Friday, March 27, 2015

Artistic Tributes To A Founding Father Lee Kuan Yew (1923 - 2015) - Red Dot Island Style

Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Red Dot Island's first prime minister and architect of her astounding progress into modernity and first world status, passed away peacefully at 91 in the early morning of 23 March.

Not unusually, Red Dot Diva saw the sad news on Twitter during one of her nightly REM breaks. He has been ill for some time and the citizens knew the inevitable was coming. Still, the almost united sense of loss was deep. And real. (Even the detractors who hated him so much were more vitriolic than usual, which to Red Dot Diva, was a balance to those who began heralding the stern but powerful politician like a saint.)

Alas, since this is not a blog on politics, nor is Red Dot Diva able to write wonderful heartfelt posts like ex-Straits Time editor Bertha Henson, she will refrain from making a case as to whether Mr LKY was a man to be admired or despised. To her, there is a need for profound respect during times like these. Red Dot Diva is after all but a humble minion, her meagre life's achievements (were there even any?) hardly accounting to anything much, and a physical embodiment of the sometimes unpopular policies arising from LKY's legacy.

During his time as Prime Minister, my parents were able to find good regular jobs, start businesses, buy a small terrace house, educate their two daughters well and as a result, here is Red Dot Diva - able to read, write, live in a safe (and clean) country with first world country conveniences galore, get exposed to various pop-culture and books, own all these digital equipment to maintain this blog, and travel the world if she so desires. This might not have been possible at all if Red Dot Island had remained a forgotten island in the land masses that is now called South-East Asia.

Despite this, Red Dot Diva is aware that outside the political arena, LKY was hardly known by her pop-culture peers elsewhere. As locals lined up for hours to pay respects to his casket, pour their hearts out regarding their feelings about the man, and keyboard warriors argue about decorum or lack of during the State's week of mourning, she only received condolences from 3 of her overseas friends out of the many she knew. Other than the island's neighbouring countries where the media kept track and covered various forms of LKY's life and his passing, the pop-culture world does not care. Not to mention, how LKY and our nation are generally viewed through the lens of the Western media.

To them, there was probably only one other Mr Lee who truly mattered.

Still, Red Dot Diva strives in her small little ways to put Red Dot Island on the world map, and to reveal to her friends from all over the globe what makes a local islander geek tick. And during this special week, she noticed that the nation has been united (more so than less) in many surprising ways. Some of these were in the form of heart-achingly beautiful or poignant artistic tributes offered to Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Here are some of them:


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Singapore Fans! Tune in to WarnerTV Asia To Slurp Up New TV Series "iZombie"!


A hardcore fan of cult TV series "Veronica Mars"? Call yourself an admirer of creator Rob Thomas' genius? Or, maybe you have developed a constant craving for brains and looking for creatures with similar habits to bond with?

Then, look out for WarnerTV Asia's new TV series "iZOMBiE" tonight 22 May at 9 PM! The witty and widely anticipated series is somewhat based on the Vertigo comic books of the same name. The graphic novel version was created by writer Chris Roberson and Michael Allred.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Disney's Live Action Movie "Cinderella" - A Throwback to Childhood that includes Beautiful Dreamy Dresses

Even though Disney's animated movie "Cinderella" is not Red Dot Diva's favourite fairy tale princess, it still brought back happy childhood memories when dreams were simpler and untainted by adult cynicism.

The live-action movie directed by Kenneth Branagh, and starring the wispy Lily James (from "Downtown Abbey") as Cinderella and the dashing Richard Madden ("Game of Thrones") as Prince Charming, is a lush production that fills up the screen with so much details, that it wouldn't take much effort to imagine that one might indeed be actually be living in the imaginary kingdom.

One of the best things to soak your eyeballs in during the movie are the costumes. Naturally, every "little girl at heart" wants to be dazzled by the iconic blue ballgown that Cinderella wears to the ball, and rest assured, they shall not be disappointed.

The bigger than life dress has been brought to life on screen by the hands and brains of Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell. Red Dot Diva thought the gown's shade of blue seemed to have a life of its own as warm studio/candlelight bounced off the flow of ruffles, little Swarovski crystals and butterfly detailing around the neckline. It was magical indeed.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Singapore Writers' Festival 2015 - Writer Romain Puertolas at Words Go Round

Pic by Eric Clement
The Singapore Writers' Festival (SWF) held a schools' programmed called Words Go Round (WGR) recently, with various invited locally-based and overseas writers that include Catherine Lim, Dave Chua, Drewscape, Matt Dickinson, Ken Spillman and Romain Puértolas.

