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


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Monday, May 23, 2016

Palace of Love

"Palace of Love" is a story of Linh, a Vietnamese mail order bride who marries Hock, a Singaporean Chinese, amid conflicting loyalty between her family in Vietnam and her marriage.

A Lasalle Production.
Producer: Engku Muhammad Iqbal 
Writer: Ho Say Peng
Director: Tang Wan Xin 

It is hard enough starting life in a new country and culture, let alone one where she does not even understand the language spoken in the home. Hock lives with his elderly mother and they speak Hokkien (a Chinese dialect), which is  totally alien to Linh (acted by Hani Binh Pham).

There must be many cases of 'Hock-and-Linh' marriages in Singapore. 

In the year 2002, Singaporean males marrying foreign brides account for 3,988  marriages, or  17.2% of all marriages

By the year 2012, the number of foreign brides had gone up to  5,599 marriages or 20% of all marriages. 

Wonder why?

Here is the trailer:

This was a difficult production for me, as I was still in the midst of an excruciating chronic pain. At times, I had to be helped to put on a  new shirt. Just stretching my arms out itself was unbearably painful. 

[I am well now. To read "How I Overcame My Chronic Pain", click here.]

The very energetic team. Besides lugging the equipment to and fro, they also dressed up an empty apartment to one that blends seamlessly to Hock's working class tastes and lifestyle. That is quite a tall order, loading up cupboards, tables, chairs, sofas...etc.


Full video...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Piano Lesson

"The Piano Lesson" is a story about a son's frustrating attempts to reconcile with his father, who is suffering from dementia and who was  once an accomplished pianist.

This is a production by three students from the United World College, South East Asia, in Singapore. Writer: Malcolm Macdonald
Director: David Boot
Sound/Editor: Geoffrey Wu

The results turned out surprisingly well. Edmund Heng (who plays the son) and I, didn't know what to expect, as the scenes were captured in very short takes. It is hard for actors to hold consistent emotions in multiple short takes, and harder for the editor to stitch together multiple short footages. Anyway, it all ended well.

It was a pleasure watching the video. Very touching. It even made me cry. This film will touch the hearts of those who have lived with someone close to them, who had suffered dementia. It is currently sent to several film festivals and hence we cannot show it here yet.

But, I have cut a trailer out of the 7 minute film, so here it is:

For other films dealing with father and son relationship, click here.

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