Film Picks: Eating Air fund-raiser, Nightmare Alley, The Tragedy Of Macbeth

A still from Eating Air starring Alvina Toh (left) and Benjamin Heng. PHOTO: BOKU FILMS

Eating Air Fundraiser

The cult classic Eating Air (1999, PG, 100 minutes) has been conspicuously absent from Singapore movie collections on streaming platforms. But the genre-busting romantic drama-comedy - billed as a "gongfu motorcycle love story" - is set to be on Netflix soon.

Fans can watch the restored 4K print on the big screen at this event ahead of its streaming debut. Proceeds will go towards the cost of producing the cinema-ready 4K print. There is also a post-show question-and-answer session with directors Jasmine Ng and Kelvin Tong, who will reveal never-seen behind-the-scenes footage and stills.

The film stars Benjamin Heng, Alvina Toh, Joseph Cheong, Ferris Yeo, Andy Chng, Michelle Chong, Mark Lee and Kit Chan. It tells the story of Boy (Heng) and Girl (Toh), teenage outlaws in love and going wild on the streets and expressways of 1990s Singapore.

Where: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road
MRT: Nicoll Highway
When: Jan 26, 8.30 pm
Admission: $50, with discounts for Fan Club members
Info: The Projector website

Nightmare Alley (M18)

Cate Blanchett (left) and Bradley Cooper in Nightmare Alley. PHOTO: THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

150 minutes, showing at Cathay Cineplexes, 5 stars

It has been a while since a movie that hits the quality quadrants of story, cinematography, acting performance and entertainment value has come along. Nightmare Alley checks all the boxes - it is a lush, luxurious work that works as retro homage to noir cinema as it arouses emotions of romantic desire, revulsion and curiosity.

Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) is a man of few means who appears to be on the run. He stumbles across a carnival run by Clem (Willem Dafoe), known for its stage acts and freak show, in which human grotesqueries are offered as entertainment.

Clem offers Stan a job and, before long, the smart, ambitious handyman catches the eye of the performers - among them, the clairvoyant Zeena (Toni Collette) and magician Molly (Rooney Mara). At the carnival, Stan picks up skills that will serve him for the next stage of his life.

Director and co-writer Guillermo del Toro, together with co-writer and wife Kim Morgan, adapts the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham - with an eye to giving Stan a more tortured history, which is shown in a series of flashbacks. This accomplishes the feat of character exposition while adding plenty of visual style.

The Tragedy of Macbeth (PG13)

105 minutes, showing at The Projector and available on Apple TV+ from Jan 14, 4 stars

Of Shakespeare's plays, Macbeth is among the most cinematic. There are fights, big and small, and locations that range from gloomy castles to blasted heaths. The three witches provide a touch of the macabre, while Macbeth follows the screenwriting directive that the main character must always be moving towards a goal, which Shakespeare obliges by giving the Scottish thane the biggest goal of all: the king's throne.

This version from director Joel Coen leans into theatrical minimalism - the colours have been bled out into monochrome, the locations are expressed in geometrically stark, barely there props, and every syllable is consciously articulated.

Denzel Washington's Macbeth - as the aristocrat cursed with ambition and the witches' predictions of his greatness - is also older and more fretful.

The actor's performance, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe, is complex and arresting, while Frances McDormand (also Coen's wife in real life) as Lady Macbeth, his wife and conspirator, is a deliciously evil instigator who is just as hungry and also as knotted with worry.

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