Arts & Entertainment

Your complete guide to Singapore's art exhibitions, theatre plays, musicals, comedy, movie reviews and film trailers

Best public art in Singapore
Art

Best public art in Singapore

We introduce the artists who are decking out our land-starved city with public art

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Singaporean photographers to check out on Instagram
Art

Singaporean photographers to check out on Instagram

Everyone’s a photographer these days. But we pick out four who are capturing our fair city in a very different light

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Singapore International Festival of Arts 2016

Singapore International Festival of Arts 2016

Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) returns, bringing international shows from dance to theatre to music performances to our shores. Running on the theme of potentialities, explorations are made into tradition, modern archives and contemporary technology – including Ron Arad’s 720°, Tropical Traumas: A Series Of Cinematographic Choreographies. Shows are held at various venues including the School of the Arts (SOTA), Malay Heritage Centre, and the National Gallery Singapore.

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Singapore Night Festival
Things to do

Singapore Night Festival

Calling all creatures of the night – the Singapore Night Festival is returning for two weekends with a programme of cool activities. We pick six highlights to check out

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Secret art spaces in Singapore
Art

Secret art spaces in Singapore

More stores and eateries are carving out spaces for local artists – we discover five unexpected art galleries

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Latest film reviews and releases

Nerve
Film

Nerve

A shy student gets drawn into an online reality dare game in this cyberthriller based on the 2012 young-adult novel by Jeanne Ryan. Emma Roberts stars as teenager Vee, who is goaded into trying out the app, in which an underground community of players perform dares in return for cash. This proves to be surprisingly lucrative for Vee, though she’s actually more interested in impressing fellow player Ian (Dave Franco), a guy she partners up with one night in New York City. Mild challenges such as ‘kiss a stranger’ escalate to life-threatening tests like ‘motorbike blindfolded’. Then things go too far. As for the machinations of the game itself, what begins as faintly unlikely becomes flat-out preposterous, but there’s entertainment value along the way. Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (‘Catfish’) make the most of the suspenseful set-up, and Vee has enough likeability that you’ll be rooting for her. Roberts and Franco share chemistry, while Emily Meade is enjoyable in the slutty-best-friend role (though poor Juliette Lewis is wasted in another anxious-mom part). Other films – including David Fincher’s ‘The Game’ – have done this better. But with its engaging story, energetic soundtrack and slick production values, ‘Nerve’ is an easy watch.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Suicide Squad
Film

Suicide Squad

The big fear about the punky, not-for-kids comic-book movie Suicide Squad was that it might be too try-hard: Hollywood awkwardly slumming it with the alt crowd. But this loony wise-cracking DC Comics story, directed with anti-glossy grit by David Ayer (End of Watch, Fury), plays like a twisted B-side to some of the slicker movies in the comics world. “You want to put our national security in the hands of witches, gang-bangers and crocodiles?” asks one government official as ruthless high-up Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) – the baddest badass in a movie full of them – introduces her scheme. Law and order is crumbling after Batman v Superman, and Waller intends to assemble a ragtag band of sicko ‘meta-humans’ to fight evil. One by one, the Squad is gathered. Will Smith is former gang member Deadshot; Margot Robbie is psychiatrist turned psychopath Harley Quinn; Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is Killer Croc; and so on. Waller has a second trick up her sleeve: she controls Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), an archaeologist by day, possessed shape-shifter after hours. This is Batman’s world, and the chiselled guy (aka Ben Affleck) pops up but ends up looking like the square guy at a cool party. The soundtrack – Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, Eminem – says a lot about where this movie pitches itself: playfully fun in a Tarantino-lite sort of way. And it’s not all ultra-violence: each member of the Squad secretly dreams of a family, a fitted kitchen and a garden. In the end, Suicide Squad e

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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The BFG
Film

The BFG

A little orphan girl is snatched from her bed late at night by a big-hearted vegetarian giant and whisked off to an unwelcoming land of over-sized cannibals in Roald Dahl's much-cherished 1982 book 'The BFG'. For this movie version, aimed squarely at small kids who love the book, Steven Spielberg, working with the late 'ET' writer Melissa Mathison, runs with the lean meat of Dahl's tale.  Mark Rylance is the benevolent giant who pours dreams and nightmares into the ears of sleeping humans and who joins forces with the Queen (Penelope Wilton) to put a stop to the threat of flesh-eating giants. Spielberg makes surprisingly few embellishments to Dahl's story, yet he tones down some of the more vicious bone-crunching and is more interested in the wonder of dreams than the terror of nightmares. This is a faithful, charming (if a tiny bit sluggish) version that mixes live action with the same motion-capture technique that Spielberg used for 'The Adventures of Tintin' in 2011. There are a handful of heart-stopping moments, not least when Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is snatched from her bed by those enormous fingers coming through the window. But there are points, too, when you can see the technology working, which might leave you wondering if digital invention can ever really match the imaginative leaps inspired by the printed word. Still, the giant that Spielberg has created with actor Mark Rylance is testament to how fast this technology is moving: he's a fleshy marvel, full of pers

