19.7.07

Invisible City --- have you seen it?

Invisible City e-flyer

To begin, I should admit my biases: I'm friends with Pin Pin and I really enjoyed her previous film, Singapore GaGa. Even though I didn't really know anything about Invisible City while she was putting it together, I went to see it with more than just an open mind --- I went with the expectation of being surprised, again, about some overlooked facet of the Singapore story (a phrase that, by the way, desperately needs to be reclaimed from where it's been boldly slapped on a fat red memoir).

Having seen the film, though, I'm not sure what to say about it. I sat down to write a "typical" film review, but I ended up waxing lyrical bloviating about this, that and the other detail in a predictably self-important but meaningless fashion that demanded immediate backspacing.

Perhaps I'll just say this: Invisible City is a very different film from Singapore GaGa. It is a quiet film, a thoughtful film, a film that invites you between the edges of a crumbling memory to see what's left within. It's unflinching at certain moments, maiden-coy at others. And it's a journey worth taking with the filmmaker to find out what we have forgotten (ironic as that sounds).

As the Singapore Heritage Fest gets underway and Singaporeans wring their hands and rend their garments over en bloc property sales and threatened 80-year-old trees, I can easily imagine Invisible City becoming pigeonholed as some kind of call to arms to save our history and heritage before it's completely obliterated. But that would be an insult to the film that it is. Watch it, watch it a little more closely, and you'll see.

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