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Latest in Culture


One-on-one with Norwegian Wood’ director Anh Hung Tran

No other Vietnamese filmmaker has come close to matching the critical and commercial success that greeted the films of Anh Hung Tran. With his first two pictures, Tran earned Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion prize, the Golden Camera award at the Cannes Film Festival and a César. Every new project of his has become an …

DNE

Folk singer Hassan El-Asmar dies at 52

  CAIRO: Popular Egyptian folk singer Hassan El-Asmar died Sunday at age 52 in Cleopatra Hospital from a fatal heart attack.   His funeral was held at the Noor Mosque in Abbasiya. Born in the southern governorate of Qena in 1959, El-Asmar rose to stardom in the late 1980s with a string of hits such …

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Lebanon’s last Arabic scribes struggle in IT age

By Rana Moussaoui / AFP Lebanon’s few remaining Arabic calligraphers, whose elegant script and interweaving words transport one to another era, are working to preserve an art form struggling to compete with new technology. “The computer is a wonderful tool but in no way can it replace an artist or produce masterpieces,” says Mahmoud Bayoun, one …

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The pensive philosophies of a Sad Panda

By Heba Elkayal The joke’s on us: graffiti art fans run around Cairo trying to document the surge of street art and the foreign media churn out article after repetitive article about the post-revolution art scene and its heavy connotations of political expressionism. As we pin meaning to spray-painted slogans and caricatures, graffiti artists themselves have …

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Kolkata set for ‘London Eye’ in major facelift

Kolkata, once capital of British India, on Tuesday began work to transform the congested and fading city into a "second London" complete with a London Eye ferris wheel. Mamata Banerjee, the feisty new chief minister of the state of West Bengal, made an election pledge to turn the dysfunctional and poverty-stricken Indian metropolis into a …

DNE

Talkin’ ’bout my generation

By Maha ElNabawi The demographic cohort born between the 1980s through the late 90s has been branded with popular culture titles such as Generation Y, The Millennials, MTV Generation, and Generation Next. But how does one define the culture of this generation? Mariam Elias’ first self-published book, “Thawret El-LooooL,” aims to do just that. “The book …

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Filmmakers take on Cape Wind saga in ‘Cape Spin’

The Cape Wind project is New England’s never-ending story, tangled in debate and litigation ever since it was proposed in 2001. But a group of filmmakers say they’ve told the tale in about 84 minutes. "Cape Spin" is a new feature-length documentary on the battle over Cape Wind, a 130-turbine offshore wind farm planned for …

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S. Africa’s iconic plucky pup ‘Jock’ goes 3D in film

South African literary classic "Jock of the Bushveld" has been turned into the country’s first 3D animation film and features the voices of global celebrities like Bryan Adams and Desmond Tutu. The film, which opened pm Friday in southern Africa, is based on the 1907 bestseller by Percy Fitzpatrick who details his true-life bush adventures …

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Eels star E gets by with help from heroes

By Ron DePasquale/ AP It’s been an exciting summer for the musician known simply as E. He may be 48 and a long-established master of melodic, delightfully odd rock music, most famous for his hit song “Novocaine for the Soul.” But even after releasing nine albums with his band Eels and chronicling the loss of several …

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Jolie, Pitt at Sarajevo festival closing ceremony

Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, in a surprise visit to Bosnia, on Saturday attended the closing ceremony of the Sarajevo Film Festival at which the actress received an honorary award. Jolie was given the "Honorary Heart of Sarajevo" award not "only because of her exceptional career in the movie world, but also due …

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Cutting-edge ballet rocks Russia’s Bolshoi

A modern ballet with music by cult US rock band The White Stripes has wowed Bolshoi Theatre audiences, helping the company shake off a conservative image as it plans a return to its historic home. "Chroma," British choreographer Wayne McGregor’s 2006 exploration of the influence of psychology on movement, is a sharp contrast to the …

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Met Museum to send 19 artifacts to Egypt next week

CAIRO: Nineteen artifacts taken from the tomb of the famed boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun will be returned to Egypt next week after more than half a century at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Egypt’s antiquities authority said Saturday. The trove includes a miniature bronze dog and a sphinx-shaped bracelet ornament, the Supreme Council of …

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Germany returns ancient sphinx to Turkey

ANKARA: Germany has returned a 3,500-year-old sphinx to Turkey after a war of words and the treasured sculpture is set to be reinstated at its original location, media reports said Thursday. The sphinx will be erected at the entrance of a museum at Hattusha, the ancient Hittite capital, some 240 kilometers northeast of the capital …

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Amy Winehouse left trove of unreleased music

Amy Winehouse left a trove of unreleased music, but no decision has been made about whether it will be released, people close to the singer say. The soul diva, who had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, was found dead of unknown causes at her London home on Saturday. She was 27. Spokesman Chris Goodman …

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Clooney, Madonna and Pacino to grace Venice film fest

George Clooney, David Cronenberg and Roman Polanski are vying for the top honor in this year’s Venice cinema festival, which will see stars from Madonna to Al Pacino on the red carpet, organizers said Thursday. Clooney’s fourth film, "The Ides of March," will open the 68th edition of the festival in a glittering premiere expected …

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Gaza film-makers decry Hamas censorship

