Film Archive

Jahr

Countries (Film Archive)

Homage Tan Pin Pin
Building Dreams Tan Pin Pin

“Building Dreams” is an eight-part history of the architecture of Singapore, whose first, second and sixth episode were directed by the architect’s daughter Tan Pin Pin.

Building Dreams

Documentary Film
Singapore
2003
24 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Xtreme Production, Arts Central
Tan Pin Pin
Goh Meng Hing
Gek Li San
Ho Weng Hin, Tan Kar Lin
Melvin Lee
Lim Kay Tong
“Building Dreams” is an eight-part history of the architecture of Singapore, whose first, second and sixth episode were directed by the architect’s daughter Tan Pin Pin. What we see here is the first instalment of the series in which some of the first local star architects are presented. Among them is Ho Kwong Yew who designed the reinforced concrete magnificence of See Guan Chiang House and the nameless treasure on the corner of Circular Road 79 (both from 1938), and Ng Keng Siang, who constructed the Asia Insurance Building (1955). There are also explanations of how a local style, a local school and finally local organisations evolved over the years. One of Tan’s comparatively sober works.

Olaf Möller

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Tan Pin Pin
Gravedigger’s Luck Tan Pin Pin

“Afterlife” was a memorable series of documentaries: five stories about living with death that confronted the audience with some truly bizarre problems.

Gravedigger’s Luck

Documentary Film
Singapore
2003
22 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
David Moggie
Tan Pin Pin
Nigel Woodford
Haruld Goh, Low Ling Hooi, Nelson Pereira
Tan Pin Pin, Jasmine Ng Kin Kia, Tammy Quah
Tan Pin Pin
LT Chan, James Choong, Yazer Aziz
David Moggie
“Afterlife” was a memorable series of documentaries: five stories about living with death that confronted the audience with some truly bizarre problems. Ashim Ahluwalia’s “Praying for Pray”, for example, is about the imminent extinction of the vultures essential to a Parsi funeral. When the series was broadcast for the first time in 2003, Tan’s second “Moving House” was shown as an extra episode. She met the protagonist of “Gravedigger’s Luck” while shooting that film: the gravedigger Ah Kow, who is sure that all those years spent with the dead are to blame for his bad luck. A kind of humoresque.

Olaf Möller

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Tan Pin Pin
Impossibility of Knowing Tan Pin Pin

No place shows whether something cruel happened there. A different kind of city tour – with Singapore’s acting axiom Lim Kay Tong, who hosted the TV Pitaval “True Files” from 2002 to 2006, as our off-screen cicerone.

Impossibility of Knowing

Documentary Film
Singapore
2010
12 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Tan Pin Pin
Tan Pin Pin
David Shiyang Liu
Grace Xiao
Jerry Teo, SoundRooom
Lim Kay Tong
No place shows whether something cruel happened there. No house looks as if a murder had happened there, no road as if someone had run over an animal there, no window and no skyscraper roof as if some suicidal person had jumped into nothingness from there, no house of God as if someone had set it on fire, no canal as if a human being had drowned there, no tunnel as if a worker had been buried alive during its construction. A different kind of city tour – with Singapore’s acting axiom Lim Kay Tong, who hosted the TV Pitaval “True Files” from 2002 to 2006, as our off-screen cicerone.

Olaf Möller

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Tan Pin Pin
In Time to Come Tan Pin Pin

What do you put in a capsule to symbolise and comprise the essence of a place and its culture in a nutshell for eternity? An essay about the fact that history is always on its way to the now.

In Time to Come

Documentary Film
Singapore
2017
62 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Shuling Yong
Tan Pin Pin
Michael Zaw, Brian McDairmant
Martyn See, Amelia Su
Jasmine Kin Kia Ng
Lim Tingli
What do you put in a capsule to symbolise and comprise the essence of a place and its culture in a nutshell for eternity? A bottle of river water, videotapes (one is labelled: “A Nation Celebrates”), the Yellow Pages … A quarter of a century later, what was contemporary or forward-looking then seems outdated but not yet historical. But are such objects really Singapore? Isn’t it the moment of stopping and waiting, the emptiness between the hustle and bustle and the silence before the noise that really speak? In short, everything that cannot be preserved? The possible as well as the discarded? An essay about the fact that history is always on its way to the now.

Olaf Möller

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Tan Pin Pin
Invisible City Tan Pin Pin

When does the history of Singapore begin? Is the only relevant part that of the city state created in 1965? At the end there’s a piece of Hegelian logic: “Anything that exists has a reason to exist.” Even the 1956 Coke bottle.

Invisible City

Documentary Film
Singapore
2007
60 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Chinese
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Tan Pin Pin
Tan Pin Pin
Ryan Seet, Tan Pin Pin
Inez Ang
Nigel Woodford
When does the history of Singapore begin? Is the only relevant part that of the city state created in 1965? How to treat the years as a crown colony, or the two years as part of Malaysia? What about the history of the left that is suppressed so aggressively? Who cares today how active the communists were in the anti-Japanese resistance? And could it be that the recordings of the botanist and occasional filmmaker Ivan Polunin (“Paradise in the Mud”, 1966), which show only the filth and stagnation of the emancipation years and the first years of independence, are embarrassing? At the end there’s a piece of Hegelian logic: “Anything that exists has a reason to exist.” Even the 1956 Coke bottle.

Olaf Möller

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Lurve Me Now

Documentary Film
Singapore
1999
4 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Tan Pin Pin
Tan Pin Pin
Beth Austin
Lars Hubrich
An extremely rarely screened example of a genre cruelly neglected by film history: the puppet porn. Barbie (voiced by Tan Pin Pin herself) is put through the works by a no longer quite young looking hand: First it slowly caresses her left leg, then it takes off her glittering high heel, gently takes away her hairbrush in order to finally open her bra and SMEAR first her nipples and then her crotch with a felt pen. Wicked! Barbie’s friend Teresa is already waiting behind the bed … Sceptical about the mental maturity of its population, the state of Singapore banned any public screening of Tan’s juvenile piece.

Olaf Möller

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Tan Pin Pin
Moving House Tan Pin Pin

The mortal remains of everyone buried at the Hock-Eng-Seng cemetery are exhumed to be moved to a columbarium. The Tan family do everything in their power to meet the demands of their deceased.

Moving House

Documentary Film
Singapore
1997
22 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Tan Pin Pin
Philip Tan
Ronnie Lee, Martin Tan
Jasmine Ng Kin Kia
Nazrinn
Remesh Panicker
The mortal remains of everyone buried at the Hock-Eng-Seng cemetery are exhumed as part of a large scale municipal construction project in order to be first reduced to a mass suitable for urns in a crematorium and then moved to a columbarium. The Tan family do everything in their power to meet the demands of their deceased, which requires geographical considerations concerning the location of the new grave as well as celebrating the necessary rituals on the spot. The government doesn’t seem to care whether the dead like this forced move. An elderly lady summarises the state’s attitude as follows: “There is no land for the living, so how could there be land for the dead?”

Olaf Möller

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Tan Pin Pin
Moving House Tan Pin Pin

Four years after her first “Moving House”, Tan Pin Pin looks at the same process: the exhumation of mortal remains. While she looked at her own family in the first version, she follows the attempts of strangers, this time.

Moving House

Documentary Film
Singapore
2001
22 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
For Live Art Television, Discovery Channel International, Discovery Networks Asia
Tan Pin Pin
Philip Tan
Jackie Ong, Ho Choon Hiong, Lucas Jodogne
Gek Li San, Daryl Burney, Hendry Keck
Tan Pin Pin
Michael Lee, Cheong Yew Mun
Remesh Panicker
Four years after her first “Moving House”, Tan Pin Pin looks at the same process: the exhumation of mortal remains. While she looked at her own family in the first version (Tan’s great-grandparents were moved then), she follows the attempts of strangers, the Chew family, this time. The most important aesthetic difference is the use of a commentator, the use of an off-screen text and thus a perspective that makes essayistic reflections possible. The sight of the columbaria, for example, evokes the housing estates where the rural population was forcibly resettled in the 1950s to 1970s.

Olaf Möller

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Singapore GaGa

Documentary Film
Singapore
2005
55 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Tan Pin Pin
Tan Pin Pin
Ryan Seet, Reu Low, Tan Pin Pin
Martyn See, Low Hwee Ling, Chia Noi Kheng
Brian Lim, Rafi Dean, Michael Lee
“Wasted days and wasted nights, I have left for you behind, for you don’t belong to me, your heart belongs to someone else.” A forlorn-looking musician with a guitar sings these words in a neurotically shimmering neon tunnel. He is the first musical eccentric we encounter in this urban symphony en miniature. Speaking of which, lots of things are small in this essay on the subject of home: Among its stars are the ventriloquist’s doll Charlee, the harmonica virtuoso Yew Hong-Chow and the piano player Margaret Leng Tan, who performs John Cage’s 4'33'' on a tiny piano. Which makes it look all the more absurd when Singapore celebrates itself with a monumental stadium spectacle.

Olaf Möller

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Tan Pin Pin
Snow City Tan Pin Pin

Singapore condensed: The opening of a street tunnel that looks like a discotheque. At the end trucks are hosed off while a Singaporean flag droops tiredly from its staff.

Snow City

Documentary Film
Singapore
2011
15 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Tan Pin Pin
Sun Koh, Inez Ang
Singapore condensed: The opening of a street tunnel that looks like a discotheque. A necktie dangles forlornly from a tree branch in a dirty piece of forest near the beach. Fragments of tiles and bricks in front of the brave new reinforced concrete world of Changi Business Park, where cubicle people pursue their lonely lives, like the polar bears in the local zoo. Diagonally above a snowman with a slightly moronic grin a sign in the Snow City artificial snow leisure park warns: Snow is slippery, please play carefully. At the end trucks are hosed off while a Singaporean flag droops tiredly from its staff.

Olaf Möller

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Tan Pin Pin
To Singapore, with Love Tan Pin Pin

All protagonists of this film have a similar story of political persecution, systematically suppressed at home by the Singaporean state – which also banned this film.

To Singapore, with Love

Documentary Film
Singapore
2013
70 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Tan Pin Pin
Tan Pin Pin
Tan Pin Pin
Delcie Poh
“T’was the 15th of February at dead of the night. They kept knocking and banging my door. I slipped quietly away but the others could not. And I know that I’d see them no more. They had taken so many, how many I know not. Well, there’s Maha and Mike and Samy and there’s Jing Quee and others, the brave and the tall. And they’re once more behind Changi wall …“

This song was written by Francis Khoo, the deceased husband of the physician Ang Swee Chai, who followed him into political exile in England. All protagonists of this film have a similar story of political persecution, systematically suppressed at home by the Singaporean state – which also banned this film.

Olaf Möller

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Yangtze Scribbler

Documentary Film
Singapore
2012
6 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Josephine Seetoh
Tan Pin Pin
Bani Haykal
David Shiyang Liu
Gek Li San
Debbie Ding documents one of Singapore’s most elusive cultures: graffiti. It was more or less by accident that she came across an especially mysterious series of drawings with numbers in the basement corridors of the Yangtze Cinema (an arthouse cinema closed in 2015, notorious in Singapore for its partiality to soft-core and erotic films). Perhaps – the place invites such assumptions – they are meant to convey a sex-related message, perhaps something else entirely. When Debbie Ding discovers another message by the Yangtze Scribbler – the handle chosen by this phantom artist – she begins to develop an obsession with his works.

Olaf Möller

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.