John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

Film Picks

Army Daze (1996, PG, 93 minutes, above).
Army Daze (1996, PG, 93 minutes, above).PHOTO: THE PROJECTOR, SCUM CINEMA, SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2007 samurai epic.
2007 samurai epic.PHOTO: THE PROJECTOR, SCUM CINEMA, SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Peter Yu.
Peter Yu.PHOTO: THE PROJECTOR, SCUM CINEMA, SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

The arthouse cinema celebrates the nation's birthday with two very different Singapore movies: the military coming-of-age comedy Army Daze (1996, PG, 93 minutes), directed by Ong Keng Sen and based on Michael Chiang's theatre play; and the political allegory The Blue Mansion (2009, M18, 100 minutes), directed by Glen Goei with the screenplay from Ken Kwek.

Both make good bookends. Army Daze, released near the birth of the Singapore film renaissance, achieved mainstream success, proving that local films could work at the box office. The Blue Mansion, appearing towards the tail-end of the English-language Singapore movie trend, showed how deep into the realm of language and ideas local artists had progressed.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2019, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Subscribe