Elle, Toni Erdmann, and more

PHOTOS: ANTICIPATE PICTURES, LUNA FILMS, SCUM CINEMA, THE SMALLS FILM FESTIVAL APAC 2017

ELLE (M18)

130 minutes/4.5 stars

Michele (Isabelle Huppert, above) is the autocratic boss of a successful video-game company. A shocking act of sexual violence is inflicted on her, a violation that colours everything revealed about her in the rest of the story.

Director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter David Birke, in adapting Philippe Djian's 2012 novel Oh..., make Michele sympathetic one moment and a monster the next, but as the story unfolds, the loose character sketch tightens into a thriller.

When that transformation occurs, it pulls the rug out from underneath Michele, as much as it does the viewer.

WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: Nicoll Highway ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO: For schedule and bookings, go to theprojector.sg


TONI ERDMANN (M18)

162 minutes/4 stars

If you want "dad jokes" - jokes so poor that only fathers with a captive audience of their children have the temerity to make - Winfried (Peter Simonischek) is the king of them.

In this German comedy, Winfried hopes to make peace with estranged daughter Ines (Sandra Huller, both above), but they are opposites.

He is the id to her superego - she craves order and the respect of her peers, he wants to hang out and play pranks involving fake teeth and terrible wigs.

In this Oscar-nominated film (Foreign Language), writer-director Maren Ade takes care to craft Ines as the globalised German, driven to excellence and hurt by her father's inability to value her accomplishments.

WHERE: The ProjectorMRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: From tomorrow ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO: For schedule and bookings, go to theprojector.sg


THE SMALLS FILM FESTIVAL APAC 2017

This marks the launch of the Singapore edition of this British festival, which began in 2006.

Supported by the Singapore Film Society, it aims to showcase the best in talent from around the world. Seven short films from Singapore, Mongolia, the United Kingdom and the United States are in the programme.

The Drum (PG, 26 minutes, above), from Singapore film-maker Ler Jiyuan, is adapted from the Dave Chua novel Gone Case, in which a crisis-stricken elderly man must reckon with his past.

In the documentary, The Shining Star Of Losers Everywhere (PG, 19 minutes, United States), a Japanese racehorse becomes a national obsession for the strangest reasons.

WHERE: The Projector MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: Feb 11, 7.30pm ADMISSION: $8 INFO: For bookings, go to thesmalls.peatix.com


SCUFF 2017

The Singapore Cult And Underground Film Festival is the only festival here celebrating horror, action and grindhouse movies.

One of the films featured this year is the American work, The Eyes Of My Mother (M18, 2016, 76 minutes), in which a girl raised on an isolated farm grows up to have a strange taste in friends.

In the Hong Kong action classic, Prison On Fire (NC16, 1987, 98 minutes), directed by Ringo Lam, Chow Yun Fat (above, left) and Tony Leung Ka Fai (above, right) play two inmates caught in a turf war.

WHERE: Alliance Francaise, 1 Sarkies Road MRT: Newton WHEN: Feb 24 - 26 ADMISSION: $13; $42 for the four-film package INFO: For schedule and bookings, go to scumcinema.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2017, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe