"Acting is the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." -- Sanford Meisner


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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ilo Ilo

The movie "Ilo Ilo" is about the relationship between a Singaporean family of three and their newly arrived Filipino maid, Teresa, who has come like many other Filipino women in search of a better life.

I got into the audition for the film that day after acting in two other productions and was really tired. A lesson I learned - no auditions on production days!

Anthony was there at the casting himself, though the part that I was going for wasn't a big part. Due to my fatigue, I don't think I did well and so got only a small part - as a friend of the lead character Teck (played by Chen Tian Wen).

In the scene, I was to walk Teck into my boss' office to demonstrate how strong laminated glass could be, only to be proven otherwise when the boss smashed it easily against the table corner - well, that is what it  looks like on reel, but on set, it was something else.

As Murphy Law has it, what normally breaks easily wouldn't do so on set and so we had to pre-cut the glass with a cutter before we smash it.  We did a few takes, the earlier ones admittedly had the usual quirks, and so were unacceptable, that is, the usual camera blocking/framing problems, the extras being too passive,...etc. But in the take before the final one, while everything seemed fine to me, it wasn't for Anthony! He rejected it because he could spot the faint cut line on the glass when we smashed it. It was a wide shot and that moving faint fine line, barely two centimetres long, gone in one second was caught in the act!!!

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I bet it would be a beautiful one, with such attention for details and  unyielding patience.

I met Anthony early this year in a film premiere and he told me that it will take some time till August 2013, before "Ilo Ilo" can be screened in local cinemas. He admitted that it is longer than usual  and joked that doing it properly is often not a good way to make money. I don't know what came to my mind then, but I told him that while others make money doing fast stuff,  those that do it properly will win it big.

A few months later, "Ilo Ilo" the movie won the prestigious Camera d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival. The first Singaporean to win it and now Singapore's favourite son.

I will be going to the Premiere on the 24th August 2013 at the Marina Bay Sands Theatre.

More about the gala evening later. :)

Meanwhile, here are some interesting clips...

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