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  • Writer's pictureVincent Quek

(Part 1 of 6) Some Films We Bought For Singapore from Cannes 2017

I spent the week after jumping off a flight from Cannes at The Arts House to welcome patrons who came out to see our latest release PATERSON, our Jim Jarmusch film starring Adam Driver and Golshifteh Farahani. PATERSON actually World Premiered at Cannes 2016 last year, and so in a sense I felt like I had never left the Croisette, coming full circle from one Cannes to another.

As the people who came to see PATERSON would know, I presented each and every session of the movie. In my introduction, elated from my experience in Cannes, I revealed some of the titles that one could look out for over the course of the next year. Now, a month after, with deals formally in place, we are proud to reveal them here.

But lets do this one by one, since we love all these films equally, and its always more fun to savor the presents slowly! We'll start with our most forthcoming acquisition - the Competition film GOOD TIME, starring Robert Pattinson.

Back in 2015, I saw a small indie gem called HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT, directed by an intrepid NYC-based duo Josh and Benny Safdie, brothers who made every film together. I was electrified by the visual language, the neon-glazed images, the raw energy. It wasn't limited to just the cinematography, but the performances. The desperation in the performance of Arielle Holmes as she plundered her own past to deliver an unforgettable performance as a drug junkie hopelessly addicted to heroin, and her equally self-destructive boyfriend(?) who coerced her to do his bidding. It was like watching a butterfly slowly die—you knew the tragedy that would soon befall them, but we are helpless to look away.

I was so blown away that in the following months, I programmed the film as part of the now-defunct Secret Screening series at The Substation, my former workplace. Some 120 lucky souls whom took a chance on the Secret Screening got to see HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT on the big screen. I have been tracking the Safdies' ever since, and when I finally saw 5 minutes of footage of their upcoming film GOOD TIME, I was elated and pumped. The brothers are back!!

Josh and Benny Safdie - directors of GOOD TIME © Brigitte LACOMBE

GOOD TIME was our very first acquisition from Cannes this year, a deal which we wrapped before the actual festival - after reviewing the script and the promo. I hadn't even seen the entire movie before I made the deal. When I finally sat down in the cinema to see the film for the first time I was so fucking excited I was like an Energizer bunny. As soon as the sick electronic music from Oneohtrix Point Never kicked in from the opening frame, I was sober tripping. It was incredible to see how the Safdies had progressed from the last film. They kept the tight pacing, and lensing style from HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT, and turned it loose. The neons are more explicit, the colour palette more striking, the sheer audacity of the way they used the camera, colors, and action choreography made the film more palpable. It was like Wong Kar-Wai did a Benjamin Button, got younger, got stoned, and took some LSD and decided he wanted to shoot this balls-to-the-wall thriller action heist instead of some fandangled martial arts thing. Or basically a more coherent Gaspar Noé.

I haven't even got to the best part of the whole damn movie yet. WHO THE FUCK IS ROBERT PATTINSON?!?! (not an actual question, guys)

Look at that shitty bleached hair. Look at the scowls on his face. Look at his pathetic face. 

I say GODDAMN! If there was one bloody actor in the whole Competition that should have won the Best Actor award at Cannes it should be this motherfucking guy. Who knew Edward could act, seduce, manipulate and fricking charm an older woman, a younger woman, a man, another man, a bus driver, some cops, and kick some fucking ass?! But of course, maybe I'm biased because I'm the distributor of this movie. But you don't get to be on the front cover of Cahiers du Cinema, or Film Comment by being lame.

Oh yeah and Iggy Pop sings the end credits song in an original piece written specifically for the film. After the acid trip you just took, the come down is all the better when you get Iggy reminding you The Pure and The Damned act from Love. Shit son, you don't even need to tell me. But sing it to me anyway, Iggy.

Anyway k watch the damn trailer here. We'll post these again closer to the theatrical release date - slated for Q4 in Singapore this year, teehee!

Stay tuned to this space or our Facebook or Instagram for more news on our next titles to be unveiled shortly!


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