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Latest in Culture


Book on Siwa blends travel literature with photography

“It is a study of largesse in both legends and lifestyles,” writes emerging author Rawah Badrawi in the introduction of her new book on the desert oasis town of Siwa. The story by Badrawi and hobbyist photographers Omar Hikal and Khaled Shokry is based on a carefully curated selection of images and text that, in …

DNE

Polisse: Film delivers emotional realism with grit

By Myriam Ghattas Child abuse, infant abduction, rape, incest and abandonment are just some of the cases that we get a glimpse of in “Polisse” (2011) that explores the day to day business of being a BPM (Brigade for the Protection of Minors) in France. Set in Paris, the film tells this special division of cops’ …

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War of the roses

By Myriam Ghattas “La Guerre est Déclarée” (Declaration of War, 2011) is the story of a young couple: Romeo (Jérémie Elkaïm) and Juliette (Valérie Donzelli) find out that their son Adam (César Desseix) — just one-and-a-half years old — has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Within a moment that must have lasted emotional light-years, …

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Statue of Egyptian king Amenhotep III found

CAIRO: Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed a large statue of king Amenhotep III who ruled nearly 3,400 years ago and who was the grandfather of the famed boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun. The Supreme Council of Antiquities says the latest find was made at the king’s funerary temple in the southern city of Luxor. Thursday’s statement says the 44 …

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Oscar Wilde’s Paris tomb made safe from admirers’ kisses

Oscar Wilde’s renovated Paris tomb was unveiled on Wednesday, complete with a new glass barrier to shield the monument to the quintessential dandy’s life from a torrent of admiring kisses. Kiss upon lipsticked kiss in honor of Wilde, who died penniless aged 46 in a Paris hotel room in 1900, had worn down the elegant …

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US exhibit showcases legendary black photographer

Charles "Teenie" Harris had a photographic mission: going beyond the obvious or sensational to capture the essence of daily African-American life in the 20th century For more than 40 years, Harris — as lead photographer of the influential Pittsburgh Courier newspaper — took almost 80,000 pictures of people from all walks of life: presidents, housewives, …

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NY film critics pick ‘The Artist’ as best film

The New York Film Critics Circle named the silent film ode "The Artist" the year’s best film Tuesday, giving the nostalgic black-and-white movie an early boost to its already promising Academy Awards prospects. "The Artist," which is silent like the films to which it pays homage, also earned best director for the French filmmaker Michel …

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A ‘Green Wave’ lesson in revolting

“The Green Wave” is a protest film, a lesson in endurance, and a terrifying exposé of the staggering human rights violations committed in the aftermath of the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Ali Samadi Ahadi’s documentary mixes mobile phone footage, animation and interviews with bloggers and activists to follow the course of the Iranian green movement …

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British film director Ken Russell dies at 84

Director Ken Russell got Oliver Reed and Alan Bates to wrestle naked, turned Vanessa Redgrave into a demonic nun and cast Ringo Starr as the pope. Critics and mainstream audiences often hated his films. Actors and admirers loved him.

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An impressive display of collages at new art space

In Cairo, art exhibitions are opening left and right, as are gallery spaces, surprisingly. The latest on the scene in what is becoming the city’s art hub Zamalek is The Gallery, where the opening exhibit is “Collage: 100 Years On,” curated by Maie Yanni. What I love most about the art scene is its resilience. …

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THE REEL ESTATE: In silence, they sing, dance and steal your heart away

Against all possible odds, the fourth edition of the Panorama of European Film has managed to attract a sizeable audience with sold-out screenings, commencing in a week when all cultural activities in the nation have been suspended in the wake of last week’s violence against Tahrir demonstrators. Misr International Films’ week-long fest did not have …

DNE

An Italian lesson in love

By Myriam Ghattas “Manuale D’Am3re” (The Ages of Love, 2011) is a triptych of three love stories told by an observant and meddlesome Cupid (Vittorio Emanuele Propizio) officiating as a taxi driver of love. The stories represent the different ages, or stages, at which humans find and develop love relationships: Youth, maturity and beyond. Giovanni Veronesi, …

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In times of rain

By Myriam Ghattas “Tambien La Lluvia” (Even the Rain, 2010) is, on the surface, a movie about the making of a movie. As such, it is a film that could have easily fallen into the familiar narcissistic trap of cinema directing its camera lens onto itself for inspiration, oftentimes with disconcerting results. Yet, the present film …

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Neds: A personal story

By Myriam Ghattas Telling a poignant and gritty tale of a boy’s downward spiral to hell, Peter Mullan makes no concessions as he writes and directs “Neds” (2010) revisiting his native Scotland in his third feature. In his previous films, Mullan exhibited a mastery of entrapment exploration, as seen in “The Magdalene Sisters” (2002) and “Orphans” …

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THE REEL ESTATE: It’s the end of the world, and she feels fine

“Melancholia,” Lars von Trier’s latest monster, may forever be remembered for the wrong reasons. Jaws dropped when the notorious Danish provocateur joked that he understands Hitler; that he sympathizes with him, that he’s “a Nazi.” The rest, as they say, is history. Von Trier was expelled from the festival shortly afterwards, having been named a …

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The soft revolution of Dagenham

