Short films over short bites

Ye olde tree Until tonight, I hadn’t been to the garden in The Substation in about a year. They’ve done some things to it since then: installed outdoor awnings in maroon and cream, moved the bar out under one of the awnings, rigged a proper stage for band performances and turned all the seating al fresco. The huge trees that have been in the Substation garden since, well, forever seem somewhat lost, even mute amidst all the new infrastructure — but at least they’re still there.

I was at Timbre (the cafe that occupies the garden) for Sinema‘s New Filmmakers Night, screening local short films September and Becoming Royston.

Okay, first of all, let’s get the disclaimers out of the way: I’m friends with the guys behind Sinema, who are also the guys behind Becoming Royston; also, my husband wrote the script for BR. But I’m not here to talk about either film per se.

Sinema Actually, friends or no, I was a little sceptical about the screening, thinking that traffic noise from Stamford Road and the lack of a proper screen might mar the situation. As it turned out, street noise was not an issue (I’m not sure what’s changed since the last time I attended a performance at the same space), and a projector screen descended smoothly in front of the bandstage and ascended just as unobtrusively afterwards.

Then I wondered about what sort of venue Timbre would be. When I was there last year, it didn’t strike me as anything remarkable (but see the first paragraph about all that’s changed since then). Now they’ve got a reasonably tasty pizza and tapas menu, which, when combined with beer, are all you really need to chill out to a couple of films.

Which was Sinema’s point in the first place: why screen films in a theatre when you can screen them in a more relaxed venue, so people can still eat and drink and chat while the film’s running? And unlike the completely outdoor Starlight Cinema, here there are plenty of fans to keep people cool too (a high priority at any Singapore event, not to mention on nights like tonight, when the haze from Indonesia‘s rearing its ugly and smoky head).

All of which is a long way of saying that I had a pretty good time, even though I missed much of September because I had to take a phone call (heh, a movie screening where no one gets upset if a handphone goes off) and I’ve seen BR many, many times anyway. Perhaps the beer and pizza did make a difference.

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