JOHN LUI AND BOON CHAN RECOMMEND

Film picks: Singapore International Festival Of The Arts, Taxi Tehran, Man Up, IDA

IDA. -- PHOTO: OPUS FILM
IDA. -- PHOTO: OPUS FILM
Man Up. -- PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION
Man Up. -- PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION
Taxi Tehran. -- PHOTO: THE PROJECTOR
Taxi Tehran. -- PHOTO: THE PROJECTOR
The Tribe. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
The Tribe. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

There is film minimalism, and then there is this: A drama with zero dialogue, because all characters are deaf and communicate in Ukrainian sign language.

That are no subtitles either, so viewers have to make out what they are saying, an intentional act by director Myroslav Slaboshpytsky to make the viewer understand what it is like for the deaf when they have to inhabit a world made for those with hearing.

The Tribe (2014, 132 minutes, R21) is a study of street toughs who are students in a school for the deaf by day and are pimps and prostitutes at night.

This is Lord Of The Flies (1963) meets This Is England (2006) and a winner of accolades at the Cannes Film Festival.

Where: The Projector, 05-00 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: City Hall When: June 20 - July 4 Admission: $45 for The O.P.E.N. pass, for access to all films. Go to www.sistic.com.sg. Full schedule at sifa.sg/theopen

John Lui


TAXI TEHRAN (PG)

82 minutes

4.5/5

Dissident Iranian director Jafar Panahi's newest work is the latest to be made under the threat of arrest by the authorities for making works deemed subversive. Here, Panahi blurs the line between fact and fiction in this work, winner of the Golden Bear top prize at this year's Berlin Film Festival.

The director drives a cab, using a dashboard camera to record the result. The riders are a mix of actors and real people playing themselves. Some recognise him, some do not, but each interaction offers a glimpse into the inner workings of the country's capital city.

Throughout, no one addresses Panahi's own real-life plight, but almost every conversation alludes to it, while the director himself smiles and nods, in a kind of extended private joke that would be funny, if it were not so tragic.

Where: The Projector, 05-00 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: City Hall When: Till Mon, various timings Admission: $13 Info: Go to theprojector.sg for full schedule

JL


MAN UP (NC16)

88 minutes

3.5/5

Thanks to a case of mistaken identity, awkward Nancy (Lake Bell) ends up on a blind date with an older, divorced man, Jack (Simon Pegg). They get along swimmingly and, somehow, there is never a right moment for her to confess the error. When he eventually finds out, is there still a chance for them?

Pegg is the everyman you root for, be it in apocalyptic comedies such as Shaun Of The Dead (2004) and The World's End (2013) or in a romance here.

Bell is gawky, cynical and vulnerable in an endearing way, without quite getting into the cartoonish territory of Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones' Diary (2001).

Bland title aside, Man Up is a rom-com that gets both the romance and the comedy right.

Boon Chan


IDA (NC16)

82 minutes

Winner of this year's Oscar for Best Foreign Film, Polish director Pawel Pawlokowski tells the story of Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska), a young nun who some years after World War II discovers a family secret that will change her life.

This screening is organised by the Singapore Film Society.

Where: Golden Village Suntec City MRT Esplanade, Promenade, City Hall When: June 10, 9pm Admission: For Singapore Film Society members only. Memberships can be purchased at www.sfs.org.sg

JL