As I write this, we're in the middle of our run of OH LUCY!, which had its spectacular premiere last year as a Special Presentation at the Singapore International Film Festival 2017. The story about a middle-aged Japanese lady who develops a crush on her English tutor, this heartfelt if somewhat bittersweet film presents a rare unpatronising look at the travails of growing older in an East Asian society, especially for a woman.
"Lucy is a very relaxed girl. Lucy says, hi!"
When we first saw it at Critics Week at Cannes last year, the film really stuck with me, and I could identify with the familiar sentiments of life having passed me by. Has it been that long since I was last optimistic about life? Am I now a has-been? All my friends are moving on, getting married and even having kids living it up in a BTO!! What am I doing with Anticipate Pictures, a company I birthed? Is it gonna go anywhere?!
Lead actress Shinobu Terajima on the red carpet at last year's SGIFF 2017 premiere, possibly not worrying about a BTO.
I admit being a little overdramatic. I can't tell the future, but yet, I know that the best part of the year is dawning on us pretty soon. I am of course talking about the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, with its plentiful spoils of the very best cinema has to offer in any given year to distract me from having an existential crisis about real life.
This past February and March we have been having meetings with most sales agents (companies that sell us films) and we have a really good idea of some of the titles that might appear in Official Competition, Un Certain Regard and of course the two sidebar programs of Directors' Fortnight and Critics' Week, where we first discovered OH LUCY! Its no secret what most of us are looking to see soon at Cannes, for Indiewire has a very good list.
Official Singapore poster for the film HAVE A NICE DAY
We are also prepping for our final film to be released before Anticipate goes on a break from showing films at The Arts House in mid-April, and the Singapore International Festival of the Arts takes over the space with their selection of recent festival films. We are of course talking about the Chinese independent animated film HAVE A NICE DAY, which we first saw at its World Premiere last year at the Berlinale 2017. This film is also very special for us, because we are possibly the only other Asian country to see the uncut international version of the film. There was some controversy previously when China officials demanded the film be pulled from its Annecy festival selection, and though we aren't privy to all the details, basically there are now two versions of the film - a China-approved Da Shi Jie version and the original Hao Ji Le version.
The Chinese poster of the film. Pretty cool huh!
This deliciously dark vision of some slimy characters all chasing a bag of 1 million yuan in materialistic China has some pretty surreal scenes, which some audience members were lucky enough to catch at its sold-out Singapore premiere in February at the Singapore Cult and Underground Film Festival. We can't wait for more of ya'll to see this one on the big screen - and tickets are already available. There's a sneak preview this Sunday 1 April at 8pm if you can't wait :)
Mad about MADELINE'S MADELINE
Also! We recently sent out our April newsletter divulging a new title called Madeline's Madeline we picked up out of Berlin. Originally world-premiering at Sundance, we had been reading some pretty amazing stuff about the film, and I'm happy to let you know that all those amazing reviews are true! The mysterious new film by future cult director Josephine Decker will melt your brain, in a great way. You won't soon forget this hypnotic vision of an young actress' process gone mental. Tickets just went on sale yesterday and you'd be wise to check it out now at its Asian premiere this end-April. Get your pig masks ready...
So yes, after our run of Have A Nice Day which ends 15 April, we will be taking a break and traveling to Cannes, hopefully to bring you some more great cinema! Of course you'll still see us at the Singapore premiere - wait, scratch that, the ASIAN PREMIERE of Madeline's Madeline at the 2018 Singapore International Festival of the Arts, but all bets are on for what will come out at Cannes 2018! We've also already locked FOUR MORE TITLES from Sundance and Berlinale, which we will also announce in due course, but lets keep our secrets for now. So let me just share this M.I.A. video for seemingly no ostensible reason... ;)
I hope to see you soon at the movies!!
Founder of Anticipate Pictures