Perspectives Film Festival: Breakthroughs in Cinema, Singapore’s first and longest student-run film festival, celebrates its 15th anniversary with in-person theatre screenings at Oldham Theatre from 27th to 30th October 2022. With the theme “It’s Time…”, PFF22 explores the cinematic notions of time from around the world through seven films.
“This year’s festival is anchored in innovative explorations of time through form and content, testifying to the richness of film’s temporality. Our line-up delves into the various interpretations of time while catering to a diverse audience, from documentary to movie fanatics,” said Jolie Fan, Festival Director of PFF22.
Opening with Memory Box (2021), viewers will be thrown into a dizzying kaleidoscope of youthful mirth and chaos. Stumbling upon a mysterious parcel containing diaries written in the 1980s, photographs and paraphernalia, a teenage girl, Alex, pieces together her mother Maia’s secret past. Images veer from Maia’s giddy love life and her carefree days where she could dance with unbridled abandon to the Lebanese Civil War where imminent violence and national anxieties dim the shine of her youth.
The festival follows its opening night with Mariupolis 2 (2022), Il Buco (2021), Cette Maison (2022), and Ikarie XB-1 (1963) on 28th (Friday) and 29th Oct (Saturday). Released posthumously, Mariupolis 2 marks Mantas Kvedaravičius’s second and final visit to the war- stricken city of Mariupol in Ukraine. Kvedaravičius, a filmmaker and an anthropologist, was captured and killed in March 2022 by Russian forces while recording what was to become a chilling, unblinking gaze into the core of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, as experienced by the people who have little left to lose.
Il Buco (2021) is a meditative re-enactment of this subterranean expedition, Il Buco flits between images of the lush Italian plains and the sultry dark of the cave, all the while exhibiting an awareness of the relentlessly advancing metropolis beyond them. The film straddles the past and present, refusing its audience the clarity of a distinct time. The intricate sonic details Il Buco offers is a layered and textured soundscape that almost entirely eschews expository dialogue, privileging the act of listening as a form of immersive cinematic experience.
As a first-generation immigrant caught between Haiti and Quebec, director Miryam Charles uses the film to negotiate how transnational locales have shaped her identity. Her cousin’s death in 2008 serves as a harrowing backdrop that interrogates its impact through recollections and inventions with memory. Paralleling Quebec’s own struggles with independence, Cette Maison (2022) broaches complex questions on citizenship and nationalism.
Adapted from science-fiction author Stanisław Lem’s seminal work, The Magellanic Cloud (1955), Ikarie XB-1 is a Czechoslovakian film that revolves around humanity’s fictional search for aliens. The film takes place in the year 2163 when a team boards the Ikarie starship and ventures into the nearby star Alpha Centauri. Trapped by the perplexing physics of time, the explorers’ 28-month voyage stretches into 15 years on Earth – warping their conception of reality and time. Along their arduous journey in Page 4 of 5 space, the crew encounter fragments of past excursions and are forced to face different biohazards in unknown territory.
The last day, 30th Oct (Sunday) of PFF22 presents Scala (2022), a tribute to Thailand’s disappearing standalone cinemas, followed by a panel discussion with Scala’s director, Ms Ananta Thitanat and Mr Chew Tee Pao, a film archivist working at the Asian Film Archive. The festival officially closes with Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003). The panel discussion is positioned in between these two screenings to serve as a bridge as both films address the ideas of resolutions and endings, particularly the death of cinema.
“With the immense support from the film community, sponsors, and the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI), PFF22 and its team of intrepid students have once again excelled. After two online editions, it’s exciting to be back in-person, watching movies in a communal space. It has been a pleasure to witness how this course has grown over the years and I’m certain students will continue to make breakthroughs in the years to come,” said Nikki Draper, the founding faculty and course coordinator of PFF22.
Perspectives Film Festival 2022 runs from 27th to 30th October 2022 at Oldham Theatre. Tickets and more information available here
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