Feb 18, 2011

Goodie and Cast at It's a Great Great World Gala Premiere

Special Premiere By Invitation Only

So the cast sashayed down the red carpet and went up on stage, in four groups, representing all four stories. Fans snapped the stars and the latter waxed lyrical their roles and difficulties speaking the dialects in the movie. This meet-the-fans session was longer than I expected but the whole thing ended just as it had begun. In a flash, the last group left the stage and the crowd dispersed. Not us. We had tickets to It's a Great Great World Gala Premiere.

Since the movie was to commence later, we had the luxury of time. There was no rush to enter the cinema hall yet. I lingered around to enjoy the sights - like observing how ticket ushers operate and that they cordoned off an area for the gala event - and also utilized the Gents. All the while, Victor was patient kind enough to wait for me.

In his email to the privileged group, Peter predicted there would be food as the cast would be present. Thus from the moment I stepped into GV VivoCity, I kept looking out for buffet tables. There were none. After the meet-the-fans session, we went up to the 2nd level where our hall was located. Proof that we are not frequent movie-goers (at least not at GV VivoCity), we turned and walked in the wrong direction. Along the way, Victor finally saw what Peter had predicted. In trademark sarcasm, we took photos of the food.

Actually Peter's prophecy turned out to be true but we only realized that at the end when we were about to enter the hall. At the open space outside the hall, a small crowd - and a spread - greeted us. Finally I saw the buffet tables.

Food from Great World heydays
Food from the heydays. It was here to the right of the photo at the corner of the room that I saw the VVIP. Guess who? A woman was guarding our approach. She tried to discourage us (not really stop us) from walking too close. Nevertheless, I walked close enough to catch a glimpse of his identity.

The cinema was packed but not full house. They marked out some of the seats on the central aisle, presumably for the VIPs. Even among the invitees, there was a pecking order so you can imagine where we sat. Overall I found GVmax nothing to shout about. You just have a bigger screen and plenty of leg space.

In the cinema
The gala premiere at GVmax. Note the seats marked out with white tape.

The movie did not start immediately. The whole gala event was a list of programme and the movie was the last. While waiting (for the guests to arrive?), James Seah went down to the front and shot the stars at (almost) point-blank range. Nobody tried to stop or arrest this bald man. He taught me an important lesson. Not really on photography. It was courage.

The Cast
Mustering my courage, I went down to the front and did the same but from a greater distance. I believed in "one shot one kill" at that moment so this was my only attempt. James told me he is used to going close on his subjects. I think he does a lot of voluntary shooting for his RC?

I was puzzled why the cast sat on the first row knowing those were not the best seats. I got my answer when the movie still would not start because they had speeches to make (eventually the cast went to their assigned seats - the best - at the middle rows). First to speak was outgoing Mediacorp CEO Lucas Chow (movie was produced by Mediacorp Raintree), the man with the uber cool hair. He revealed the movie was first conceived during Mediacorp's "Then and Now" photo contest (they had an exhibition at Orchard Central in 2009). Then the mic was passed to director Kelvin Tong who remarked the movie - his 8th - felt just like his first. I was surprised to hear the stars had not been paid yet (it was considered a budget film and shot in 19 days).

Lucas Chow speaking
Lucas Chow speaks to the audience. I like his uber cool hair!

Kelvin Tong speaking
Kelvin Tong speaks to the audience. The film was his baby and on that night, all of us saw its birth.

Finally it was their turn to speak. One by one, Kelvin introduced the stars and they gracefully made their way to the front. By this time, I had shifted my position to the central aisle (temporarily) for the shoot. No prize for guessing where was James (I think he was either beside me or a few seats in front).

The Cast
The cast for It's a Great Great World. You can see their relative height.

The Cast
Paige Chua looks glamorous here. Olivia looks distracted and why is Gurmit sporting a different pose from the rest?

