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Oscar odds and ends and facts and figures

Interesting oddities, facts, figures and trivia related to this year s Academy Awards nominees: In rare air: Up is only the second animated feature film to receive an Oscar nomination for best picture. Beauty and the Beast was the first, nominated in 1991. A big win for brewing?: Kathryn Bigelow ( The Hurt Locker, ) …

AP

Bridges, Bullock tabbed as early Oscar favorites

Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock are early favorites to win Oscars in the top acting categories at the Academy Awards, oddsmakers said Tuesday. Avatar is considered the favorite among 10 nominees for best picture. John Avello, executive director of the race and sports book at the Wynn Las Vegas casino, tabbed Bridges as a 2-3 …

AP

If a summer is worth repeating

From the wraparound nostalgia of youth and its rose-tinted memories arises a drive to recapture the essence of a moment; hence the return to a specific place might bring you closer to that time. And if not, then it necessitates another return, and another, until you retrace all the footsteps of the past, getting further …

Abdel-Rahman Hussein

Transformers,' Land of the Lost' lead Razzies

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen made a fortune. Land of the Lost tanked. Both films are equal earners at the Razzies, though, grabbing seven nominations each on Monday, including worst picture of 2009 and worst-acting slots for Will Ferrell and Megan Fox. Other worst-picture nominees: Sandra Bullock s romance All About Steve, the action tale …

AP

Celebrating religious diversity through art

On Tuesday, evening Cairenes had the rare chance to enjoy a talk by Egyptian screen legend Omar Sharif on interfaith relations. Sharif’s talk was part of the Caravan Festival of Arts organized by the St John’s Church in Maadi that celebrates religious diversity through art, a much-needed initiative following the recent sectarian clashes that put …

Daily News Egypt

Football legend Cantona scores in Paris theater debut

Football legend Eric Cantona thrilled millions in his role as a striker and last week he scored in front of 320 spectators in a Paris theater debut as a dying man trapped in a collapsed supermarket. The 43-year-old has had parts in many cinema and television movies, making the jump from green pitch to silver …

Daily News Egypt

Law tightens penalties for relics robbers, smugglers

CAIRO: Parliament amended Egypt s antiquities law on Monday to bring in stiffer punishments for the theft and smuggling of relics while granting patent rights to the country s antiquities council. The amendment requires Egyptians who have antiquities to report their possessions to the Supreme Council of Antiquities, headed by Zahi Hawass, within six months. …

AFP

Egypt set to unveil Tutankhamun DNA results

CAIRO: One of the great remaining mysteries of ancient Egypt, the lineage of the boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun, may soon be solved, the country s antiquities supremo hinted on Sunday. Zahi Hawass told AFP he has scheduled a news conference for February 17 in the Cairo Museum to unveil the findings from DNA samples taken from the …

AFP

Beyonce's six appeal dominates Grammys

R&B diva Beyoncé dominated the 52nd Grammys here with six awards, edging out country star Taylor Swift who finished the music industry extravaganza with four prizes. Beyoncé – who had topped the nominations with 10 nods – won the prestigious Song of the Year award for her hit Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) …

AFP

Searching for the gay identity in the Arab world

Homosexuality is concealed and, largely, invisible in the Arab world. The mainstream Western press, mostly, continues to misunderstand Arabs, their culture and their faith in spite of, or perhaps because of, the occupations, the years of meddling, the physical presence in the region. Unremarkable truisms in isolation, these two facts become more interesting when combined, …

Sarah Carr

'Winter's Bone,' 'Restrepo' earn Sundance honors

The Ozark Mountains drama Winter s Bone and the war-on-terror documentary Restrepo won top honors Saturday among US movies at the Sundance Film Festival. Director Debra Granik s Winter s Bone, the story of a 17-year-old trying to uncover the fate of her father among the criminal clans of the Ozarks, earned the grand jury …

AP

That's not the way they like it

Theater in Egypt has been suffering for years from the lack of good scripts. Comedies suffer especially more because they rely chiefly on the mass appeal of star comedians to attract audiences through their unique comedy routines regardless of the subject matter. “El-Nas Betheb Keda (That s the Way People Like It), the winter season …

Dalia Basiouny

'Catcher in the Rye' author JD Salinger dies

JD Salinger, the legendary author, youth hero and fugitive from fame whose The Catcher in the Rye shocked and inspired a world he increasingly shunned, has died. He was 91. Salinger died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday, the author s son, actor Matt Salinger, said in a statement from Salinger s longtime …

AP

THE REEL ESTATE: A call you're urged to miss

Readers of this column probably know that I’m no fan of Egyptian director Khaled Youssef (a.k.a. master of the slums), the most deceptively serious and sensationalist of the nation’s top filmmakers. His last cinematic insult, “Dokan Shehata (Shehata’s Store) was easily the worst film I saw last year. Youssef was speciously heralded as the voice …

