The Straits Times recommends

The Lost City Of Z, Singapore Chinese Film Festival, and more

PHOTOS: CATHAY-KERIS FILMS, SINGAPORE CHINESE FILM FESTIVAL, TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX

THE LOST CITY OF Z (PG13)

140 minutes/4 stars

A lushly depicted and haunting film based on David Grann's 2009 best-selling biography of Colonel Percival Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam, right, with Robert Pattinson and Edward Ashley), a soldier who at the turn of the last century made gruelling expeditions to the Amazon, during which he would be away for years at a time, his children raised by his iron-willed wife, Nina (Sienna Miller).

Writer-director James Gray is not just interested in Fawcett as a man obsessed with finding a lost city, but also how he lived in a time when explorers were heroes and how, underneath the pomp, the British Empire was a well-run business.

John Lui


SINGAPORE CHINESE FILM FESTIVAL

There are award winners galore in this year's line-up of 16 narrative features, 13 documentaries, six restored classics and 10 short films.

They include Trivisa, about three real-life mobsters, which nabbed five Hong Kong Film Awards including Best Film and Best Actor for Gordon Lam and stars Jordan Chan (left); Chinese drama The Summer Is Gone, which won the Golden Horse Award for Best Feature Film; and Taiwanese drama Hang In There, Kids!, which was named the 2016 Taipei Film Festival Best Narrative Feature.

WHERE: The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane; Golden Village Suntec City, 03-373 Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard; and National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road MRT: Various WHEN: April 28 to May 7 ADMISSION: $13 a ticket from www.gv.com.sg and www.sistic.com. Tickets at $10 for Singapore Film Society and Singapore University of Social Sciences members at the box office INFO: www.scff.sg

Boon Chan


ALIEN DAY

April 26 is Alien Day, a global marketing campaign in celebration of the iconic Alien movie franchise and to drum up support for the sixth and latest instalment Alien: Covenant, which will be released next month.

The date is a nod to the planet LV-426 featured in the films.

In Singapore on that day, a back-to-back screening of the director's cut of Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986) will be held at Golden Village Suntec City. There will also be exclusive content from Alien: Covenant, which stars Katherine Waterston (above).

WHERE: Golden Village Suntec City, 03-373 Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard MRT: Esplanade WHEN: April 26, from 6.30pm ADMISSION: Tickets are free and can be won from Twentieth Century Fox Singapore's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/twentiethcenturyfoxsingapore), Golden Village, StarHub, Mint Museum of Toys, Absolute Comics, Geek Culture and Popcorn.Asia

Andy Chen


POP AYE (M18)

101 minutes/4.5 stars

Singapore writer-director Kirsten Tan's feature debut is a playful and poignant look at one man's attempt to find redemption through a bold, insane act of animal rescue.

Thana (Thaneth Warakulnukroh) is a middle-aged architect losing everything, including the affection of wife Bo (Penpak Sirikul) and the respect of his peers.

A chance encounter with a "beggar elephant" - an animal used to coax money from tourists on Bangkok streets - fills Thana with the desire to rescue the pachyderm he thinks is "Pop Aye", a childhood pet, and return him to a sanctuary in the north of the country.

John Lui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2017, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe