Film picks: Sun Children, The Reason I Jump, Sound Of Metal
Children In Society – Singapore Film Society Showcase
As part of the Singapore Film Society’s (SFS) programme of mini-festivals, this year’s first showcase centres on films that illustrate the challenges facing children today.
From Iran comes the drama Sun Children (2020, 99 minutes, PG, screens April 10, 4 pm, GV Suntec City). Directed by Majid Majidi (Oscar-nominated drama Children Of Heaven, 1997), the story focuses on Ali, a 12-year-old who roams the streets with his gang. They get caught up in a caper to find lost treasure, with unexpected results.
The film has been selected as Iran’s entry to the Best International Feature section of the Academy Awards and has made the shortlist of 15 nominees.
Where: Golden Village Suntec City, 3 Temasek Blvd
When: Till Saturday (April 10)
Admission: $15, with discounts for SFS members
The Reason I Jump (PG13)
82 minutes, 4 stars
This ambitious documentary takes the “show, don’t tell” form of film-making to a new level by translating the sensory experience of persons with autism into a cinematic experience.
British director Jerry Rothwell adapts the 2007 book by autistic writer Naoki Higashida into a film that applies techniques from fiction storytelling.
Slow motion, extreme close-ups and studio-created sound effects serve to pick out a detail from the background, say, the hum of a ceiling fan or the patter of raindrops.
The gracefully-executed vignettes that take the autistic person’s point of view are not just immersive – especially through a cinema’s 7.1 sound system – but also empathy-building.
Rothwell also replicates the sensory experiences that trigger anxiety in the autistic to show that stimuli that can be ignored easily by the neurotypical become overwhelming for those without the filters.
Sound Of Metal (NC16)
120 minutes, screening exclusively at The Projector, 4 stars
There are plenty of movies about hero athletes who, after a life-changing injury, find new purpose outside the boxing ring or climbing wall. This movie dares viewers to care when the protagonist is a former drug addict and struggling rock drummer.
Director Darius Marder uses studio audio processing techniques to re-create the loss of certain frequencies and how those sounds are experienced over, say, at a table full of diners, or in a rock concert. The effect is terrifying.
The horror of sudden hearing loss hits drummer Ruben, played by Riz Ahmed in a performance that has justly earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination. The film has five other Oscar nominations – for Best Picture, Original Screenplay and Editing, among others.
Using a mix of professional actors and deaf non-actors, Marder blends fiction and non-fiction elements with care and with an eye to discovering a world just as rich and compelling as the one inhabited by those who can hear.