Joseph Fahim

Khmer Rouge killing machine exposed at Sundance

PARK CITY: Ten years in the making, a documentary showing at the Sundance Festival explores the inner workings of the Cambodian regime through hundreds of hours of interviews with the Khmer Rouge regime s number two. Enemies of the People, in competition at the independent film festival held in Park City in the mountains of …

AFP

Music in forms

Tucked away on the second floor of the Egyptian Museum of Modern Art is a structure that does not look like much. It has two surfaces, one flat on the ground and the other against a wall with metal slots in and out of which metal sheets pass through. A low vibrant sound fills the …

Chitra Kalyani

Art Dubai shows interest in Egyptian art

One of the world’s youngest contemporary art fairs, Art Dubai has already emerged as the most significant commercial art event in the region and already figures among its more venerable peers. Last year the BBC stated, “With Art Dubai, Dubai will soon position itself alongside Paris, London and New York as a world art center. …

Annelle Sheline

One on one with IMAX's Richard Gelfond

From fantasy to three dimensional reality, one film is pulling more cinema-goers into IMAX theaters than ever before. And it’s, of course, James Cameron’s “Avatar. It’s the first film to sell more than $100 million worth of tickets at IMAX box offices and it’s still got several weeks to run. It recently snatched the title …

Daily News Egypt Authors

One short sojourn

We are all traveling, even those who seem to be still, says Gamal Al-Ghitani in his new novel/diary “Men Daftar Al-Eqama (From the Book of Sojourn). In the seventh installment of his notebook of diary series, the author explores the concept of staying at one place, and contrasts it with traveling restlessly in the land …

Daily News Egypt

'Avatar' soars to new box office record

Science-fiction epic Avatar soared to a new global box office record, taking $1.85 billion and sinking Titanic to become the biggest earning film of all time, figures showed Tuesday. On Monday, January 25, Avatar officially passed Titanic to become the highest grossing film in history at the worldwide box office, 20th Century Fox studios said …

AFP

King of Paparazzi in focus at Sundance

He was punched by Marlon Brando, sued by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and beaten up by Richard Burton’s bodyguards. To some he’s a national treasure whose work has been deservedly exhibited in some of the world’s most prestigious art galleries. To others he’s an “obscene pseudo-photojournalist responsible for helping create the ravenous monster known as modern …

AFP

A Palestinian tale in London

Remember the story of Joseph, left at the bottom of the well for dead by his brothers? In his poem, ‘Oh my father, I am Yusuf,’ great late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish adopted this Biblical and Quranic story to express the nuances of the Palestinian situation, when he wrote the lines, “They want me to …

Michaela Singer

Pioneers of MP3 unveil new chapter in digital music

Pioneers in the development of the first MP3 players this week unveiled ground-breaking technology aimed at offering new content to music lovers during the MIDEM music industry trade fair. The new MP3 file format, called MusicDNA, offers a wide range of additional content to music lovers about favorite artists and bands – including lyrics, videos, …

AFP

Renee Zellweger to join 60th Berlin film fest jury

Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger will join the jury for the 60th Berlin Film Festival next month that will pick the winner of the coveted Golden Bear top prize, organizers said Tuesday. The star of the Bridget Jones franchise will sit on a seven-member panel chaired by Academy Award-nominated German director Werner Herzog at the February …

Daily News Egypt

US director Tim Burton to head 2010 Cannes festival jury

Visionary screen story-teller Tim Burton is to head the jury at this year s Cannes film festival from May 12 to 23, in what the US director said is a dream come true. After spending my early life watching triple features and 48-hour horror movie marathons, I m finally ready for this, the US director …

AFP

Downsizing Affleck: Company Men' plays Sundance

The recession has hit Ben Affleck. He s out of work, saying goodbye to his beloved Porsche, losing his home, stuck moving back in with his parents. Affleck stars in The Company Men, a Sundance Film Festival premiere in which he plays a man who loses all the material wealth he has accumulated after his …

AP

Judge slashes 'monstrous' fine in music piracy case

Condemning a $2 million fine meted out to a Minnesota woman for illegally downloading music over the internet as monstrous and shocking, a judge has slashed the penalty to $54,000. US District Court Michael Davis said the fine imposed by a jury on Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a single mother of four from the town of Brainerd, …

AFP

'Avatar' tops box office for sixth-straight week

James Cameron s Avatar is on a course to sink Titanic at the box office. No. 1 for the sixth-straight weekend with $36 million, the 20th Century Fox sci-fi spectacle lifted its domestic total to $552.8 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Avatar raised its worldwide total to $1.841 billion. That s $2 million shy …

AP

Few protesters show at Sundance for Prop. 8 movie

Despite rumored anti-gay protests, a Sundance Film Festival documentary about the Mormon church s role in a 2008 California political battle over gay marriage played to a friendly audience on Sunday in Park City. Only about two dozen gay marriage activists chanted – Separate, church from 8 – in a parking lot outside the premiere …

AP