John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

Film Picks: Perspectives Film Festival, A Design Film Festival, Painting With Light and more

PHOTOS: A DESIGN FILM FESTIVAL, NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE, NETFLIX, PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL

PERSPECTIVES FILM FESTIVAL

Since 2008, this festival, run by students of the Nanyang Technological University's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication, has screened films that challenge conventional thinking.

Horror, fantasy and 1980s electropop intertwine in the Polish movie, The Lure (2015, R21, 92 minutes, main photo). Two sister mermaids emerge from the sea to become cabaret sensations, but in giving up their fishy natures, there is a price to be paid.

WHERE:National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road; Alliance Francaise, 1 Sarkies Road; Shaw Theatres Lido, 350 Orchard Road; and *Scape Gallery, Level 5, 2 Orchard Link MRT: Various WHEN:Till Sunday ADMISSION: $13 a screening, $99 festival pass for all films INFO: For bookings and schedule, go to perspectivesfilmfestival.com

A DESIGN FILM FESTIVAL

Fans of the cassette tape - once thought to be on the verge of extinction - caused demand for the archaic format to more than double this year over last year.

The documentary Cassette (NC16, 93 minutes, above) explores how this happened and why, by putting in everyone's hands the power to duplicate songs and make playlists, the humble tape changed the direction of pop music.

WHERE: Capitol Theatre, 11 Stamford Road MRT: City Hall WHEN: Till Sunday ADMISSION: $15 INFO: For bookings and schedule, go to www.designfilmfestival.com

THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED) (NC16)

112 minutes

4 stars

Writer-director Noah Baumbach's new film, which is streaming on Netflix, offers laughs laced with pity. His past works such as The Squid And The Whale (2005) and Greenberg (2010) rest on emotions such as envy and resentment - characters, deep in denial about their lack of talent, do something to betray that fact. What's the same this time is Baumbach's preoccupation with the unfairness with which talent and love are distributed in a family; what's different is how willing he turns the resulting bitterness into a punchline. The engine here is undoubtedly Dustin Hoffman (above left, with Ben Stiller) as the fretful Harold, a sculptor whose middling standing in the art world gnaws at him.

PAINTING WITH LIGHT

Each of Italy's towns and villages celebrates the Catholic faith with parades. In the documentary Leave The Saints Alone (2016, PG, 75 minutes, above), director Gianfranco Pannone uses new footage and archives to show how the religious procession is more than worship. It also knits communities together, expresses artistic impulses and creates a symbolic language of its own.

The film is among more than 30 in this festival of films about art, organised by National Gallery Singapore.

WHERE: The Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium, City Hall Wing, National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew's Road WHEN: Till Sunday ADMISSION: $10, from the Gallery and Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555) INFO: For schedule, go to www.nationalgallery.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2017, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe