Film picks: Middle East Film Festival, Suspiria, Girl and They Shall Not Grow Old

Highlights include the drama The Insult (2017, PG13), Lebanon's nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.
Highlights include the drama The Insult (2017, PG13), Lebanon's nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.PHOTO: MIDDLE EAST FILM FESTIVAL

Middle East Film Festival 2019

Presented by the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore and supported by the Singapore Film Society, the festival features seven films from the region.

Highlights include the drama The Insult (2017, PG13), Lebanon's nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. In the heat of the moment, harsh words are exchanged between a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian workman, which sets into motion a series of events that forces everyone to examine the divisions tearing society apart.

Where: GV VivoCity

When: Jan 10 to 16

Admission:$13 (standard), $10 (concession for students, NSFs, seniors aged 55 and above and SFS Film Addicts at the box office)

Info: Tickets are available at any GV box office or online at www.gv.com.sg

Girl (R21)

106 minutes/4 stars


Lara (Victor Polster) is a 15-year-old Belgian who was born male but is in the process of transitioning to female.  PHOTO: ANTICIPATE PICTURES

There has been opposition to this film from the trans community, who say it is a piece of voyeurism that cheapens their experience. That might well be the case, but there is much here that also deepens the understanding of the effort it takes to cross gender boundaries.

Lara (Victor Polster) is a 15-year-old Belgian who was born male but is in the process of transitioning to female. She has begun living as a female in the months before the start of hormone treatments and sex reassignment surgery. Her family and friends support her choices, but after she transfers to an elite ballet academy, the school's physical and psychological demands begin to take a toll. Based on a true story.

Where: The Projector, level 5, Golden Mile Tower, Beach Road

When: Now showing, various times

Admission: $13.50

Info: theprojector.sg

Suspiria (R21)

152 minutes/ Now showing at GV Paya Lebar / 3.5 stars


Suspiria is loosely based on the classic supernatural horror movie of the same name, directed by Dario Argento and released in 1977. PHOTO: ANTICIPATE PICTURES

Director Luca Guadagnino uses every trick known to modern film prosthetics to create a work that offers more than atmospheric chills. Bodies are punished in a manner rarely seen outside of the torture porn genre. Under its arthouse skin, this film has a heart of pure grindhouse.

Susie (Dakota Johnson), a naive American from a religious family, has come to West Berlin in 1977 to train at an elite modern dance academy, and becomes a star pupil under the tutelage of Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton). She is a witness to a few strange events, such as the disappearance of another student, Patricia (Chloe Grace Moretz). but her time is spent making new friends, such as with classmate Sara (Mia Goth).

Loosely based on the classic supernatural horror movie of the same name, directed by Dario Argento and released in 1977.

They Shall Not Grow Old (PG13)

99 minutes


They Shall Not Grow Old is the most striking reminder to date of the scale of World War I, and the lives lost to it. PHOTO: WARNER BROS

Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Director Peter Jackson and his team have taken frontline footage of the period and processed it, adding colour, sound and filling in details the film technology of the time could not capture.

The result, given a voiceover by witnesses to the carnage, is the most striking reminder to date of the scale of the conflict, and the lives lost to it.

Where: The Projector, Golden Mile Tower, Beach Road

When: Now showing, various times

Admission: $13.50

Info: theprojector.sg