The ninth edition of the student-led festival brings seven films revolving around the theme of surrealism, exploring the blurred line between reality and fantasy. We pick out four foreign surrealist flicks to catch at the festival.
Oct 27, 8pm
In this stop-motion reimagining of reality, human beings are domesticated pets known as ‘Oms’ who are at the mercy of giant blue humanoids called ‘Draags’. When an Om acquires the Draags’ secrets one day, it sets loose an uprising that escalates the conflict to new heights. This animated sci-fi offering was inspired by the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, and broke convention with its depiction of the concept of ‘speciesism’: the belief that one’s species is superior to all others.
National Museum of Singapore. In French with English subtitles.
The Dance of Reality
Oct 29, 4pm
Following a 23-year hiatus, Alejandro Jodorowsky returned in 2013 with this first in a five-part autobiographical series exploring his struggle with identity while growing up in the Chilean town of Tocopilla. The project opens with an exploration of a young Jodorowsky’s relationship with his staunch Stalinist dad and loving but weak-willed mum. Grappling with growth, love, prejudice and loss, the piece provokes thought with the filmmaker’s unveiled retelling of his troubled childhood.
The Projector. In Spanish with English subtitles.
The Taste of Tea
Oct 30, 2pm
It’s a celebration of all things odd and banal in this flick, which follows the Haruno family through its ups and downs: Hajime deals with unrequited love and puberty; his father’s a hypnotherapist; his mother and grandfather embark on a film project at home; and his eight-year-old sister Sachiko becomes troubled by a giant version of herself that constantly watches her from a distance. Director Katsuhito Ishii gives mundanity a surrealist spin in this effort – in fact, the film’s regularly likened to Swedish master Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander.
National Museum of Singapore. In Japanese with English subtitles.
Oct 29, 2pm
Gender stereotypes and moral codes are overturned when two teenage friends decide to indulge in the sins of lust, gluttony and sloth (in other words, the YOLO equivalent of the ’60s). Their psychedelic rebellion results in the upsetting of social taboos while they mastermind destructive pranks. For its political undertones – Vera Chytilová’s piece explores the restrictive social structure of communist Czechoslovakia – the film was banned for a year upon completion, but won the Grand Prix at the Belgian Film Critics Association 1969.
The Projector. In Czech with English subtitles.