The Cup

In a surreal tableau, a man with a brewing machine for a head, discontent with the bland taste of the brew from his own body, attempts to do what he can to improve its flavour.

The Cup is a meditation on being in the world, upon the flattening out of life as we know and image it during the coronavirus pandemic. It was shot and produced while the filmmakers were confined to their home during the lockdown period in Singapore.

怪誕的畫面中,一個以咖啡機為頭的男人,不滿於釀造的咖啡淡而無味,於是費盡心思嘗試著不同的方法以提升它的味道。在新加坡封鎖時期內拍攝完成的《杯子》,是對似乎平淡化的疫情生活之中在世存在的進一步反思。

[中文字幕(CC)]

  • Mark Chua
    Director, Writer, Producer
  • Lam Li Shuen
    Director, Writer, Producer
  • Mark Chua
    Editing
  • Lam Li Shuen
    Editing
  • Mark Chua
    Sound Design
  • Lam Li Shuen
    Sound Design
  • Karl Lucente
    Cast
  • Richard Chua
    Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    杯子
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Experimental, Surrealist
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 48 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 29, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    Singapore
  • Country of Filming:
    Singapore
  • Language:
    Cebuano, Chinese
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1.85:1
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • 31st Singapore International Film Festival 2020

    Singapore
    November 29, 2020
    World Premiere
    In Competition
  • 5th International Film Festival & Awards Macao 2020

    Macao
    December 5, 2020
    International Premiere
    In Competition
  • 51st Tampere Film Festival 2021
    Tampere
    Finland
    March 10, 2021
    European Premiere
    In Competition
  • Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize 2021

    Singapore
    April 30, 2021
    First Prize (Moving images)
  • 7th Minikino Film Week 2021
    Bali
    Indonesia
    September 3, 2021
    In Competition
  • 8th Riga International Film Festival 2021
    Riga
    Latvia
    October 20, 2021
    In Competition
  • 22nd San Diego Asian Film Festival
    San Diego
    United States
    November 2, 2021
    In Competition
  • 10th Dharamshala International Film Festival
    Dharamshala
    India
    November 10, 2021
    Official Selection
  • 11th Binisaya Film Festival
    Cebu
    Philippines
    November 11, 2021
    Best Film, Binisaya World
  • 7th San Diego Underground Film Festival
    San Diego
    United States
    December 10, 2021
    Official Selection
Director Biography

Mark Chua and Lam Li Shuen are Singaporean filmmakers and artists whose work explores the possibilities of resistance in the presentation and production of narrativity.

Their short films have screened at international film festivals including the 65th BFI London Film Festival (2021), 51st Tampere Film Festival (2021) and International Film Festival & Awards Macao (2020). In 2021, with their short film A Man Trembles, they were awarded Best Southeast Asian Director at the 32nd Singapore International Film Festival. Their second experimental feature Revolution Launderette screened at the 30th Singapore International Film Festival (2019), Asian Film Festival Barcelona (2020), Mammoth Lakes Film Festival (2020) among others, and won the Spirit Award at the Eastern Oregon Film Festival (2020).

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The Cup is a meditation on being in the world, upon the flattening out of life as we know and image it during the pandemic. It was shot and produced in our home during the lockdown period in Singapore, and an early version was first presented as part of a group exhibition 'flat' at Sullivan+Strumpf Gallery (Singapore).

The pandemic and its effects, in some sense, have profoundly altered our envisioning of being in the world. Perhaps due to the large intersection of our collective lived experience in this period around the globe. While the restrictions in daily life protect oneself as well as the general public from the spread of the pandemic, they seem to have resulted in an observably diminished joy of life for many. Bringing to surface a dissatisfaction with simply being, in this more isolated, restricted way.

The film, as a picture of and from the flattening out of life during the pandemic, hopes to explore the notion that perhaps what felt missing during the lockdown - where satisfaction and a ‘more joyous life’ lie in - was the freedoms to individually curate and have the choice of risking our lives how we see fit, in various engagements, something we had in life before the pandemic.

Perhaps we felt such a joy of life when death, its elusion and risking it was in a way of our choice, in which arises the inexplicable tangle of the living we want, and how we live.

在封鎖時期內拍攝完成的《杯子》,是對似乎平淡化的疫情生活之中在世存在的進一步反思。

疫情的影響,根本地改變了我們所想像的在世存在。也許是因為在這個時期,全球各地的集體經歷有大部分的相較。個人生活中的限制規定,雖有保護個人及大眾以防病毒蔓延的作用,但也似乎導致多人的生活樂趣減弱。這浮現出人在這個孤立、受限制的狀態下,對於單單存在的不滿。

本影片刻劃著、並且出自於疫情生活的平淡化,希望能夠思考:也許封鎖期間我們所感受到缺少的——一個所謂知足的、含有樂趣的生活之所處——就是冒險生命的個人自由與選擇,這畢竟是我們疫情之前的生活中所擁有的權利。

也許當冒險與逃脫死亡曾在於自我的選擇,我們才能感受到生活的樂趣,之中顯現出我們所要的生活、我們如何生活的莫名糾纏。