John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

Film Picks: Beasts clawing at straws (NC16)

My Buddha Is Punk spotlights issues such as minority oppression and political freedom. (From far left) Chen Tianwen, Koh Jia Ler and Yeo Yann Yann star in family drama Ilo Ilo.
My Buddha Is Punk spotlights issues such as minority oppression and political freedom. PHOTO: ASIAN FILM ARCHIVE
My Buddha Is Punk spotlights issues such as minority oppression and political freedom. (From far left) Chen Tianwen, Koh Jia Ler and Yeo Yann Yann star in family drama Ilo Ilo.
(From far left) Chen Tianwen, Koh Jia Ler and Yeo Yann Yann star in family drama Ilo Ilo. PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE
My Buddha Is Punk spotlights issues such as minority oppression and political freedom. (From far left) Chen Tianwen, Koh Jia Ler and Yeo Yann Yann star in family drama Ilo Ilo.
BEASTS CLAWING AT STRAWS (NC16)PHOTO: THE PROJECTOR

FOR THE RECORD

The Asian Film Archive's Oldham Theatre, along with other cinemas, closed its doors in March as part of measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

It marks its reopening with For The Record, a documentary programme that puts the spotlight on musicians in Asia who blend traditional sounds with Western styles, often meeting with resistance from gatekeepers.

In My Buddha Is Punk (2015, PG13, 68 minutes, screens tomorrow, 4pm), from German director Andreas Hartmann, Myanmar punk rocker Kyaw Kyaw and his band Rebel Riot take on issues such as minority oppression and political freedom. WHERE: Oldham Theatre, 1 Canning Rise WHEN: Till Aug 23 ADMISSION: $10 INFO: asianfilmarchive.org

SINGAPORE FILMS ON NETFLIX

To mark National Day, streaming service Netflix has launched 106 Singapore films and series. They include commercial hits such as military comedy Ah Boys To Men 2 (2013) and education satire I Not Stupid (2002), as well as lesser-known works such as coming-of-age drama Sandcastle (2010) and the animated film Tatsumi (2011).

One of the offerings is Anthony Chen's debut film, the family drama Ilo Ilo (2013, PG, 99 minutes). Starring Yeo Yann Yann and Chen Tianwen, it spotlights a typical Singapore family and what happens after they hire a Filipino domestic helper Teresa (Angela Bayani).

The film won the Camera d'Or award for Chen at the Cannes Film Festival and Yeo snagged the Golden Horse Award for Best Supporting Actress in Taipei.

BEASTS CLAWING AT STRAWS (NC16)

108 minutes/The Projector/4 Stars

A gangster, karaoke hostess, corrupt civil servant and his evil ex-wife (played by veteran actress Jeon Do-yeon) are among the characters brought together in this stylish South Korean crime thriller adapted from the 2011 Japanese novel of the same name.

Told in six chapters that appear to be unrelated till the final third of the film, this debut work by writer-director Kim Yong-hoon has the ingredients fans love about South Korean crime mysteries: cool visuals, black humour and a plot that keeps audiences guessing till the end. WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road WHEN: Now showing ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO: theprojector.sg

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2020, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe