by JC Gonzo
In the early 2000’s Singaporean filmmaker Royston Tan‘s full-length feature 15 shocked it’s native audiences with it’s unfiltered portrayal of teenage, suburban, Chinese gangsters. While the coming-of-age picture encountered censorship problems in Singapore, it was widely popular in the film festival circuit and was picked up by gay audiences for its homoerotic tones.
The trailer for some context:
Film student Jewels Sison from The University of the Philippines lovingly pays homage to Royston Tan’s 15 in an intimate 2 and a half minutes. Sison’s 15 is not only a concise, gestural retelling of the original, but shifts context and perspective. The subject of male identity and sexuality tied with homoerotic exploitation and exploration are now at the hands of a 22 year old girl, who’s past and cultural identity does not necessarily mirror Tan’s. Using her boyfriend as subject matter, Sison recreates the alienated, angsty protagonist by appropriating scenes and motifs from the film.
The piece can still be enjoyed by those who have not seen the film that inspired it: