John Lui Film Correspondent & Boon Chan Media Correspondent recommend

26th European Union Film Festival, The Witch, Everybody Wants Some and Assassination Classroom 2

Ruch And Norie


Japanese student Norie Tsuruta travels to Latvia to study the nearly extinct Suiti community. In the documentary Ruch And Norie (PG, 65 minutes, 2015), Latvian film-maker Inara Kolmane records the friendship between the student and older woman Ruch and how they form a strong bond despite their differences in age and culture.

WHERE: Golden Village Suntec City, 3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City Mall, 03-373 WHEN: Tuesday to May 22 ADMISSION: $12 INFO:

John Lui


93 minutes/ 4 stars

Patriarch William (Ralph Ineson) is cast out of his village for accusing the elders of slacking in their Puritan faith. With wife Katherine (Kate Dickie) and four children in tow, he ploughs virgin soil on the frontier. But 17th-century America is a place of shadows for the immigrant family, who come to regret leaving the sunlit fields of England.

It is clear that writer-director Robert Eggers is a history buff in love with the minutiae of life in the new American colony.

Film or stage portrayals of the Salem witch trials are meant to be understood as metaphors for modern forms of persecution. But Eggers chooses the literal route - his witches are very real, very ghastly creatures in league with the devil, and what we know about them from children's stories is true.

WHERE: The Projector, 6001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Tower, 05-00 MRT: Nicoll Highway INFO: For tickets and schedule, go to

John Lui


116 minutes/ 4 stars

Writer-director Richard Linklater shows that the best thing about being American - or specifically, a middle-class Texan - is that you get to choose your tribe when you come of age.

Your tribe is a subculture that you accept or, more importantly, which accepts you.

Jake (Blake Jenner, left, with Temple Baker) is a college freshman in the 1980s who shares a house with other baseball jocks like him, for whom the priorities in life are baseball, girls, beer and smoking pot, in that order.

The 55-year-old film-maker has a great deal of affection for his ensemble of lunkheads and he makes you want to stay with them, despite their hyper-competitive, childish streaks.

John Lui


118 minutes/ 3.5 stars

Education and murder are most unlikely bedfellows, though they went together like a compelling nightmare in the action thriller Battle Royale (2000).

Assassination Classroom, which stars Kazunari Ninomiya and Mirei Kiritani (both above), deals with similar themes, albeit with a far more light-hearted approach.

A seemingly indestructible octopus-like creature comes to the no-hope class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Junior High School. The assignment is for the students to assassinate him before graduation, failing which, Earth will be destroyed. This is an adaptation of Yusei Matsui's hit manga of the same name.

It certainly gives a fresh spin to the genre of rah-rah you-can-do-better education dramas when the film draws a link between learning to be a good assassin and becoming a better student and person.

Boon Chan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 06, 2016, with the headline 'Films Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe