'Meet-The-Filmmaker-&-Cast of Sandcastle' Event

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Hi Huneybees,
Last weekend I won a competition on InCinemas.sg's Facebook page and got a chance to Meet and Greet the Director and Lead actor of the movie "Sandcastle".

I received a free DVD for winning, full with the Director's (Boo Junfeng and Lead Actor's (Joshua Tan)signatures.

Here's some pictures from the event that day. More can be found on my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/media/set/fbx/?set=a.10150157651666254.286047.566861253.

The poster on arriving at Bras Brasah Complex.
The setting for the interview.
Director, Boo Junfeng listening attentively to the host.
Director giving instructions?
My hubby trying an arty shot.
Finally actor, Joshua Tan arrives. He came back from London for this event.
I got Joshua to sign on my DVD for me...
Yipee! Thanks InCinemas.sg, Boo Junfeng and Joshua Tan.

I took so long to write this blog entry because I wanted to watch the movie first before giving you guys my review. The synopsis:
Just prior to 18-year-old En’s mandatory enlistment into the Singaporean army, a series of events and disclosures threatens to alter his world view forever. The taste of his first romance, the death of his grandfather, his grandmother’s worsening Alzheimer’s disease, his schoolteacher mother’s affair with an uptight military commander, and En’s newfound awareness of his late father’s student activist past all contribute to his decision to reevaluate the pieces of his life before they are erased by the tides of time.

Sandcastle was screened during the Critics’ Week in the 2010 edition of the Cannes Film Festival and this was the first thing that got me attracted to this movie. Sandcastle is a family drama in which En’s relationships with his mother and grandparents are explored. The first tragedy happened when En's grandfather passed away abruptly before they are able to make their planned trip to Johor.

Without anyone to care for his Grandma who is suffering from Alzheimer, En and his mum (starring Elena Chia) decides to bring her home to take care of her and the plot thickens as more complications took place such as En getting into a relationship with a girl, Ying next door and started having sex (which disgusted his mum); his mum is having a relationship with a “grand colonel” which En disapproves of and En finding out that his dad was actually a student leader in the Communist protests in the 1950s and more.

I think what kept me glued to the screen was that the Director, Boo Junfeng, kept the movie close to everyone's heart and most of the stories were close to what he experienced. He started making the movie about Alzheimer, which his grandmother was suffering.

I witnessed my grandmother’s memory deteriorating with dementia, how it turned her into a different person during her moments of delirium, and how it affected the dynamics of my family. The original story was aimed at addressing that pain, and the moral dilemmas associated with caring for an aged family member in Singapore. However, my grandmother passed away shortly after I had finished the first draft. While dealing with her demise, it felt impossible to continue with the original thread. I decided then to shift the focus thematically away from the illness and the pain it caused, to the idea of memory, and how transient and mutable both personal memory and social memory can be. --- Boo Junfeng
I guess for local films, people tend to compare to Jack Neo's or Roystan Tan's films where everyone rants about ERP and darker sides of Singapore were made into jokes or even just pure entertainment with song and dance.

I find that Sandcastle has more depth, drama and feeling evoked while conveying the many faces of Singapore through this movie. This movie carries some universal traits that can communicate to an average Singaporean or a French lady amidst the audience in Cannes.

The movie hits a lot of right notes and is definitely one of the better local movies that I have watched so far.  It's definitely worth the trip to get the DVD and watch the movie at least once. And this DVD is the first time I see in a local DVD that they included Director's thoughts and also segments of the behind the scenes.

 You can also see an interview done by a lady called Rui-An with the director here: http://opencontours.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/nationhood-and-history-a-conversation-with-boo-junfeng/. It's very much what was dicussed in the 'Meet-The-Filmmaker-&-Cast of Sandcastle' Event and I was very happy that I was part of the event, which made me understand what's behind the movie more and tear more *SHHH*....

Christina aka Huney

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