Chuando Tan is in the mood for murder. In the movies, that is.
Remember that film the model-turned-photographer told us about last year in which he made his leading man debut, the one where he stripped down for a shower scene? That film now has a title: Precious is the Night.
This was announced in a press statement released on Monday (June 1) by mm2 entertainment, the film’s producer and distributor. They've also dropped a few first-look stills and two 30-sec teaser trailers.
In this murder drama set in 1969 Singapore, the 54-year-old Chuando plays a 30-something doctor caught in a web of deceit, sex and lies involving his client, a mysterious wealthy family, and their maids.
The S$800,000 film also stars Taiwanese actresses Nanyeli and Chang Tzulei, Xiang Yun and her daughter Chen Yixin, and Tay Ping Hui.
Precious is the Night — named after a 1950s Mandarin song — is the debut feature by husband and wife team of Taiwanese director Wayne Peng, an award-winning commercial/music video/docu maker, and Singaporean producer Lim Sau Hoong, a veteran advertising exec whose credits include Guinness' 'Word of Wisdom' campaign featuring George Lam.
The couple made their first documentary feature, the Golden Horse Awards-nominated Burning Dreams, about a struggling dance troupe in modern China, in 2003.
On the genesis of Precious is the Night, Peng, who became a Singapore PR in 2011, says, “‘Why don’t you make a movie about Singapore?’ is a question that has dogged me for many years since I moved here. Finally, two years ago, while I was having my usual tea at home, I looked out from the balcony and saw a beautiful full moon in a clear sky in the east.
“At the same time, there were dark clouds, muffled sound of thunder, and continuous lightning looming in the west. One sky, two realities. ‘A full moon accompanied by lightning — that’s Singapore,’ I thought. And that’s when I realised it was time to write my movie. A story about beautiful people with ugly hearts and intentions. You could say the idea came out of the blue.”
Together now: Cheem.
In the stylo milo teasers, we see Chuando smoking, Chuando posing in a $25,000 Ermenegildo Zegna suit in front of the mirror, Chuando kissing one of the maids (?), Chuando showing off his washboard abs in a shower, and Chuando getting shot at by a gunman. And there are also shots of the maids behaving strangely.
It’s all done very slick, very arthouse, very In the Mood for Love. Something tells we’re not going to watch this movie for the story. Just saying.
Precious is the Night is currently in post-production; no release date has been announced.
[Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Chuando's S$25,000 bespoke Ermenegildo Zegna suit was part of the film's budget. It wasn't; it was sponsored by the label.]