Twenty years later it was recovered. LARB Radio Hour: Sandi Tan Talks Inspiration, Betrayal, and Singapore’s First Indie Film
By LARB AV – November 2, 2018
Shirkers is a film that Sandi Tan and her friends made in 1992, in Singapore, when they were teenagers. Tan evokes the DIY spirit of early ’90s Indie cinema, and her magical relationship to the few great films she saw (in the era before instant access); providing an uncanny re-encounter, at mid-life, with the dreams of an inspired youth. Then the film was lost — stolen. Tan’s new documentary on Netflix, also called Shirkers, tells the story behind the original film, the tragedy of its theft, and the mystery of its recovery. Co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf ask Tan about her life as a teenage auteur in Singapore and how she came to work with Georges, an older mentor, who shot the sumptuously gorgeous footage and then betrayed her trust. Also, Dan Lopez drops by to herald Haruki Murakami latest novel, Killing Commendatore, reflect on the magical humanism of the master’s flawless formula, and confess that he, like legions of fans around the world, never wants it to end.