May 6, 2009

10th may 2009 ; Eric Khoo's Be With Me

Be With Me
A film by Eric Khoo
Year : 2005
Country : Singapore
Language: Cantonese | English | Mandarin
with English subtitles
10th May 2009 ; 5.45 pm
Ashwin Hospital Auditorium

Be With Me is basically three stories intertwined by fateful connections. The base of the three stories is real life character Theresa Chan, a sixty one year old woman who was blinded at fourteen, and became deaf at twelve.

The film begins with words pecked out on an old manual typewriter: “Is true love truly there, my love? Yes, if your warm heart is.” The fingers typing them belong to Ms. Chan, who applies the question to the movie’s fictional stories, each of which involves a different generation.

There's little dialogue in most of this absorbing biography-drama hybrid by Singapore filmmaker Eric Khoo. It has three intersecting fictional story lines--a shopkeeper is haunted by his wife's memory, a security guard spends hours alone, sometimes stalking a glamorous executive who works in the building, and a teenager finds first love through an Internet chat room--and these characters' silence reflects their apartness..
Khoo believes in minimal dialogue. In fact, nobody speaks for the first half-hour or so. Rather, he tells his stories through keen observation of his characters going about their daily lives. Images of Singapore’s sleek, modern skyline crowded with anonymous, nearly identical towers accentuate the movie’s view of urban life today as a chilly, impersonal wasteland.
These three fictional tales are seemingly unrelated until they intersect haphazardly at the end of the movie. This elliptical, poetic movie is filled with yearning, humor, and warmth.
(Source: Internet)

Eric Khoo

Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo was born in 1965 and was from an early age immersed into the world of cinema. He attended City Art Institute in Sydney, Australia where he studied cinematography. Starting out with short films, a number of which have won prizes and been screened at festivals overseas. He has also produced and/or directed made-for-television film, music videos, and television advertisements. Khoo is perhaps best known for his three critically acclaimed feature films that have been invited to festivals all over the world: Mee Pok Man (1995), 12 Storeys (1995), and Be With Me (2005). Mee Pok Man won prizes not only in Singapore, but also in Fukuoka and Pusan. 12 Storeys (1997) won him the Federation of International Film Critics (FIPRESCI)

Award, the UOB Young Cinema Award at the 10th Singapore International Film Festival, and the Golden Maile Award for Best Picture at the 17th Hawaii International Films Festival. It was also the first Singapore film officially to be invited to participate at the Cannes Film Festival. Be With Me played as the opening film of the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival and has met with rave reviews.

Khoo’s films tend to explore a set of hard-hitting themes, including a sense of alienation in contemporary Singapore, nostalgia for a more humane past, and the centrality and complexity of human sexuality.

In many ways, Khoo is a public intellectual who, through his films, raises a critical awareness – uncomfortable as this may be – among his audience of their own conditions of existence, or at least of other people’s conditions of existence that they perhaps may be partly responsible for. Eric Khoo will be a pivotal name in any history of Singapore film waiting to be written in time to come.
(Source: Internet)

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