GAZA: "Cinema in Gaza is like writing on rocks with your fingers," says Palestinian writer-director Sweilem Al-Absi. It’s not just the dearth of funds, equipment and studio facilities that prompts such laments from film-makers in the Gaza Strip. Four years into Islamist Hamas rule, cultural censors are fraying the already threadbare local movie industry. Locked …

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Documentary films find new home in Egypt

CAIRO: More often than not people equate the unprecedented with the improbable. Such an inclination was evident this spring as the unprecedented occurred allowing many throughout Egypt to consider what had once been rendered improbable. As quickly as this change has ensued so has the effort to document, educate and empower the public by raising …

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Britain’s Man Booker long list unveiled

By AP The longlist for Britain’s prestigious Man Booker Prize was announced Tuesday after being selected by a panel of judges headed by a former MI5 intelligence chief. The list of 13, picked from a total of 138 books, includes former winner Alan Hollinghurst, who won the Booker in 2004 with “The Line of Beauty,” …

DNE

Ganzeer: The de facto cultural operator

By Heba Elkayal He is by nature endearing, a skinny lanky frame with a mop of black curls and a smile curled in constant, yet secretive, amusement. Ganzeer, an artist in his mid-twenties whose birth name is Mohamed Fahmy has become a de facto cultural operator. Just don’t call him a street artist. Ganzeer is his …

DNE

We’ve been expecting you, Elisa Nocita

By Chitra Kalyani Jazz is one surprise after another; it is to be expected. Dressed in a black evening dress with detached sleeves, the star, featured by the recently-formed group the Amro Salah Trio, walks on stage with an unusual accessory: her eyeglasses. But when you welcome onstage the voice that is Elisa Nocita, for minutes …

DNE

Ann Patchett gives hometown the gift of books

The best-selling author of "State of Wonder," ”Bel Canto" and other novels doesn’t tweet, and you won’t find her on Facebook. Her rarely powered-up flip phone is 8 years old. She has a television but doesn’t turn it on. And she’s never even Googled herself. Now, she’s decided to retreat even further in time: She’s …

DNE

Israeli orchestra to play Wagner in Germany

An Israeli orchestra is set to perform a work by Adolf Hitler’s favorite composer, Richard Wagner, in a taboo-breaking concert in Germany. The Israel Chamber Orchestra’s concert in Wagner’s hometown alongside the annual Bayreuth opera festival on Tuesday will mark the first time an Israeli orchestra has played Wagner in Germany, Nicolaus Richter, the head …

DNE

Amy Winehouse among musical talents gone too soon

Amy Winehouse released only two albums in her life, one of which sold more than a million copies, won five Grammys and sparked a retro soul movement that hasn’t yet stopped. The small output, in inverse relation to her outsized talent, made her death Saturday in London all the more tragic. Fans will only be …

DNE

An Egyptian artist’s new dynamics

By Heba Elkayal Once a practicing dermatologist, Khaled Hafez is now primarily a painter, and informally, a sentinel of the Egyptian art scene. His artwork has garnered him much attention in international art biennales such as Singapore and Dakar, in prominent art fairs such as Art Dubai and in art festivals such as the recent Shubbak …

DNE

Troubled diva Amy Winehouse dead at 27

Few artists summed up their own career in a single song — a single line — as well as Amy Winehouse. "They tried to make me go to rehab," she sang on her world-conquering 2006 single, "Rehab." ”I said ‘No, no no.’" Occasionally, she said yes, but to no avail: repeated stints in hospitals and …

DNE

A platform emerges for British Muslim writers

LONDON: British Muslims are hungry for the opportunity to write and to be published. But do Muslims need nurturing to do so? Is there anything stopping Muslim writers from voicing their opinions and sharing their experiences? According to James Caan, a serial entrepreneur famed for his appearances on the UK television show “Dragon’s Den”, Muslims …

DNE

Comic-Con kicks off with fans, flicks, costumes

Calling all superheroes, zombies, space aliens, comic-book lovers and kids of all ages: Comic-Con is here. The pop-culture convention, which annually draws thousands of costumed fans to San Diego, begins Thursday, but the die-hards (and those with weekend-long passes) were getting a peek at the colorful convention floor on Wednesday night The line for badges …

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‘No Country’ star calls for global actors rights

GENEVA: In the 2008-film "No Country for Old Men" Javier Bardem’s hitman character mercilessly collected unpaid debts with a deadly bolt gun. When it comes to movie pirates, the 42-year-old Academy Award winner is more understanding. "People don’t have money and movie tickets are sometimes too high," Bardem told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday. "I …

DNE

Jan 25 Revolution takes center stage at Sawy’s documentary fest

Underground film took on a whole new meaning at Sawy Culture Wheel’s 7th annual Documentary Film Festival which concluded on Wednesday. In a shabby screening room under the 26th of July Bridge, Egypt’s film buffs gathered for three consecutive nights to watch the latest batch of locally produced documentaries that were, alas, underdeveloped to say …

DNE

African American Civil War Museum gets new home

With a fife and drum band playing Yankee Doodle and civil war re-enactors sweltering in the summer sun, a museum honoring the contribution of African Americans in the US Civil War moved into its new home in Washington this week. "It is finally finished, a great new 5,000 square foot (465 square meters) African American …

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