Apr 15 2011
It’s fair to say, that whatever KL’s virtues as a place to visit, having a thriving cultural and artistic scene is not one of them. Given that the most popular local pastime is hanging out at air-con shopping malls, this should not come as a surprise. But, it is possible, if you know where to look, to get beyond the bland, populist norm. Two organisations, the KL Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC), and The Actors Studio, do an admirable job of promoting non-mainstream art and culture in the city. Here’s three highlights for April 2011:
World’s Best Movies
You are more likely to catch a cold in KL’s many multiplex cinemas than see an art-house or foreign language film. So, to be offered the chance to see works by four great directors, in the space of a week, is a significant treat. First up, on April 18, is The Go Master (China, 2006), a restrained and beautiful film by Tian Zhuangzhuang about the life of the 20th century’s greatest player of Go.
The following night is Pickpocket (France, 1959), a story about a young thief, written and directed by Robert Besson. Screened on April 25 is Juliet of the Spirits (Italy/France, 1965), a surrealist drama by Federico Fellini, about a bored housewife trying to deal with her husband’s infidelity. Last up, on April 26, is Pather Pachali (India, 1955), the acclaimed directorial debut of Satyajit Ray. The film is a drama about rural life in 1920s Bengal. All the movies start at 20:00 at KLPAC’s Indicine studio. Entrance is by donation.
Over recent years, KL has seen a marked increase in live comedy, albeit from a very low base. Indicinelive! 3 is the third outing for a popular sketch comedy show that focuses its humour on the more insane elements of modern life. Much of the material is Malaysia-centric, but good comedy should be able to cross cultural boundaries. Performances started on April 6, and have sold out so far, so book in advance if you want to see the show before the run ends on April 17. Tickets cost 33 ringgit and the shows all start at 20:30 at the Indicine studio.
Brickfields Now and Then Part 1 & 2
These two companion piece one-man plays, written, directed and performed by Thor Kah Hoong, promise a gentler, more nostalgic look at Malaysian life. The shows are a mixture of childhood memories, combined with new experiences, focusing on the Brickfields area of the city. Performances run between April 12 and April 17, at the Actors Studio @ Lot 10. For details of ticket prices and timings, look at the KLPAC or Actors Studio websites.
Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre
Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 4047 0910 (enquiries); (03) 4047 0900 (box office)
The Actors Studio @ Lot 10
The Rooftop, Level 8A, Lot 10 Shopping Centre, 50 Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2142 2009 (box office)
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