Singapore Gaga

Just a few quick words … Waikay’s in the process of doing a follow up on the local film industry, but since it’s going to be awhile before he completes it, I thought I’ll say a few words first.

Singapore Gaga just started screening yesterday, at The Arts House. It’s a local documentary about an hour long by Director Tan Pin Pin. She started the project with the intentions of recording ‘Sounds of Singapore’, but it ultimately evolved into a documentary about it. You’ll be amazed as to how much we miss happening around us, just because too often we don’t stop and listen, or even when we stop, we don’t listen.

If you are interested in watching something different, do check out their website for more details.


from left to right:
moderator, margaret, director tan pin pin

One Response to “Singapore Gaga”

  1. Achikannoo Govindaraju Says:

    I saw the documentary by Tan Pin Pin. While I admire and applaud her for her efforts at producing a documentary on her own, the quality of the documentary is really not what it has been made out to be.

    She has sensitively identified some interesting facets of Singapore life – like the girl who sings her song and sells tissues, and the old man who peddles his talent in juggling and tapping his feet, the harmonica teacher – the execution however leaves one disappointed.

    The execution – it’s meant to have that film verite feel. But even verite films have a certain aesthetic discipline about them – its not like anything goes which is what happens in her shooting style and editing techniques – we see bad takes at times, we dont see bad takes at other times; we see interviewer in shot, we dont see interviewer after that; we hear interviewer voiceover at times, then its a straight cut to interview soundbites. It’s all quite messy.

    Even the rather “poignant” parts about the tissue girl and the tap dancing juggler can be seen to be rather sardonic and even offensive to some people. Why interprete these people in such pitiable conditions? Are we being condescending? These are just a few points only. Think about it.

    I have seen numerous other wonderfully crafted and sensitively portrayed documentaries by TCS (now Mediacorp) that never received the ga-ga attention this documentary has received.

    However I congratulate the producer and wish her well for her courage in undertaking this documentary.

    Achikannoo Govindaraju

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