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Latest in Culture


Cairo Mediterranean Literary Festival kicks off

Since the beginning of 2011, Egypt has been shaken by a social and political tidal wave that has had a profound impact on its cultural environment. From street-side cafes to cyberspace, opportunities for dialogue are expanding; ideas are shared, torn apart and reassembled. Against this backdrop, where the collective cry for change has given people …

DNE

Cannes honors Egypt as revolt film premieres

The blood and teargas of Arab revolts filled the screen at Cannes on Wednesday, as the controversial film "18 Days" premiered during a day honoring Egypt and its revolution. The film, consisting of 10 shorts by different directors, covers the popular revolt that began on January 25 and led up to the fall of president …

DNE

Life in a fish tank: The sad romances of Matias Bize

By Joseph Fahim Latin American cinema came of age at the turn of the new century. Emerging filmmakers from Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Peru took the art-house film world by storm over the past 11 years with watershed works such as “City of God,” “Y Tu Mamá También,” “Amores Perros,” “The Headless Woman,” “The Secret in …

DNE

Egyptian princess was first to have heart disease

LONDON: An Egyptian princess who lived more than 3,500 years ago is the oldest known person to have had clogged arteries, dispelling the myth that heart disease is a product of modern society, a new study says. To determine how common heart disease was in ancient Egypt, scientists performed computer scans on 52 mummies in …

DNE

Finnish bad boy skewers migrant paranoia at Cannes

Aki Kaurismaki’s surreal comedy about refugees in France premiered at Cannes on Tuesday, with the irreverent Finn sticking his fingers up at the irrational fear of foreigners sweeping Europe. "Le Havre", in competition for the Palme d’Or, is set in the French port of the same name and tells the story of African child migrant …

DNE

Female directors in the spotlight at Cannes

It’s a good year for women at the Cannes Film Festival. But not everyone is cheering just yet. Four of the 20 films in the festival’s main competition are by female directors, a record number — and better than last year’s total of zero. It’s still a small minority, however, and in the festival’s 64 …

DNE

Austrian director defends Kampusch-themed Cannes entry

An Austrian first-time director defended his chilling Cannes entry about the relationship between a pedophile and his prey which shocked audiences and sharply divided critics. The plot of "Michael," one of 20 contenders for the festival’s top prize, has strong parallels to the story of Natascha Kampusch, the Austrian girl kept locked in a cellar …

DNE

2 wheels good in Cannes entry ‘Kid With a Bike’

The latest Cannes Film Festival entry from Belgium’s Dardenne brothers is the story of an abandoned boy, his unlikely savior and his beloved bicycle. "The Kid With a Bike" tells the alternately brutal and tender tale of 11-year-old Cyril, left in a children’s home by his feckless father; Samantha, a hairdresser who almost by accident …

DNE

An atypical art venue in Hotel Kempinski

Egyptians can’t seem to get enough of the Jan. 25 Revolution. However, the approach adopted to support it can sometimes be a bit naive: many believe that to be a revolutionary, one must be radical and brash; that the call for change needs to be addressed in an uncompromisingly dictating tone. In that vein, creative …

DNE

Much-anticipated ‘Tree of Life’ divides Cannes crowd

US director Terrence Malick’s "The Tree of Life" finally got to Cannes on Monday, where it divided festival-goers with its spectacular visuals but cerebral, religious and very American storyline. Loud boos clashed with respectful applause at the end of a morning press screening for one of the most highly-anticipated entries at the world’s biggest film …

DNE

L’amour fou in downtown Cairo

By Rania Khalil Downtown art exhibit “Le Caire Mon Amour” is a collection of painting, performance and installation in an abandoned apartment on 7 Champillion St. It is the brainchild of French born, Cairo-based painter Anne du Boistesselin. Envisioned as a series of three openings in three consecutive weeks, the exhibit seems to be neither about …

DNE

Diana film slams UK royals as ‘gangsters’

According to a provocative new documentary at the Cannes Film Festival, Britain’s royals are racist "gangsters in tiaras" and Prince Philip is a womanizing psychopath. The movie "Unlawful Killing" revives claims that Princess Diana — adored by millions as the "people’s princess" but viewed in royal circles as an embarrassing loose cannon — was murdered …

DNE

Lynne Ramsay’s stark ‘Kevin’ gets Cannes talking

Everybody at Cannes is talking about "We Need to Talk about Kevin," and director Lynne Ramsay is not surprised at the strong reaction. It is, after all, about a teenager who commits a school massacre, and his mother’s bottomless grief. Some are calling it wrenching, or bleak, or poetic. But Ramsay can’t understand why anyone …

DNE

A tour in Damon Kowarsky’s splendid ‘Cities’

Currently showing at Mashrabia Gallery is an exhibition titled "In Visible Cities" by Damon Kowarsky. As the first show I attend that does not speak of the January 25 Revolution, "In Visible Cities" was a refreshing break and a genuinely interesting step into how art can make one think of the current events without being …

DNE

Arab auteurs go global at Cannes after revolt chaos

Riding the wave of the Arab Spring, Egyptian film star Khaled Abol Naga and his international backers have launched a revolutionary bid to bring quality Arab cinema to the global market. Kicking off at the Cannes film festival, Pacha Pictures aims to be the place to go for Arab "auteur" cinema, for which Abol Naga …

