No such thing as too many films

Can you think of a better way to enjoy films besides being part of a society of like-minded film geeks whom you can have intense post-screening discussions with? No? That’s what we thought.

The Singapore Film Society (SFS) has been around for 60 years now, actively promoting film appreciation through screenings of quality films and other events. To celebrate their more-than-half-a-century run, they’re kicking off the year with a new membership structure and a more robust screening program.

You can now opt to pay for a monthly Digital Membership for a fee of $18 per month, making it more accessible to a wider audience and commitment-phobes who want to watch quality films but can’t commit to a year-long membership. It also gives more flexibility because you can cancel your membership anytime. Otherwise, there’s still the annual Film Addicts Membership at $160 per year.

As a member, you’re entitled to free and unlimited access to any screenings and events organized by SFS, as well as discounts to major film festivals in Singapore like the European Union Film Festival. There’s also the option of purchasing SFS Movie E-Vouchers at $120, which will give you access to 10 SFS Members’ screenings.

SFS will also start having more regular screenings. Just this month alone, you can catch one every week, starting with tonight’s (Jan 3, 9pm at Golden Village Grand) special preview of Cannes Film Festival's 2017 Palme d'Or winner, The Square; a smart, thoughtful and riveting story that follows a respected museum curator who starts questioning his own life after a series of unfortunate events surrounding his new contemporary art piece of the same title.

Following that, SFS will also be working in tandem with Singapore Press Club and Asian American Journalists Association to screen the Singapore premiere of Steven Spielberg’s The Post (Jan 13, 12:45pm at Shaw Lido), where Meryl Streep once again plays a character who holds a big position in a publishing company; this time in a major American newspaper. Based on a true story, the film lays out what went down at The Washington Post as publisher Katharine Graham (Streep) and editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) overcome an impasse to expose a three-decade-long government conspiracy. There’ll also be a post-screening Q&A and discussion with journalists on the future of journalism.

Another SFS exclusive screening is the well-received documentary Walk With Me (Jan 17, 9pm at Golden Village Paya Lebar), which explores the world of mindfulness with Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh. Narrated by the charming Benedict Cumberbatch and filmed over three years, it gives an insight into a community that has given up materialistic things for a monastic life. A Q&A on everyday application of mindfulness with Positive Psychology practitioner Simon Leow follows.

They conclude the month’s program with a collaborative screening of Loving Vincent with National Gallery Singapore (NGS) and Shaw on Jan 26, 7:30pm at NGS’ Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium. This award-winning biopic about renown artist Vincent van Gogh is the world’s first fully oil painted feature that explores the Gogh’s perplexing life and controversial death. Each of the 65,000 frames were painted in the style of Gogh by 125 specially trained painters. After watching the film, exhibition curator Russell Storer will open the floor for a Q&A sesh.

There are a lot more great films in the pipeline, with screenings of The Shape of Water and Lady Bird in February and a special focus on Singaporean filmmakers in March. More info here.