KINDA HOT: A book about Saint Jack

Info, news and a kind of diary covering the publication of a book about the making of the film Saint Jack in Singapore...

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Location: Bedok, The East, Singapore

Author, Lecturer, Screenwriter, Film Critic & Historian... Email me!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Something about a Sunday


So, Sunday the 27th came around, and it was time to unveil the talk on Saint Jack, which I'd spend a couple of weeks preparing and still hadn't finished. I had about 25 minutes of 'presentation', and then filled the rest of the time with Gavin Millar's footage of the Saint Jack shoot - which had never been seen before in Singapore.


The best bit was the Q & A, everyone stayed and a lot of people asked good questions, and by that time I'd warmed up and was able to give good answers (I think). That woman in the front row took photos of me all the way through - can I see them please?


The screening was of course, packed out. I felt the audience was a bit more subdued than last friday's event, but I still really enjoyed seeing the film again on the big screen, spotting new details and bits of business each time. And almost everyone stayed for the credits, which was impressive.


Finally it was over, but it isn't quite over. It seems very likely that a distribution deal to release the film is going to be struck very soon. When that happens, like Tom Joad in Grapes of Wrath, I'll be there.

(And that's me and my wife, Marianne Wee, by the way, thanks to Soon Kin who took the pic and organised all the events.)

Check this first response to my talk by film blogger Readymade

Monday, August 21, 2006

another take

Here is a review of the screening and my book by a Singapore film blogger called Stefan. Check it out.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


(The old gang together for the first time in 28 years, click into flickr for the names)

The first screening of Saint Jack was on friday. A few days before the Straits Times had run a small preview piece, and within a few hours of that hitting doormats both screenings of the film had sold out. Even though it was on DVD and anonymous benefactor had lent us a 35mm print of the trailer, the one with Bogdanovich strutting around the set narrating the story and giving foreigners a quick primer into Singapore. I had gathered most of the cast and crew who had come to my book launch - Tony Yeow, Teo Bee Hui, Tan Yan Meng and Noel Joseph (Peter Teh was uncontactable - where are you Peter?), and then as I sat with Tony waiting for people to arrive, a woman approached him who announced herself as Agnes... It was Agnes Chia, who had been in charge of casting (along with Sally Tunnicliffe), and whom I had entirely failed to track down during my research.

The film began to a packed and expectatant house, and it seemed to go down well. It was the first time I'd seen it with an audience, and whats particularly clear is how radical the shift is between the noisy, jokey, freewheeling first 2/3rds and the final near-silent section. Jack's world gets quieter and smaller, until he disappears into history. Of course, I think people loved seeing the old locations, the fashions and the faces, and hearing the dialects and the accents of the Singaporean cast.

Afterwards, most of the audience stuck around to see the cast and crew, there weren't many questions - but it was great to have them out enjoying the limelight for something they did nearly 3 decades ago.

Next weekend - the final sold-out screening (and it is the FINAL screening, the Arts House only have permission for 2 and no more from Roger Corman's people), and my talk about Saint Jack.

See you then.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Come and See

(The crowd gathers to gawp at Saint Jack being shot in 1978, Clara Pang and stills photographer Moustique sit at the table, and that maybe Lousie Walker as well. The chap without a shirt is unknown to me... click on the shot for an anecdote about Moustique.)

It is 100% confirmed. Saint Jack hits the Arts House (which used to be the Old Parliament Building) this month!

The dates and timings for the Screenings are:

Fri 18 Aug at 7.30pm (cast appearance and post-show dialogue)
Sun 27 Aug at 6pm

Kinda Hot, A talk by Ben Slater at 4pm, Sun 27 Aug.

As I mentioned in the last post, its on DVD, but as its only 2 screenings, hopefully this won't put off anyone from trying to get the print back in town. But to be honest, it needed to happen soon, and I think the folk at the Arts House deserve much respect for their determination on making this happen.

As for me, my talk will discuss the whole process of writing the book (expect gossip and outtakes from the book), and I'll be showing some ultra-rare footage of the film being made, which was shot by the BBC back in '78.

The Arts House website is a little tricky to navigate round, so I'd just recommend calling the ticket hotline: 6332 6919

The film is bound to sell out fast, so get moving...