The new Almodovar, some banned movies, some heartbreaking documentaries and more.

After the month you’ve had, we’re guessing you might be taking a break from the partying and drinking and opting for some more wholesome pursuits. And what could be more wholesome than watching a movie? Here are some rather heady ones happening in Singapore this January.

Julieta

For some, every new Lady Gaga song is cause to drop what you’re doing and watch it. For others, it’s every new Pedro Almodovar film. If you’re in the latter camp (there’s probably a lot of overlap), you’ll be pleased to know that his latest film, based on Nobel Prize-winning short story writer Alice Munro’s Runaway collection, is screening in town at Shaw Lido and good ol’ Projector. The plot centers around aging Julieta, who has been estranged from her daughter for years but who finally learns of her whereabouts.

When and where: Several timings, currently showing at Shaw Lido and The Projector
How much: $12-13.50

Bodies for Sale

Singaporean-Malaysian women’s empowerment initiative Reyna Project is hosting a screening of Malaysian activist filmmaker Mahi Ramakrishnan’s harrowing short documentary, Bodies for Sale, which infamously depicts graphic footage of rape and other atrocities committed against stateless Rohingya by human traffickers along the jungles of the Thai-Malaysian border. The filmmaker will be present for a Q&A.

When and where: Jan 6, 7pm, PermaiSeri Restaurant, 580 Queensway
How much: $15, inclusive of refreshments and a donation to a Rohingya women’s refugee initiative in Kuala Lumpur

State of Motion

See different sides of Singapore when the Asian Film Archive and the Singapore Film Locations Archive collaborate on this series of risque film screenings at the National Library. The selection of five films, all by foreign filmmakers and many previously banned, includes, of course, Peter Bogdanovich’s Saint Jack, about an American pimp working in Singapore in the 1970s, but we’re also excited about Ricochet, aka the David-Bowie-in-Singapore movie, and Singapore’s so-called “one and only kungfu film” Ring of Fury.

When and where: Jan 6-Feb 5, Pavilion, National Library
How much: Free, though registration is required (mind the ratings!)

03-Flats

Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) at Gillman Barracks has been doing weekly screenings every Saturday of Singaporean films related to architecture, as part of its Re-Thinking the City series. This time, it’s an award-winning documentary, a collaboration between filmmaker Lei Yuan Bin and NUS architecture researcher Lilian Chee, which explores the lives of three women in different life stages, living in separate units in Singapore’s HDBs. The film competed at the Busan International Film Festival in 2014, and in 2016 screened at the Singapore Pavilion of the International Architecture Biennale in Venice.

When and where: Jan 7, 4pm, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Gillman Barracks
How much: Free

Little Miss Sunshine

Ok, so this is hardly film snob material, but what’s exciting is the location. This is the new screening by the recently formed Singapore Open Air Club, courtesy of co-working space The Hive. The American road trip dramedy was a huge Sundance success and involves a ragtag family of depressives, weirdos, anti-social scholars driving long distance so the baby of the family can enter a children’s beauty pageant. It's sold out, but see if you can wangle a seat.

When and where: Jan 13, 7:30pm, The Hive
How much: $15 on Peatix, inclusive of a beer and a snack

Building Dreams — In Search of Singapore Architecture

Next up in the CCA’s Re-Thinking the City film series is this eight-part documentary series (over three hours) that aired in the early oughties, each exploring a different urban planner or architect and the significance of their work in Singapore. Pro tip: most of the segments have been directed by famous Singaporean documentary filmmaker Tan Pin Pin.

When and where: Jan 14, 5pm, Center for Contemporary Arts, Gillman Barracks
How much: Free

5 Broken Cameras

The first-ever Palestinian Film Festival is happening this month, and among films like Speed Sisters (about the Middle East’s first-ever all-woman racing team) and Elia Suleiman’s stylish, funny and occasionally heartbreaking The Time That Remains, we’re especially excited about 5 Broken Cameras, a six-year documentary shot by a young father, about a non-violent resistance to Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

When and where: Jan 21, 8pm, The Projector
How much: $13.50