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Latest in Culture


British couple caught smuggling artifacts in Egypt

By Agencies CAIRO: Egyptian police prevented a British man and his wife from smuggling 19 artifacts out of the country, an antiquities official told AFP on Sunday. The couple were stopped in the southern Luxor airport with an assortment of relics including figurines and pots dating back to several eras, said Hassan Rasmi, who monitors …

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Censors ban screening of ‘taboo’ interfaith love story

By AFP LUXOR: Egyptian filmmakers and critics denounced the authorities on Monday for blocking the screening of a “taboo” film about a love story between a Christian woman and a Muslim man. “We denounce the fact that censorship authorities have prevented the screening of Hesham Issawi’s ‘Cairo Exit’ at the Luxor African Film Festival,” dozens …

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‘The Artist’ earns best-picture, lead-actor Oscars

By David Germain / AP “The Artist” won five Academy Awards including best picture, becoming the first silent film to triumph at Hollywood’s highest honors since the original Oscar ceremony 83 years ago. Among other prizes Sunday for the black-and-white comic melodrama were best actor for Jean Dujardin and director for Michel Hazanavicius. In a night …

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‘Artist’ wins best-picture at indie Spirit Awards

By David Germain / AP “The Artist” won best picture and three other prizes Saturday at the Spirit Awards honoring independent film. The film also won for best director for Michel Hazanavicius and lead actor for Jean Dujardin as a silent-era star whose career crumbles as talking pictures take over in the 1920s. It earned the …

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Spirit Award nominees share low-budget secrets

By Christy Lemire / AP The Spirit Awards celebrate the best in low-budget filmmaking. But within those honors, the John Cassavetes Award goes to films with even lower budgets: those made for under $500,000. This year’s five nominees talked to The Associated Press about how they did it on the cheap. The winner will be announced …

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Gamal El Ghitani on preserving ‘Egyptian-ism’ (Part 2)

By Heba Elkayal Gamal El Ghitani’s writing on Egypt is first and foremost sensitive to and celebratory of the notion of the Egyptian identity vis-à-vis its history, starting with Ancient Egypt to the Mamluk era to modern day. On Feb. 29, the El Ghitani will give a reading of his novella, “Pyramid Texts,” at the “A …

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Gamal El Ghitani on preserving ‘Egyptian-ism’ (Part 1)

By Heba Elkayal Gamal El Ghitani’s writing on Egypt is first and foremost sensitive to and celebratory of the notion of the Egyptian identity vis-à-vis its history, starting with Ancient Egypt to the Mamluk era to modern day. In his works — which include modern classics such as “The Zafarani Files,” “Zayni Barakat” and “Rinn” among …

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Where will the Oscar surprises come from?

By Steve Pond / TheWrap (Reuters) The Oscar races can’t be decided already. Yes, “The Artist” and Jean Dujardin and Viola Davis and Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer and Michel Hazanavicius seem to have every reason to polish those acceptance speeches. (Keep it under 45 seconds, folks, be emotional, don’t read lists!) But I’ve noticed a …

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Synecdoche, Islamic art

By Marie-Jeanne Berger It is usually a bad omen to walk into a gallery and find out that the collection on display belongs to the ruler of the country that the gallery is named after. Luckily for the art-going public with access to the new American University in Cairo campus, Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi (member …

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Archaeologists begin restoring ancient boat near pyramids

CAIRO: Archaeologists on Monday began restoration on a 4,500-year-old wooden boat found next to the pyramids, one of Egypt’s main tourist attractions. The boat is one of two that were buried next to the Pharaoh Khufu, spokesmen for a joint Egyptian-Japanese team of archeologists said. The boats are believed to have been intended to carry …

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Critics lament conservative winner at edgy Berlin film fest

The Berlin film festival wrapped up Sunday after handing its Golden Bear top prize to Italian prison docu-drama "Caesar Must Die" in what commentators called a worthy but conservative choice. The picture shows real-life murderers and mafiosi from a high-security jail in Rome staging Shakespeare’s tragedy "Julius Caesar," with their own personal dramas giving resonance …

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British spies stumped by Charlie Chaplin mystery

By Jill Lawless / AP They foiled plots and cracked Nazi codes, but Britain’s spies were unable to solve the mystery of Charlie Chaplin’s birth. Although the entertainer is celebrated as one of London’s most famous sons, newly declassified files reveal that Britain’s MI5 domestic intelligence service found no records to back up Chaplin’s claim that …

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Italian prison docu-drama ‘Caesar Must Die’ wins Berlin fest

Italy’s veteran directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani won the Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival Saturday for "Caesar Must Die," a docu-drama about inmates at a high-security prison staging Shakespeare. Filmed in black-and-white and color, the picture shows murderers and mafiosi playing the parts of Shakespeare’s tragedy "Julius Caesar," with their own personal dramas …

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Sawy short film fest held amid Egypt’s cultural turbulence

This time last year, Egypt was in a state of celebration. Seemingly free from the shackles of the Hosni Mubarak regime, Egyptians danced in the naivety of the reverberating chant, “the people and the army are one hand.” Shortly afterwards, Egypt witnessed an outpour of artistic energy and cultural activity manifested in an abysmal display …

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German film eyes the big prize at Berlin festival

German drama "Barbara" is the critics’ favorite to take away the Golden Bear for best picture at this year’s Berlin film festival, in what would be the first home win since 2004. The 10-day cinema showcase, which attracts thousands of journalists, critics and movie industry executives from around the world, ends Saturday with an awards …

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Houston legacy to continue in final film, song

For Bishop T.D. Jakes, watching Whitney Houston sing a classic gospel hymn two months ago made him sure the long-struggling singer was poised for a comeback. Instead, her soulful rendition of "His Eye is on the Sparrow" will be the last chance for audiences to see Houston perform new music. Her performance was filmed for …

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Indonesia TV drama challenges extremism in prisons, and living rooms

JAKARTA: Many people would argue that football is as much a spiritual experience as it is a physical activity. As the World Cup and other regional league and club games have shown, it has the ability to move people — both in positive and negative ways. It can be seen as positive in that it …

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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” — …

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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, …

DNE

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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