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Under The Sun

August 30, 2010

This is a blog about the Arts, travels and random bits of life yeah?
So here’s my first post on the Arts!!

***

Last Friday I attended a Multi-disciplinary play by two friends, Filmmaker Wee Li Lin and Actor Jerry Yeo.

Presenting…

Under The Sun

A NAC Arts Creation Fund work in progress presentation

Under The Sun is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between playwright Jean Tay and filmmaker Wee Li Lin, which explores the wartime memories of two sisters, using both stage and screen elements. Their story unfolds on two levels, firstly, through a black and white silent film of the elderly sisters which depicts their lives in a sterile nursing home, even as their memories of World War II and one particular Japanese soldier return to haunt them. At the same time, scenes from their past are brought to life onstage, showing how their circumstances and the choices made in their youth eventually lead to betrayal and tragedy.

Using the concept of the benshi (Japanese performers who provided live narration for silent films in Japan in the 1930s), the project explores the boundaries between film and stage, and blurs the line between fantasy and reality, between the past and the future.

With cinematography by visual artist Charles Lim

And featuring actors Jerry Yeo, Oon Shu An, Joanne Marie Sim, Yoo Ah Min and Ng Jin Jin

I was all hyped up about the performance, not only cause of Lin and Jerry, but it’s a MULTI-DISCIPLINARY, MULTI-LINGUAL, MULTI-CULTURAL, POST-MODERN project that is filled with NOSTALGIA, all of these capitalized terms being interests of mine!

***

We all know it’s really distracting for the actors to be taking photos during an intimate showcase right? So, I’m ripping screen shots and behind-the-scenes photos from Under The Sun‘s FaceBook page instead.

Ah ma, Lin and Jerry

The lovely people I supported!

hmm… I think I’ll love Ah ma too, but unfortunately I don’t know her. She looks really cute and lovable though! Her Hokkien monologue at the end of the play was so powerful!! You could even feel the audiences’ tension levels arise within the black box. *Applause for great acting!!*~

Jerry the Japanese Soldier

Jerry’s performance was awesome too! In fact, I told Lin that the casting for this project was really good, and all the actors did a wonderful job.

I’m really impressed with Jerry’s Japanese accent, especially since I know how little time he had to prepare. This is Jerry’s first English production, and in the midst of his busy schedule (1 radio drama, 1 Chinese drama and variety show New City Beat 城人新杂志 2 on top of filming + rehearsals for Under The Sun) he got pretty nervous during pre-production. However, not only did he pull of a new accent, he managed to squeeze in some authentic sounding Japanese words too! 都告诉你,你是可以的!!

Screen Shot from Under The Sun

Here’s a scene where Jean & Lin explores a dreamscape reality of the lovers, distorted by time, where Jerry’s character continues to haunt Moi into her old age.

Being a lover of post-modern concepts like the deconstruction of time, and the blurring of boundaries, I totally dig this concept. Although, this may confuse many audiences, but one really just need to pay extra attention. Which is really worth it, because…

Banana Note

director Li Lin is a women of details! Check out at the precision of her reproduction =)

For the sake of art

She’s also a nonsense director when it comes to getting the right shots, no matter how much effort it takes!

I’m not saying this only cause I’m a friend, but I’ve worked on her set, and you’ll realize what I mean when I blog about her new feature film Forever in a couple of months…

After the performance… came the Q & A where I happily took out my camera and starting snapping pictures!!

Q & A Session

The Q&A was really engaging, and here’s a sample of some discussions brought up…

  • Choice of languages used (Hokkien, Japanese, and (both local & Japanese accented) English. How it affects the sense of reality and congruence. Also the inability of some audience to comprehend the text in full.
  • Choice of mediums: films, old Japanese animation & stage performance. How that blurs the sense of reality, the documentary VS mockumentary effects, narrative styles.
  • Pacing of the films due to overlaying of mediums.

I LOVE a thinking audience, and an intellectual dissection of art.
I think Li Lin, Jean & the cast really enjoyed the interaction too!!

Jean and Li Lin explaining their Art

Jerry and Joanne Marie focusing on an audience’s questions

As a work in development, I think both Li Lin and Jean did a great job! Am looking forward to their polished product!!

Lin, me, Joey and Jerry

Of course I wouldn’t have left without a nice pic with these awesome people yeah?

Until the next post,
keep living and loving life!!

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