Film Picks: Sinkhole, Misha And The Wolves, Chilean Film Showcase

Sinkhole dares to blend humour with disaster action. PHOTO: ENCORE FILMS

Sinkhole (PG)

114 minutes, now showing, 4 stars

This work dares to blend humour with disaster action - two ingredients rarely seen together in cinema. Now that this South Korean movie has made this unlikely pairing feel natural, fresh and funny, Hollywood executives would be daft to not ask for a remake.

After more than a decade of struggle, office worker Park (Kim Sung-kyun) and his family can finally afford an apartment in Seoul - a feat that dazzles his colleague Kim (Lee Kwang-soo), but leaves his new neighbour, the surly blue-collar striver Jeong (Cha Seung-won), less than impressed.

When the catastrophe of the title strikes their block, emotional undercurrents - of property envy, class prejudice, family resentments and unrequited passion - hinder the survivors as they struggle to save themselves.

The central metaphor - and bitterest joke - is the image of an apartment block swallowed up by the ground, just after owners have forked out a king's ransom for a unit.

There is a hearty chuckle to be had there, but the real engine of the film is the imaginativeness of the survival scenarios - the shattered, sunken building is a vertical escape room, with a nasty shock or nice surprise behind every corner.

Misha and the Wolves (PG13)

89 minutes, available on Netflix, 4 stars


Just added to the streaming service is this compelling documentary, consisting of a series of interviews with those involved in the case of Misha Defonseca, an emigre from Europe to a town in Massachusetts in the United States.

Her biography is the stuff of movies. As a child during World War II, she walked across countries in search of her imprisoned parents.

That is all one should know before watching this especially well-crafted investigative piece, which presents its information with briskness, clarity and zero filler material.

Chilean Film Showcase

The 2012 drama Night Across The Street is a personal and meditative exploration of the idea of death. PHOTO: THE PROJECTOR

The work of celebrated film-maker Raul Ruiz is the focus of this event, presented by the Embassy of Chile and indie cinema The Projector. The first of three films to be screened is the last one that Ruiz completed before his death in 2011.

The 2012 drama Night Across The Street (PG, 113 minutes) is a personal and meditative exploration of the idea of death, through the character of Don Celso. He is a man adrift across dimensions, which allows him to see himself at different ages. The meetings often take place in fantastical settings.

This work was selected for the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

Where: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road

MRT: Nicoll Highway

When: Sept 3 to 5, various times

Admission: $15

Info: The Projector website

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