Singapore Redux

Photograph for TIME by Russel Wong

Singapore filmmakers, from left, Ekachai Uekrongtham, Brian Gothong and TanEric Khoo

If you can't name a Singaporean film of the 1970s and '80s, it's because hardly any were made. The city-state's movie industry still hadn't recovered from the once dominant Shaw Brothers and Cathay studios' decision to relocate almost all production to Hong Kong decades earlier. Only in the mid-1990s did a new generation of filmmakers — taking advantage of new technology and lower production costs — take up cameras again. Among them was Eric Khoo, whose 1995 debut Mee Pok Man told of the tormented relationship between a noodle cook and a prostitute, and inaugurated a new...

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