7 Mar 2006

A Singapore Documentary with a Sound Bite



A heartfelt Singapore documentary that can either pass off as a tribute to the unsung heroes who entertain us with their sounds or music in some of the most inconspicuous places; or a thinly veiled sarcastic dig at the socio-political climate of an authoritarian contemporary society, Singapore GaGa succeeds by being a palate of sound clips that speaks to everyone.

It is the oft-unseen story of the lives of the minorities, outcasts or characters from the fringe of our society. Whether be it the madrasahs school girls in their tudungs (headscarves) belting out cheerleading tunes in Arabic or English during their sports day or Ying, the old man who does a wonderful rendition of tap dancing, juggling and playing the harmonica simultaneously at MRT stations, these Singaporeans continue their endeavours and unconsciously created their individual identity and what it means to be a Singaporean.

The documentary also poses pyscho-social dilemmas of being a citizen. In Margaret Leng Tan's performance of 4”33 at the HDB (government housing) void deck in which the audience is confronted with the clash of voices within our heads and the sounds of our environment, Pin Pin deftly juxtapose a shot of the MRT train door closing announcement with passengers staring blankly into space to contrast the idea of sounds.

In other instances, Pin Pin films the maker of sounds from an older and forgotten generation. We are witness to the dialect news report that caters to the elderly Singaporean Chinese. The famous ventriloquist, Victor Khoo, who has entertained children in his performances with Charlee lamented that they have yet to receive a national award despite all their years of bringing laughter to kids. Yew Hong Chow, a skilled harmonica player tells the story of how the musical instrument was sidelined.

In short, Tan Pin Pin's Singapore GaGa is one of those few Singapore films that is uniquely Singaporean; yet with a global appeal that will bring a smile to most audiences with a receptive listening sense.

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Singapore GaGa will open at the Arts House, 11 March – 16 April 2006.
Showtimes: Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday
$8, $6 (Students with ID)
Ticket Hotline:6332 6919
Official website:singaporegaga.com
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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

JBJ Is back! Report this pleasE~

The Straits Times

March 7, 2006 Tuesday

JBJ wants to pay off $600,000 debt so he can contest election

VETERAN opposition figure J.B. Jeyaretnam is making a last-minute bid to get out of bankruptcy in time for a shot at the upcoming polls.

He has applied to pay off all his debts, totalling about $600,000, to wipe his slate clean. A court hearing is set for next Tuesday.

He told The Straits Times yesterday he has enough money finally to settle the debts, which arose from defamation suits in 1996 and 1997.

Undischarged bankrupts cannot contest elections. If he succeeds, the former Workers' Party leader wants to run as an independent, possibly in a Group Representation Constituency (GRC).

'This is the whole purpose of trying to clear my bankruptcy,' he said yesterday.

Which GRC is he eyeing? 'Why not Tanjong Pagar, Ang Mo Kio or Marine Parade? You will know on Nomination Day,' he said with a broad smile. Those areas are led by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong respectively.

He has supporters to form a team for these six-member GRCs, said Mr Jeyaretnam.

If he does run, it will mark the eighth time that the 80-year-old is jumping into the election fray.

'There's a job to be done. It's not finished yet - to bring democracy to Singapore,' he said.

Mr Jeyaretnam broke the People's Action Party's 15-year total dominance of Parliament in 1981 when he won the Anson by-election. He lost the seat in 1986 after a conviction but returned to the House as a Non-Constituency MP in 1997.

His WP team, which contested Cheng San GRC then, had the highest number of votes among the losers, thus landing him the NCMP seat. He lost that in 2001 after becoming a bankrupt.

He had failed to pay damages owed to one group of creditors, the organisers of Tamil Language Week of 1995. He had defamed them in an article in The Hammer, the WP newsletter.

The other creditors include Deputy Prime Minister S. Jayakumar and four former MPs who sued him in 1996 over the same article.

He also owed sums for a defamation suit by PAP ministers for remarks he made at a 1997 rally.

His latest bid to annul his bankruptcy was made last month and a hearing was scheduled for Feb 28. He later told the High Court ahead of the hearing that he did not have the money.

But he has it now, he claimed yesterday, declining to say how he managed to raise the funds. 'It comes from up there,' he said, pointing to the sky.

He had made three unsuccessful applications previously to be discharged, offering to pay various sums less than half the amount owed.

His possible involvement could change the opposition's gameplans. The Singapore Democratic Alliance held a meeting last night, and a big opposition pow-wow later this week is on the cards.

sueann@sph.com.sg

lee hsien tau said...

Yah right.

Try living on the floor below the bugger and see how often you can get a headache.

Anonymous said...

haha yah, sounds boring anyway.

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