Arts & Entertainment

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

Art

Three places to learn art in Singapore

Continue your exploration of the art world after Art Week

Read more
Art

Ruben Pang

More about local artist Ruben Pang's latest exhibition, Ataraxy

Read more
Art

Prudential Eye Singapore

We speak to one curator about the inaugural exhibition

Read more
Art

'Moving Light, Roving Sight' by teamLab

An immersive digital installation

Read more
Theatre

Theatre highlights of 2015

Get your cultural calendar out and start planning 

Read more

Art and theatre events

Art

Ataraxy

Ruben Pang may have graduated from Lasalle’s Faculty of Fine Art just four years ago, but he has already acquired a few pretty feathers in his beret. The 24-year-old’s works have been showcased in group and solo shows in places as far flung as Turkey, Italy and Switzerland. His latest exhibition, Ataraxy, takes cue from disarray and entropy to create paintings of individuals in the midst of contemplation, decision-making and other obstacles. 

Read more

Circle Mirror Transformation

In Pangdemonium’s first production of the year, four strangers – the disillusioned actress Theresa, divorcee Shultz, moody teen Lauren and the outgoing James – join an acting class run by Marty. 

Read more
Art

Darren Soh: Along the Golden Mile

The local photographer’s latest series centres on buildings whose heritage strikes a contrast to the modern skyscrapers of our city.

Read more
Art

Rinat Voligamsi: Surrealism

The Russian artist’s paintings are made to mimic old photographs, but look closer and you’ll spot quirky and humorous details.

Read more
Art

Still Moving: A Triple Bill on the Image

The Singapore Art Museum partners with Singapore International Photography Festival, Deutsche Bank and Yokohama Museum of Art to cocurate three exhibitions centred on the essence of the image.

Read more
Art

Moving Light, Roving Sight

Nine international artists present a range of digital, video, new media and sound works, including a projection of 232 truisms by Jenny Holzer and an animation of orbiting objects by Teppei Kaneuji. All of them are set against Moving Light, Roving Sight, a new interactive digital installation created by Tokyo-based teamLab, which occupies the entire gallery space. 

Read more

Latest film reviews and releases

Film

The Imitation Game

Hidden codes, secret meanings and mixed messages pulse through the reliable, old-fashioned, buzzing copper wires of true-life British period drama ‘The Imitation Game’. Snappy and not too solemn, but perhaps not as much of a psychological puzzle as it could have been, the film gives us key episodes in the tragic life of Alan Turing. He was the mathematician whose biting, anti-social intelligence briefly ran in step with the needs of the British war effort in the 1940s when he was employed to help break the Nazi Enigma code at Bletchley Park. Turing’s wartime achievements – kept under wraps for years – counted for nothing when his homosexuality fell foul of the law in the early 1950s, sending an already fragile personality into freefall. Benedict Cumberbatch, no stranger to roles with a hint of sociopathic genius, delivers a performance more complicated and knottier than the film around him. The script tends to spell out its themes, repeating a corny slogan: ‘Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine.’ Cumberbatch, though, defies the film’s simplicity. His Turing is awkward, determined, at times comically stand-offish (a description that could just as easily apply to his Stephen Hawking, Julian Assange and Sherlock Holmes). The film gives us three periods in Turing’s life: his schooldays, wartime service and final years in the early 1950s. We intermittently hear Turing on voiceover telling his life story to a suspic

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
Film

American Sniper

Only a filmmaker like Clint Eastwood – conservative, patriotic but alive and sensitive to human tragedy – could make a movie about an Iraq War veteran and fill it with doubts, mission anxiety and personal tragedy. ‘American Sniper’ is a superbly subtle critique made by an especially young 84-year-old. Like ‘The Hurt Locker’, it salutes the honest work of soldiers, in this case Navy Seals, shivering through their beach training and heading to the battle zone with a minimum of fuss. Among them is Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the real-life Texas rodeo rider who, after seeing terrorism on TV, transformed himself into the military’s most lethal weapon, racking up a confirmed 160 kills. But it’s what happens to Kyle back home – the shakes, the soaring blood pressure, the family dysfunction – that makes the film one of the most sympathetic combat movies ever produced. Bulked up yet still able to express his signature neuroticism (dialled down from ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and ‘American Hustle’), Cooper has never been better than when embracing Kyle’s seesawing psychological state. The story ends on a terrible irony, which Eastwood slightly bungles with pageantry, but the overall mood is haunted.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
Film