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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The Neon Demon
Film

The Neon Demon

We know from 'Only God Forgives' and 'Drive' that Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn likes to drench his stories in neon-soaked atmosphere and bypass real emotion in favour of actors floating through his films like zombified 'Thunderbirds' puppets. Now he has a subject to match his style: the Californian fashion world. Jesse (Elle Fanning) is a fresh-faced teen ingenue on LA's fashion scene who signs to a top agent (Christina Hendricks) and is soon walking catwalks for a pretentious top designer (Alessandro Nivola). Her new friends, a make-up artist (Jena Malone) and two very slightly older other models either fancy her, envy her or want her dead. Gorgeous, obvious, vapid, beautiful, a bit boring. You could say all those things about the fashion world, so perhaps it's only right that a film which tries to recreate the essence of that world in a hyper-stylised way feels exactly the same. Refn being Refn – a shock-merchant with a dab hand at beautiful, often mesmerising imagery – he goes way further than just adopting the look of fashion shoots for a whole movie (although you could probably find images from magazines to match almost every still of this movie). This is also a story of blood-thirsty narcissism, cannibalism and necrophilia. There are scenes of a model being forced to swallow a knife and a make-up artist having sex with a dead body. You don't get that in your average Armani ad.The 'demon' of the title is also literal, and gives us the film's best sequence: an oc

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Ghostbusters
Film

Ghostbusters

The all-female reboot of ‘Ghostbusters’ is here – pumped-up, subversive and often very funny. But before any fanboys make the leap from viciously criticising the trailer to viciously criticising the movie itself, let’s get a reality check on the 1984 original: breezy, blessed with a Bill Murray performance that captures him at his loosest, but hardly a work of genius – it was a wispy ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit propped up by zingers and special effects. For this new ‘Ghostbusters’, director Paul Feig (‘Bridesmaids’), working with his regular screenwriter Katie Dippold, has dropped the deadpan, blue-collar schlubbiness of Murray and the gang. But he adds a sharp sense of sorority, turning this rethink into something appealing on its own terms. This is a stealth battle of the sexes that involves mansplaining college deans, a haughty New York mayor and a phalanx of male soldiers – all neutralised by a core team of four imaginative women. Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig play Abby and Erin, co-authors of an embarrassing paranormal study, the 460-page ‘Ghosts from the Past: Both Figuratively and Literally’, who are drawn back together after Erin’s academic career fizzles out. Evil vapours haunt New York’s underground, bringing a tough subway worker (Leslie Jones) into the fold. For a moment we think they’re returning to the old Tribeca firehouse – but the rent’s way too high, so they settle for an office over a Chinese restaurant. But it’s Kate McKinnon’s rascally, plastic-goggled

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Alice Through the Looking Glass
Film

Alice Through the Looking Glass

This follow-up to Tim Burton’s 2010 ‘Alice in Wonderland’ brings back most of the same team (though Burton has stepped back to be a producer), and the same high-energy and bucketful of 3D digital effects approach. Mia Wasikowska returns as the eminently sensible Alice, who has been adventuring on the high seas since we last saw her (a little anachronistically, considering this is the 1800s). Now she must battle male chauvinism to follow her dreams back on dry land. The story bears little relation to Lewis Carroll’s novel. Instead, screenwriter Linda Woolverton aims for a sequel that also serves as a prequel, with plenty of flashbacks to the past lives of the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), White Queen (Anne Hathaway) and Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter). It’s Alice’s job, after tumbling through the mirror and returning to Underland, to negotiate with a brand new character, volatile almost-villain Time (Sacha Baron Cohen, on high-camp, slightly grating form) to save Hatter, who’s dying from a broken heart. The film’s pace barely leaves you time to think – blink and you’ll lose the plot. But there’s plenty of imagination here to honour the spirit of Carroll’s topsy-turvy tales, even if the emotional resolutions are of a distinctly twenty-first-century sort.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Top art museums and galleries in Singapore

National Gallery Singapore
Art

National Gallery Singapore

The former City Hall and Supreme Court buildings have been refurbished to become the National Gallery

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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STPI Creative Workshop and Gallery
Art

STPI Creative Workshop and Gallery

A dynamic creative workshop and contemporary art gallery 

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ArtScience Museum
Art

ArtScience Museum

Art and science coexist in the same space at Marina Bay Sands

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Objectifs Centre for Photography & Filmmaking
Film

Objectifs Centre for Photography & Filmmaking

Regular courses and workshops at this filmmaking and photography hub

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MINT Museum of Toys
Things to do

MINT Museum of Toys

A private museum with the largest collection of vintage toys in Southeast Asia

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Singapore Art Museum
Art

Singapore Art Museum

20th-century Asian visual art housed in a colonial building

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