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Latest in Culture


THE REEL ESTATE: Arab cinema: State of the union (Part 2)

  If Romania taught us anything, it’s that not every Romanian film should be a masterpiece. Same goes for Morocco, the newly-proclaimed leader of Arab cinema.   Having produced some of the most accomplished Arab films of last year — Leila Kilani’s “On the Edge,” Hisham Lasri’s “The End” and Mohamed Asli’s “Rough Hands” — …

DNE

Egypt’s mummies divulge secrets in modern Scotland

EDINBURGH: Modern technology reveals the secrets kept for thousands of years by Egyptian mummies in a major exhibition at Scotland’s National Museum. Scientists used advanced scanning techniques on the mummified corpses of a young woman and a girl child laid over her feet to reveal jewelry in the binding and also have plans to tap …

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Billy Bob Thornton turns car wreck past into a film

When actor-director Billy Bob Thornton was a boy, his father took him to the scene of car crashes to survey the wreckage. Now he has turned his unconventional childhood into a movie. "Jayne Mansfield’s Car" is a dark family comedy that explores how war affects men and how fathers and sons so often fail to …

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Jolie hopes her film draws notice to Syria

Angelina Jolie this week premiered her film "In the Land of Blood and Honey" in Bosnia, where the fictional tale of a romance between a Bosnian Serb man and a Bosnian Muslim woman has shone a spotlight on the ethnic anger still left over from the country’s brutal conflict. Jolie, who arrived in Sarajevo with …

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Ali Abdel Mohsen’s apocalyptic vision of wasted opportunities

By Mariam Hamdy As we are bombarded every day with horrible news, conspiracy theories, warped viewpoints and bizarre events, it’s become difficult to be positive or hopeful. The fact that the general public is quick to complain, impatient with change and generally impossible to please, is starting to take a toll on us. Perhaps we, as …

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The Grey: Knocking on hell’s door

By Myriam Ghattas The trailer sold a sci-fi type horror flick with cheap thrills and a snowy destitute landscape. The subject of its advertisement seemed to fall into that category of films listed in eponymous actor Liam Neeson’s overflowing portfolio of projects in which he graces us with his presence for fun rather than for any …

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Spoof Nazi sci-fi film hits Berlin despite hurdles

Finnish sci-fi spoof "Iron Sky" takes viewers on a wild ride to the dark side of the moon, where Nazis who survived World War Two have built a military base and are planning a "Meteorblitzkrieg" on planet Earth. Black US astronaut James Washington, on a mission to boost the flagging electoral fortunes of a US …

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Theme of captivity dominates Berlin films in 2012

Directors from around the world have tried to recreate the drama and trauma of captivity at this year’s Berlin film festival, though not all of them found a captive audience. From kidnapping to political repression, and from a queen trapped in her palace to detainees on death row, how humans behave when their freedom is …

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Adele top winner with six Grammys

Adele, who captured the world’s heart with an album about a broken romance, emerged as the top winner at the Grammy Awards, winning six trophies including the prestigious trifecta of record, song and album of the year. The British singer, who also made a triumphant comeback from vocal cord surgery on the Grammy stage Sunday, …

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‘The Artist’ named best picture at UK film awards

Silent movie "The Artist" had a night to shout about Sunday, winning seven prizes including best picture at the British Academy Film Awards. Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars rewarded the French homage to old Hollywood over a homegrown favorite, espionage thriller "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." "The Artist," a black-and-white picture that has charmed audiences around …

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Jolie, showing directorial debut, says Afghanistan is next

Angelina Jolie says it was only natural that her directorial debut should tackle some of the toughest issues facing humanity and after wartime Bosnia, Afghanistan is likely to be her next subject. At the Berlin film festival to present her unflinching drama about rape as a weapon of war, "In the Land of Blood and …

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Communist East Germany back in haunting new film

The oppressive world of Communist East Germany was brought back to life in a haunting new film called "Barbara" at the Berlin Film Festival, the first of three German productions in the main competition. A fictional tale of a young doctor banished to the East German provinces because she requested to move to West Germany, …

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Egypt from an inventively surrealistic prism

Unlike the case in every other art discipline in the country, it has so far been a great year for the visual arts. With every new exhibition opening, established artists are making incredible comebacks, practicing artists are presenting excellent work, and young talents are having strong debuts. It’s usually the case that art fares well …

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Will Adele be the belle of the Grammy ball?

