(The old gang together for the first time in 28 years, click into flickr for the names)
The first screening of Saint Jack was on friday. A few days before the Straits Times had run a small preview piece, and within a few hours of that hitting doormats both screenings of the film had sold out. Even though it was on DVD and anonymous benefactor had lent us a 35mm print of the trailer, the one with Bogdanovich strutting around the set narrating the story and giving foreigners a quick primer into Singapore. I had gathered most of the cast and crew who had come to my book launch - Tony Yeow, Teo Bee Hui, Tan Yan Meng and Noel Joseph (Peter Teh was uncontactable - where are you Peter?), and then as I sat with Tony waiting for people to arrive, a woman approached him who announced herself as Agnes... It was Agnes Chia, who had been in charge of casting (along with Sally Tunnicliffe), and whom I had entirely failed to track down during my research.
The film began to a packed and expectatant house, and it seemed to go down well. It was the first time I'd seen it with an audience, and whats particularly clear is how radical the shift is between the noisy, jokey, freewheeling first 2/3rds and the final near-silent section. Jack's world gets quieter and smaller, until he disappears into history. Of course, I think people loved seeing the old locations, the fashions and the faces, and hearing the dialects and the accents of the Singaporean cast.
Afterwards, most of the audience stuck around to see the cast and crew, there weren't many questions - but it was great to have them out enjoying the limelight for something they did nearly 3 decades ago.
Next weekend - the final sold-out screening (and it is the FINAL screening, the Arts House only have permission for 2 and no more from Roger Corman's people), and my talk about Saint Jack.
See you then.