Archive for the ‘Diminishing Memories I: About the film’ Category

《悄逝的记忆》是先有英语名称,后有中文片名。  

其实这部影片的第一个暂定片名(working title),原本想过要叫做‘Moving On’

因为我知道,其实有这部影片的产生,其实也只不过是因为自己无法‘move on’

不过也不记得是什么情况下了,好像是在写影片/荣誉学位论文的计划书时,Diminishing Memories 这个字眼才蹦出来的!之后觉得这个名称比较可以更贴切地表达了这部影片的精髓,所以就想都没想,就决定了英语名称!

那么中文片名又是怎么来的呢?(有趣的是,影片也是先有英语版,才有中文版!虽然我必须承认,我的思考情感是中文的)中文片名的产生,其实也没多大困难。反而是很自然地,几乎不用多加思考地,我的脑海中即刻闪过《悄逝的记忆》。它一直以来,从来都不是‘消逝’或者是‘消失’!不过我的确有刻意想要用发音跟‘消失’相同的‘悄逝’。因为‘悄逝’有更深一层的含义,而又跟‘消失’的发音很接近,我想这样会比较好记吧!谁知反效果就是媒体很容易往往就错把‘悄逝’打成或念成‘消逝’或‘消失’了!有一次更离谱,把《悄逝的记忆》念成《消失的童年》??

所以一直都好想好好地说明中文片名——《悄逝的记忆》的含义。

‘悄’因为是悄悄地走了!无声无息地… … 

(有句诗词大意是“我悄悄地来、悄悄地走,挥一挥衣袖,不带走一片云彩”)

‘逝’而不是‘失’,因为东西可能往往失而复得,但‘逝’也指人死了!是人,当然是人!因为林厝港对我来说‘它’不只是个地方,也是个人。是至亲!所以‘悄逝’的含义——我们都没发现,是在不知不觉中,它悄悄地走了!而且不止是不见了!它还死了!人死了就不会回来了!永永远远都不会回来了!一去不返。

于是,正当我们的记忆都在逐渐地退色中,我们的村落早已经死了!既然死了,也魂飞魄散了!(在我们被逼搬迁的那一刻开始,村民都被分散后,就已注定了结果)现在只剩我们仅存的回忆,在我们拥有这些记忆的人死后,也将灰飞烟灭。所以才必须有《悄逝的记忆》这部影片的诞生… … 

Friday 5 is a regular feature of Cine.SG.
We ask the filmmaking talents involved in Cine.SG a total of 5 questions in order to give you a chance to learn more about them and their movies.

This week we speak to Eng Yee Peng, director of Diminishing Memories , screening at the National Museum of Singapore on 18th October.

Q1. You studied abroad. Did your experience living overseas lead to your nostalgia about home, and hence the making of this documentary?

Yes, very much so. As I had the experience living in a kampong – in a house with front and back yard – before moving to a flat, there’s no way I would have chosen to live in a small unit again when I studied in Australia. So it became such a luxury to live in a house again in my lifetime (not unless I leave Singapore), and the experience triggered the memories of living in a house in Lim Chu Kang.

The project started off with the concept of comparing housing in Singapore vs Australia (how little or huge the land is in these two countries, therefore limiting the choices of housing in Singapore). But before anything became concrete, I knew it had to do with Lim Chu Kang, the village I grew up in and where most of my happiest moments in life were spent. I felt a very strong and complex emotion that started to surface, so different and unique that it stood out from the other topics I was considering documenting.

Q2. Besides your own home, what do you most miss about the Singapore of your childhood and youth?

Everything in the film. What’s more I realised what I didn’t miss when I was aboard. 😉

Q3. Was it difficult to interview your own family for this documentary?

I knew what I was roughly getting into when I decided to interview my parents. However, I did not expect the extent of the impact. Making a personal film is different from making a film. Thus, interviewing your own parents is different from interviewing anyone else because your parents are not only subjects to be interviewed. Emotionally it was already very different. I don’t think I should or I could separate my role of being an interviewer and a daughter at the same time, just like I don’t think I should treat Lim Chu Kang like just any other village simply because it wasn’t just a place to me.

It was most difficult when it comes to more personal questions such as when I revealed to my mum for the first time, how I felt neglected when half of our family lived in Lim Chu Kang while the other half in Jurong for a span of six to eight months. Having said that, if not for the making of this documentary, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to raise so many questions I had wanted to ask. Some of those were still unanswered.

Q4. What did your family think about your wanting to be a filmmaker?

I wondered if they took me seriously until the film won its first award in Australia. (I knew my mum didn’t :-p hehe). But well, they did not object to it and gave all the support they could, like driving me around filming and helping me approach people from old Lim Chu Kang. I am fortunate I could follow my heart at this stage of my life and I was not forced to compromise. Not yet anyway.

Q5. Do you have plans to make a feature, and would you be keen to make another documentary, or a fiction film?

Yes and I would like to work on documentary first, then explore the combination of both fiction and non-fiction, and then fiction. Why in this order? Because I suspect I am better at dealing with something that is real and already in existence at the moment.

Furthermore, as someone new in the filmmaking scene, completing a documentary is possible by myself – of course not without some help from some people – but to make a fictional piece, I would most likely need a lot more people. As more people get involved, the final product gets "further away" from me. So I guess I enjoy the intimacy of documentary filmmaking at the moment. After all, filmmaking is a lonely process and it could get quite lonesome at some point.

Year of production: 2004-2005

Date of completion: Feb 2005

Languages: English, Mandarin, Teochew

Subtitled: English

Versions: Chinese 50mins, English 50mins, English 27mins

Shooting Format: DVCam (PAL)

Sound: Stereo

Producer, Director, Writer- Eng Yee Peng

English Scrpt Consultant- Robin Lee

Translation Consultant- Chen Chiau Hong

Video & Sound recording, editing-  Eng Yee Peng

Music Composer/Post Sound Consultant- Daniel Fournier

Animator- Carolyn Gardiner

Singapore’s economy is one of the strongest in Asia.  However, has anyone contemplated what Singapore’s prosperity has been built on?  Since 1960s, the government started resettling people from all over the country to make way for industrialisation.  Decades have now passed and villages eventually replaced by tall buildings.  Today, there are no more villages left in Singapore.  What is at stake now is the living memories of village life in Singapore are dying.  This film takes you on a personal journey with me, the filmmaker, to recollect my childhood memories of living in Lim Chu Kang, a village that has already died and its spirit dispersed. 

今天的新加坡已被发展为亚洲经济强国之一。但在几十年的迅速发展中,它的人民曾做出了怎样的牺牲?在光鲜华丽的背后,它背负着的又是什么样的代价?打从六十年代开始,新加坡政府为了经济发展而逐步展开全岛性的搬迁计划。在这过程中,居住在乡村的各个居民都被逼迁移,以便配合工业化的发展。有建设,就会有毁灭。今天,乡村在新加坡早已不复存在。于是,本片制作人通过个人式的拍摄手法,试图把观众带回到她从小生长的地方——林厝港。纵然那个村落、地方、还有属于那里的团体精神其实早已经死了,但曾经住过那里的人的记忆还没死,虽然也只是直到他们还活着的那一刻… … 可悲的是新加坡的新一代都不知道自己错过了什么。一个被毁灭了的村落,一个被强行夺走的童年,有关于乡村的所有记忆,正悄悄的消逝当中。