Eric Khoo (born 1965) is a film director from Singapore. He was introduced to the world of cinema at a very early age. He was educated at United World College of South East Asia before attending City Art Institute in Sydney, Australia where he pursued cinematography. Khoo began his career with short films where he directed films like When the Magic Dies (1985), Barbie Digs Joe (1990), August (1991), Carcass (1992), Symphony 92.4 (1993), Pain (1994), and Home VDO (2000). A large number of his prize-winning shows have been screened at various film festivals around the world. He has also produced and/or directed made-for-television films, music videos and television advertisements. In February 1999, Khoo was named in Asiaweek magazine as one of 25 exceptional Asians for his influence on film and television. In June of the same year, he received the Singapore Youth Award in recognition of his contribution to the country's film industry.
"Khoo's films explore a set of hard-hitting themes, including a sense of alienation in contemporary Singapore, nostalgia for a humane past, and the centrality and complexity of human sexuality. Influenced by Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, Khoo often features a complex anti-hero as the protagonist of his films: the lonely old man who commits suicide on his birthday in Symphony 92.4, the pork-seller in Carcass who takes comfort in television dramas and regular sex with a prostitute, the outcast necrophilic hawker in Mee Pok Man, the model citizen who breaks down in 12 Storeys - all dysfunctional individuals struggling to cope in a rigid and yet fast-paced society administered by harsh norms. Khoo usually captures grittier, less sanitized images of Singapore's underbelly that contrast starkly with the projected images of tourism-hungry Singapore. Yet, Khoo possesses the remarkable ability to invest tremendous aesthetic beauty into the dilapidated back alleys, crumbling old buildings, and seedy prostitute dens, without trivializing them.
In many ways, Khoo is a public intellectual who, through his films, raises a critical awareness among his audience of their own conditions of existence, or at least of other people's conditions of existence."
Mee Pok Man, 12 Storeys, Be with Me and My Magic
Khoo is famous for his four critically acclaimed feature films that have been screened at film festivals all over the world: Mee Pok Man (1995), 12 Storeys (1997), Be with Me (2005) and My Magic (2008). Mee Pok Man won prizes in Singapore, Fukuoka and Pusan. It was also entered into the 19th Moscow International Film Festival.12 Storeys won him the Federation of International Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Award, the UOB Young Cinema Award at the 10th Singapore International Film Festival, and the Golden Maile Award for Best Picture at the 17th Hawaii International Films Festival. 12 Storeys was also the first Singapore film to be invited to take part in the Cannes Film Festival. Be With Me (2005), opened the Director's Fortnight at Cannes. My Magic (2008) was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival and was voted as one of the top five films of that year by Le Monde.