EXCLUSIVE: At ScreenSingapore, local production house 13 Little Pictures has announced cinematographer Christopher Doyle is attached to shoot director Glen Goei’s upcoming Yellow Flowers, a.k.a. The Hangman’s Breakfast.
Written by awardwinning playwright Haresh Sharma, the 2011 Asian Project Market (APM) film will be produced by mm2 Entertainment and 13 Little Pictures.
Touching upon the controversial issue of Singapore’s long-time hangman, Yellow Flowers tells the story of a multiracial group of Singaporeans: middle-aged single mother Eleanor, on death row for unknowingly smuggling drugs into the strict city state, her rebellious only child who refuses to visit her, Eleanor’s young lawyer Nadya who also has issues with her own mother, and the prison’s reluctant executioner Gopal, who develops a friendship with Eleanor.
Originally a theatre director and actor whose credits include playing opposite Anthony Hopkins in M. Butterfly in London, Goei’s debut feature Forever Fever (1998) was the first Singaporean film to go to Sundance and had a worldwide commercial release.
He describes Yellow Flowers as “a companion piece” to his previous film The Blue Mansion, which in 2009 made its world premiere at the Busan film festival and went on to others including Tokyo and Hong Kong. The Blue Mansion “was about the elite who run and rule Singapore without any compassion and humanity. Yellow Flowers represents the flip side of the same coin. It shows how the underclass, the forgotten, the left-behinds live and struggle to make sense of their existence as a result of ‘the system’ imposed by the ruling elite. If The Blue Mansion begs the question “Where is the love?”, the characters in Yellow Flowers find that unconditional love is their only salvation.”
Goei added, “When we shared the project with Chris, he immediately connected with what we are doing.”
Doyle said, “3D usually means the enhancement of space to suggest a heightened reality. For me 3D is what Yellow Flowers is all about: the three dimensional assessment of a socio-political predicament. Three dimensional characters who live and want and express themselves in words and through actions with which we connect. I am excited by the challenge to give this 3D script the visual resonance it deserves. I am honoured as the world will be to share such a rowdy, common, articulate call from the Singaporean soul.”
Producer Bee Thiam Tan clarifies the film will not actually be shot in 3D, but “rather, it’ll be Chris Doyle’s version of 3D.”
Melvin Ang, founder and executive director of mm2 said, “We’re glad to be part of this project. When we first heard the story, we’re touched by it and feel it will appeal and resonate with local and international audiences. Christopher Doyle’s participation will undoubtedly add another level of visual sophistication to the story telling, and we also look forward to working with 13 Little Pictures.”
Producers say they plan to start shooting in the first half of 2014.