The pieces were usual and predictable, like bringing your parents to watch the movie when it is released (the next day in fact). A few managed to make an impact on me. I remember Chen Shucheng who used to visit the real Great World as a schoolboy said, when you watch the movie, it means that Singapore has progressed (he said 新加坡进步了; I think all except Gurmit spoke in Mandarin). How true! As we heard from Chew Chor Meng later in the movie, Tua Seh Kai had to close due to Singapore's rising prosperity that had people turning to other leisure and entertainment activities. The demise of Tua Seh Kai was therefore also the story of Singapore's progress.

Chen Shucheng speaking
Chen Shucheng speaks to the audience. His speech made an impact on me.

Xiang Yun speaking
Xiang Yun speaks to the audience. I thought she gave a rousing performance as Rose in the movie.

While Peter predicted a spread and I was looking for it, it never crossed my mind that they would give us a goodie bag. To find a goodie bag waiting on our seat was my greatest surprise in the whole gala event. What's more, we could bag more than one due to the empty seats in front of us (nobody claimed those goodie bags in the end). I think each of us in Peter's privileged group did not stop at one.

Goodie Bag!
The goodie bag which greeted me. What a vintage paper bag!

Uncle Ringo Carnival Token
Four complimentary Uncle Ringo carnival tickets! Thanks to one of the oldies, I actually met the real Uncle Ringo at the gala premiere and he gave me a name card. A very humble man I'd say.

Red Packet
Customized red packets with the stars from story 1, 2 and 4.

Red Packet
Customized red packets with the stars from story 3, 1 and 4. The six red packets come in a set.

The Chatek (毽子). Do you know it was included in the 2003 SEA Games? I didn't! The closest I can think of is Sepak Takraw.

Marbles (Gor Li)
Marbles (Gor Li). I have not played before the actual marble game where you use one marble to shoot another. Are there four marbles in a game, one pair each for you and opponent?

Five Stones
Five stones! I can claim to have played them before .... many years ago. For what is perceived as a girl's game, I thought I was quite an expert. At least I managed to impress myself by breezing through the first few levels.

Eyeglass candy. Are they "kampong candies"?  This is my first time seeing them.


Lam Chun See said...

It was also a first time for me; seeing the eyeglass candy .... and attending a gala premiere.

peter said...

Your photo of "goli". Glass type "golis" never used for "fighting", more for showcase. You wanna "fight" you use the limestone "golis" which is white in colour. Limestone golis got 2 sizes, medium size (bigger than glass type) and large size. ONLT medium size can be used for "fighting".

You play the game of goli on a hard bare surface (no grass). You make a hole in the ground and "draw" a line some 10 -15 feet away as "starting line". I cant remember the rest of the game as to how it was played or the rules (maybe someone can help). All I can remember is to use your third finger of left hand as the "hammer" and "pouch" to launch the ballistic "goli" and third finger on right hand as the "trigger" to propel the "goli". The idea is to knock your enemy's goli away from the hole.

OR to break enemy's "goli" to put him out of the game.

Good "golis" cost 10 cents each. Cheap golis 5 cents buy 2. Later there was also metal "golis" but not allowed for competition.

Icemoon said...

Most probably the eyeglass candy not kampong candy.

I hope peter gives us similar lobang next time, haha. Hopefully Kelvin Tong continues to engage Peter for his subsequent nostalgia films.

Icemoon said...

Looks like Peter is itching for a game of "goli" - the limestone kind. Any challengers?

Hmm, so the glass "goli" in the goodie bag, not cleared for competition, haha.

Thimbuktu said...

Thanks for the memories, Chun See and Peter.

I used to play the limetime"golis" for fighting with my Bukit Ho Swee Kampong buddies during my childhood days.

Peter has described "goli fighting" details with his fantastic elephant memory which the game was played with seriousness and enthusiasm as an art for competition. Many young children nowadays have not played them or seen the "limestone golis".

The small colorful glass "golis" are not for fighting though.

We used to hold the glass "golis" in a closed hand and the player who guess the correct number is winner keep all for each game.

A fun playtime in the days before PSP and computer games.

I remember how I used to have lots of "glass golis" (not coins) in my pockets whenever our young friends meet together with our buddies. My fond memories for games to play.