By Myriam Ghattas Revolution…revolution! “Made in Dagenham” (2010) puts the sassy in strike, one that yielded revolutionary results in England in 1968 and had repercussions all over the world thereafter. Sporting a motto of “We Want Sex Equality” around their town before expanding to neighboring cities, 187 women machinists from the Dagenham Ford car factory in …

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Libya’s road to freedom captured in new photo exhibit

On Sunday, in a small white box of a room, stark images of the recent revolutionary battles in Libya hung on panels surrounding a large Libyan flag with gold fringe. A TV replayed major news stories from the last year, and students gazed at photos from the Libyan revolution depicting scenes of both horrible violence …

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Grand opening for Festival of Egyptian Culture in Frankfurt

On Nov. 19, Tutankhamun and his tomb made their debut in Frankfurt. Along the river Main, in an impressive hall on Mainzer Landstrasse set up especially for the event, Semmel Concerts, Germany’s leading concert promoter, has organized a festival that celebrates Egyptian culture in a way that even Egyptians themselves will find it challenging to …

DNE

Swift unstoppable at American Music Awards

Taylor Swift and Adele tied with three wins at the American Music Awards, but the event belonged to the country superstar after she beat the soulful crooner, as well as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Lil Wayne, to win artist of the year, the ceremony’s highest accolade, which the 21-year-old singer-songwriter previously claimed in 2009. …

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Scenes from the Romanian revolution

By Myriam Ghattas “My name is Rodica Marcau. I am from the Timisoara Co-op store. I defended the store on Sunday. The Securitate shot at us on our way home. Some were arrested and tortured. They were beaten with riffle-butts. I am bedridden now but…I wish to join the youth of Timisoara and Bucharest and of …

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‘Submarine’ takes on adolescence with dominating style

By Myriam Ghattas British director Richard Ayoade’s debut film for the big screen, “Submarine” (2010) tells the tale of Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts), a 15-year-old kid with run-of-the-mill teenage concerns: the conquest, and safekeeping, of a girlfriend, Jordana (Yasmin Paige), and the preservation of a healthy relationship between his parents, Jill Tate (Sally Hawkins of “Happy-Go-Lucky”) …

DNE

Grace under pressure

By Joseph Fahim Last May, the Cannes Film Fest hosted the world premiere of “Le gamin au vélo” (The Kid with a Bike), the latest picture by Belgium’s greatest filmmakers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Cannes has become the expected home for the Dardenne Brothers, selecting their previous four films in its main competition. Their track record …

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THE REEL ESTATE: Of human bondage: James March’s ‘Project Nim’

In 1973, a ground-breaking experiment in animal language acquisition was set up by Columbia professor, Herbert Terrace, to examine whether apes can communicate with humans using sign language. The subject of the experiment was a new-born baby chimpanzee named by the researchers Nim Chimpsky, who was taken away from his mother and placed in the …

DNE

From Egypt to Frankfurt with love

  It’s a great feat for an Egyptian exhibition to become an international traveling show. Three of Egypt’s young photographers are doing just that; following a successful show in Vienna, they are taking their “To Egypt with Love” exhibition to Germany on Thursday.   Soon after January 25, Safar Khan Gallery hosted “To Egypt with …

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Hollywood-China film venture to get cash infusion

A Hollywood-China movie production venture that plans to make big budget films for worldwide audiences has been cleared for an infusion of $220.5 million from an unlikely source — a construction company. Shareholders of Hong Kong’s Paul Y. Engineering Ltd. on Tuesday approved the investment in the joint venture that is also aimed at China’s …

DNE

From Bamako to Cape Town at Paris Photo fair

Twenty years ago, a retired Malian portrait photographer called Seydou Keita sat at home in Bamako, quietly tinkering with his motorbike, when a Paris art dealer came knocking on his door. Today, a decade after his death, Keita is perhaps Africa’s most revered photographer, and his stylish studio snaps are a highlight of this year’s …

DNE

Colloquial Egyptian culture at the turn of the century

In the wave of recent photography books from AUC press about the revolution, the automatic tendency is to celebrate the actions of Egyptians usually referred to as “everyday” or “ordinary” Egyptians, and, similarly, “the Egyptian street.” Books of writing about the revolution will take longer, as January is not really history yet, and one can …

DNE

Tutankhamun center stage at Frankfurt’s ‘Festival of Egyptian Culture’

A sensational discovery 89 years ago by archaeologist Howard Carter turned the unknown pharaoh Tutankhamun into an international superstar. For years, Tutankhamun, his treasures and his tomb have been touring the globe with an ambassador-like presence in each city he visits. Starting on Nov. 19 and running through April 2012 in Frankfurt, Germany, Tutankhamun takes …

DNE

European Film Panorama returns with new challenges and films

Emerging 10 months after the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak, and in the midst of Egypt’s most significant parliamentary elections — the Panorama of European Film is coming back to Cairo against all odds. Misr International Films is gearing for the fourth edition of its annual European film fest, held from Nov. 23-29, at Galaxy …

DNE

Natural history of New France published 335 years on

An illustrated book describing Canada’s vast wilds, masked medicine men and a missionary’s taming of bears at the onset of European colonization will hit bookstores on Saturday — three centuries after it was written. The manuscript titled "The Natural History of the New World" and a separate codex of drawings, were penned around 1675 by …

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