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Latest in Culture


Bikya Book Café: A book pub for geeks

“It’s the living room one aspires for but never has,” said one client. “It’s a geek’s pub,” said another — and that succinctly summarizes that mood and feel of Bikya Book Café. Since opening in early January, Bikya Book Café has become more than what its five young female founders intended. It is not simply …

DNE

Money woes could shutter Edgar Allan Poe house

The house where American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe lived in poverty for several years in the 1800s, and which now serves as a museum, could soon be forced to close its doors for evermore. For the second year running, the house, situated off the beaten path in a poor part of Baltimore, in …

DNE

Bollywood actor Shammi Kapoor: India’s Elvis

Shammi Kapoor, who died on Sunday aged 79, was India’s Elvis Presley, a gyrating, swivel-hipped actor who revitalized Bollywood’s song-and-dance sequences with a modern, racy style. As one of the Kapoor acting dynasty that has dominated Hindi-language cinema virtually since its inception, he was perhaps always destined to be famous. But it was his dancing …

DNE

A little bit of Spanish love

By Maha ElNabawi Outfitted in funky-ethnic jewelry, dreadlocks, and a bohemian aura — Spanish singer Araceli Muñoz and her band, Ara Musa Honra, entertained Cairenes with musical messages of love and positivity this past Thursday at Al-Azhar Park’s Geneina Theater. The concert was the opening performance of Al Mawred Al Thaqafy’s annual Hayy festival. Before interviewing …

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New Bollywood film stokes caste controversy

A new Bollywood film tackling the thorny issue of caste quotas in Indian government jobs and education is released this week in the face of vocal protests from minorities. Politicians and interest groups championing low-caste Hindus and other marginalized groups that the system is designed to help have come out in force against "Aarakshan" (Reservation). …

DNE

‘Anne of Green Gables’ boosts Canadian island

By Michel Viatteau/ AFP A fictional red-headed orphan, whose adventures were penned a century ago, is proving a tourist boon to a corner of Canada, even drawing the attentions of Prince William’s new bride, Catherine. “Anne of Green Gables,” the Canadian novel by author Lucy Maud Montgomery, has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide since …

DNE

The architectural insights of Amir Wahib

The most striking aspect of Amir Wahib’s exhibition, “Architectural Insight,” is the contrast in his work. Some paintings are exact and almost look as though they had been drawn with a ruler, while others are much gentler, with bold colors and blends. Wahib’s work has been exhibited all over the world; in Egypt, the US …

DNE

World divas to light Geneina’s Ramadan nights

Chance had it that all the stars in the first Hayy program in 2006 were female. But the success of the first program set the trend for coming years, according to Charles Akl, co-coordinator at the Al-Mawred Al Thaqafy that now organizes the yearly Ramadan program. “One of the main aims” of the festival, said …

DNE

Religious TV series garner viewership, controversy

  “Al-Hassan wal Hussein” can be classified as yet another historical and religious TV series, but the increasingly popular TV series breaks a religious taboo, once thought untouchable in the Arab world: depicting the Prophet’s family.   It isn’t the first. Last year, TV channels aired the Iranian-produced “Yusuf El-Seddiq,” chronicling the life of Prophet …

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One-on-one with Norwegian Wood’ director Anh Hung Tran

No other Vietnamese filmmaker has come close to matching the critical and commercial success that greeted the films of Anh Hung Tran. With his first two pictures, Tran earned Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion prize, the Golden Camera award at the Cannes Film Festival and a César. Every new project of his has become an …

DNE

Folk singer Hassan El-Asmar dies at 52

  CAIRO: Popular Egyptian folk singer Hassan El-Asmar died Sunday at age 52 in Cleopatra Hospital from a fatal heart attack.   His funeral was held at the Noor Mosque in Abbasiya. Born in the southern governorate of Qena in 1959, El-Asmar rose to stardom in the late 1980s with a string of hits such …

DNE

Lebanon’s last Arabic scribes struggle in IT age

By Rana Moussaoui / AFP Lebanon’s few remaining Arabic calligraphers, whose elegant script and interweaving words transport one to another era, are working to preserve an art form struggling to compete with new technology. “The computer is a wonderful tool but in no way can it replace an artist or produce masterpieces,” says Mahmoud Bayoun, one …

DNE

The pensive philosophies of a Sad Panda

By Heba Elkayal The joke’s on us: graffiti art fans run around Cairo trying to document the surge of street art and the foreign media churn out article after repetitive article about the post-revolution art scene and its heavy connotations of political expressionism. As we pin meaning to spray-painted slogans and caricatures, graffiti artists themselves have …

DNE

Kolkata set for ‘London Eye’ in major facelift

Kolkata, once capital of British India, on Tuesday began work to transform the congested and fading city into a "second London" complete with a London Eye ferris wheel. Mamata Banerjee, the feisty new chief minister of the state of West Bengal, made an election pledge to turn the dysfunctional and poverty-stricken Indian metropolis into a …

DNE

Talkin’ ’bout my generation

By Maha ElNabawi The demographic cohort born between the 1980s through the late 90s has been branded with popular culture titles such as Generation Y, The Millennials, MTV Generation, and Generation Next. But how does one define the culture of this generation? Mariam Elias’ first self-published book, “Thawret El-LooooL,” aims to do just that. “The book …

