Lighting Up The Stars (Netflix)
Mo Sanmei (Zhu Yilong), a mortician who has done prison time for assaulting his ex-girlfriend's partner, finds himself taking care of four-year-old Wu (Yang En You), an orphan, who latches on to him after the death of her grandmother. While Mo is grappling with heartbreak and a strained relationship with his father, the young girl is unable to comprehend the absence of her granny. With delightful performances from Zhu and Yang, this is a charming film on loss and love with comical moments.—Nipa Charagi
Pa. Ranjith's new film is now on Netflix. We'd written in our review: “This is a Ranjith film that is in argument with itself. Or Ranjith swapping chairs and debating with himself. Natchathiram Nagargiradhu is a talky film. It’s why Rene when she is forced to tell her own story is made to stand in a witness stand prop on the rehearsal stage. People say a lot of things, drop opinions and even references and usually it is an enjoyable genre, just people talking in a room with no plot.”
A divorced couple travel to Bali to break up the wedding of their daughter to a man she’s just met. Ol Parker’s film reunites frequent co-stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts. With the big starry romcom becoming a rarity, this is a throwback to a time when such films when such films were ubiquitous in Hollywood.
Man With A Movie Camera (MUBI)
This 1929 film by Dziga Vertov takes us through a day of life in Russia with the help of dazzling editing and camera trickery. Arguably the greatest documentary of all time, it’s also one the most relentlessly inventive films ever made. The propulsive score is by Alloy Orchestra.
Little Women (Netflix)
The three Oh sisters have been abandoned by their parents, leaving them in debt and misery. In-joo is divorced; In-kyun, a journalist, has drinking issues; and the youngest, In-hye, wants to go to an art school abroad. They are pitted against corrupt politician Park Jae-sang and his devilish wife Won Sang-ah. This "Little Women" is utterly South Korean in its setting: class divide, debt, slush money, you name it, including murders one too many. With twists and turns tumbling out like a nesting doll—and a ghost orchid adding to the mystery—it does get confusing.—NC