John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

Film Picks

Yuen Biao (left) and Lam Ching Ying star in The Prodigal Son.
Yuen Biao (left) and Lam Ching Ying star in The Prodigal Son.PHOTOS: ANTICIPATE PICTURES, SCUM CINEMA, SHAW ORGANISATION

THE PRODIGAL SON (PG13)

100 minutes

This 1981 martial arts classic from Hong Kong will be screened outdoors at the Chye Seng Huat Hardware coffee bar.

Brought by the team behind Scum (Society for Cult & Underground Movies), this winner of the Best Action Choreography award at the Hong Kong Film Awards stars Yuen Biao as a rich man's son who wins fights because his father bribes his opponents. He discovers the lie and begins his journey to become a master of Wing Chun.

The movie will be screened in Cantonese with English subtitles.

WHERE: Chye Seng Huat Hardware, 150 Tyrwhitt Road WHEN: Oct 5, 7.45 pm ADMISSION: Donations of $10 or $20. Go to https://notls5oct.peatix.com/

MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A. (NC16)

95 minutes/3.5 stars

This biography of British-Sri Lankan singer, rapper and songwriter Matangi Arulpragasam, who goes by the stage name M.I.A., uses new and archive footage to tell the life story of the artist who went to England as a child with her refugee family to flee the civil war in Sri Lanka.

Yuen Biao (left) and Lam Ching Ying star in The Prodigal Son.

The film tracks her musical growth as well as her personal growth as she reconciles two ideas.

She is oppressed, as a woman and a refugee, but she is also privileged - she found safety when many in her family remained in a war zone.

In the film directed by Steve Loveridge, a friend from art school, the 43-year-old comes across as an earnest woman committed to her causes, with no interest in playing with her public image, or compromising her principles for success.

Yuen Biao (left) and Lam Ching Ying star in The Prodigal Son.

MANDY (R21)

121 minutes/Now showing/4 stars

This horror-thriller oozes style, blood and at least one chainsaw fight. There are men wielding axes forged with their hands, doing battle with demons from hell.

It might sound like cheap, disposable fun, but director and co-writer Panos Cosmatos has a way of evoking real emotion, putting this work several notches above the usual midnight madness fare.

In the Pacific North-west in 1983, Red Miller (Nicholas Cage, above) and Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough) live happily in a forest cabin. Trouble happens when a cult led by Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache) and the couple cross paths, causing Red to embark on a bloody journey of vengeance.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2018, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe