Diptych (noun) A painting, especially an altarpiece, on two hinged wooden panels which may be closed like a book.

Image Credit: Still from Himala (Miracle)

Ingenious. Curators, Philip Cheah and Teo Swee Leng, together with the Gallery’s lovely film programmer, Pauline Soh, have lifted film beyond film.

Let me explain.

The Gallery has a film series called Painting with Light: Southeast Asian Film Series.

Why do I say “beyond film” and called this post “Diptych of Film”?

“Painting with Light” is held over the first weekend of every month – Saturday and Sunday. Two films – diptych – paired very deliberately over the weekend. I guess much like how a gourmand pairs food, wine, table setting, etc. to enhance the entire dining experience.

Philip is obviously passionate about film – specifically Asian film. I admire a person with passion, focus and actually doing something. Read about him here.

The first two films were screened on 5th and 6th of March. I watched both of them.

Quick details on both (click the title for synopsis and details):

GURINDAM JIWA (SONNETS OF THE SOUL), 1965, 84 minutes

Director: M Amin

TEMPORARY VISA, 2016, 124 minutes

Director: Ghazi Alqudcy

Very cleverly paired.

One movie is from the past (Saturday), the other from the present (Sunday). Both films are from the same national cinema and explore the same subject matter, but at different periods and different settings. The first two were Singaporean directors, the next instalment, Filipino, followed by Vietnamese and then Burmese.

This is from the Gallery’s website:

The inaugural edition of Painting with Light pairs a classic and a contemporary film from a national cinema in Southeast Asia each month. An older classic that addresses an important issue of its time will be screened on the Saturday, followed by a more recent film with a contemporary view on the same subject on the Sunday.

The first two movies were about being displaced from home. But I saw another theme in both movies – the tension between morality and love. In both movies the main players had to make morally tough decisions balancing love and doing the right thing.

What I really liked about the first pair is that not only did I enjoy the movies individually but also as I watched the pair, it made me reflect on how love, duty, morality and societal pressures have changed.  In my worldview, morality and love should be absolute and unchanging. But that’s me. I tend to think about these things a lot.

I had the honour of meeting the curator too – a very unassuming  gentleman. But if the first pair is anything to go by, the rest of the programme should be brilliant.

Looking forward to the rest. Go. Tickets here.

 

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Last night, I watched the movie, “Untouchable: Children of God.” The documentary highlights the absolute and total atrocity of human trafficking that happens right under our nose – under our watch. Yeah, by doing nothing, we let it happen.

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This documentary, which won the 2014 Newport Beach Film Festival Humanitarian Prize, highlights the depravity that we have allowed to thrive in India and Nepal (in other countries too – but the focus of the documentary was on these two countries). The movie is raising awareness of the sex trade or more accurately, modern-day slavery, and galvanising people to action.

Men are the biggest problem – not man as in humanity – but men as in male, boy, guy. I like what the director/producer said in the movie. I paraphrase because I didn’t copy it down so apologies, Grant. Addressing the men, he said something along the lines of:

“If you’ve ever trafficked women, you’re part of the problem. If you’ve ever paid for sex, you’re part of the problem. If you’ve ever viewed pornography, you’re part of the problem. If you’ve supported or played games that denigrates and desecrates the sanctity of women, you’re part of the problem.”

Present at the screening were the director, Grant Knisely, Pastor Raju Sundas from the Lighthouse Foundation Nepal (LHFN) and two girls who were rescued out of the dark pit hell of whorehouses (pictured below). LHFN rescues girls from this dastardly business, heals them, educates them, trains them – but most importantly, accepts and loves them unconditionally – and gives them hope for their futures.

untouchable2 While the rescue work must continue, prevention is the main aim. As Pastor Raju shared, when they rescue a girl, they have to work with her for 5 to 7 years, sometimes more, to restore her emotionally, spiritually and physically.

A mere 1% of the enslaved girls are rescued. They are often sold into the sex trade by their families – fathers, brothers, relatives – men who are supposed to love and protect them. Some as young as five years old – yes, five.

untouchable3

 

But I want to end with the sharing of the two girls who were at the screening. They moved me to tears – really. Rather than being defeated and cowered, they want to make a difference. They want to rescue their “sisters” still caught in the brothels to be abused and humiliated by men.

They want to be light in the dark places. They want to shine the light of God into the pit of hell.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:5 (NLT)

To help the girls, go to Out of Ashes which is a charitable non-profit organisation dedicated to fight human trafficking and sex-slavery especially on the Indian sub-continent and in South East Asia:

www.outofashes.org

Their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/outofashes1?fref=ts

 

 

“You start with the capital ‘O’ and the capital ‘H’. Once that has been locked down, you can design the capital ‘D’.”

Jonathan Hoefler or Tobias Frere-Jones used to run the most successful and well respected type design studio in the world. They created fonts used by a whole range of people and organisations  from the Wall Street Journal to the President of the United States.

Such a specialised field. Such a fascinating field. And for me, such an important field. Wrong typeface, in my view, can ruin a perfectly good piece of work. As a content guy, good font selection can transform text from “readable” to “enjoyable.”

It’s also a complex field – you need to be detailed at the individual level as well as understanding that any micro changes to a character, punctuation mark or symbol affects the “whole.”

As a side note, I love the font used for the comedy movie, “I’m still here.” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck (it’s at 4:02). 

OK, maybe not everyone feels about font like I do. But if you love font design, watch it.

Move over Letterman, here are Letter Men.

Credits:

Presented by AIGA to celebrate H+FJ’s 2013 AIGA Medal, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts

Directed & Produced by: Dress Code

Cinematography by: Andre Andreev

Edited by: Dan Covert

Music & Sound by: YouTooCanWoo

Animation/Design: Evan Anthony, John Custer, Joe Donaldson, Emil Bang Lyngbo, Josh Parker, Eddie Song

Principal Cast: Jonathan Hoefler, Tobias Frere-Jones

Shot on a Canon 7D