Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Alfian Sa'at analyses this year's National Day Parade theme song video



This is hilarious! Singaporean writer, poet and playwright, Alfian Sa'at analyses the music video of Love At First Sight, this year's NDP theme song:

1) The whole video is shot with pastel palettes beloved of high-end condo ads. There's genteel lens flares, hazy light through white curtains and panoramic shots of the kinds of views that 1% of Singaporeans enjoy.

2) We see the two singers at the beginning--Olivia Ong and Natanya Tan--with their backs facing each other. Not sure why this estranged posture, but it could be inspired by the Merlion and the baby Merlion--whose backs are also facing each other--at the Merlion Park. Quite nationalistic.

3) We see a couple, just rousing in bed, making eye contact. They're wearing quite thick clothing (the woman also wears smearproof makeup, because her pillows and sheets are pristine white) and are smothered in a duvet. It is obvious that they sleep with the aircon on. And it's OK because whatever carbon footprint this wasteful couple leaves behind is offset by the fact that there's a lot of nature shots (reservoirs, greenery, dewdrops) in the video.

4) We next see a girl, in a reclining chair. She could be Indian, or Malay...or maybe Indian-Muslim...or whatever, the token minority box is checked. Next!

5) The next shot is of a guy, holding a guitar, and penning the lyrics to a song. By the way, the girl in the previous shot was also writing something (poetry, maybe?) in her notebook. Singaporeans are so creative and inspired!

 6) We see the couple again, and they're having a playful pillowfight. Are they not creative? They probably were, the night before, but you can't show *that* in the video.

7) We next see another token minority--a guy, this time, at a park, with his laptop. He spots something in the distance and closes his laptop. This something is an old Chinese man, who has brought along his pet bird, in its birdcage. The guy asks the old man what he is doing. "Oh, I am teaching my bird to read this information plaque here." The guy replies "I, on the other hand, am trying to get Wifi connection in this park." The old man says, "What a strange person you are," and the guy replies, "You too!" The two lonely eccentrics bond.

8) Poet girl walks across the frame, and in the background, an LRT carriage travels across an elevated track. At the same pace at which she walks. Which should be about right.

9) Wasteful couple decide to 'see how other people in Singapore live' and thus visit a wet market.

10) If you thought the park scene was bizarre, this next scene raises the bar. We see the Singapore skyline at night, and then we realise it's an image in a crystal ball. Two young women are looking at it. They're in some kind of a library/study, and they've switched on lamps and lit candles. What kind of occult shenanigans is going on? Who are these wiccans with rebonded hair? What ill-will do they harbour towards the Central Business District? Or is this just the future of HDTV?

More here.

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