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Vegas hotel unveils Elvis extravaganza

Three decades after Elvis Presley took his last bow on the Las Vegas Strip, where he once reigned as king, the magicians of Cirque du Soleil have tried to summon back the power of this supreme entertainer in a show titled, Viva Elvis. They have mixed a dizzying array of dance, acrobatics, live musicians, over-the-top …

AP

Fiction film technology to shine at Academy Awards

No matter which captivating film wins the Oscar for visual effects at next month s Academy Awards ceremony, software savants at Autodesk will be taking a bow. And if blockbuster Avatar or the compelling District 9 take top honor as Best Picture, engineers at the Northern California firm will be able to bask in knowing …

AFP

'Hurt Locker,' 'Avatar' face off at UK film awards

Intense war drama The Hurt Locker and blockbuster sci-fi spectacle Avatar are squaring off at the British Academy Film Awards – a curtain raiser for their Academy Awards battle in Los Angeles next month. British coming-of-age drama An Education is also a favorite for the London prizes, attended by a mix of homegrown celebrity and …

AP

Movie on notorious Nazi propaganda film booed in Berlin

A big-budget German movie about the Nazis most successful propaganda picture and the pact with the devil sealed by its lead actor premiered to boos Thursday at the Berlin Film Festival. Jew Suss – Rise and Fall by Oskar Roehler tells the true story of a little-known actor who is offered the lead role in …

AFP

Khan comes to Egyptian silver screen

The news arrived to Egypt’s Indian community grapevine long before the movie hit the cinema. In Egypt, where veteran Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan was once a local favorite and continues to be remembered, cinemas now host the new king of Bollywood. This time actor Shah Rukh Khan declares his reign in director Karan Johar’s “My …

Chitra Kalyani

Harry Potter author fights 'absurd' plagiarism allegations

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has said she will ask a court to dismiss plagiarism claims against her popular series of books, branding the allegations unfounded and absurd . Multi-millionaire Rowling has been named in a lawsuit claiming she stole ideas for her stories about a young wizard from another British author. We will be …

Daily News Egypt Authors

Berlin film fest spotlights Muslims in crisis

The debut feature of an Afghan-German director joined the running for the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival Wednesday, one of a clutch of features taking a fresh look at Islam at this year s event. Shahada (Faith), the film school graduation project of 29-year-old Burhan Qurbani, is competing against 19 features by the …

AFP

Moore, Bening as lesbian parents in Berlin fest film

Julianne Moore and Annette Bening star as a married lesbian couple whose two children go looking for their sperm donor in a movie met with cheers Wednesday at the 60th Berlin Film Festival. The Kids Are All Right by Lisa Cholodenko sees Moore and Bening as a happy couple of two decades whose relationship begins …

AFP

Dance show fails to present ideas of pioneering feminist

The Egyptian Modern Dance Theatre Company presented its latest production, “Women of Kasem Amin at the Opera House’s Gomhoryia Theater this week. Walid Aouni’s ambitious project to present major figures from Egyptian contemporary history previously paid homage to modern sculpturer Mahmoud Mokhtar and filmmaker Shadi Abdel Salam. The theme of the current production, apparent in …

Dalia Basiouny

Film stars take tragic, musical turns on Paris stage

Audrey Tautou, known as the kooky Parisian girl in the movie Amelie , made her live stage debut this week as a tragic heroine – the latest screen actor to bring star power to struggling Paris theaters. Meanwhile a grande dame of French stage and screen, Isabelle Huppert, goes raving mad in her underwear in …

AFP

A singing nomad between Morocco and France

Hindi Zahra is the new face of a young generation of emancipated, cosmopolitan singers and songwriters from North Africa. Her album “Handmade is due to be released in late February. Born in Khouribga in southern Morocco, Zahra describes herself as an inveterate nomad: From the time I was a small child, I was out on …

Daily News Egypt

Lady Gaga in Brit awards triple, pays tribute to McQueen

Flamboyant US superstar Lady Gaga has scooped three awards at Britain s top music awards the Brits, where she paid an emotional tribute to late fashion designer Alexander McQueen. At the 30th anniversary edition of the awards Tuesday, the eccentric New Yorker was awarded all three prizes she was up for, including best international female …

AFP

Dispatches from Berlin: Ups and downs at the film festival

The mood has been generally downbeat in old Berlin. As the sun continues to boycott the German capital, more cinematic bombs continue to bombard critics. Despair has mostly been the defining theme of this year’s Berlinale. Even the most lighthearted film screened here involved murder (Yimou Zhang’s “A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop …

Joseph Fahim

DNA testing reveals mystery of Tutankhamen's early death

CAIRO: A 3,000-year-old cold case is now closed. King Tut was not murdered, according to head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities Zahi Hawass. In a press conference Wednesday, Hawass revealed that the young king died of complications resulting from a combination of an infection from a broken leg and malaria. “King Tut had severe …

