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Latest in Culture


Angelina Jolie hailed for Balkan war film debut

Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie has won praise for her directing debut — a powerful story of love amid the atrocities of the Bosnian war — from both film critics and victims’ relatives. The Hollywood "A" lister is used to being feted for her performances in films ranging from "Girl, Interrupted" — which won her the …

DNE

‘Hydrarchy’ exhibition revisits the sea

In the 19th century, the international order of power and commerce rested on the sea: the vast merchant navy and the gunboats of the British Empire. In the 20th century, power gradually passed to the skies, as air-power gradually became the defining tool of imperial wars, and planes the primary means of personal travel around …

DNE

Clooney’s ‘Descendants’ leads LA Critics awards

George Clooney’s family drama "The Descendants" was chosen Sunday as the year’s best film by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, whose prizes are an early influence on the way to the Academy Awards. From "Sideways" director Alexander Payne, "The Descendants" stars Clooney as a neglectful father in Hawaii trying to tend his daughters after …

DNE

Shades of Lebanese history and a dash of ‘1/2 Revolution’ in Dubai

For most of the previous decade, Egyptian film dominated the regional fest circuit, stirring a media frenzy for its popular stars and winning awards right and left for work that was far more developed, if less daring, than that of neighboring countries with less experience and no industrial backbone. Egyptian cinema has been in decline …

DNE

Picasso, royal tapestries in unique show in Romania

Fifty-five tapestries created by the French royal Manufacture des Gobelins and by contemporary artists like Picasso and Miro went on display from Friday in Bucharest, in a world premiere. "A selection of tapestries of such scope and quality is unprecedented," said Bernard Schotter, the administrator general of the Mobilier National, the French government’s treasure house …

DNE

Posthumous Winehouse album ‘reflects chaotic life’

A posthumous album by Amy Winehouse, a rough and ready assortment of alternative versions of hits, unreleased tracks and covers, has been hailed as a poignant snapshot of the singer’s troubled life. Critics said that "Lioness: Hidden Treasures" perfectly reflects the chaotic final years of the artist, whose death in July aged 27 after years …

DNE

An Egyptian novelist reads in Frankfurt

On Nov. 24, Egyptian novelist Khaled Alkhamissi read excerpts from his bestselling novel “Taxi” to an audience in Frankfurt as part of the “Festival of Egyptian Culture.” “Taxi” is Alkhamissi’s 2006 debut novel, which gave him a sense of celebrity unknown to most contemporary Egyptian writers, selling thousands of copies more than other established contemporary …

DNE

Dubai Film Fest opens with ‘Mission: Impossible’ world premiere

In a year where glamour and entertainment in the region were forced to take a backseat to the tumultuous events of the Arab Spring, the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) emerges strongly from the storm with one of its most interesting line-ups yet. The extravagant tone of this year’s edition was set with the opening …

DNE

‘M-A-S-H’ star Harry Morgan dies at age 96

Harry Morgan never planned to be an actor, yet he spent 10 years on one of the top TV series of all time, made 50 films and appeared on Broadway. He became one of the best-known character actors in Hollywood. He was 96. But it was Morgan’s portrayal of the fatherly Col. Sherman Potter on …

DNE

Mandela museum ‘boot camp’ inspires artists

Artists pore over their computers — drawing up work experience and not sketches — in a rigorous "boot camp" inspired by Nelson Mandela that combines practical business sense with talent. The five students are in a six-week residency in the isolated hills of Qunu at the Nelson Mandela Museum, overlooking the icon’s childhood home where …

DNE

Spanish filmmaker Almodovar’s intriguing ‘Skin I Live In’

Pedro Almodóvar is back with a brand new installment of his sensuous quirky creations. "La Piel Que Habito" (The Skin I Live In, 2011) is sexy, intricate and intriguing. Ever since he lost his wife to severe burns in the aftermath of a car crash, renowned plastic surgeon Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas) has obsessed over …

DNE

‘Hugo’ is me, Scorsese says of new film

Martin Scorsese leaves the tough guy world far behind with his latest film "Hugo," a 3D fantasy set in pre-war Paris about an orphan and a toymaker — as well as about himself, the US director said Monday. "Hugo," which hit US screens last month, is at once a warming Christmas carol and a cinephile’s …

DNE

Book on Siwa blends travel literature with photography

“It is a study of largesse in both legends and lifestyles,” writes emerging author Rawah Badrawi in the introduction of her new book on the desert oasis town of Siwa. The story by Badrawi and hobbyist photographers Omar Hikal and Khaled Shokry is based on a carefully curated selection of images and text that, in …

DNE

Polisse: Film delivers emotional realism with grit

By Myriam Ghattas Child abuse, infant abduction, rape, incest and abandonment are just some of the cases that we get a glimpse of in “Polisse” (2011) that explores the day to day business of being a BPM (Brigade for the Protection of Minors) in France. Set in Paris, the film tells this special division of cops’ …

DNE

War of the roses

By Myriam Ghattas “La Guerre est Déclarée” (Declaration of War, 2011) is the story of a young couple: Romeo (Jérémie Elkaïm) and Juliette (Valérie Donzelli) find out that their son Adam (César Desseix) — just one-and-a-half years old — has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Within a moment that must have lasted emotional light-years, …

