John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

Film Picks: Parasite (Black & White Version, M18)

Parasite
Parasite PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
Portrait Of A Lady On FirePHOTO: THE PROJECTOR
The Witch
The WitchPHOTO: THE PROJECTOR

PARASITE (BLACK & WHITE VERSION, M18)

131 minutes/Now showing

The monochromatic version of the social comedy was created and planned for release by director Bong Joon-ho long before the movie made history at the Oscars by becoming the first Asian film to win Best Picture.

Bong jokingly calls this a vanity project, inspired by the days he spent watching his family's black-and-white television as a boy.

This is not a simple digital bleaching - he worked with a colourist and cinematographer to make sure each scene retained its texture.

In an interview with The Hollywood reporter, Bong said he hopes that with the colours gone, viewers can see more clearly the contrast in living conditions between the rich and poor families.

WHERE: Golden Village Funan, Cathay Cineleisure Orchard and The Projector

ADMISSION: Standard cinema ticket prices

PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (R21)

120 minutes/Opens today/4.5 stars 

Repressed emotions boil over in a spartan 18th-century country manor. Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, this French drama, written and directed by Celine Sciamma (the award-winning coming-of-age film Girlhood, 2014), ignores everything viewers expect from period dramas centred on aristocratic life.

There is little lushness visually, and the musical score and dialogue are dialled down. Sciamma is interested in what faces and hands have to say when portraitist Marianne (Noemie Merlant) and noblewoman Heloise (Adele Haenel) meet under difficult circumstances.

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

MRT: Nicoll Highway

WHEN: From today

ADMISSION: $13.50

INFO: theprojector.sg

THE WITCH (M18)

92 minutes/4 stars 

This 2015 breakthrough by film-maker Robert Eggers is back for a limited run to mark the release of his new work of horror, The Lighthouse (2019).

Life for Puritan English colonists in the New World was precarious. Despite their deep piety, they are shaken by a series of calamities, which they blame on Satan finding the primal landscape of America much to his infernal liking.

When young settler Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy, above) is accused of witchcraft, she has to find allies quickly or perish.

WHERE: The Projector

MRT: Nicoll Highway

WHEN: Sunday, 5.30 pm

ADMISSION: $13.50

INFO: theprojector.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2020, with the headline 'Film Picks: Parasite (Black & White Version, M18)'. Print Edition | Subscribe