John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

Films Picks: Son Of Saul

Geza Rohrig (left) in Son of Saul
Geza Rohrig (left) in Son of SaulPHOTOS: CELESTIAL MOVIES, TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX, SHAW ORGANISATION, LUNA FILMS

SON OF SAUL (M18)

107 minutes

*****

Hungarian director and co-writer Laszlo Nemes' feature debut, winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, chronicles a few days in the life of one inmate.

His journey peeks into the routines of a death camp, from the time prisoners walk through the gates to the gassings.

Saul Auslander (Hungarian actor Geza Rohrig) is Sonderkommando, a Jew selected to act as warden. His job is to herd his own kind into the death chambers.

One day, he fixates on the idea that the corpse of a child is that of his own son. He hides the body, hoping to give it a good burial.

WHERE: 6001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Tower, The Projector MRT: Nicoll Highway ADMISSION: $13 INFO: For bookings and schedule, go to theprojector.sg


THE REVENANT (M18)

156 minutes

****

This work just won an Oscar for Best Director, for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

Fur trapper and scout Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio, who clinched the Best Actor Oscar) is mauled by a bear.

His companions, having survived an attack by natives, leave the badly injured Glass behind with his son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck) and Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy).

Mexican director and co-writer Inarritu is fascinated by the frontier as an Eden, a place in a state of grace.

Fitzgerald and white men from the "civilised" parts of the American continent bicker over money and are willing to kill for it, while the native Americans, with some "good" white men such as Glass, take from nature only what they need to live.


SPOTLIGHT (NC16)

129 minutes

*****

Winner of the Oscar for Best Picture, this work is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe articles uncovering the sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

This thrillingly ambitious movie lays out how dozens of paedophile priests in Boston not only escaped arrest, but were also shuffled to parishes where they preyed on more children.

The Globe's reportage would show how, at all levels, the city had failed its young.

Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery - all playing journalists - and Stanley Tucci (as lawyer Mitch Garabedian) perform flawlessly.


ALSO LIKE LIFE: THE FILMS OF HOU HSIAO-HSIEN

Ask any Singapore film-maker whom they admire and this Taiwanese icon is likely to be in the top five.

The 68-year-old is not as well known as his compatriot Lee Ang, but his influence here runs deep - his preference for non-actors, long takes, meticulous staging, sparse dialogue and unspoken emotions is widely copied. Dust In The Wind (above, M18, 1986) is an early film, a coming- of-age story about high-school graduates leaving their small town for Taipei and finding that the course of love does not run smooth.

WHERE: 93 Stamford Road, National Museum Of Singapore, Gallery Theatre MRT: Bras Basah/Dhoby Ghaut WHEN: Till March 20, various timings, Dust In The Wind will be screening on March 12 at 4.30pm ADMISSION: $11 (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg) INFO: Go to nationalmuseum.sg for screening schedule

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2016, with the headline 'Films Picks: Son Of Saul'. Print Edition | Subscribe