Birdman

‘Most of the successful people in Hollywood are failures as human beings.’ So said Marlon Brando. But what happens when their 15 minutes are up? It’s not like failure suddenly transforms former mega-celebs into humble human beings who can pick up their own coffee from Starbucks. That's Michael Keaton’s problem in this savagely funny, strangely sweet, sad and utterly brilliant New York-set comedy from Mexican writer-director Alejandro González Iñárritu, better known for his gloomy, state-of-the world dramas 'Babel' and '21 Grams'.Keaton is Riggan Thomson, an actor who raked in the cash in the early 1990s as a lame pre-‘Avengers’ superhero in a blockbuster franchise (a clear nod to Keaton's own days as Batman). He hasn’t made a Birdman film in years – but Birdman is still part of him. Quite literally: there's a naff, booming comic voice in his head (‘You're the real deal’), and it gives him superhuman powers. Is Birdman a figment of Riggan's imagination? Is this a dig at superstar actors with inflated egos who have trouble telling the difference between real-life and their movie characters? Whatever it is, Riggan has problems. He’s trying to reinvent himself for a second act as a Serious Artist, remortgaging the house in Malibu to write, direct and star in an adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story on Broadway. But Birdman is shitting on the plan, telling Riggan to make a reality TV show instead of this ‘piece of shit’.'Birdman' is hilarious simply as a film about putting on

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Read more
Film

The Theory of Everything

At its best, this affecting biopic of the cosmos-rattling astrophysicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) smartly avoids schmaltz. Hawking has often seen the dark humour in the disease that began robbing him of his muscular functions as early as his student years. ‘The Theory of Everything’ runs with that irony: this is a Hawking profile in which you’ll see the wheelchair-using, speech-impaired scientist happily rolling around his living room dressed up like a Dalek.More substantially, it’s also a movie that delivers science in an approachable, Brian Cox-like way. An early scene has a thoughtful professor introducing the Cambridge student to a lab where all the action happens; it’s a lovely moment of quiet inspiration. The film is filled with snazzy visual metaphors: a swirling cup of coffee becomes a symbol for dark and light matter. A formal dance, where Stephen twirls with his future wife, Jane (Felicity Jones), twinkles with party lights and a hint of the universe falling into place.The film is Jane and Stephen’s story (the script is largely based on the second of Jane Hawking’s two memoirs), and even though it smooths out some of their domestic unease and eventual divorce, there’s still a painful strain below the surface, from playful sparring over religion to the tougher realities of ambitions put on ice. Both performers are extraordinary, and while Redmayne has more physical mannerisms to master, Jones burns hotter as a strong woman who can’t forget her own needs.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
Film

Mr Turner

Twice before, first with 'Topsy-Turvy' and then with 'Vera Drake', Mike Leigh has punctuated his bittersweet studies of contemporary life with period dramas. Now, with 'Mr Turner', the British director of 'Naked' and 'Secrets and Lies' takes us back to the nineteenth century and the later years of the celebrated, groundbreaking, difficult painter JMW Turner (1775-1851). Sad and joyful, 'Mr Turner' offers a wonderfully rich tapestry of experience and digs deeply into a complicated, contradictory life. Timothy Spall – a veteran of Leigh's films – plays this eccentric, determined London bohemian like a bronchial, cantankerous, randy old toad with backache. He grunts and grimaces and gropes his way through life. He talks like a market trader after a crash course in the classics. Leigh, meanwhile, explores Turner's life unburdened by any sense of purpose other than an intense, contagious fascination with this man, his work, his times and, increasingly, the inevitable, slow, irresistible trudge towards death. We observe Turner's fondness for his elderly father; his sexual relationship with his meek housekeeper (Dorothy Atkinson); his rejection of his children and their mother; his arms-length acceptance by the lions of the Royal Academy; his late-life relationship with a Margate widow (Marion Bailey); and the mockery of the crowd when his work turns experimental. 'Vile' and a 'yellow mess' concludes Queen Victoria at an exhibition: the presence of royalty in a Mike Leigh film is ju

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Read more
Film

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

‘The Defining Chapter’ declare the posters for this wrap-up episode in Peter Jackson’s trilogy of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ prequels, the last of three films stretched from JRR Tolkien's one novel, 'The Hobbit'. Exactly what’s being defined is left conveniently vague, because what we have here is a whole lot more of Jackson’s proven formula: more battles, more creatures, more not-quite-comical asides, more stern speechifying and more gob-smackingly elaborate action set pieces. If you’ve been enjoying ‘The Hobbit’ so far, you’re in for a treat. But if you were hoping for something extra or different this time around – a touch of honest emotion, perhaps –  then ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’ may leave you wanting.We pick up the story right where ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ cut to black: the dragon is on the rampage, and all Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and his Dwarvish companions can do is watch as the lizard lays waste to Laketown. It’s a phenomenal opening, thunderous and apocalyptic, pitching us into the heart of a city on fire. But when the smoke clears the script begins to lose focus, as what seems like every single character in the trilogy so far (bar one slimy riddler) comes crawling out of the stonework. While Thorin (Richard Armitage) indulges his lust for gold to the frustration of bowman Bard (Luke Evans) and elf-king Thranduil (Lee Pace), Gandalf recruits a few old pals to assist in his escape from the dungeons of Dul Guldur. In the confusion, poor Bilbo feels more like a su

