apply. Ticketbooth outlets: Ang Mo Kio Hub, Century Square, Downtown East i-Help 18 PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL
  20. 20. VENUEGV VIVOCITY THE ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE MRT: Take the North-South Line to NS21 Newton station. Head to Exit A and follow the sheltered pathway that runs along Prudential Building and follow the signs. BUS:MRT: Take the North-East or Circle Lineto NE1/CC29 HarbourFront station. Headto Exit E. CAR:BUS: roundabout, go straight and stay on BukitCAR:escalator F. BREAKTHROUGHS IN CINEMA 19
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