Adele is the rare star who doesn’t need multiple magazine covers, a cosmetics contract or a clothing line to sell albums. She does it all based on the strength of that sumptuous voice and those stirring songs. That’s a rarity in today’s pop world, where artists are overexposed and their music often comes second to …

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French revolution film in Berlin conjures Arab Spring

"Farewell My Queen," a sumptuous costume drama about the beginnings of the French Revolution, opened the Berlin film festival on Thursday and had audiences drawing parallels with the "Arab Spring" uprisings. The story, based on a novel by Chantal Thomas, is told through the eyes of royal servant Sidonie, played by Lea Seydoux, who becomes …

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Action! World’s oldest big-time film studio fetes 100 years

The world’s oldest major film studio celebrates its 100th birthday this month with Hollywood stars and European players ready to toast the mythic Studio Babelsberg outside Berlin. It survived the Nazis and the communists and is now capitalizing on its legendary status among cinema history buffs like Quentin Tarantino to beat back tough competition from …

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Islamists halt filming of Egyptian TV series

CAIRO: Islamist students halted the filming of an Egyptian television series at Cairo’s Ain Shams University protesting against the "indecent" clothing of the actresses, the production company said Thursday. Misr International films had obtained permission from the university’s management to film on site, the head of the company, Gaby Khoury, told AFP. But "when the …

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THE REEL ESTATE: Arab cinema: State of the union (Part 1)

  For many years, Arab cinema has been scampering for world attention, attempting to overcome the long-held stigma that the budding films of the region don’t travel well abroad.   The presence of Arab films in major festivals has increased over the past few years. Nadine Labaki has become a household name in international fest …

DNE

Art world mourns Spanish great Antoni Tapies

Spanish leaders and the entire art world mourned Tuesday the death of the great avant-garde painter and sculptor Antoni Tapies. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sent a message of condolences to the family of Tapies, who died in Barcelona on Monday aged 88, describing him as "one of the great reformers of 20th century art." "His …

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George Clooney: Coming of age on the road to ‘The Descendants’

George Clooney plays the kind of man he isn’t in "The Descendants" — ambivalent about life, uncertain about his role as father and husband, a passive link in a long Hawaiian chain. As lawyer and cuckold Matt King, he manages to convey both pathos and humor, often in a single scene. In an exclusive interview …

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Britain marks Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday

He wrote about life in the modern city, with its lawyers and criminals, bankers and urchins, dreamers and clerks. He created characters still known to millions — Ebeneezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim, Pip and Miss Havisham, Fagin and Oliver Twist. And it made him a star, mobbed by fans on both sides of the Atlantic. …

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Book shows Chinese laureate’s struggles with West

Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo has been hailed as a bold champion of democracy, but a new compilation of his writings shows him also to be deeply introspective and doubtful of the West’s model. Liu has been in forced silence despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. Chinese authorities sentenced him the previous year …

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For Tony Kaldas, ‘art is not an option, it’s a right’

At Al Masar Gallery, an exhibition simply titled “Bahgory on Revolution” is currently on display. George Bahgory is one of a handful of artists who have become household names in Egypt. In a place that is often incompatible with contemporary arts, Bahgory has managed to penetrate the Egyptian psyche with a trademark style and a …

DNE

Bahgory tackles the revolution in poignant exhibit

At Al Masar Gallery, an exhibition simply titled “Bahgory on Revolution” is currently on display. George Bahgory is one of a handful of artists who have become household names in Egypt. In a place that is often incompatible with contemporary arts, Bahgory has managed to penetrate the Egyptian psyche with a trademark style and a …

DNE

Racy ads for French movie about infidelity pulled

What does it take to shock in the land of the Gallic shrug? Ads that suggest adulterous oral sex, according to complaints about new movie "Les Infideles." Posters for the film — which show the contented male stars with faceless women in submissive positions — went up Tuesday but were being taken down Friday following …

DNE

Youssef Ziedan strikes again with new triple-face novel

Youssef Ziedan, author of award-winning multi-million bestselling novel “Azazel,” strikes again with his latest novel, “Mohal.” Ziedan leaves the title of the novel without the Arabic short vowel marks, or tashkil, making it viable to three different interpretations and, consequently, three different translations. The first and more obvious is “Mohal," which means impossible; the second …

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‘How I Met Your Mother’ enjoying best year ever

The mysteries that surround the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" extend to co-creator Craig Thomas’ office on the Fox studio lot. A white board on the wall that outlines the seventh season’s episodes ends with Barney’s wedding in the May finale. "___ is the bride," the board says. You never know who’s going …

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Village politics at its best in new Labaki film

In “Hala La Wayn?” (Where Do We Go Now?), Nadine Labaki has once again produced a movie that is as funny, sassy and insightful as the female characters she portrays in her work. The Lebanese filmmaker rose to fame in the early ‘00s, with a string of highly popular music videos, distinguished for their retro …

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Actor Adel Imam sentenced for ‘defaming Islam’

CAIRO: A Cairo court has sentenced Egyptian comedy giant Adel Imam to three months in jail for "defaming Islam" in several roles he played on stage and screen, the actor told AFP on Thursday. Imam, arguably the Arab world’s most famous actor, was sentenced with hard labor in absentia, he said, after he was sued …

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Nobel-winning Polish poet Szymborska dies aged 88

Nobel-winning Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska known for her philosophical and often humorously biting turn of phrase, died Wednesday at the age of 88 following a long battle with illness. A heavy smoker, Szymborska, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996, passed away "peacefully, in her sleep" at her home in Krakow in southern …

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