23rd Annual Minneapolis - St. Paul International Film Festival

15 (Contemporary World Cinema)
2004 - Singapore - 94 minutes

Buy a ticket at brownpapertickets.com!

DIRECTOR: Roystan Tan
CAST: Shaun Tan, Melvin Chen, Vynn Soh, Erick Chun

A dizzying, sensual collage of verité-style filmmaking, animation, musical sequences, black humor, quick-fire editing and urban teenage angst, Roystan Tan’s 15 explodes notions of life in Singapore. A frenetic and hyper-stylized look at a quintet of 15-year-old boys, the film features a cast of public-housing kids drawing on real-life experiences. This makes the film all the more staggering—we watch as they draw on tattoos, fantasize about suicide, attack blow-up dolls, rap about gangs. But unlike other chroniclers of disaffected youth, Tan understands the fundamental humanity of those he captures. The most striking moments are not those of gang violence or self-mutilation, but those that reveal the boys’ vulnerability, frailty, and universal need for intimacy. Tan reinvents the visual imagination while pushing the limits of what is possible on celluloid. Visual eye-candy pops off the screen, accompanied by catchy hip-hop numbers performed by beautiful boys. The film’s use of these sensual pleasures underscores it’s clear-eyed examination of a world in which sexualization and commodification trump empathy and consideration. Born in Singapore in 1976, Roystan Tan made the award-winning shorts Sense and The Son. He began 15 as a short, enlisting personal stories and performances from teenagers he met while teaching high-school drama. Two of his cast members disappeared in the time he turned the short into a feature. –EC

PRODUCER: Tan Fong Cheng, Eric Choo
EDITOR: Jeff Stevens, Nigel Fernandez, Darlene Lim, Azhar Ismon
MUSIC: Yellow Box
PRINT SOURCE: Picture This! Entertainment

Saturday, April 02 10pm Crown Theaters Block E
Monday, April 04 9:30pm St. Anthony Main Theatre