Red Dot Diva has to admit that she had not heard of French writer Romain Puértolas until one morning during Words Go Round, just before she headed to work. In mid-sip of her morning caffeine requirements, Red Dot Diva's Mom had poked excitedly at a page from The Straits Times' Life! section. "See! This author is very handsome!" she declared. It was a feature on Romain Puértolas, accompanied by an eye-catching photo of the man. Romain's dramedy book entitled "The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe" has been making waves around the world.

Now, Red Dot Diva's Mom always had fantastic taste, and Romain Puértolas turned out to be very .... oooh lala ... indeed. That first visual encounter on print spurred Red Dot Diva's curiosity, and she is glad to say that she has met the very interesting man in person while he was here for Words Go Round.

Still, her "Romain" experience cannot beat the one relished by her geeky friend Jas - who was the writer's local "bodyguard" while he and his family were making their rounds during the festival.

Here is Jas' brief pictorial rundown of her couple of days being Romain Puértolas' liaison officer:

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Starz' "Black Sails" - It Just Keeps Getting Better (and How to Get your Piratesexual Game On)

So you love pirate stories? However, if you are the not watching "Black Sails", you're missing out something entertaining on your TV screen. Especially so, if one is tired of cartoonish over-the-top characters and more of "the-same-the-same" from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Cable network Starz' "Black Sails" provides the viewer with smarter mindmaps of each pirate's motivations. The series, created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine, is mostly about Captain Flint's past, before his famous adventures and the gold he found was regaled in Robert Louise Stevenson's book "Treasure Island". Together with other famous badasses of the sea, like Charles Vane, Calico Jack, Benjamin Hornigold and Anne Bonny, most of the series unravels in the island hangout of Nassau.

Red Dot Diva was invited for the series premiere at SDCC two years back, where before it was screened, musician Bear McCreary performed the rousing "Black Sails" theme song with his band. It was awesome. McCreary's theme song as well as the accompanying gorgeously artistic title credits is something to behold on their own.

Despite the series being hailed as Michael Bay's high-budget pirate show, Season 1 of "Black Sails" started out slow, like the lull of a low tide, where creatures started to emerge from their little hidey holes to show their true colours. A lot of time was spent on character building but Red Dot Diva assures that it's all worth it, when the series shows that it was not afraid to have one or two of your favourite characters killed off ala GRRM, the action also kicks up several notches toward the end when Flint makes a valiant bid for the Spanish gold.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Farewell Leonard Nimoy - You Shall Always Be Our Friend ...

.... as well as Internet's Honorary Grandpa.

*sob*

The actor, who was best-known all over the world as Star Trek's Spock, passed away at his Los Angeles home today, at the age of 83.

It seems the universe was weeping because not coincidentally (for there are no such things as coincidences!)....  just a few seconds after reliable media outlets were publishing the news, Red Dot Diva woke up from a deep sleep and decided to check her Twitter timeline. That was when she saw that dear Leonard Nimoy had passed on.

Not only was Leonard Nimoy an actor of such an iconic character, he was the kind of Renaissance Man who took our imagination to the wide frontiers of creative space. For Nimoy was also an avid photographer, singer, poet and director. His warmth and wisdom permeates his social network space as well as fan base, even before there was the commercially portable PC, smartphone and the existence of Facebook or Twitter. Red Dot Diva loves that he fights ardently for equal rights, and is a strong voice for the feminist movement, like the Full Body Project.

The loss of Nimoy is felt throughout the world, and his death is being grieved by countless family members, colleagues and fans.


As part of a tribute to our dearest "Grandpa", here are just a few of the farewell messages sent through space and time to Leonard Nimoy. Red Dot Diva hopes he is able to hear them somehow....

Friday, February 20, 2015

"Dragon Blade" Gala Premiere - Excited Fans at GV Vivocity and A Movie Review by Vernon

The very very very expensive epic historical action movie "Dragon Blade" opens officially in cinemas island-wide today on 19 February, the 1st day of Chinese New Year.

From what Red Dot Diva was told, the movie did very well during the sneak screenings from 13-15 February, grossing about S$147,662 in just 3 days.

RED CARPET
The cast were in visibly good spirits on their first promotional stop in Red Dot Island, even though Adrien did seem jetlagged at the morning's press conference.

Later that day at GV Vivocity for the red carpet gala premiere, they seem to have perked up more. Hundreds of fans (mostly young ones, who seem to be there screaming for Choi SiWon) were lined up along the passageway leading into the multiplex, all eager to catch a glimpse of their favourite idol(s).

Jackie leads the way on the red carpet (pic from Encore)

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