Chi­nese fans set for film treat from Sin­ga­pore

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS CANADA - By XUFAN xufan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s first state visit to Sin­ga­pore on Fri­day, a film fes­ti­val to cel­e­brate more than two decades of diplo­matic ties be­tween China and Sin­ga­pore, will soon be held in Shang­hai.

The 2015 Sin­ga­pore Film Ex­hi­bi­tion is ex­pected to show block­busters such as the comic tril­ogy of Ah Boys to Men, the fam­ily-themed drama Ilo Ilo and the iconic 1965.

Re­volv­ing around Sin­ga­pore’s fresh mil­i­tary re­cruits, the tril­ogy is about a rich, spoiled brat, who af­ter be­ing en­listed into the army tries to es­cape his du­ties, but later be­comes a fine soldier.

When­the sec­ond in­stall­ment, Ah Boys toMen Part Two, was re­leased in 2013, it be­came the city-state’s high­est-gross­ing film.

The third in­stall­ment, Ah Boys to Men: Frog­men, also di­rected by Jack Neo, beat Jackie Chan’s Dragon Blade and Chow Yun-fat’s Man From Ma­cao II to top Sin­ga­pore’s box of­fice dur­ing Spring Fes­ti­val this year.

Many Chi­nese movie­go­ers, who have watched the fran­chise, say the di­a­logues mix English, Man­darin, Can­tonese and a di­alect from China’s Fu­jian prov­ince, in a “pretty funny” way.

Most view­ers also found the three films use­ful in learn­ing about Sin­ga­pore’sNa­tional Ser­vice, they say.

Ilo Ilo, with its Chi­nese ti­tle di­rectly trans­lat­ing as “Mom and Dad Are Not Home”, is the de­but fea­ture of di­rec­tor An­thony Chen. Set in 1997, when most Asian coun­tries faced a financial cri­sis, the film re­flects the trou­bled lives of mem­bers of a Sin­ga­porean fam­ily and their Filip­ina do­mes­tic helper.

In 2013, the film won the Cam­era d’Or award in Cannes, mak­ing it the first Sin­ga­porean film to win one of Europe’s top cin­e­matic hon­ors.

At the Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val last year, Chen told re­porters that his child­hood ex­pe­ri­ences in­spired the mak­ing of Ilo Ilo. And the film’s rel­a­tively wide theme ap­pealed to au­di­ences every­where.

The film 1965, wo­ven with sev­eral sto­ries of im­mi­grants and na­tives in Sin­ga­pore, records the big is­sues fea­tur­ing so­cial tur­moil and race riots be­fore Sin­ga­pore’s in­de­pen­dence that year.

The five movies will be screened at Pre­miere Cine­mas in down­town Shang­hai from Nov 13 to 15.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The cast and di­rec­tor Jack Neo (cen­ter) of AhBoys­toMenPartTwo at­tend a me­dia event in Taipei.

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