Reviewed by Adrian Sim
Director: Tan Pin Pin
Writing Credits: Tan Pin Pin
Year Released: 2005
Tonight's screening of Tan Pin Pin's Singapore Gaga was very packed (15 April 2005).
Although it was a claustrophobic, neck-straining and sweaty 55 minutes, Singapore Gaga was well worth all the discomfort.
Thoroughly delightful and unpretentious, Singapore Gaga will have you swooning and guffawing through its stream of eccentricities (i.e., montages, curios, songs, characters, scenarios, etc.).
Tan Pin Pin captures everyday absurdities vividly and compassionately. Eccentricities abound. We have people on the edge of society, such as ditzy Margaret Leng Tan playing her toy piano under a Housing and Development Board flat to curious stares, the "Hello One Dollar" tissue paper seller, the "one and only" busker, and the rollicking National Day Parade Mount Everest climbing scene.
I just love the surreptitiously satirical commentary (bet it was too inconspicuous to the Singapore censors) on the falsity and silliness (the climbing and cheering scenes) of the "Singapore nationhood".
Calling Tan Pin Pin the Agnes Varda of Singapore is probably not an overstatement. I dare say Singapore Gaga is the quirkiest and quite simply the best local feature I've seen in a long long time.
This just might be a breakthrough film for Singapore overseas. Go Singapore Gaga go!