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In Memoriam is touching to watch, painful to make

The Kodak Theater goes quiet as the big screen at center stage begins flashing images of actors and filmmakers who have died. A photo of Heath Ledger or Paul Newman might move the audience to spontaneous applause. Other images inspire deep sighs, as viewers reflect on the entertainers who have touched our lives. The In …

AP

'Ajami' casts harsh light on Israel's other Arab conflict

JAFFA: In the mixed neighborhood of the Israeli film Ajami, Jews and Arabs rub shoulders on the same quiet, leafy streets, never knowing when someone is going to draw a knife. The film, the third Israeli production to be nominated for an Academy Award in as many years, offers a rare look at the country …

AFP

A portrait of Jehan Sadat as an artist

Jehan Sadat is a woman whose name is synonymous with a vital part of Egypt’s modern history. As the first lady of Egypt for 11 years that shaped the country as we know it now, she has been portrayed in different lights: from a loving mother, a pioneer in women’s rights movements, a philanthropist and …

Mariam Hamdy

Precious' in 3-D? Filmmakers predict 3-D dramas

Movies are evolving ever more into 3-D, a shake-up of the medium that has been compared to the advent of sound or color in motion pictures. But if digital 3-D is so revolutionary, it will need to go beyond fantasy and animated blockbusters to drama and live action comedy. Explorations of Pandora may seem like …

AP

A heart-to-heart walk

We officially start our walk outside Bab El-Nasr, one of the doors to Islamic Cairo. Amira Hanafi begins by taking a picture of my feet. This is how she always begins her series of walks which are an exploration of Cairo entitled “‘Alatool: Straight Ahead, Always. Hanafi’s walking exploration of Cairo started at the foot …

Chitra Kalyani

Archaeologists in Egypt find tomb of mystery queen

CAIRO: A French archaeological mission has unearthed a 4,000-year-old rare pink granite sarcophagus belonging to a little known ancient queen of Egypt, the culture ministry said on Wednesday. The mystery queen identified as Bahnou, was “one of the queens of the Sixth Dynasty and ruled Egypt from 2374 to 2192 BC, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass …

AFP

A cry on the walls

In contemporary Egypt, graffiti – an ancient art form involving the inscription of lettering and/or images through the etching, marking, or painting of surfaces – and street art typically take the form of hastily prepared messages of a commercial, electoral, religious or personal nature. Elaborate street art and large murals are far less common. Graffiti …

Daily News Egypt

'Hurt Locker' producer barred from Oscars

A producer of the war story The Hurt Locker will not be allowed to attend Sunday s Academy Awards because of emails he sent urging academy members to vote for his movie, Oscar overseers said. But Nicolas Chartier will receive an Oscar at a later date if The Hurt Locker wins best picture. The executive …

AP

Award-winning filmmaker Panahi arrested in Tehran raid

Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, a vocal backer of the opposition movement, was arrested along with his family and guests during a raid on his Tehran home, his son said on Tuesday. About 10 on Monday evening, several plainclothes agents broke into the house, Panah Panahi told Rahesabz opposition website. Panahi, his wife and daughter …

AFP

Publisher halts book about bombing of Hiroshima

Publication has been halted for a disputed book about the atomic bombing of Japan in 1945, The Associated Press has learned. Charles Pellegrino s The Last Train from Hiroshima had received strong reviews and had been optioned for a possible film by Avatar director James Cameron. But publisher Henry Holt and Company, responding to questions …

AP

One on one with author Eric Blehm

After reviewing Eric Blehm’s “The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan, (published in Daily News Egypt, Feb. 4, 2010), we caught up with Blehm via a phone interview. “The Only Thing Worth Dying For, published last year by Harper, documents the mission of Special Forces team ODA 574, …

Annelle Sheline

'Lockergate'? : Producer apologizes for emails

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is considering action against a producer of The Hurt Locker who sent multiple emails urging academy members to vote for his movie in the Oscar best-picture race and not a $500 million film – an obvious reference to close-competitor Avatar. The emails by Nicolas Chartier, one of …

AP

Storytelling performance brings sense of community to theater

The young theater troupe Soubian we Banat (Boys and Girls) offered an evening of storytelling this week in Wekalet El-Kharoub in Gamaleya, the popular neighborhood behind Al-Hussein Mosque in old Cairo. The troupe that presented the gem “Ali Al-Zeibaq, one of the freshest performances in Cairo last year, presented “Min El-Saharra (from the Old Trunk): …

Dalia Basiouny

Peter Gabriel deconstructs music, reconstructs world

Peter Gabriel strips songs to their bare essentials in his latest album, the first in eight years, but he is as passionate about new technologies and saving the world as he is about music. Looking forward to a concert tour to promote Scratch My Back , the former Genesis front-man sits shoeless – I like …

AFP

In polyglot Lebanon, one language falls behind: Arabic

BEIRUT: Lebanon, a tiny, vibrant Mediterranean country, prides itself on its polyglot society but for the country s youths native Arabic is not very cool. Hi, kifak? Ca Va? ? or Hi, how are you doing? Okay? ? is a typical multi-linguistic Lebanese greeting so popular it now appears on bumper stickers and tee-shirts sold …

AFP

'A Prophet' sweeps César French film awards

Director Jacques Audiard s bleak prison drama A Prophet swept France s César cinema awards on Saturday, winning a total of nine prizes including best film and best actor. The film, nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar to be awarded in Hollywood on March 7, was up for a total of 13 Césars. Relative …

AFP

Statue head of King Tut's grandfather found in Luxor

CAIRO: Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed a colossal statue head of the pharaoh whom DNA tests revealed last week was King Tutankhamun s grandfather, the government said on Sunday. The red granite head of King Amenhotep III, part of a larger 3,000 year-old statue, was discovered at the site of the pharaoh s funerary temple in …

AFP

Unmet expectations at Berlinale

Stranded in Berlin’s Tegel airport for hours on Monday thanks to the Lufthansa pilot strike, I bumped into two Turkish young ladies in charge of a film festival in Istanbul. Both seemed somewhat indifferent to Semih Kaplanoglu’s triumph at the Berlinale for “Bal (Honey), the first Turkish film to win the Golden Bear prize in …

Joseph Fahim

Superman's debut comic book sells in NYC for $1 mln

A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman sold Monday for $1 million, smashing the previous record price for a comic book. A 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1, widely considered the Holy Grail of comic books, was sold by a private seller to a private buyer, neither of whom released their …

AP

Actress and Muslim philanthropist promote women

What do actress Geena Davis, Britain s Duchess of York, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the head of the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists have in common? They re all committed to empowering women. At a UN event Monday promoting gender equality, they were joined by heads of foundations, corporate leaders, academics, diplomats, representatives of voluntary …

Daily News Egypt

A triumph of simple aesthetics in 'Oscar and the Lady in Pink'

There is a lot of magic in how the French story “Oscar and the Lady in Pink made it to the Egyptian stage, via Russia, and came to be an annual offering by theater troupe “Talata (Three). French dramatist, novelist, and fiction writer Eric Emmanuel Schmitt had a Sufi-like experience when he was stranded in …

Dalia Basiouny

Ramesses believed to be father of public relations

CAIRO: On Monday, a light beam from a specially-crafted window illuminated the statue of not just an ancient pharaoh, but – some believe – the father of public relations. The statues, depicting King Ramesses II seated alongside the gods Amon-Ra, Ra-Horachty, and Ptah, sit in the Abu Simbel Temple Complex southwest of Aswan. On February …

Daily News Egypt

Ensler's 'Emotional Creature' is an emotional read

I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World (Villard, 176 pages, $20), by Eve Ensler: Anyone familiar with the work of activist-writer Eve Ensler knows she is all about girl power. Ensler wrote “The Vagina Monologues, which over the years has featured well-known actresses reading monologues about sexuality. The tone …

Daily News Egypt

DR Congo orchestra brings Mozart to heart of Africa

In Kinshasa, home of the swaying Congolese rumba, 200 people at a local church have succeeded in creating a concert hall orchestra to bring Handel, Beethoven and Mozart to the heart of Africa. They are a motley mix of dressmakers and shopkeepers, pupils and students, hairdressers and civil servants, all part of an orchestra which …

AFP

Berlin fest honors Polanski, Turkey's 'Honey'

The 60th Berlin Film Festival wrapped up Sunday after crowning Roman Polanski best director, although the filmmaker who is under house arrest in Switzerland over a 1977 sex case missed the premiere of his latest movie. Polanski won the plaudit for his political thriller “The Ghost Writer , while the jury awarded the festival’s top …

AFP

US to return 3,000-year-old coffin to Egypt

CAIRO: US authorities will return to Egypt an ornately painted Pharaonic coffin smuggled out of the country more than 125 years ago, Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni said on Monday. The 3,000-year-old casket, which was painted with inscriptions to help its occupant in the afterlife, would be handed over to Egypt’s antiquities chief Zahi Hawass …

AFP