What is the mystery at the heart of Christopher Nolan’s Covid-defying blockbuster? The most obvious answer – though, as we’ve found to our cost, it isn’t straightforward – is that Tenet is about time travel, and is based on complicated theories about the manipulation of entropy. Among the most impressive sequences are those in which our heroes, played by John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, are pursued by a car speeding “backwards” through time. But, as this is a Nolan blockbuster, the riddle runs deeper. And we’re not simply referring to the imponderable puzzle of how Pattinson keeps his hair so magnificently floppy throughout. “All I have for you is a word,” says Martin Donovan’s mentor to Washington’s character, the Protagonist. “Tenet… it will open the right doors, and some of the wrong ones too.” The first clue is the movie’s title. “Tenet” is, of course, a palindrome. Moreover, the name has been stylised by Nolan in early posters so that the second “T” and “E” at the end are flipped over. Thus the word runs forwards and backwards spatially and graphically. Nolan has dropped another breadcrumb in naming Kenneth Branagh’s villain Andrei Sator. A “Sator square” is a word square containing a five-word Latin palindrome. The best known examples, discovered in the territories controlled by ancient Rome, spell out “S A T O R” left to right and top to bottom, and “R O T A S” in reverse. Guess what they spell down the middle, left to right, right to left, top to bottom and bottom to top? That’s right: “T E N E T”. The first Sator square was discovered in the ruins of Pompeii – which feature late in the film. It was unearthed in 1925 on the bathroom wall of a house identified as belonging to one “Paquius Proculu” (about whom we know nothing else). A second was uncovered in the same town in 1936, on a black sandstone plaque near the amphitheatre. Both discoveries were part of a series of excavations by Italian architect Amedeo Maiuri, and are still preserved there today.
Stage and screen director Sir Sam Mendes thinks streamers such as Netflix and Amazon should dip into their pockets to keep the arts alive.
Singapore theatre companies are streaming their productions for free online, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which has shut down arts and entertainment outlets in the country.
Entertainment professionals have offered their skills to assist the NHS in increasing care capacity during the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s almost Valentine’s Day 2020, when love makes the world go round (and gets box-office tills ringing).
All-American films Once Upon A Time... in Hollywood, Joker and The Irishman have triumphed in this year's Bafta nominations, amid criticism that the 2020 British film awards have ignored diversity.
Based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo, the National Theatre of Great Britain’s Tony Award-winning production of War Horse is coming to Singapore this 24 April.
Just when you thought you had the measure of Dracula (BBC One), they turned it into an Agatha Christie story: And Then There Were None (of the Original Bits of the Book Left In It).
It’s a very dance-based musical, spanning dance genres such as ballet and tap dance, and if you can appreciate that, you’ll enjoy the show very much.
By a quirk of scheduling, the same actor appears in both The War of the Worlds and His Dark Materials on BBC One tonight. In the latter, Harry Melling played an official running the port of Trollesund. In the former he was a soldier who wore the haunted expression both of a man who had just seen his comrades eviscerated by Martians, and one who had realised he was stuck in this BBC stinker.
A s someone who shops at discount supermarkets and never buys anything unless its in the sales, I have very mixed feelings about documentaries on the extravagant spending habits of the super-rich, so I watched Million Dollar Wedding Planner (BBC Two) prepared to roll my eyes at people spending £10,000 each on four dresses for the big day, and £300,000 worth of flowers for their event.
Did you know that Stella Kon, who wrote the seminal Singaporean play, Emily of Emerald Hill, is the great-granddaughter of Dr Lim Boon Keng, a prominent local historical figure who shaped Singapore’s history?
SINGAPORE - Singapore's burgeoning playwriting scene is set to prove naysayers – who claim our theatre scene is lacklustre – wrong. In fact, with the upcoming and highly-anticipated debut play of Singapore’s first professional acting school, it is set to change mindsets alike.
Gillian Anderson, star of The X Files and The Fall, will play Margaret Thatcher in the forthcoming third series of The Crown.
Jeff Pope has written so many engrossing true-crime dramas it was all but inevitable that A Confession (ITV) would make for riveting viewing. It didn’t hurt that the ever-sympathetic Martin Freeman was playing the lead role of Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, the Wiltshire murder investigator who took his duty so seriously that he broke the rules to get at the truth. And paid for it by being effectively drummed out of the force instead of being celebrated for taking a predatory serial killer off the streets.
Wonky sausages and crazy gravy replaced the standard reality TV fare of tears and tantrums as Celebrity MasterChef (BBC One) returned with a fresh line-up of kitchen confident A-listers.
News reports last week that a generation of viewers has taken refuge in watching endless reruns of Friends and the US version of The Office (according to data on Netflix’s most-watched shows) have mostly ignored one salient fact: the generation before has been doing that for years in Britain. They just endlessly watch repeats of Dad’s Army.
Reading and Leeds Festivals have long been a rite-of-passage for British teenagers. Taking hold over the Bank Holiday weekend, beginning the day after GCSE results are released, the pair – Reading for the South, Leeds for the North – have offered the opportunity for adolescents to celebrate with music and alcohol stolen from their parents.
Not many directors can say they have bragging rights, having crossed the same path as author J. K. Rowling before, like John Tiffany. He was in Edinburgh about 20 years ago, at a cafe bar for meetings when he spotted a familiar face, at the same corner, writing away for three hours.
Several local theatre productions from 2018 tackled pertinent issues like race, class and the lack of a free press.
Claiming to be the world’s No. 1 musical is a bombastic assertion — so does The Lion King live up to the expectations of that claim, especially since the story is familiar to most audiences? Like with most tales, the joy is in the journey rather than the destination, and The Lion King, whose current run in Singapore is until 23 September, is a magnificently executed journey. The enormous and exaggerated Pumbaa (Pierre van Heerden) was a scene stealer with his hilariously proportioned costume, deft handling of his tongue, and comic timing, as was the energetic Zazu (Andrew Jewson).
Localised for audiences in Singapore, the Taiwan musical comedy “Super Mommy” being staged at Resort World Sentosa sees an upper middle-class family struggle when they hire a domestic helper to assist with bringing up their child. While this may have been relatable one or two decades ago, the fact that the family is wealthy enough to hire a domestic helper (cost is never an issue with them) means that their grouses never truly feel important, especially in this day and age. In fact, her performances outshine everyone else’s, to the point where you wonder why she wasn’t given the lion’s share of the musical numbers.
The first weekend of May has a lot to offer with a wide range of events happening around Singapore. Sing along with Dua Lipa as she performs songs from her debut album; join the Rebellion or the dark side in the Star Wars Run; or, admire giant flowers at Gardens by the Bay. This weekend promises to be an enjoyable one.