SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
In the Spanish-language drama Monos (M18, 103 minutes, above, screening on Nov 25, 9.15 pm at National Museum of Singapore's Gallery Theatre), a group of guerillas live an idyllic existence in the mountains of Colombia. But an accident soon confronts them with the brutal reality of war. Winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
WHERE: Various locations, including Capitol Theatre, Filmgarde Bugis+, Golden Village Grand, Oldham Theatre, National Gallery Singapore. National Museum of Singapore, The Projector MRT: Various WHEN: Thursday to Dec 1 ADMISSION: $13 (except for the opening film and special presentations); discounts for bulk purchases INFO: sgiff.com
SO LONG, MY SON (PG)
185 minutes/4 stars
Over its luxurious three-hour run-time, this story packs in threads about forced abortions, labour camp stints for listening to decadent Western pop, attempted suicide and extra-marital liaisons.
If it all sounds like prime-time soap opera material, that is because it is. But celebrated Chinese film-maker Wang Xiaoshuai, master of social realist dramas like the prize-winning Beijing Bicycle (2001), Shanghai Dreams (2005) and 11 Flowers (2011, also starring Wang) never lapses into mawkishness.
The son of Yaojun (Wang Jingchun) and Liyun (Yong Mei, both above) is killed in an accident. The pain is felt all the more keenly because he is their only child, the result of China's population control policy. Over the next three decades, the after-effects of that death linger on in the lives of the couple and their friends and relatives. Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Actor and Best Actress, for Wang and Yong respectively, at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival.
WHERE: The Projector, level 5, Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: Bugis WHEN: From Sunday, various times ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO: theprojector.sg
FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL
In the biopic of playwright Edmond Rostand who wrote Cyrano de Bergerac (NC16, 113 minutes, left, screening on Sunday, 2pm, at Alliance Francaise), the young writer is shown in 1897, down on his luck and creatively empty. This comedy-drama follows what happens when he meets someone who inspires him to write the play that has since become a classic.
WHERE: Various locations, including Alliance Francaise, Shaw Theatres Lido, The Projector MRT: Various WHEN: Till Sunday ADMISSION: Various, see website for details INFO: voilah.sg/french-film-festival-2019