Arts & Entertainment

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

Film

Behind the scenes of 'Little People Big Dreams'

Local director Mak CK tells us all about this documentary on China's Dwarf Empire theme park

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Blog

Our favourite things about ‘Great World Cabaret’

As Sally once sang in Kander and Ebb’s brilliant musical, Cabaret: ‘What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play. Life is a cabaret, old chum, come to the cabaret.’ So heed the lyrical advice and shimmy your way into Singapore’s golden age of the 1970s with Dream Academy and Resorts World Sentosa’s latest production, Great World Cabaret.

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Cinemas

Swanky Silver Screens

Splurge out at these cinemas for a luxe movie-going experience

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Art

PantoneMyArt - Tattoo in Colour 2015

It's a body art-themed exhibition at tcc – The Gallery

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Film

Best romantic movies

Films for everyone – from dreamy idealists to skeptical unbelievers

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Art and theatre events

Art

Esther van Vechgel: Double Stillness

The Dutch photographer captures the hectic Asian city life by highlighting everyday objects in her first solo exhibition here. ‘This image, called “Singapore Dream”, was taken in a Kampong Glam backalley around two years ago. I like to walk around these alleys; sometimes it seems that there’s more going on there than on the streets. The double layers I use in the artworks are chosen to create the illusion that they’re one. The shots were taken in the same street to emphasise the story: one of stillness, captured in the moment, in a hectic city. The pigeon is captured frozen on its way out of the buzz, towards more quiet places.’ – Esther van Vechgel

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Art

Prudential Singapore Eye 2015

Going one step further to celebrate the nation's golden jubilee, the Prudential Eye Awards for Asian Contemporary Art returns this year with the Prudential Singapore Eye exhibition. The spotlight falls on 17 emerging homegrown artists, including a handful such as Charles Lim, Ho Tzu Nyen and Jeremy Sharma who have represented Singapore at numerous international biennales.

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The Orange Playground Showcase 1

Founded last year, The Orange Playground is The Necessary Stage’s creative and development research programme. It works with 36 artists, including Seong Hui Xuan, Siti Khalijah and Ellison Tan, to present five showcase performances. 

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Art

Artwalk@Wessex

Wessex Estate opens its doors to public for its annual studio event, showcasing works of artists in a variety of media, including painting, printmaking, photography and ceramics. Pick up a free map and explore 14 artist studios in the estate in this annual open house. 

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Great World Cabaret

A joint production by Dream Academy and Resorts World Sentosa, the variety show takes audiences back to Singapore’s yesteryears, with dancing girls, comedians and acrobats. Great World Cabaret also swings the spotlight on then-household names such as cabaret dancer Rose Chan, Malay folk singer Kartina Dahari and a-go-go queen Sakura Teng. Read our interview with the three divas of Great World Cabaret here.

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Titoudao

Toy Factory celebrates its 25th anniversary with a restaging of one of its most beloved productions. Follow the life of Madam Oon Ah Chiam – a petite lady who dreams big – as she balances her comic alter-ego, Titoudao, with struggles against poverty, gender inequality and marital problems.

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Latest film reviews and releases

Film

Fifty Shades of Grey

A watered-down adaptation that hides coyly under the sheets, 'Fifty Shades of Grey' is full of all sorts of sex, but it's still a hopelessly softcore erotic drama that fails to be even a fraction as titillating as the EL James books that inspired it. And yet, strangely, that's exactly why it works.'Fifty Shades' begins with Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson, nuanced), a demure college student, arriving for an interview in the office of Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan, stiff), Seattle's most eligible billionaire. It isn't long before the two are bound together like the pages in the spine of a saucy paperback. The virginal Anastasia, however, is in for a surprise: Christian is as kinky as he is rich.Inevitably, this telling of the tale has been neutered to the brink of recognition. Christian is an S&M fetishist, and when Anastasia is invited into her new partner's 'Red Room of Pain', she's confronted by a wonderland of leather, rope and recycled circus equipment. And yet, by the time the movie ends just a few mild spankings later, 'Fifty Shades' feels like going on a trip to Disney World and only riding the monorail.But British director Sam Taylor-Johnson's film becomes fascinating for the finesse with which she navigates the prudishness forced upon it. The director is capable of pivoting from romantic comedy to erotic drama at the crack of a whip, her dexterity allowing the tepid sex scenes to be framed by a surprisingly sensitive story of self-discovery. Substituting heartache

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

Unbroken

Teenage tearaway, 1930s Olympic runner, World War II prisoner-of-war survivor… Why has it taken so long for Hollywood to make a film about the incredible life of Louis Zamperini? Angelina Jolie's third film as a director is a gorgeously shot and hardhitting old-school war drama that’s meant to leave us awestruck by the power of the human spirit. It gets so much right – but still somehow fails to get under Zamperini’s skin.Jack O’Connell’s scrappy underdog energy is perfect for Zamperini, who we meet at 26 in a gripping scene as he shoots at the Japanese from a B-24 bomber in 1943. In flashbacks we see him as a juvenile delinquent, the son of poor Italians, tearing around California. When little Louis, age 13 or so, discovers there’s more to running than dodging cops he quits booze and fags to train with his brother. At the 1936 Berlin Olympics he catches Hitler’s eye as he runs the fastest lap of the 5,000-metres race. Is it his athlete’s iron discipline that keeps Zamperini alive when his plane crashes into the Pacific – and he’s stranded on a raft with two buddies? He puts the trio on rations of two squares of chocolate and three sips of water a day. There’s little variety in these scenes, although in a shift from the usual macho bravado of men bonding at war, Jolie shows us the tenderness of these boys. When one of them gets sick, Zam – as his mates call him – holds his hand, tenderly telling him stories of his ma’s gnocchi.Which is enough drama to fill one life – and one

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

Jupiter Ascending

You have to hand it to Lana and Andy Wachowski: they don’t do things by halves. Fresh from blending dystopian sci-fi, period drama, posh-boy cannibalism and just about everything else under the sun in the gloriously insane ‘Cloud Atlas’, they’ve taken a step backwards, forwards and skywards with this berserk space opera. ‘Jupiter Ascending’ weaves in the messianic elements of ‘The Matrix’, the punch-in-the-eye visual intensity of ‘Speed Racer’ and the fruity performances of ‘Cloud Atlas’ – not to mention random splashes of ‘Dune’, ‘Foundation’, ‘Flash Gordon’, ‘Barbarella’ and ‘Brazil’ – into one breathtaking, mindscrambling, what-the-hell-am-I-watching intergalactic fantasy. It could very well end their careers, but they’ll be going out with one hell of a bang.Mila Kunis plays Jupiter Jones, a Russian immigrant in modern-day Chicago whose workaday life takes an unexpected turn when she becomes an assassination target for scenery-shredding Shakespearean psycho Eddie Redmayne, the universe’s premier power-broker. Whisked to safety by hired hunter Channing Tatum (part wolf, part man, all beefcake) and his amazing anti-grav boots, Jupiter learns that she is the genetic reincarnation of the Queen of the Universe, a title which grants her infinite wealth and the power to control bees for some reason. We’d love to say that the Wachowskis manage to wrangle all these disparate elements into a satisfying whole, but this is one mad mess from start to finish, crammed with flying dinosau

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

A Most Violent Year

In little over three years and three features, American writer-director JC Chandor has launched himself into the rare company of uncompromising filmmakers with more than superheroes on the brain. 'Margin Call' (2011), filled with gloriously terse business talk, got him Oscar-nominated. 'All is Lost' (2013) had virtually no talk, but managed to distill the loner essence of its star, Robert Redford, like no one had before. Now, 'A Most Violent Year', Chandor’s absorbing no-bull New York period drama, further clarifies what might be the most promising career in American movies: an urban-headed filmmaker sparing with time and place and with an eye on the vacant throne of the late, great Sidney Lumet ('Serpico', 'Dog Day Afternoon').Set in the chilly winter of 1981 (evoked with a minimum of perms and trench coats), the movie starts with a business deal, as Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac, absorbingly anxious), an independent gas-company owner, hopes to close with some Hasidim for a precious piece of waterfront property. He leaves the meeting with 30 days to come up with an astronomical sum of money, and it's right at that moment that his problems mushroom: a politically-minded city attorney (David Oyelowo) starts breathing down his neck with aggressive financial queries; Abel’s Brooklyn-born wife, Anna (Jessica Chastain), daughter of a gangster, grows fidgety; and his gas trucks keep getting hijacked on the road.The municipal stew is dense and unusually flavoursome, of a kinship with Ja

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

Things to do

Peranakan Museum

The world’s largest and best overview of Peranakan life over three floors

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Film

Objectifs Centre for Photography & Filmmaking

Regular courses and workshops at this filmmaking and photography hub

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Art

ArtScience Museum

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

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Things to do

Gillman Barracks

A cluster of galleries take over this former military encampment

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Things to do

MINT Museum of Toys

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

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Art

Singapore Art Museum

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

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