Film Picks: French Film Festival, Cartoons Underground, The Rescue

A still from the  period drama-comedy Delicious.
A still from the period drama-comedy Delicious.PHOTO: FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL

37th French film festival

The annual event returns with 35 feature films for viewers of all ages.

The period drama-comedy Delicious (PG, 112 minutes, screening at Shaw Theatres Lido and Paya Lebar Quarter till Nov 28, various times) stars Gregory Gadebois as Pierre, a cook, who in the late 1700s, is dismissed by his aristocratic master, the Duke. The disgruntled Pierre turns his life around in a way that will change the course of culinary history in France.

Where: Alliance Francaise Singapore, Shaw Theatres (Lido and Paya Lebar Quarter) and The Projector
MRT: Newton/Orchard/Paya Lebar/Nicoll Highway
When: Till Nov 28
Admssion: $15
Info: Voilah's website

Cartoons underground


Nighthawke tells the story of a roadkill badger, which is not quite as dead as it appears after it is checked by a police patrol. PHOTO: CARTOONS UNDERGROUND

Billed as Asia's top independent animation festival, Cartoons Underground marks its 10th season with a programme of film screenings, panel discussions, workshops and the Golden Durian awards for excellence in animation.

Among the films in the Retrospective section, which highlights films from past editions of the festival, is Nighthawke (G, 28 minutes) from Spela Cadez of Slovenia. It tells the story of a roadkill badger, which is not quite as dead as it appears after it is checked by a police patrol.

Where: Online screenings at Cartoon's Underground website
When: Till Nov 27
Admission: $10 for a film screening, $15 for an All-Access pass, with concessions for students
Info: Cartoon's Underground website

The rescue (PG)


A photo from July 2, 2018, shows a group of divers preparing to search for 12 members of a youth football team and their coach at a flooded section of Tham Luang cave. PHOTO: ROYAL THAI NAVY

107 minutes, showing exclusively at The Projector, 4 stars

National Geographic, working with Oscar-winning director-producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, is among the first out of the gate, with a film about the widely publicised Thai cave rescue in 2018.

This pulse-quickening documentary is based primarily on the experiences of the team of British cave divers and the Thai Navy Seals.

In June that year, 12 members of a youth football team called Wild Boars and their coach were on a hike and ended up trapped inside the Tham Luang cave following an unexpected downpour that flooded its passages. With the rainy season arriving, extraction did not appear to be likely for weeks, possibly months.

British cave divers Rick Stanton, John Volanthen and Jason Mallinson, as well as Australian physician Richard Harris, offer footage of their swims through the tight corridors of the cave.

Some images will be familiar to viewers who were glued to their screens then. They include one showing Stanton and Volanthen's first contact with the trapped victims - huddled and weakly asking how long they had been in the cave. Watching it again should still raise goosebumps.

With the cave divers on board the project, the film would be a total loss if it did not answer the "how did they do it?" question. This is where the project shines - the nuts and bolts of the operation are laid out in layman's language, minus the emotional manipulation that plagues too many documentaries.

Well-constructed sit-down interviews, maps and graphics supplement the archival footage and diving re-enactments.