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FilmsAsia: Asian film reviews
Soh Yun-Huei
Dave Chua
Brandon Wee
Wong Lung Hsiang
Felix Cheong
Foong Ngai Hoe
Adrian Sim
Chris Khoo
O Thiam Chin
Lau Chee Nien
Ambient Noise
Sarhan Rashid
Ying Wuen
Ellery Ngiam
Toh Hai Leong
Toh Hai Leong, Auteur
Wong Kar Wai
The Seduction of Wong Kar Wai
Tsai Ming Liang
Lav Diaz
Mikio Naruse
Leslie Cheung
Jonathan Foo Interview
Chinese Ghosts
Assassins in Asian FIlms
Sex in Asian Cinema
Erotic Cinema of the Shaw Studios
Homosexuality in Chinese Films
My Left Eye Sees Creativity
Hollywood Remakes
Comic Book Superheroes
One League of Social Consciousness
Emerging Trends in East Asian Cinema
Postwar Korean Cinema
Decline of Hong Kong Cinema before 1997
Rise of Afghan Films
Singapore's Mini Cinema
Creating A Singapore Cinema
Why Cinema is Important to Singapore
Singapore Film Industry
Rites of Passage
Replying to Critics
Daniel Yun Interview
Singapore International Film Festival
Bangkok International Film Festival
Tokyo International Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
Writer's Block
All Tomorrow's Parties
And Also the Eclipse
Another Heaven
At Five in the Afternoon
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Bangkok Haunted
Barking Dogs Never Bite
Batang West Side
Battle Royale
Bear Hug
Beautiful Boxer
Beijing Rocks
Bend It Like Beckham
Best of Times
Betelnut Beauty
Big Durian
Big Shot's Funeral
Bird Man Tale
Blissfully Yours
Blue Kite
Bounce Ko Gals
Brighter Summer Day, A
Cafe Lumiere
Cat Returns
Chinese Odyssey 2002
City of Glass
City Sharks
Color of the Truth
Color Blossoms
Confucian Confusion
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Dark Water
Destination 9th Heaven
Divine Intervention
Double Vision
Dumlings: 3 Extremes
Enter the Phoenix
Era of Vampire, The
Eye, The
Eye 2, The
Eye 10, The
Fat Choy Spirit
Floating Weeds
Fog of War, The
Formula 17
Full Alert
Ghost in the Shell
God or Dog
Golden Chicken
Golden Chicken 2
Goodbye, Dragon Inn
Guru, The
Hana-Bi (Fireworks)
Harold and Kumar
Hidden Blade, The
House of Flying Daggers
House of Fury
House of Sand and Fog
Howl's Moving Castle
I Not Stupid
In the Mood for Love
Infernal Affairs
Infernal Affairs III
Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2
Iron Ladies 2
Isle, The
Jan Dara
Jealousy is My Middle Name
Joint Security Area
Ju-On: The Grudge (2003)
July Rhapsody
Korban Fitnah
Kung Fu Hustle
Lan Yu
Last Life in the Universe
Last Samurai, The
Legend of Zu, The
Liang Po Po
Love Letter
Lucky Number
Marry a Rich Man
Me Thao
Medallion, The
Monrak Transistor
Moveable Feast, A
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.
Musa the Warrior
My Left Eye Sees Ghosts
My Neighbors The Yamadas
My Sassy Girl
Naked Weapon
Name of a River, The
New Police Story
Nobody Knows
Nobody Knows How to be a Film Critic
One Leg Kicking
Perfect Blue
Phone, The
Ping Pong
Pirated Copy
Princess D
River, The
Road Home
Romance of Book and Sword
Runaway Pistol
S Diary
S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
Scent of Green Papaya
Seoul Raiders
Seventeen Years
Shall We Dance?
Shanghai Knights
Shaolin Soccer
Singapore Gaga
Skywalk is Gone
So-Called Friends
So Close
Someone Special
Song of the Stork
Spider Forest
Spirited Away
Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring
Stories About Love
Storm Riders
Summer Holiday
Sumpah Pontianak
Super Size Me
Surprise Party
Swing Girls
Tale of Two Sisters, A
Tears of the Black Tiger
Teenage Textbook Movie
This Charming Girl
Three: Extremes
Tokyo Raiders
Touch, The
Tree, The
Truth or Dare
Twelve Storeys
Twenty-Four Eyes
Twins Effect
Twins Effect 2
Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors
Visitor Q
Volcano High
Warriors of Heaven and Earth
Way Home, The
Welcome Back Mr McDonald
Wesley's Mysterious File
When I Fall In Love With Both
Wishing Stairs
Wolves Cry Under the Moon
Woman is the Future of Man
Women's Private Parts
World Without Thieves, A
Zombie Dog
A Time to Live A Time to Die
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by Dave Chua

