Singapore International Film Festival 2002

  • Brandon Wee


The SIFF celebrated its fifteenth birthday in typical festival frenzy. Seguing into another year, the event drew intense emotions from persistent mechanical glitches and over-air-conditioned halls but also from the pleasure of having been gratified by grand moving images. Some 390 films from 40 countries shaped the spread, with spotlights on contemporary fixations: The theme of "globalisation" had an exclusive programme dedicated to filmmakers' representations of this loaded buzzword. Another catch phrase, Digital Cinema, was given further resonance with the introductory Asian Digital Film Awards plus a medley of international features 'digitised' by the proselytising logic of economy and portability. Another favourite was animation, with the invisible world of Asian animations taking centre stage, and also tributes to manga guru Tezuka Osamu and Jan Å vankmajer, a man who begrudges the animator label.Kandahar (2001), Mohsen Makhmalbaf's prescient essay on humanity opened the festival to little surprise. Although an unusually conservative narrative...