Canon DV Festival 2006 Secondary School Category
This is 2nd in a series of 4 reviews of the shortlisted films in the Canon DV Festival 2006. Read the previous review (Professional Category).
After my vision recovered from the viewing of the Professional category (those small screens can be a real strain on the eyes), I sat down with my trusty laptop to pick the next category I wanted to watch. Where to go after the Professional category? To the other end of the spectrum, of course: the Secondary School category. I’ve seen some great productions by secondary school students, and I was wondering how these would stand up.
Well, here goes.
Tang Xin Ning, Teng Yen Lin, Genere Ong
The subtitles are a little hard to read so for those viewers who aren’t too fluent in Mandarin, be prepared to squint a whole lot. The sound is out of sync too. Directing is a little inconsistent and shots feel a little amateurish, but this is a story with heart and it manages to deal rather well with the rather compelling theme of the loss of the old to make space for the new.
A very interesting and impressive experiment in stop motion animation. You may not get the symbolism of the film (not to worry, it’s all explained at the website), but it’s an intriguing piece anyway. The animation is quite amazing, considering the difficulty of stop motion animation, and the two minutes of footage is great.
Watch Boy Walking
Martin Hong Cho Ann
An interesting piece that’s a difficult premise for any director to tackle: taking three storylines and weaving them into one. It is certainly a very ambitious movie for a student to attempt. The story gets a little draggy and the symbolism just calls attention to itself a little too loudly for my liking, but as a nice little look at the fragmented nature of character, it works rather nicely. It would have been a little better if the texts that flash on the screen were a little clearer, as they’re a big part of the film.
Ong Jian Liang
You’ve got to be very impressed with this one: a 5-minute student film with special effects. It’s amusing, well put together and although the aforementioned effects won’t blow you away, it’s a very watchable film. Part mythical, part nostalgic, this one’s nice just because it doesn’t try to do too much and therefore works. All that and it’s got Gromit in it.
Brian L. Tan, Benjamin Soh
Wow, it’s Triple 9: The Student Version. No, wait. It doesn’t quite suffer from the overacting that plagued Triple 9. It’s an action/adventure/psychological thriller from the Secondary School category and it still kicks Triple 9‘s @$$. It does tend to suffer from a testosterone overdose that’s typical of Van Damme movies, which for Van Damme is fine because he’s Belgian and kicks butt, but is just funny in the Singaporean context. That said, this is great stuff. I really look forward to what this kid’s going to be able to do with a real budget. (BTW, great recycled sound effects from Counter-Strike.)
Packrat will be watching the shortlisted films in the other two categories and bringing us his viewing notes over the next six days. Watch and vote for your favourite short films in the Canon DV Festival 2006 by November 23, and you could win a Canon Powershot A430!