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Believe the hype
We're not Santa, but at BTWeekend, we've made our lists and checked them twice. Here then, is our pick of the most noteworthy people, events, spaces, and objects for 2017.
A GHOST STORY
Who would have thought the year's best horror movie has minimal jump scares and isn't a fright fest despite the slightly misleading title. David Lowery's A Ghost Story, about a dead man who returns to the house he shared with his wife, is really a quiet meditation on love and loss - one which will haunt you long after the credits roll. Also actor Casey Affleck puts on an amazing performance even though he's covered with a bed sheet for almost the entire movie!
MUST-SEE TV SHOW
MASTER OF NONE SEASON 2
Want to understand the rules of modern dating? It's all there in stand-up comedian Aziz Ansari's sharply-observed Master of None. The second season goes where no other sitcoms ventures: the pilot episode is shot entirely in black-and-white and pays tribute to classic Italian cinema, while another barely features the principal cast in it. Even the soundtrack's on point.
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX BY CIGARETTES AFTER SEX
Less is more for this minimalist dream-pop quartet from El Paso which was the internet's best kept secret for almost half a decade before YouTube turned them into an 'overnight' sensation. Singer-songwriter Greg Gonzalez's smoky late-night drawl lingers long after this impressive self-titled debut ends.
COMEBACK CONCERT OF THE YEAR
GUNS N' ROSES' NOT IN THIS LIFETIME TOUR
Money indeed is the root of all evil: if not, how else would you get the bad boys of heavy metal to reunite? Yes, getting in and out of Changi Exhibition Centre is still a chore and that cash-less paying system at the venue's bars was, erm, a bit ahead of time but to see the (almost-) original Gun N' Roses line-up play in our own backyard is indeed a dream come true.
DISRUPTOR OF THE YEAR
Everybody thought TV was dead until Netflix resurrected it. Yes, a lot of us may consume it on mobile devices but as their shows become bigger and better, do you really want to watch Stranger Things on a five-inch-plus screen or a state-of-the-art Ultra HD 4K smart TV? A study Netflix conducted across the Asia Pacific region recently found that within six months of subscribers signing up, 60 per cent of accounts' primary viewing device become connected TVs. And with binge watching now a norm, don't worry about misplacing that remote control anymore.
NO SLEEP FOR NETFLIX
Chris Jaffe, Vice President, User Interface Innovation at Netflix on how the app continues to work even when it is not in use:
"Every 24 hours, the Netflix personalisation system is looking at all the things you've recently watched and also at the people who are watching the same things as you to see what is popular within that taste cluster. On a fundamental level, (the task) is to figure out what not to show you because there is so much on Netflix that you are not going to want to watch.What you can continue to expect from us is that the experience is going to get richer and we are going to get better at making clear to you what (a certain show) is about.The images, or what we call box art, is now personalised. The goal for me, is to make sure every member is making a smart choice so personalising videos and images is about helping you make that decision.Product innovation and the creation of original content has to work hand in hand because people are not coming to Netflix to use the technology - they're coming to engage with the stories.The product has to find the right audience but we won't have an audience if we don't have a great product. At Netflix, we're basically taking the best of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, and bringing it together."
ROLEX OYSTER PERPETUAL SEA-DWELLER
Rolex's iconic Sea-Dweller gets an update for its 50th anniversary. At 43mm, it's still bigger than the original but more sensibly-sized than the chunkier Deep Sea incarnation. Which explains why the watch is so popular you have to put your name on the wait list if you want one. Or pay a grey dealer a premium to jump the queue for bragging rights. Looks-wise, the new Sea-Dweller references the original by bearing its name in red on the dial, and the date is more legible with its cyclops lens.
DOVER STREET MARKET SINGAPORE, 18 DEMPSEY RD
For all your hypebeast needs, just head to Dover Street Market's Singapore outpost that is part of COMO Dempsey, fashion doyenne Christina Ong's temple of cool. It always has the hottest sneaker drops, exclusive DSM collaborations and every streetwear label that matters. Even Off-White's Virgil Abloh couldn't resist an unannounced visit last month!
MUST-HAVE BOY'S TOY
With demand outstripping supply, don't count on Santa bagging you an iPhone X even if you've been nice. Haters will say facial recognition, bezel-less display and a glass back aren't exactly cutting-edge features for mobile phones but when it comes to putting everything together as a cool package, Apple still does it best and the fact that the phones are flying off the shelves is proof.