IN THE ROOM
Directed by Eric Khoo
One of the most transitory lived spaces, the hotel room, becomes the vehicle that transposes a sprawling tapestry of stories in Eric Khoo’s vision of the history of Singapore. The film is anchored as a posthumous tribute to Singapore writer-musician Damien Sin, also the scriptwriter for Khoo’s first feature Mee Pok Man.
Starting off from the advent of Singapore’s occupation in 1942, two men meet for the last time in the hotel room before the Japanese arrive. In the ‘70s, a band celebrates New Year’s Eve fiercely in an orgiastic drug fueled party. Decades pass as stories unfold within the same hotel room. Reflecting Singapore’s history as an entrepôt, characters of diverse backgrounds and nationalities find themselves in the hotel room, as a spirit watches on, drawn to the suffering and tragedies expressed within it.
In the Room contains all the hallmarks of Eric Khoo’s oeuvre – a distilled nod towards his love for horror, an empathetic approach towards cruelty, and the constant search for the transitory moments of human tenderness. It is perhaps his most ambitious and personal feature film, and the perfect bookend to a year of jubilee celebrations.
Warning: Adult Content
Cultural Medallion (the highest art award in Singapore and presented by the President) recipient and award winning film maker Eric Khoo who helms Zhao Wei Films/ Gorylah Pictures has been credited for reviving the Singapore film industry and for putting Singapore onto the International film map in 1995. He was the first Singaporean to have his films invited to major film festivals such as Berlin, Venice and Cannes. Khoo was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Letters, from the French Cultural Minister and his feature, My Magic was nominated for the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2008.
Khoo was profiled in Phaidon Books, Take 100 the future of Film – 100 New directors. The Pompidou Centre in Paris held an Eric Khoo film retrospective and he served as President of the Jury at The Locarno international film Festival in 2010.
In 2011, he released his first animated feature, Tatsumi, which was invited to the 64th Cannes Film Festival and made its North American premiere at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Khoo was invited to be President of the Jury at the Rotterdam International film festival and at The Hong Kong Asian Film awards in 2012. He headed the Jury at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 2013. In 2014 Khoo was invited to be on the juries of the San Sebastian International Film Festival and the Tokyo International Film Festival.