Home-grown film director Jack Neo took 200 Straits Times readers on a trip down memory lane at a special early screening of his new film Long Long Time Ago on Wednesday night.
At the event held at Golden Village VivoCity, readers were also treated to an intimate post-movie dialogue session with the director and actor Suhaimi Yusof.
Moderated by The Straits Times’ movie reviewers John Lui and Boon Chan, the discussion prompted much laughter as the director and actor spoke freely about how the scene featuring actress Aileen Tan retrieving worms from her children’s buttocks stemmed from their own childhood experiences.
Neo, 55, said that children were often afflicted with stomach worms in those days, due to poor hygiene standards in the kampungs.
Between chuckles, he recalled: “My brother was scratching his backside one day and my dad pulled down his pants and pulled out a very big worm.” Suhaimi, 47, piped up: “No one pulled out worms from my butt though, because I did it myself. I got a really long worm once and it was so long that it split in half. I had to dig in again to get the rest out.”
As its name suggests, Long Long Time Ago is a period piece and tells the story of a fictional family living in 1960s and 1970s Singapore.
The screening was held one night before the $6-million film officially opened in cinemas yesterday. The film shown is the first half of a two parter, with the second part opening in cinemas next month.
The free event was organised by The Straits Times in collaboration with Golden Village Pictures as part of an initiative to reward readers of this newspaper.
To take part, the readers logged on to the SPH Rewards Portal online to register for tickets on a first-come, first-served basis. All 100 pairs of the tickets were snapped up within 12 hours.
Freelance accountant Josephine Chua, 55, who won a pair of tickets, said she loved how the entire event made her reminisce about her childhood.
“The movie and talk brought back many good memories for me. I enjoyed this very much and am looking forward to seeing the second part of the movie,” she said.
After the event, readers queued to take photographs with Neo and The Straits Times’ reviewers. Film correspondent Lui said: “It was wonderful to meet and talk to Straits Times readers who enjoy films. I hope that future events will be as lively as this one.”
• Long Long Time Ago is showing in cinemas.