As we enter the early autumn with Oscar season around the corner, it’s easy enough to find quality films playing at the mainstream movie houses. Through the long, hot summer of over-the-top blockbusters and endless sequels, however, it’s another story. So whether you’re hoping to catch an old cult classic, see something that is too risqué or controversial for the likes of Golden Village, or you just want to impress your date, here’s our guide to the best places to catch alternative films across the island.
The result of a successful crowdfunding effort, the Projector is a refurbished cinema in what was once the Golden Theatre on Beach Road. The Projector is your go-to cinema for all things arthouse and classic cult films. They host all kinds of film festivals – check out the Scream Queen Filmfest Tokyo at the end of October and themed days like Sundays with French Cinema. Keep an eye out for other events; in the past few months, they have been screening the highly controversial 1987: Untracing the Conspiracy, which follows the stories of several people arrested by the Singaporean government for supposed Communist ties. Besides having a great programme of films, the Projector also has an excellent canteen and a very cool hidden bar. If you feel like a drink after your film, head towards the bathrooms but take the first door on your right that leads to the carpark. Once you step through those doors, walk towards the blinding spotlights and you’ll come across a Volkswagen bus that’s been converted into a bar. Grab a drink and enjoy the relaxed vibe up here.
You can catch films that explore the crossover between art and science at the museum’s ArtScience on Screen events. These presentations range in nature from feature-length films to multi-screen creative presentations. The film programme usually ties in with one of the current exhibitions that the museum is running. Through the month of October, the museum is screening Werner Herzog’s Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World. The film is a companion Piece to The Big Data exhibition and examines society’s dependence on the Internet. Previous screenings include Whale Rider and Anima Mundi. Check the website for details about films and screening times.
Not many people know that AllianceFrançaise has its own film society, the Ciné Club. The club chooses a theme each month and shows four different films on each Tuesday of that month. The majority of the selection are French contemporary films. On Sunday afternoons, they also show kid-friendly films with the family-oriented Ciné Kids. The October theme is ‘Family Affairs’, and November will look at ‘Promising Actresses’. Besides the weekly programming, Alliance Française is the main host for the annual French Film Festival and French Animation Film Festival.
Screening Room, Singapore | Courtesy of The Screening Room
Club Street, known for its corporate-friendly bars and restaurants, is probably not where you would expect to find a movie theatre. The Screening Room is a hidden gem situated above the chaos of the bars below –the peacefulness of the venue exacerbated on Friday and Saturday nights when Club Street bars spill onto the road. The Screening Room’s film programme is not so much indie films as it is composed of mainstream films that have attained cult status. Films at The Screening Room are complimentary if you spend over $15++ at their rooftop bar, which is easy enough considering their Theatre Bar is one of the coolest rooftops in the city.
the Hive, New Bridge Road | Courtesy of the Singapore Open Air Cinema Club
The newest group to start showing independent films in a unique location is The Hive Singapore, a coworking space on New Bridge Road near Clarke Quay. The Hive has used their rooftop space in the past for screenings as part of media events; however, The Open Air Cinema Club is a new initiative that will be holding film screenings open to the public on their rooftop patio in the middle of Singapore’s stunning skyline, starting at the end of the month with horror film The Oculus.