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Read more

Top art museums and galleries in Singapore

Art

Singapore Art Museum

This former Catholic boys’ school, a striking white building with two wings and long verandas, was revamped in the early 1990s when there was a policy of converting old colonial buildings into public museums. Because of its small, unusual and hidden gallery spaces, it has never held blockbuster shows. Instead, it specialises in smaller exhibitions, mostly 20th-century Asian visual art, often drawn from its own collection of South-east Asian ‘pioneer’ art. Free entrance on Fridays after 6pm

Read more
Things to Do

red dot design museum

  An offshoot of the famous red dot museum in Germany, the largest exhibition of contemporary design in the world, this local version displays the prototypes and models made by winners of the prestigious red dot product design awards. Housed in a bright red colonial building that was the former Singapore Traffic Police Headquarters, the museum displays interactive installations and products such as unconventional furniture, watches and TV sets.

Read more
Art

FOST Gallery

Since its establishment in 2006, FOST Gallery has built a reputation as one of Singapore's more innovative galleries, presenting works by both established and emerging artists from Singapore and abroad.

Read more
Things to Do

The Cathay Gallery

Ever wondered why the Cathay Building, with its mish-mash of ’30s art-deco frontage and avant-garde glass body, looks like it was designed by a mentalist architect with schizophrenia? You can find out at the perenially unsung Cathay Gallery, housed in a quiet, out-of-the-way corner on the second floor, which colourfully relates the rocky past of the 75-year-old entertainment giant that is Cathay, as well as its founders Dr Loke Yew and his son, Dato Loke Wan Tho. Check out the short documentary about the plane crash which killed Dato Loke, and browse through heaps of retro movie memorabilia. Film diehards will no doubt go gaga at the super-rare antique film projector at the entrance, while within the gallery, old photo enlargers, cinema chairs, vintage movie posters and other oddball silver-screen curios and Technicolor nostalgia make for a diverting hour before catching a somewhat more contemporary cinema experience upstairs. Tip: Catch the black-and-white trailer for the Cathay-produced smash-hit Malay horror flick from 1957, Pontianak. Seah Jun En See more: The best things in life are free Latent Images: Film in Singapore

Read more
Art

ArtScience Museum

Shoehorning art and science into the same room and doing justice to both was always going to be a big risk (although we could think of bigger – who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon at the ReligionScience Museum?). Right from the get-go, the concept, with its strong ring of focus-grouped marketability, invites cynicism and excitement in almost equal measure. Is this, you wonder, the arrival of a museum thinking well and truly outside the box? Or is it, as some have reckoned, another hole in the foot of a city trying ever harder to better itself with another catchy but ultimately hollow niche-filler? Another empty, world-beating superlative to add to the list? As it turns out, the answer is a bit of both. The permanent exhibition – that’s the ArtScience showcase on the top floor – is surprising for its brevity and, after all the hype, a bit of a letdown. Three rooms make a glib attempt to tackle the ‘conceptual barriers erected between the artistic and scientific communities’. The Inspiration room asks: what do an ancient Chinese scroll, Leonardo’s flying machine, a robo-fish, a Kongmin lantern and the ArtScience Museum itself have in common? You leave without ever really finding out, other than they were invented by very creative minds. But you do get to play with touch screens and, if you so desire, create a digital postcard to send to mum. The Expression room, a large, multi-panelled cinema, screams ‘Look, art and science can co-exist!’ with a short video montage

Read more
Film

Objectifs Centre for Photography & Filmmaking

This filmmaking and photography hub was established in 2003 and has already garnered a huge following of enthusiasts wanting to further their knowledge in either craft. Besides holding regular courses and workshops, they also create awareness by organising photography exhibitions, film screenings and talks. And if that’s not enough, this establishment spearheads Objectif Films in partnership with Infinite Frameworks and Shooting Gallery Asia. Together, they distribute the largest number of short films in South-East Asia and represent award-winning short films from our region.

Read more