23. Raincoat (2004) — This is not a Bollywood movie! At least, it is wholly unlike the 22 movies that came before. It’s a “film”. Watched just the songs first, purely by accident, so I got terribly mystified. And parts of the DVD had problems playing (but I thank the NLB for the chance to watch this anyway), so I missed out on the ending at first. Anyway, the songs — my ears heard a continuous melody and a haunting stream of (what I felt and the subtitles tried to convey was) poetry. Again, this is not an all-singing-all-dancing Bollywood movie. It’s like a measured, crafted stage play. And this film shows how “sad endings” should be delivered. You’re not going to be swept off your feet but you will find yourself watching with bated breath, delicately threaded along and entranced. I’d bet the writer-director had choreographed the few times in which an audience member is compelled to glance at her watch, so you actually get involved in this part of the narrative, this awareness of the passing of time, numbing, painful, or otherwise.
Went to the beach and walked for about an hour with my grandma. She’s tough. My legs were wobbly at the end of it (also I was hungry). I was in my flip flops again, hee. Then we popped down to the cavernous, spanking new National Library. What’s up with the hollow-sounding floors? Unnerving. I’d hoped for more from the central lending library, that it would be as welcoming as the library@esplanade or Jurong Regional, but I think the place will grow a character (like a beard?) some time into the future. It all felt very familiar, this old feeling that new-ish government buildings in Singapore give me. Marble, steel, glass, and plaster. And lots of tech. The toilet-roll holders, I don’t like. Reminds me of scary hawker centre toilets. But I am diverting myself from the big WOW I wanna make. WOW! The extraordinary Lee Kong Chian Reference Library on the tenth floor — it already is a character. A few welcome echoes of the British Museum Reading Room, and a great big walloping space for one’s thoughts to fly sky high. Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!