Ian Lee

Best-selling British author Dick Francis dead at 89

Prolific British author Dick Francis, a former jockey whose thrillers rode high in best-selling lists for decades, has died at the age of 89, his family said. He passed away at his Caribbean home in Grand Cayman from old age , according to a statement released through his publicist. His son, Felix, said on Sunday …

Agencies

New theater voices in the Festival for Creative Youth

For eight successive years, the French Cultural Center in Egypt supported the creativity of young Egyptian theater makers by hosting a festival for Creative Youth, and sponsoring the winner’s participation in Avignon Theater Festival in France each summer. This year’s festival, which took place in the headquarters of the Centre Francais de Culture et de …

Dalia Basiouny

EMI puts Abbey Road studios up for sale, says FT

British music group EMI has put the Beatles historic Abbey Road studios up for sale, as it struggles to reduce debt, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday. A sale of the north London studios, used by a long line of artists since the Fab Four made them famous, could raise tens of millions of pounds, …

AFP

Keep Oscars speeches short and sweet, stars told

Oscars nominees gathered Monday ahead of next month s 82nd Academy Awards to hear show organizers urge the stars to keep this year s acceptance speeches short and sweet. A galaxy of Oscar-nominated stars descended on the Beverly Hilton hotel for the annual nominees luncheon, an informal gathering of Academy Award contenders just three weeks …

AFP

Celine Dion says new movie a 'VIP' pass for fans

Celine Dion s new movie, Celine: Through the Eyes of the World, does more than highlight her performances during her last world tour; it also allows fans rare glimpses of her offstage life. The documentary shows Dion as a goofy jokester, a doting mother, a tender wife, a wide-eyed tourist, a devoted daughter and more. …

AP

Ziedan explains how violence becomes religious and political

In his latest book, “Al-Lahoot Al-Araby wa Osol Al-Onf Al-Diny (Arab Theology and the Origins of Religious Violence), Youssef Ziedan explores the way arguments amongst religious scholars and their involvement in politics lead to violence amongst the religious masses. Zeidan starts with a theory on the influence of Arab heritage in the Levant (Sham) on …

Daily News Egypt

Egypt to unveil King Tut's 'family secrets' from DNA

CAIRO: Egypt is to unveil on Wednesday results of DNA tests carried out on the mummy of the enigmatic boy-king Tutankhamun in a bid to unravel the mystery concerning his lineage. Antiquities supremo Zahi Hawass will hold a much-anticipated news conference at the Cairo Museum, home of the fabulous treasure of Tutankhamun who died more …

AFP

'Valentine's Day' tops Valentine's Day weekend box office

Valentine s Day, a tale of break-ups and make-ups in Los Angeles opened with record-setting Valentine s Day weekend box office takings in North America, pulling in $52.4 million, estimated figures showed Sunday. The romantic collage starring Jessica Alba, Patrick Dempsey and Ashton Kutcher, among others, beat the $52-million box office record set by Ghost …

AFP

DiCaprio calls new film his 'most demanding' Scorsese role

Leonardo DiCaprio called the traumatized World War II veteran he plays in the latest Martin Scorsese film the most demanding role he has done for the director, ahead of its world premiere Saturday. Oscar-winner Scorsese and his favorite actor teamed up again for the psychological thriller Shutter Island – the pair s fourth collaboration, which …

AFP

The distinctive theology of Arabs

How did the religious heritage of the Levant (Sham) help direct the evolution of theology from Judaism to Christianity to Islam, and how did arguments amongst religious scholars and their involvement in politics lead to violence amongst the religious masses? These are the two main questions Youssef Ziedan poses and attempts to find answers to …

Daily News Egypt

Polanski, Scorsese take Berlin by storm

In Berlin, the great masters of cinema still rule. Exceptional, highly entertaining new works from Roman Polanski and Martin Scorsese lifted up the cheerless mood triggered by the freezing cold and so-so competition films. Still under house arrest for rape charges, Polanski made up for his absence with “The Ghost Writer , a slick Hitchcockian …

Joseph Fahim

DeGeneres judges herself as honest in 'Idol' debut

Ellen DeGeneres is glad that her American Idol debut drew big ratings and high praise from the show s creator, media mogul Simon Fuller. But the real test, she says, was judging herself. She decided she didn t let the contestants down, DeGeneres said Wednesday, the day after she watched the broadcast of her first …

AP

Forum creates a safe space for creativity

The Creative Forum for Independent Theater Groups from Europe and the Mediterranean, which closed its seventh edition this week in Alexandria, placed equal emphasis on training workshops as well as presenting performances. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s 10-day non-festival presented 19 different workshops for young theater practitioners, as well as 26 performances including theater, dance, and music …

Dalia Basiouny

Polanski only a specter in Berlin for 'Ghost' premiere

Roman Polanski s new film The Ghost Writer premieres Friday at the 60th Berlin Film Festival but the director, under house arrest in Switzerland, will be a no-show at the red-carpet gala. The Ghost Writer stars Pierce Brosnan as a former British prime minister closely resembling Tony Blair who hires a journalist (Ewan McGregor) to …

AFP