DNE

Filmmakers take on Cape Wind saga in ‘Cape Spin’

The Cape Wind project is New England’s never-ending story, tangled in debate and litigation ever since it was proposed in 2001. But a group of filmmakers say they’ve told the tale in about 84 minutes. "Cape Spin" is a new feature-length documentary on the battle over Cape Wind, a 130-turbine offshore wind farm planned for …

DNE

S. Africa’s iconic plucky pup ‘Jock’ goes 3D in film

South African literary classic "Jock of the Bushveld" has been turned into the country’s first 3D animation film and features the voices of global celebrities like Bryan Adams and Desmond Tutu. The film, which opened pm Friday in southern Africa, is based on the 1907 bestseller by Percy Fitzpatrick who details his true-life bush adventures …

DNE

Eels star E gets by with help from heroes

By Ron DePasquale/ AP It’s been an exciting summer for the musician known simply as E. He may be 48 and a long-established master of melodic, delightfully odd rock music, most famous for his hit song “Novocaine for the Soul.” But even after releasing nine albums with his band Eels and chronicling the loss of several …

DNE

Jolie, Pitt at Sarajevo festival closing ceremony

Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, in a surprise visit to Bosnia, on Saturday attended the closing ceremony of the Sarajevo Film Festival at which the actress received an honorary award. Jolie was given the "Honorary Heart of Sarajevo" award not "only because of her exceptional career in the movie world, but also due …

DNE

Cutting-edge ballet rocks Russia’s Bolshoi

A modern ballet with music by cult US rock band The White Stripes has wowed Bolshoi Theatre audiences, helping the company shake off a conservative image as it plans a return to its historic home. "Chroma," British choreographer Wayne McGregor’s 2006 exploration of the influence of psychology on movement, is a sharp contrast to the …

DNE

Met Museum to send 19 artifacts to Egypt next week

CAIRO: Nineteen artifacts taken from the tomb of the famed boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun will be returned to Egypt next week after more than half a century at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Egypt’s antiquities authority said Saturday. The trove includes a miniature bronze dog and a sphinx-shaped bracelet ornament, the Supreme Council of …

DNE

Germany returns ancient sphinx to Turkey

ANKARA: Germany has returned a 3,500-year-old sphinx to Turkey after a war of words and the treasured sculpture is set to be reinstated at its original location, media reports said Thursday. The sphinx will be erected at the entrance of a museum at Hattusha, the ancient Hittite capital, some 240 kilometers northeast of the capital …

DNE

Amy Winehouse left trove of unreleased music

Amy Winehouse left a trove of unreleased music, but no decision has been made about whether it will be released, people close to the singer say. The soul diva, who had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, was found dead of unknown causes at her London home on Saturday. She was 27. Spokesman Chris Goodman …

DNE

Clooney, Madonna and Pacino to grace Venice film fest

George Clooney, David Cronenberg and Roman Polanski are vying for the top honor in this year’s Venice cinema festival, which will see stars from Madonna to Al Pacino on the red carpet, organizers said Thursday. Clooney’s fourth film, "The Ides of March," will open the 68th edition of the festival in a glittering premiere expected …

DNE

Gaza film-makers decry Hamas censorship

GAZA: "Cinema in Gaza is like writing on rocks with your fingers," says Palestinian writer-director Sweilem Al-Absi. It’s not just the dearth of funds, equipment and studio facilities that prompts such laments from film-makers in the Gaza Strip. Four years into Islamist Hamas rule, cultural censors are fraying the already threadbare local movie industry. Locked …

DNE

Documentary films find new home in Egypt

CAIRO: More often than not people equate the unprecedented with the improbable. Such an inclination was evident this spring as the unprecedented occurred allowing many throughout Egypt to consider what had once been rendered improbable. As quickly as this change has ensued so has the effort to document, educate and empower the public by raising …

DNE

Britain’s Man Booker long list unveiled

By AP The longlist for Britain’s prestigious Man Booker Prize was announced Tuesday after being selected by a panel of judges headed by a former MI5 intelligence chief. The list of 13, picked from a total of 138 books, includes former winner Alan Hollinghurst, who won the Booker in 2004 with “The Line of Beauty,” …

DNE

Ganzeer: The de facto cultural operator

By Heba Elkayal He is by nature endearing, a skinny lanky frame with a mop of black curls and a smile curled in constant, yet secretive, amusement. Ganzeer, an artist in his mid-twenties whose birth name is Mohamed Fahmy has become a de facto cultural operator. Just don’t call him a street artist. Ganzeer is his …

DNE

We’ve been expecting you, Elisa Nocita

By Chitra Kalyani Jazz is one surprise after another; it is to be expected. Dressed in a black evening dress with detached sleeves, the star, featured by the recently-formed group the Amro Salah Trio, walks on stage with an unusual accessory: her eyeglasses. But when you welcome onstage the voice that is Elisa Nocita, for minutes …

DNE

Ann Patchett gives hometown the gift of books

The best-selling author of "State of Wonder," ”Bel Canto" and other novels doesn’t tweet, and you won’t find her on Facebook. Her rarely powered-up flip phone is 8 years old. She has a television but doesn’t turn it on. And she’s never even Googled herself. Now, she’s decided to retreat even further in time: She’s …

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