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The seven-day shoot took place on location in a real provision shop along Rosyth Road that has been in business for over six decades.
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Inch Chua
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The Thin Yellow Line
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Souper Tang's Signature Souper Pesto Pot
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Engelbert Humperdinck

City buzz

BT writers' picks of what to see, do or talk about
Jul 15, 2016 5:50 AM

TELEMOVIE CELEBRATES MULTICULTURALISM

TELEVISION

Royston Tan's The Provision Shop

MARTIN Scorsese has done it, so has Judd Apatow; now Royston Tan joins the list of filmmakers who are making the transition from big screen to small. The latter's first telemovie, The Provision Shop - commissioned by the Ministry of Communications and Information in collaboration with Tribal Worldwide Singapore, an interactive agency that is part of the DDB Group Singapore - will premiere this coming weekend.

Tan was attracted to the project because it brought back memories of his own childhood when his family used to run a provision shop in Lorong Chuan. "It was almost like a community centre - people would come from everywhere and interact; you would hear all sorts of complaints," recalls the 39-year-old with a laugh.

Comprising four short stories, the hour-long telemovie explores the thorny issue of social integration and ultimately celebrates multiculturalism in Singapore. The multi-ethnic cast includes TV veterans like Marcus Chin and Li Yinzhu, as well as theatre actress Siti Khalijah and fresh faces Aden Tan and Sarah Daniel. Tan says despite making it for a general television, no punches were pulled in the script department. A segment where a Singaporean delivery man finds himself locked in a freezer with his mainland Chinese supervisor features dialogue that is "quite daring". "We based it on the sort of things people would say in coffee shops or on the Internet," he explains.

The seven-day shoot took place on location in a real provision shop along Rosyth Road that has been in business for over six decades. To make the old-school setting look even more nostalgic, Tan went as far as across the Causeway to source for props from yesteryear. He almost gave up his search for the popular children snack Kaka which has ceased production; until the factory called to inform him they found a last box of 30 packets sitting in their store room.

Tan also got to understand why the owner of the real provision shop hasn't given up his trade after all these years: "He told me the business didn't make him rich but he values the relationships he has built with his customers - he even knows what they want the moment they walk into the store, without them saying anything." The cast and crew got a first-hand experience of that. "We all started to double as helpers and after a few days, we got to know the people who came to the shop too!" Tan muses.

By Dylan Tan

  • Royston Tan's The Provision Shop airs on Mediacorp Channel 8 on July 17 at 9pm

CONCERT

Songs of Protests

SOME of Singapore's most exciting singer-songwriters are coming together for a one-night-only concert.

Titled Songs Of Protest, it features original compositions by the singers and bands, namely The Observatory, X'Ho, Inch Chua, Sezairi Sezali, ShiGGa Shay, Art Fazil, Benjamin Chow, CECEY, Andrew Mark O, Fakkah Fuzz, Joshua Chiang, Michaela Therese, Ugly In The Morning and Vandetta.

Passionate about issues such as war, civil rights, the environment, feminism and the freedom to love, these artistes have penned their own songs of protest that call attention to the plights of various peoples around the world.

Inspired by the tradition of socially-conscious songs by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez and Tracy Chapman, Singapore's own musicians are creating their own firebrand music.

By Helmi Yusof

  • The concert takes place on July 16 at 10.30pm at Lasalle College of the Arts' The Singapore Airlines Theatre. The school is located behind Sim Lim Square. Tickets at S$20 include one free Peroni beer. Purchase tickets from Sistic or at the door

FILM

The Thin Yellow Line

AFTER a successful screening at last year's Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) as one of the top five most-liked entries, the 2015 Mexican film The Thin Yellow Line will be back next week at The Projector, as part of a collaboration between the independent cinema and the Embassy of Mexico.

This 95-minute drama chronicles the journey of five men who are hired to paint over 200 kilometres worth of the yellow line in the middle of a road that connects two towns in Mexico in less than 15 days, and their interaction during that period of time.

It was directed by Celso Garcia, and features one of Mexico's leading actors, Damian Alcazar, who is the winner of eight Arieles at the Mexican Academy of Film Awards (the equivalent of the Oscars).

The film also received 14 nominations including Best Picture at the Ariel Awards, and has participated in over 25 international film festivals.

By Rachel Loi

  • The Thin Yellow Line will be screened at 8pm on July 22 at The Projector, Level 5, Golden Mile Tower. Tickets cost S$11. Log on to http://theprojector.sg for more information or to purchase tickets

DINING

Pesto Pot

AT first glance, Souper Tang's Signature Souper Pesto Pot is a worrying shade of green, making you wonder exactly what's in it.

Thankfully, the broth is tastier than it looks.

The broth is made from an in-house pesto mix of green vegetables, and other ingredients such as basil, mint, laksa leaf and pine nuts. It tastes somewhat similar to the soup served with thunder tea rice, although the ingredients used are different.

The Pesto Pot (S$25.90 for two) is served with a basket of vegetables such as Chinese spinach, corn, enoki and eryngii mushrooms, thick beancurd skin and beancurd sheets, firm tofu,a unique variety of black fungus known as "Little Cloud" and red sweet potato noodles.

The hot pot is suitable for vegetarians, and may just encourage those who don't like their vegetables to eat more greens.

Besides the Pesto Pot, Souper Tang, which was started in Malaysia, is also known for its range of herbal soups and incredibly smooth beancurd.

By Tay Suan Chiang

  • Souper Tang is at Centrepoint, #02-52. For reservations, call 6737 6772

MUSIC

Engelbert Humperdinck Live In Singapore 2016

NOBODY argues with four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe for Entertainer of the Year (1988), 63 gold and 24 platinum records, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: Engelbert Humperdinck is a bona fide musical legend and almost five decades in, he is still hard at work and plays about 90 shows a year.

The crooner's current tour comes on the back of his latest album Engelbert Calling (2014), which features duets with fellow silver-haired pops stars like Elton John, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Neil Sedaka, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers, Gene Simmons (KISS) and more.

Expect to hear some new tracks off it alongside evergreen middle-of-the-road favourites like Release Me, The Last Waltz and After the Lovin'.

By Dylan Tan

  • Engelbert Humperdinck plays Grand Theatre, MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands on July 15 at 8pm. Tickets from S$108 to S$1072 (VIP Box for four) available at Sistic and at the venue's box office