John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

Film Picks: O.P.E.N. Films Thithi, On The Beach At Night Alone, The Villainess and War For The Planet Of The Apes

Thithi
ThithiPHOTO: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
Kim Min Hee in On The Beach At Night Alone.
Kim Min Hee in On The Beach At Night Alone.PHOTO: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
Kim Ok Bin in The Villainess
Kim Ok Bin in The VillainessPHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE
War For The Planet Of The Apes
War For The Planet Of The ApesPHOTO: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX

O.P.E.N. FILMS THITHI (M18)

123 minutes

A thithi is a ceremony held 11 days after a death and the event is the setting for this Indian-American-produced comedy. Co-writer and director Raam Reddy explores what happens when three generations gather in a remote south Indian village to mourn the passing of a 101-year-old patriarch. Reddy roped in villagers from the area to play all roles and that earned him Best First Feature at the 2015 Locarno International Film Festival.

WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, Beach Road WHEN: Tonight, 7.30pm ADMISSION: $10 for a single-entry ticket


ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE (NC16)

101 minutes

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Kim Min Hee, best known for her work in The Handmaiden (2016), plays Young Hee, an actress dealing with the aftermath of an affair with a married director.

Art is imitating life here. This work is helmed by celebrated director Hang Sang Soo, and both he and Kim admitted to having an affair on their last film, Right Now, Wrong Then (2015). This drama was nominated for a Golden Bear at the recent Berlin International Film Festival, while Kim picked up a Best Actress Silver Bear.

This film and Thithi are screened as part of the O.P.E.N segment that precedes the Singapore International Festival of Arts.

WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, Beach Road WHEN: Tomorrow, 9pm ADMISSION: $10 for a single-entry ticket


THE VILLAINESS (M18)

124 minutes/ 3.5 stars

This midnight-madness genre picture makes up in style and droll humour what it lacks in originality. Director and co-writer Jung Byung Gil, who made the excellent crime thriller, Confession Of Murder (2012), marries Luc Besson's female-assassin flick Nikita (1990) to Park Chan Wook's Vengeance Trilogy (2002-2005).

Sook Hee (Kim Ok Bin) is the waif trapped in a secret government facility that turns orphans into sleeper agents. Sook Hee, after graduation, has to make a kill but her pre-training past comes back to haunt her.


WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (PG)

140 minutes/ 4 stars

The third movie in the series borrows heavily from classic Vietnam conflict movies such as Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Apocalypse Now (1979). Apes are refugees fleeing the guns of a vastly superior human force. Director and co-writer Matt Reeves, returning from the second movie, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014), casts Caesar (Andy Serkis, in motion capture) as one of the most interesting heroes in recent mainstream cinema. Thoughtful, melancholic and empathetic, he is the opposite of the standard-issue Hollywood protagonist.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2017, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe