Tiong Bahru Social Club trailer: All the things we love from the local film screening this year
Are you happy?
So if you're like us: severely suffering from the utter dearth of films this year, and just looking for the next on-screen thing to look forward to, this upcoming local film release might be it for you. The title? Tiong Bahru Social Club. From the trailer alone, it's already looking to be a little quirky, a little imaginative, a little happy...and possibly a little existential? According to the director himself, it's a whimsical yet satirical film that plays like an ode to the eclectic neighbourhood in question. Following the story of Ah Bee, we embark on a comedic journey through the Tiong Bahru Social Club, a data-driven project to create the happiest neighbourhood in the world.
Set to premiere on the opening night of the 31st Singapore International Film Festival this coming holidays, the production will be Tan Bee Thiam's directorial debut and has already garnered praise and attention from international film festivals from all around the globe. And the artsy cast is one we'll want to watch closely; with award-winning local actors such as Thomas Pang, Goh Guat Kian, Jo Tan and Munah Bagharib, just to name a few. And the cherry on top? The trailer has left us with only more questions and a suspense beat that's set to reel us in. Below, we detail the ten things we already love about Tiong Bahru Social Club, as we await its release this coming December.
1. This screams Wes Anderson vibes
The Grand Budapest Hotel, anybody? From striking color aesthetics to symmetrical cinematic shots, this whole film is giving us Wes Anderson vibes. And considering we're going to have to wait a whole year more till we catch The French Dispatch in cinemas, we can't say we're complaining.
2. The tribute to Tiong Bahru
Whether it's the top tier bakeries or quirky stores, Tiong Bahru is one of the most unique neighbourhoods of Singapore without a doubt. The film's director, Tan Bee Thiam, even posits the whimsical, artsy film as a "stylised love letter to the neighbourhood" that houses iconic architecture amidst the sentiment of a thriving old neighbourhood.
3. Support Group Complaint Centre
"I hate trains". The only valid complaint, really.
4. Midsommar-like chanting
We knew something about this gave us the creeps. Let's just hope no weirdly explicit baby-making happens here.
5. The quintessential boomer advice
"You are already thirty...you should put your career first and start thinking about your future..." Yes Mom...we're already 30...do we still need to keep hearing this?
6. The Gross Community Happiness Index
The satire we're getting on the age-old happiness index is... chef's kiss really. Because how else would we calculate our happiness other than the very dependable, very rational means of data? Singapore still ranks happily at 31st on the list though, if anyone's asking.
7. "Passion Card? No Passion."
We're definitely using this deadpan line the next time we make a trip down to FairPrice and the unassuming cashier asks us for the beloved Passion Card.
8. The Black Mirror-esque Horror
We're sure we're not the only ones who feel this way. Ah Bee's been "selected for our happiness movement" with a radiant ball of white light shining in the background? That mildly way-too-catered voiceover chiming in to announce his happiness level? And those robot-like ambassadors with Colgate white smiles in navy and pink stripe dresses? Chilling.
9. The Complain Crowd
The herd of aunties and uncles just swarming from the housing estates and rioting "Complain! Complain! Complain!" is pretty cute, that we can't deny.
10. The notable cat appearances
Do we have a name for this cute little ball of fur yet?
Tiong Bahru Social Club opens 10 December in theatres.