DNE

Statue of Egyptian king Amenhotep III found

CAIRO: Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed a large statue of king Amenhotep III who ruled nearly 3,400 years ago and who was the grandfather of the famed boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun. The Supreme Council of Antiquities says the latest find was made at the king’s funerary temple in the southern city of Luxor. Thursday’s statement says the 44 …

DNE

Oscar Wilde’s Paris tomb made safe from admirers’ kisses

Oscar Wilde’s renovated Paris tomb was unveiled on Wednesday, complete with a new glass barrier to shield the monument to the quintessential dandy’s life from a torrent of admiring kisses. Kiss upon lipsticked kiss in honor of Wilde, who died penniless aged 46 in a Paris hotel room in 1900, had worn down the elegant …

DNE

US exhibit showcases legendary black photographer

Charles "Teenie" Harris had a photographic mission: going beyond the obvious or sensational to capture the essence of daily African-American life in the 20th century For more than 40 years, Harris — as lead photographer of the influential Pittsburgh Courier newspaper — took almost 80,000 pictures of people from all walks of life: presidents, housewives, …

DNE

NY film critics pick ‘The Artist’ as best film

The New York Film Critics Circle named the silent film ode "The Artist" the year’s best film Tuesday, giving the nostalgic black-and-white movie an early boost to its already promising Academy Awards prospects. "The Artist," which is silent like the films to which it pays homage, also earned best director for the French filmmaker Michel …

DNE

A ‘Green Wave’ lesson in revolting

“The Green Wave” is a protest film, a lesson in endurance, and a terrifying exposé of the staggering human rights violations committed in the aftermath of the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Ali Samadi Ahadi’s documentary mixes mobile phone footage, animation and interviews with bloggers and activists to follow the course of the Iranian green movement …

DNE

British film director Ken Russell dies at 84

Director Ken Russell got Oliver Reed and Alan Bates to wrestle naked, turned Vanessa Redgrave into a demonic nun and cast Ringo Starr as the pope. Critics and mainstream audiences often hated his films. Actors and admirers loved him.

DNE

An impressive display of collages at new art space

In Cairo, art exhibitions are opening left and right, as are gallery spaces, surprisingly. The latest on the scene in what is becoming the city’s art hub Zamalek is The Gallery, where the opening exhibit is “Collage: 100 Years On,” curated by Maie Yanni. What I love most about the art scene is its resilience. …

DNE

THE REEL ESTATE: In silence, they sing, dance and steal your heart away

Against all possible odds, the fourth edition of the Panorama of European Film has managed to attract a sizeable audience with sold-out screenings, commencing in a week when all cultural activities in the nation have been suspended in the wake of last week’s violence against Tahrir demonstrators. Misr International Films’ week-long fest did not have …

DNE

An Italian lesson in love

By Myriam Ghattas “Manuale D’Am3re” (The Ages of Love, 2011) is a triptych of three love stories told by an observant and meddlesome Cupid (Vittorio Emanuele Propizio) officiating as a taxi driver of love. The stories represent the different ages, or stages, at which humans find and develop love relationships: Youth, maturity and beyond. Giovanni Veronesi, …

DNE

In times of rain

By Myriam Ghattas “Tambien La Lluvia” (Even the Rain, 2010) is, on the surface, a movie about the making of a movie. As such, it is a film that could have easily fallen into the familiar narcissistic trap of cinema directing its camera lens onto itself for inspiration, oftentimes with disconcerting results. Yet, the present film …

DNE

Neds: A personal story

By Myriam Ghattas Telling a poignant and gritty tale of a boy’s downward spiral to hell, Peter Mullan makes no concessions as he writes and directs “Neds” (2010) revisiting his native Scotland in his third feature. In his previous films, Mullan exhibited a mastery of entrapment exploration, as seen in “The Magdalene Sisters” (2002) and “Orphans” …

DNE

THE REEL ESTATE: It’s the end of the world, and she feels fine

“Melancholia,” Lars von Trier’s latest monster, may forever be remembered for the wrong reasons. Jaws dropped when the notorious Danish provocateur joked that he understands Hitler; that he sympathizes with him, that he’s “a Nazi.” The rest, as they say, is history. Von Trier was expelled from the festival shortly afterwards, having been named a …

DNE

The soft revolution of Dagenham

By Myriam Ghattas Revolution…revolution! “Made in Dagenham” (2010) puts the sassy in strike, one that yielded revolutionary results in England in 1968 and had repercussions all over the world thereafter. Sporting a motto of “We Want Sex Equality” around their town before expanding to neighboring cities, 187 women machinists from the Dagenham Ford car factory in …

DNE

Libya’s road to freedom captured in new photo exhibit

On Sunday, in a small white box of a room, stark images of the recent revolutionary battles in Libya hung on panels surrounding a large Libyan flag with gold fringe. A TV replayed major news stories from the last year, and students gazed at photos from the Libyan revolution depicting scenes of both horrible violence …

DNE

Grand opening for Festival of Egyptian Culture in Frankfurt

On Nov. 19, Tutankhamun and his tomb made their debut in Frankfurt. Along the river Main, in an impressive hall on Mainzer Landstrasse set up especially for the event, Semmel Concerts, Germany’s leading concert promoter, has organized a festival that celebrates Egyptian culture in a way that even Egyptians themselves will find it challenging to …

DNE