Maybe it's a sign that the film industry of your nation has matured. The premier diva of the film industry, former Miss World Aishwarya Rai, is invited to serve as a member of the Cannes Film Festival jury, and gets to be the next disposable James Bond starlet, just as Michelle Yeoh did the year before.

Indian cinema hasn't had the equivalent of a big crossover hit like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but its impact is gradually being felt. Bollywood, which produces 800 movies a year, has influenced movies such as Moulin Rouge (2000), and Devdas (2002), was selected by Time Magazine as the best film of the 2002.

However, besides the lavish Indian musicals that one tends to associate with the country's film industry, India also boasts a thriving independent film that Indigo, the Indian Film Week which runs from July 10 to 16th and co-organised by the Singapore Film Society, aims to showcase.

The festival's selection is fairly eclectic. It opens with English, August (1994), the story about an educated civil servant who reads Marcus Aurelius and listens to Dylan and Miles Davis, who struggles with the bureaucracy in an Indian village. There’s Monsoon Wedding (2001), Mira Nair's bouncy, festive Venice Golden Lion winner and the antiwar documentary War and Peace (2002), which The New York Times praised as having "a riveting intelligence all its own." It depicts the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan and how the assassination of Gandhi set the stage for India's plunge into violence. Also in the selection is Dweepa/Island (2002), which explores the repercussions on a community by the construction of a dam.

Another highlight is a film recently shown at the recent Singapore International Film Festival; A Tale of a Naughty Girl (2002), the story of a prostitute's daughter who wants to escape her life she seems destined for. The festival closes with The Last Dance (1999), set in 1930s Kerala, that chronicles a love affair amongst a Kathakali troupe.

It is a diverse selection showcasing the depth and breadth of Indian cinematic offerings, with films spanning five different languages. Since it is the first festival, it's been able to plunge further into the archives of independent Indian film and come up with a fair number of distinguished films as well as lesser-known ones.

Sangeetha Madhavan, co-organiser of the festival, sees an emerging trend of the focus in Indian films turning from the rural elements that older Indian directors used to focus on, to the modern, urbane, educated Indian featured in films such as English, August. This shift has expanded the range of elements that Indian filmmakers deal with, and have attracted a wider audience worldwide.

She feels that the success of recent Indian films such as Lagaan and Monsoon Wedding have bought in people who usually don't watch Indian film and helped the current surge of interest. Moreover, the audience enjoy these "semi-Bollywood" type of films, which mix in song-and-dance elements but do not overwhelm the film. "Someone commented to me," she says, "that after 9/11, people need these kind of films that reaffirm the positive things, celebrating life and what's important. No doubt, they also do provide solid entertainment for three hours."

For next year's festival, Sangeetha hopes to have a Bollywood section so film fanatics can have a taste of both the commercial and independent aspects of India's film industry. Until then, film lovers can have a taste of the fine spread of movies featured for this year's festival. Fortunately, you can't get Delhi Belly from watching too many of them.

Tickets for Indigo, the Indian Film Festival July 11-17 2003, are S$9 (S$8 for SFS members ) and are available from 26th June at the GV Marina Square box-office, on-line at, and at AXS stations island-wide. Details of films available from Singapore Film Society website at