Monday, January 30, 2012

Why can't Singapore filmmakers make The Descendents?

Last night while I was watching Alexander Payne's The Descendents (2011) in Cathay Orchard, I was thinking: why can't filmmakers in Singapore make a film like this?

Now, there is a reason why this thought crossed my mind.

The Descendents
is a small-scale film set in the islands of Hawaii. In the film, a land baron (George Clooney) tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers an accident and goes into a coma. Like his last film, Sideways, Payne's new film is also about relationships and is based on a novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings.

Geographically speaking, the plot of the film revolves around two Hawaiian islands, Oahu and Kauai. The main city, as shown in the film, like Singapore, has highrise buildings, hotels and resorts. Singapore also has many neighboring islands. Developing property in parts of these islands is one of the main activities of economic growth.

The Descendents is a little, heartwarming comedy, and given its setting, a story like this could have been easily recreated in Singapore or Hong Kong. However, I have not seen a beautiful film like this, based on relationships, made in Singapore or Hong Kong. Most of the films coming from this part of the world are either heartlander comedies, gangster-cop films or horror films or films made with an eye for international awards. I wonder why?