Arts & Entertainment

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

The best film screenings in KL this month
Film

The best film screenings in KL this month

When the latest blockbusters just wouldn't cut it, head to these film screenings for documentaries, local films and festival picks.

Now open: KEN Gallery
Art

Now open: KEN Gallery

If you live in TTDI or in the nearby Damansara area, you’d know that there aren’t many art galleries around. But with the opening of KEN Gallery at TTDI’s Menara KEN, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. The gallery spans over 20,000 square feet and takes up a whole floor of the building – which more than makes up for the lack of galleries in the area – making it one of the largest private galleries in the city. Property developer, art lover and owner of Menara KEN, Dato’ Kenny intends for KEN Gallery to be a space to promote local art and where art collectors can display their collection, rather than keeping the pieces in storage. The gallery is made up of three galleries – the main hall houses the permanent collection; and two other halls for temporary exhibitions and art events. The entrance to the main hall here is pretty unique; it’s slightly hidden and you’d have to ask the receptionist to let you in through an automated door disguised as the wall – kind of like a speakeasy, but for art. At the moment, the permanent collection houses over 100 pieces of art from various local artists, many of them coming from Dato’ Kenny’s own personal collection. As such, some of them have never been seen by the public. This includes Latiff Mohidin’s 1962 artworks ‘Palm Leaves’ and ‘Pesta Laut’. Both the pieces are unique as Latiff has painted on both sides of the canvas, something that hasn’t been seen in any of his other works. Other notable artists who have their art on disp

Interview: Mark Francis from iflix
Film

Interview: Mark Francis from iflix

The KL stand-up comedy circuit has grown tremendously over the past few years, with local comedians gaining popularity both home and abroad (remember when Harith Iskander won last year’s Funniest Person in the World contest?). It wasn’t until end July, however, that local stand-up comedians got their own show when video-on-demand (VOD) service iflix launched its first original programme ‘Oi! Jaga Mulut’, a seven-part series that gave the likes of Joanne Kam, Papi Zak, Rayza Mukmin and Jon Atherton free and uncensored rein to be their loud-mouthed selves – a bold move, considering how cutting and irreverent their stand-up routines often are. We spoke to Mark Francis, the Global Director of Original Programming to find out more about the genesis and challenges surrounding ‘Oi! Jaga Mulut’, as well as other original programmes iflix plans to launch in the coming months. First off, how did ‘Oi! Jaga Mulut’ come about? Around November 2016, the iflix team sat down and decided on what criteria our original production should fulfill. And we came up with a few – first, it had to have an impact in the marketplace; the productions are almost an extension of our marketing, helping people understand what iflix is beyond being just a VOD service. Second, it had to dare to be different, while having a familiar appeal; it can’t be so experimental that local audiences can’t relate. And third, it needed to lift the bar above what’s being offered by local free-to-air channels – and that do

New art spaces and galleries to check out in KL
Art

New art spaces and galleries to check out in KL

We check out some of the newest art spaces and galleries around the city – from Kampung Attap all the way to Klang. Now go earn some #CultureVulture points.

Atomic Blonde
Film

Atomic Blonde

If you’ve been craving a female spy to lead her own espionage flick (like Rebecca Ferguson’s British agent in ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ but with more screen time) you’re in luck. ‘John Wick’ co-director David Leitch’s ‘Atomic Blonde’ might be over the top, bloated with plot and heavy on neon-lit visuals, but it will satisfy your appetite for a female action heroine. Allow the icy, unconquerable Charlize Theron – who proved her action chops as Furiosa in ‘Mad Max’ – to escort you through a labyrinth of Cold War machinations in a movie filled with high-wire fights, high fashion and no-strings-attached sex. Just don’t call her a bitch (as one character learns the hard way). It’s 1989 and the impending fall of the Berlin Wall is our backdrop as we follow British agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron, with killer shades and a wobbly accent) through a faux-complicated spy narrative. An undercover mole has been murdered and a top-secret list threatened. As part of her assignment to infiltrate a Russian intelligence network, Lorraine is paired with unflappable Berlin station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) and falls into bed with a double-crossing seductress (Sofia Boutella). Meanwhile, a distracting second timeline features a CIA spook (John Goodman) interrogating a bruised Lorraine in a slow drip of flashbacks. Not everything adds up: ‘Atomic Blonde’ could do with a dash of cheeky Bond humour, and it relies excessively on Theron’s charisma, while the obvious soundtrack

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars

Latest film reviews and releases

The Emoji Movie
Film

The Emoji Movie

Ignore that PG rating and keep your kids far away from this vile animated faux-comedy. Beneath its trippy surface lurks an insidious philosophy hazardous to impressionable minds. ‘The Emoji Movie’ rolls its eyes at thought, waving the flag for the decay of attention spans. The sarcastic plot is set in Textopolis, a soul-numbing world that exists within a smartphone’s messaging app. It looks like an ugly knock-off of the elegant human brain design in ‘Inside Out’, with apps substituting for various neighborhoods and emojis filling in for emotions. The owner of the phone is young Alex, a nice kid we don’t really get to know. We instead follow the blah-faced ‘meh’ emoji, Gene (voiced by ‘Silicon Valley’ star TJ Miller), whose unlikely capacity for expression threatens the existence of his shrug-centric universe. In order to become a normal, functioning meh before Alex erases his phone, Gene joins forces with the avatar of a rogue hacker, Jailbreak (Anna Faris), as well as the upbeat emoji Hi-5 (James Corden), on a dangerous journey to the Cloud.  A game of Candy Crush and a cruise down Spotify are among the trio’s excruciatingly simplistic adventures that leave you alarmed about the filmmakers’ perception of human intelligence. Throwing in a ‘Casablanca’ reference and some lip service to feminism (‘Did you know female emojis could only be brides and princesses once upon a time?’) doesn’t really help in a movie that only wants to dumb us down. If you have to sit through it, rem

