One of the first things we check when we are in Singapore is the movie listings. We are all pretty keen movie goers but M is a real movie buff able to remember names and dates as well as whole clumps of its script after just one screening. He appreciates intricate plot diversion, subtle story nuances, artistic camera angles and an emotive score. He will see a movie on account of it's producer, director or screen writer as well as its leading actor. He seeks out its written version if its an adaptation and relishes the different interpretations, good and bad, of remakes. He follows the careers of the film makers of just about every genre available. We have had to field amused questions from adults when a much too young to know M has tried to engage them in detailed conversation about the hidden meaning a film's (or a book's for that matter as he is just as passionate about the written word) narration or the reasons behind subtle dialogue pitches or scene executions.
His appreciation for the dramatic arts became apparent when he was about 2 and able to sit enthralled in front of a dvd his brother had given up on an hour before. I took him to his first big screen movie when he was about 2 1/2 where I noticed he was one of the rare few still seated who hadnt been bribed with food and fizzy drink. On the way home after the movie he sat in his car seat next to his brother trying to engage B in conversation about the story they had just seen...using whole paragraphs of script.
He read The Da Vinci Code when he was 10 and realised that many stories have more than one meaning and that some were riddled with symbols that took the reader or the watcher into a whole other world. He was lucky enough to have an English teacher this year who recognised his (and some classmates) passionate response to fiction and actively encouraged often lively debate on the symbolic meanings and characterisations in stories such as 'The Outsiders'(which I read in school), 'Animal Farm' (which he already knew intimately having played Squealer in a Centrestage production in Singapore), 'Lord of the Flies' (which he'd read of his own volition about a year before) and 'Gattaca'. She gamely listened to sometimes wild theories, as long as they were well thought out and backed up with evidence, and encouraged 'reading around' the topics discussed. A feat almost solely limited to the internet in a country with only one new book bookstore although I did manage to find him 'The Communist Manifesto' (in the interests of research for Lord of the Flies I think) in one of our two second hand book bookstores. I almost wished I was 15 again...almost.
As luck would have it JJ Abrams (the creator of 'Lost', the ultimate fodder in wild theoretical diversions) lastest offering, the prequal Star Trek, was just opening at Cathay Cineleisure so armed with the essential ingredients of an enjoyable Singapore cinema experience we booked our seats online and waited for J to finish work.
J and I managed to squeeze in Angels and Demons on our last day albeit from the middle of the front row (thank God for earplugs!) as the free wifi that pervades Singapore was not playing nice that day and unable to book seats online we had to race to make the only sitting, which at midday on Saturday, was full.
For those that need to know
Those essential ingredients of movie watching in Singapore are; long pants and a pashmina or two (the aircon is arctic)...
earplugs (the decibel level is damaging and we only have room for one Deafie in our family)...
a slushie (smuggled in from the 7/11 downstairs) and Wonkas Gobstoppers (the closest thing the world has to Tangyfruits now-RIP).