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Kritiker-Rezensionen
Shirkers
Sandi Tan USA, 2018
Tan has turned what might have once been an inventive, possibly even revolutionary indie film from Singapore into the most striking of documentaries.
December 18, 2018
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It’s as much detective work as it is anything else, and what is uncovered is as chilling as Cardona’s flat-affect voice on that old cassette tape. “Shirkers” is not to be missed. 
December 14, 2018
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It’s clear that the disappearance of the apocryphal Shirkers (Georges Cardona, 1999) was a life-scarring calamity for Tan, and perhaps a major loss to Singaporean film history and film history in general, who knows. . . . But that its vanishing should have resulted in the very enjoyable—and, in its flip way, oddly profound—Shirkers (Sandi Tan, 2018), well, that’s simply a miracle, and a delight.
October 26, 2018
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The result is a strange, warm and winding tale of movie love and knifing disappointment, nudged along by Tan’s soft and pleasant narration.
October 25, 2018
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Although Tan’s doc can become weighed down with self-pitying narration and repetitive imagery, it’s also wide awake to her lost movie’s resonance, as film meta-history ellipsis (the early work can never be reconstructed because Cardona threw away all of the sound), as personal coming-of-age saga, and as “a time capsule of Singapore, both real and imagined”.
October 24, 2018
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It energetically bounds through a wild ride of her film-geek teens in Singapore, with a shady weirdo in the mix who disappeared with 70 film cans of the feature film they made together. Reunited with the footage decades later, Tan revisits her friendships with disarmingly frank self-reflection. Shirkers plays out like a mystery, an urban myth and a cinephile’s dream.
July 03, 2018
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Though the original film, a precocious answer to “Breathless,” has been lost, Tan has ingeniously refashioned the old footage into “Shirkers,” a cinematic memoir of growing up weird in Singapore and how a strange, incomplete production altered the trajectory of her life.
March 05, 2018
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The footage is wildly delightful, evidence of what should have been a watershed contribution to Singapore’s independent film movement—of which Tan and her very young collaborators could have been leading voices. No amount of caustic self-criticism from Tan can dampen the thrill of witnessing the vibrancy and bounteous energy of everything captured within the frame.
March 03, 2018
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[Cardona] was just like Tommy Wiseau, perhaps, but the footage that survives from the shoot — starring Tan, directed by Cardona — has gorgeous colors and textures, is lively in its archival capturing of period fashions and flecked with moments of true personality from mostly inexperienced non-actors. It’s not hard to imagine the finished film taking a place somewhere in the area where No Wave underground classics or early VHS slashers get appreciated: its weaknesses and charms are inextricable.
January 22, 2018
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The new “Shirkers” offers copious samples of the film that was shot in 1992, and it’s gloriously, gleefully idiosyncratic, a blend of punk energy and local documentation, a sort of antic reflection of Tan’s and her friends’ extremes of imagination and their sentimental attachment to their families, their friends, and their city. It’s raw and spare, colorful and filled with ingenious sight gags and bright touches of cheap costuming.
January 22, 2018
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The story of what happened to Shirkers – 70 cans of film stolen by an older, Svengali-like American director called Georges Cordona – forms the spine of Tan’s directorial debut, also called Shirkers. But far more interesting are the outsize characters of the three women who got together to make it: determined Tan, outspoken Ng, and their intrepid general go-for Sophia Siddique-Harvey – three inexperienced schoolgirls in a city with no filmmaking community.
January 21, 2018
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