Time Out says
  • 1 out of 5 stars
Annabelle: Creation
Film

Annabelle: Creation

While Warner Bros tweaks its superhero stories and Universal tries to launch its Dark Universe of monsters, one horror franchise has mushroomed successfully under the radar. This prequel to 2014’s ‘Annabelle’ – itself a spin-off from ‘The Conjuring’ – somewhat explains the genesis of the series’ supremely creepy wooden doll. Anthony LaPaglia plays an improbably prosperous dollmaker in the 1940s, and Miranda Otto his wife: the soon-to-be bereaved parents of seven-year-old Bee (Samara Lee). Twelve years later, still devastated, the pair open their home to a kindly nun, Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman, the polar opposite of the scary sister in ‘The Conjuring 2’) and six orphaned girls in her care. Quicker than you can say, ‘Don’t go near that doll’, things are going bump in the night and doors are opening and closing on their own. ‘Annabelle: Creation’ is well performed, but the rhythm of the scares feels slightly off. Characters scream when they should be quiet and whimper when they should scream, and it blatantly steals the rocking-chair gimmick from ‘The Woman in Black’. That said, it is still terrifying – a monster this grotesque will always be unsettling – but director David F Sandberg sometimes fumbles the slow build. While it’s better than ‘Annabelle’ it’s nowhere near the main ‘Conjuring’ films. Maybe they’ll have better luck in the next spin-off, ‘The Nun’, coming to cinemas in summer 2018.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
The Dark Tower
Film

The Dark Tower

With the eight-book ‘Dark Tower’ series, Stephen King created his own ‘Lord of the Rings’: an epic, sprawling dark-fantasy saga that for years seemed unfilmable. That suspicion is now confirmed by this weak supernatural stew, which eliminates much of the author’s imaginative myth-making. On screen, ‘The Dark Tower’ serves up a generic, half-baked scenario no different to a slew of YA films in which young, wide-eyed protagonists discover their connections to a hidden fantastical world. The rich narrative tapestry that King wove over the course of his novels has been reduced to a plot (credited to four screenwriters, including director Nikolaj Arcel) that could have been written on a napkin over lunch. Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) is a creative 11-year-old New Yorker who’s been doing drawings of his recurring visions of a parallel universe in which a gunslinger, Roland (Idris Elba), pursues a demonic, black-clad sorcerer named Walter (Matthew McConaughey). Once Jake finds his way into Roland’s realm, the gunslinger reluctantly takes the boy under his wing and they travel through assorted alternate dimensions, with Walter on their tail, because Jake is the key to a vague apocalyptic scheme. Attempts by Elba and McConaughey to, respectively, lend gravity and menace are choked off by their roles’ simplistic characterisations and, in Elba’s case, some very awkward fish-out-of-water gags when Roland hits Manhattan. The film is not poorly made. Its production values are suitably lush

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
Atomic Blonde
Film

Atomic Blonde

If you’ve been craving a female spy to lead her own espionage flick (like Rebecca Ferguson’s British agent in ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ but with more screen time) you’re in luck. ‘John Wick’ co-director David Leitch’s ‘Atomic Blonde’ might be over the top, bloated with plot and heavy on neon-lit visuals, but it will satisfy your appetite for a female action heroine. Allow the icy, unconquerable Charlize Theron – who proved her action chops as Furiosa in ‘Mad Max’ – to escort you through a labyrinth of Cold War machinations in a movie filled with high-wire fights, high fashion and no-strings-attached sex. Just don’t call her a bitch (as one character learns the hard way). It’s 1989 and the impending fall of the Berlin Wall is our backdrop as we follow British agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron, with killer shades and a wobbly accent) through a faux-complicated spy narrative. An undercover mole has been murdered and a top-secret list threatened. As part of her assignment to infiltrate a Russian intelligence network, Lorraine is paired with unflappable Berlin station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) and falls into bed with a double-crossing seductress (Sofia Boutella). Meanwhile, a distracting second timeline features a CIA spook (John Goodman) interrogating a bruised Lorraine in a slow drip of flashbacks. Not everything adds up: ‘Atomic Blonde’ could do with a dash of cheeky Bond humour, and it relies excessively on Theron’s charisma, while the obvious soundtrack

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
See all Time Out film reviews

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Film

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Film

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Film

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Everything you need to know about ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’
Film

Everything you need to know about ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

From trailers to casting news, details about sequels and the release date – here’s everything you need to know about JK Rowling’s new movie set in the wizarding world of Harry Potter