My Weekend


Graduating student Jonathan Choo, 27, will be presenting a 20-minute film titled Han as part of the ADM Show 2016 by Nanyang Technological University's School of Art, Design and Media (ADM).

The showcase, featuring final-year student projects, runs from May 6 to 15.

Choo's father, Singapore actor Zhu Houren (both left), 61, stars as a man who travels to South Korea to meet the parents of the girl whom his son killed in a car accident in Singapore.

Choo lives in a condominium in Tanah Merah with his parents, younger brother and a cousin.

What do you usually do on the weekend?

On Sundays, I go to church. Sometimes I attend a film screening at the National Museum of Singapore or indie cinema The Projector at Golden Mile Tower.

I recently watched the 2015 Hungarian drama about the Holocaust, Son Of Saul, at The Projector. You have to bear with the chairs there because they were from the original cinema, but there's a feeling of community at The Projector. I applaud the team's efforts to promote the love of cinema.

Where can we find you on weekends?

If I'm not busy with film work, I like to meet friends in Siglap. I used to live near there, so it's nostalgic for me.

There's a Malay restaurant, Mas Ayu, where I've been eating at since I was 13. It serves a dish called the nasi goreng pattaya, fried rice wrapped in egg, that I just love. I can't get the same dish with that distinctive flavour anywhere else. That's why I go there all the time. What are some of your hobbies? Recently, I've developed quite an interest in reading Singapore literature.

I've read books by O Thiam Chin, Jeremy Tiang and theatre pioneer Kuo Pao Kun - they are fantastic. I don't usually read such books - I read them for a film project that I was working on - but I was quite blown away by their talent.

I hope to have more time to read when I graduate next month. I might even adapt some of these stories into films.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

It would be somewhere as simple as Johor Baru, where I can spend less money on the same kinds of things as in Singapore.

Maybe Batam or Bintan, too. I've never been to these places. Maybe it's because they are nearby that we take them for granted.

My most recent trip was to South Korea to film Han. We spent seven days on pre-production and four days shooting.

It's hard to explain why I chose to set my film there. Han means "unresolved grief" in Korean. Koreans carry with them a certain sense of sadness that is linked to their tragic past as a nation, but they use it as a kind of motivation to overcome that sadness.

What is a good weekend?

It is one where I don't have to work. Maybe one spent overseas, somewhere with a good balance of nature and good food.

Nabilah Said

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2016, with the headline 'My Weekend'. Subscribe