Er Ren (For Two) / 17min / Digi Video / 2009
by Tan Shijie
Born 1981 in Singapore, Shijie read Philosophy at the city-state’s National University before going on to make films in 2007. He was awarded a national film scholarship to pursue his cinematic interests in 2008, and now is an M.F.A. candidate in Graduate Film Production at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Asia, in Singapore.
『二人』is a film made in his first year at Tisch Asia.
The idea for the film came when I read a news article that reported a strange incident: a homeless woman was found to have lived in a man’s apartment with him, in secret, for a year! This situation I found metaphorically truthful of the fragility of human relationships. Relationships that are based on illusions of each other and of ourselves. This is the crux of the story, inspired by this situation; what I have endeavored to do with the film, is to depict the resulting fragility aesthetically.
A lonely widower lives a quiet existence, still longing for his deceased wife. Within his sparse apartment inhabits a furtive woman, who does not meet him face-to-face yet participates in a life “together” with him – eating his food and taking care of the house when he is gone. When the fragile reality of this life “together” threatens to become too real for either to take, both Man and Woman must react. Inspired by true events, For Two is a story about relationships and the illusions of them.