DNE

Art community rallies to Ai Weiwei’s defense

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has vanished. But look around, and he seems to be everywhere. More than a month after one of China’s best-known contemporary artist was arrested while trying to board a flight to Hong Kong, his name, his face and his art have popped up across the globe. China’s communist rulers have steadfastly …

DNE

Sarkozy shuns Cannes film thriller about his career

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he will not watch a new film about his rise to power because to do so would be narcissistic but he also can’t bear criticism. "I have certainly no desire to see ‘Conquest’," he told arts magazine Telerama, referring to the political thriller produced by the brothers Eric and Nicolas …

DNE

Cannes kicks off with homage to Bertolucci

The Cannes film festival got off to a glittering start, paying homage to the creator of "Last Tango in Paris" before sitting back to enjoy "Midnight in Paris." "I declare the Cannes festival open," said Bernardo Bertolucci in Italian and French, after French actress Melanie Laurent, the evening’s master of ceremonies, invited the Italian director …

DNE

Italian archaeologists hunt for Mona Lisa model

Archaeologists on Wednesday began digging for the remains of a 16th-century woman believed to be the model for Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in a bid to unlock an art world mystery. The team of historians says they will try to find the remains using geo-radar equipment and then try to re-create a likeness of …

DNE

Early French classic ‘resurrected’ at Cannes

A classic early film known for its iconic black-and-white images has been "resurrected" from the dead — and spruced up in full color — to be screened at the Cannes film festival. "Le Voyage dans la Lune" ("A Trip to the Moon") by Georges Méliès was to be presented at the start of the French …

DNE

Ramy Essam: Voice of the Midan

At 23 years of age, Ramy Essam admits “I’m very young for what happened to me.” He is possibly referring to the torture and brutality he experienced during and after the January 25 Revolution, but also to the responsibility he has come to assume as the voice of Tahrir Square. When Daily News Egypt met …

DNE

Paula Fox looks back on a wayward life

At age 88, author Paula Fox is the settled survivor of a disrupted life. She was abandoned as an infant, frequently moved through much of her childhood, a teen mother who gave up her daughter for adoption, a witness to the devastation of post-World War II Europe, and the public and private breakdowns of New …

DNE

Iraqi singer Kazim Al-Saher named UNICEF ambassador

BAGHDAD: Crooning of love, Iraq’s most famous singer returned to Baghdad on Monday after 14 years abroad to be named a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations children’s fund, UNICEF. Kazim Al-Saher said as a Goodwill Ambassador, he would inspect villages and schools. "I will visit villages to help the children who study in mud …

DNE

Egypt protest hero Wael Ghonim to write book

WASHINGTON: Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who became a hero of Egypt’s anti-government uprising, has signed a deal with a US publisher to write a book, "Revolution 2.0." Houghton Mifflin Harcourt said Monday that it has secured the rights to Ghonim’s book, which it said will tell the "inside story of the Egyptian revolution and …

DNE

Thoughts about the post-revolution culture

By Joseph Fahim One of the last performances I watched at the 14th European Theater Prize last month was a children’s play entitled “Happiness” by Russian director Andrey Moguchiy. Based on Maurice Maeterlinck’s classic tale “The Blue Bird,” “Happiness” was a feast of the eye, exploring children’s fears through a series of fantastical sequences realized via …

DNE

Stars come out to shine for Cannes film festival

With a well-received selection of films, Robert De Niro steering the jury and a galaxy of stars awaited on the Croisette, this year’s Cannes film festival is promising to be among the liveliest ever. The 64th edition of the world’s biggest film festival opens Wednesday on the French Riviera with the out-of-competition premiere of Woody …

DNE

Mashrou’ Leila wins over Cairo

By Chitra Kalyani Be warned — when you ask Mashrou’ Leila about their name, the Lebanese band will not give a straight answer. They’re a bit tricky, and might just spin you a yarn from A Thousand and One Nights. On their first night in Cairo, Al-Azhar Park’s Geneina Theater was packed in preparation, audiences clutching …

DNE

An untoward Michael Jackson tribute at Opera House

What should be said at the outset of this review is that it is a biased one. I am in fact a deep admirer of late American pop star Michael Jackson. I remember quite vividly my classmates in primary school in the 80s joining the craze that MJ had set upon the world with the …

DNE

Nigerian hip-hop, long a copy, grows into its own

Nigeria’s most talked-about hip-hop video exhibits all the excesses of its American counterparts — beautiful, scantily clad models, a mansion and a bathtub full of hundred-dollar bills. But the biggest surprise? America’s own Snoop Dogg playing back up to Nigerian star D’banj, embracing him as his nephew and taking a Nigerian passport before leaving the …

DNE

Novice filmmakers open window on Iraq

As Baghdad writhed with violence in 2006, Emad Ali set out to make a film about the iconic Shabandar Cafe. But he turned the camera on himself after the teahouse was bombed, a deadly mortar killed his wife and a gunman shot him three times. Despite the ordeals, he finished "A candle for the Shabandar …

DNE