The Projector's Favourite Film Soundtracks Buro. Singapore Playlist #210
It is impossible to represent the diversity of our favourite film soundtracks in a short playlist, but here's a collaborative attempt by the team at The Projector. "Paper Planes" by M.I.A. from the soundtrack of her documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. is on this playlist because I have always admired her for using her platform to speak unabashedly for marginalised and immigrant communities.
"Mystery of Love" by Sufjan Stevens comes from the best performing movie at The Projector to date, Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name (2017). Sufjan captures the vulnerability of Elio's sexual awakening in a way that is both mesmerising and haunting.
"Cu Cu Ru Cu Cu Paloma" by Caetano Veloso is featured during the iconic moments of Wong Kar Wai's Happy Together (1997), Pedro Almodovar's Hable Con Ella (2002) and Barry Jenkin's Moonlight (2016). That alone says enough about the emotional strength of the song.
Trainspotting (1996) was an iconic film during my teenage years. I still vividly remember my mum asking me to remove my Trainspotting 'Choose Life' poster from my wall, because its language was "not nice". The beats and lyrics of "Lust for Life" by Iggy Pop were instrumental in framing the film's opening.
Kannathil Muthamittal (2002) by one of my favourite Tamil directors, Mani Ratnam, was the first time that I was exposed to the Sri Lankan civil war through film. As a second generation Singaporean of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, the movie provided me access to a contemporary narrative that was not often discussed in our household. The title song by AR Rahman sensitively captures the emotions of a family that's torn apart by the passion and conviction to fight for their homeland while trying to survive and preserve their family unit.
You've taken on the role of GM at The Projector. What does this new role entail?
I have been leading Intermission Bar, the events and F&B arm of The Projector, for more than two years now. With the new role, I will be leading a passionate and creative team of 15, overseeing the broad scope of The Projector's operations, from creative stuff like curatorial decisions, and conceptualising innovative experiences that The Projector is already known for. Beyond this, I'll have to look into critical but mundane stuff like making sure that our toilets function in this charming but ageing building. You will still see me on occasion behind the bar, making (and drinking) coffee, because it offers me the best opportunity to meet and interact with our patrons.
Is there anything new that you would like to bring to The Projector moving forward?
The Projector has come a long way in the last five years, from a kickstarter project to an inclusive space that sees almost 10,000 visitors monthly, largely due to a kickass team as well as a supportive audience that's hungry for new creative experiences. Moving forward, we will continue to build on our diverse and independent film programming. Beyond film, we are also expanding the range and accessibility of our arts and community programming through independent music, spoken word, theatre, stand-up comedy, and community markets. I am constantly on the lookout for creative practitioners who we can collaborate with to create content for the community that we have cultivated.
Prashant Somosundram is a partner and general manager of The Projector, an independent cinema, arts and community space in a refurbished 1970s theatre at Golden Mile Tower. His passion for film started at a very young age when he was a student at Clementi Town Primary. He would hang out with his friends at the now-defunct Clementi and Commonwealth Cinemas catching movies after school. He was further exposed to a greater diversity of films as a student at New York University, where venues like The Film Forum and Anthology Film Archives opened up a whole new world to him, showing how film can be used for social change.
Upcoming shows and events at The Projector include political documentary Untracing the Conspiracy on 14 July with a post-show Q&A and an interactive screening of Romy & Michele's High School Reunion with the Glory Hoes (Becca D'Bus, Bobby Luo and Prashant himself) on 27 July.