John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

Film Picks: Pop Aye, Samsara and more

Pop Aye


101 minutes/ 4.5 stars

Singapore writer-director Kirsten Tan's feature debut is a playful and poignant look at one man's attempt to find redemption through a bold, possibly insane, act of animal rescue.

Thana (Thaneth Warakulnukroh) is a middle-aged architect losing everything, including the affection of his wife Bo (Penpak Sirikul, above) and the respect of his peers.

A chance encounter with a "beggar elephant" - an animal used to coax money from tourists on Bangkok's streets - fills Thana with the desire to rescue the pachyderm he thinks is Pop Aye, a childhood pet, and return him to a sanctuary.


102 minutes

Screened as a part of the Esplanade's Tapestry Of Sacred Music festival, this wordless look at natural and man-made wonders from around the world deserves a viewing on the big screen.

It is a blizzard of images and music at once meditative and awe-inspiring, from director Ron Fricke. WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: Sunday, 5.30pm ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO: For bookings, go to


One of Singapore's longest-running film events is back. The festival this year has picked National Gallery Singapore as its venue.

Among the 27 feature films is the opening work, drama-comedy Goodbye Berlin (2016, rating to be advised, 93 minutes).

The coming-of-age story is about two Berlin teenagers on a driving holiday through East Germany, starring Tristan Gobel (above) and Anand Batbileg as the two boys.

WHERE: National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew's Road MRT: City Hall WHEN: May 11 to 21 ADMISSION: $12 INFO: For bookings and schedule, go to


105 minutes/ 3.5 stars

A cute teen romance between farm boy Jonas (Josh Wiggins) and new neighbour Casey (Sophie Nelisse, both left) turns dark when her father Wayne (the late Bill Paxton in one of his last performances) turns out to be less than the upstanding sheriff he appears to be.

This taut thriller is driven by character, not coincidence, with the bonus of Paxton's deliciously nasty turn as the protective dad from hell.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2017, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe