Viknesh Kobinathan of The Projector shares his favourite things
Now try this
The Swedish Film Festival returns to The Projector with a focus on Roy Andersson’s work, handpicked by programmer Viknesh Kobinathan. We find out what makes him tick
Current obsession: "Kanye West. Through my obsession with him, I rekindled my love for '60s and '70s soul music, which is a genre that Kanye has always sampled in his own tracks. It really started with the track, Otis, from the Jay Z and Kanye collaboration, Watch the Throne, where Yeezy samples Otis Redding's Try a Little Tenderness. You listen to it and you get this feeling that this man is singing using the entirety of his being, and that feeling transfers decades later through your earphones. It almost gave me a bodily sensation of joy that music exists in such wondrous ways."
Favourite local films: "Two of the most refreshing and powerful works of cinema that I have encountered in the past few years are Snakeskin by Daniel Hui and Singapore Minstrel by Ng Xi Jie. Incidentally, they are both documentaries and are both loosely connected in the sense that both filmmakers delve, unearth and question certain hidden aspects of Singapore, both historically and socially."
Favourite cinema: "The old Cathay cinemas where the current Cathay cinema is on Handy Road. That was where I had the earliest memory of going to the cinemas on a regular basis. I used to live nearby, so that's where my family and I would go to watch English-language films. It was a really special place for me. I've watched Titanic and the first Toy Story there. They also had the best popcorn place called Karmelkorn, which was selling the kind of 'premium' popcorn we now see in cinemas. And they had a KFC! This memory of the Cathay is a reminder of how going to the cinema used to feel like an event — something truly special. It still is that way for me, but I think the combination of the wide-eyed wonder of childhood and the magic of images on a big screen is something that I truly yearn for."
Favourite online resource for film news: "A good alternative to IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes is actually Critics Round Up, which is a website that puts together articles by respected film critics and assigns scores based on those articles. I find it very useful — not really for the score, but for the access to good film writing in the same place."
Favourite Swedish actress: "Mira Grosin. I first saw her in this short film, Astrid — part of the 2016 Swedish Film Festival — where she played a supporting character. She has this naturalness to her acting. In We Are the Best! she plays one of the two lead characters of primary school girls who want to start a punk band. She could really portray the joy and struggle of childhood in such a believeable way. I highly recommend that for anyone looking for a fun and good film to catch from the lineup."
The Swedish Film Festival runs till 19 February and is supported by the Embassy of Sweden in Singapore and the Swedish Institute. For tickets, click here.