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Latest in Culture


Russian Chernobyl drama echoes Japan fears

By Anna Malpas/ AFP A new drama film set in Chernobyl opens in Russian cinemas this week, recalling the trauma of the world’s worst nuclear accident just ahead of the 25th anniversary of the catastrophe. The Russian film’s release comes after the quake-damage to a nuclear power plant in Japan brought fears of a nuclear explosion …

DNE

Egyptian films in the spotlight at the Documentary Film Festival

The third Cairo Documentary Festival kicked off on Sunday evening the American University in Cairo’s Ewart Hall, with an impressive schedule of documentary films by local and international directors under the themes of “Egypt Rising” and “Neighboring Nations.” The opening program included three feature-length films by Egyptian directors. Given new context by recent events in …

DNE

Longtime blues piano player Pinetop Perkins dies

Muddy Waters was looking for a new piano player when chain-smoking journeyman Pinetop Perkins showed off his aggressive keyboarding during a jam session. "He liked what he heard. The rest is history," said Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, who was a drummer in Waters’ band back in 1969. By then, Perkins, an old school bluesman with …

DNE

‘Uncle’ named best picture at Asian Film Awards

The Thai film "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" was named best picture at the fifth Asian Film Awards on Monday in a ceremony overshadowed by the absence of Japanese filmmakers who stayed home in the wake of a deadly earthquake and tsunami. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s mystical drama follows a dying man from Thailand’s …

DNE

In-demand banned books return to Cairo shelves

Recent studies on reading in the Arab world have shown a drastic decline in those picking up books and newspapers in their free time, and Egyptians, young people in particular, have frequently come out near the bottom in Arab readership rankings. There’s nothing like a revolution to spark people’s thirst for knowledge, and nothing like …

DNE

A celebration of freedom at Cairo Jazz Fest

Cairo and jazz have settled into a comfortable handshake. Opening at El-Sawy Culture Wheel on Thursday, the Cairo Jazz Festival saw audiences and artists — both local and international — intermingling in an air of warmth with understated jubilation and confidence. “People are celebrating freedom,” festival director Amro Salah told Daily News Egypt. It is …

DNE

Luminato Announces 2011 Literature and Illuminations Programs

  For 10 extraordinary days in June, Toronto’s stages, streets, and public spaces are illuminated with arts and creativity. Luminato is an annual multi-disciplinary celebration of theater, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, fashion, film, and more. Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, has announced the Festival’s 2011 Literature and Illuminations programs, including the …

DNE

Iraqi city rushes to get ready as Islamic culture capital

A half-billion-dollar effort to showcase Iraq’s holiest Shia city to the world is coming down to the wire as many contracts remain unsigned and funds are being hastily re-allocated. Preparations for Najaf to become the Arab world’s Islamic Capital of Culture next year are underway, but officials involved in its planning admit that time is …

DNE

Egyptian experimental film rediscovered

In the long history of Egyptian cinema, experimental film has always been a rarity, overlooked by critics and ignored by art-house audiences. Produced in early 1970s, Nagy Shaker’s experimental film “Sayf Sab‘een” (Summer 70), was one of the few Egyptian attempts in the realm of avant-garde cinema and is now regarded as one of the …

DNE

UNESCO rings alarm bell on Egypt antiquities looting

PARIS: The United Nations cultural body UNESCO on Tuesday voiced growing concern for Egypt’s archaeological sites and museums, which it said were threatened by pillaging since the country’s revolution. "We’re getting new alarming reports from different sites and museums," UNESCO head Irina Bukova told a meeting on fighting the international illegal trade in artifacts at …

DNE

Polish master Wajda hails Czech icon Havel’s film debut

Acclaimed Polish film director Andrzej Wajda hailed the movie debut of Czech freedom icon and ex-president Vaclav Havel, saying it fitted in to a fine tradition. "Czech cinema has always been full of surprises for us," Wajda, 85, told AFP. "Right from the start, they didn’t make political films, but films about people who find …

DNE

Benghazi radio rap boosts morale of Libyan rebels

Two young Libyans whose rap music is broadcast to the front line by rebel Benghazi radio hope they are helping to maintain the morale of fighters outgunned by Muammar Qaddafi’s forces. "Rap does not physically change things, but it invigorates the soul of people fighting and sends a message to all Libyans," said 16-year-old Imad …

DNE

Cairo jazz festival returns

Amro Salah is at Taboula restaurant shaking hands with local and visiting musicians during a pre-festival dinner. He is the organizer of the 2011 Cairo International Jazz Festival and the musicians he is welcoming are from Austria. Amro is better known as the leader of oriental jazz group Eftekasat and the Cairo Jazz Festival is …

DNE

Diamond, Cooper, Waits inducted into rock hall

Tom Waits went for laughs, Alice Cooper for shock value, Leon Russell was quietly humble and Neil Diamond may still be talking following their induction Monday into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The acts were joined by New Orleans piano maestro Dr. John and "Wall of Sound" singer Darlene Love at the annual …

DNE

De Niro and Penn back Palestinian film at UN

Sean Penn and Robert De Niro joined stars who appeared at the UN headquarters for the US premiere of a contested movie on the Middle East conflict that Israel tried to get cancelled. Penn, De Niro, Josh Brolin and Steve Buscemi on Monday turned out to support award-winning American-Jewish director Julian Schnabel at the premiere …

DNE

Scenes from the revolution

By Caroline Curran The Jan. 25 Revolution made artists out of many, especially those who brought a camera along. Just weeks on, some of these photographs have been collected in an outstanding exhibition at the Cairo Opera House Art Gallery. Organized in just a week by curator and photographer Mohamed Mahran with support from donors including …

DNE

Legendary jazz drummer Joe Morello dies at 82

Legendary jazz drummer Joe Morello, whose virtuosity and command of odd time signatures made him an integral part of the Dave Brubeck Quartet on such classic recordings as "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk," has died at age 82. Family members said Morello died Saturday at his home in northern New Jersey. A …

DNE

Censors clear Bob Dylan for his China debut

Censors have cleared Bob Dylan to make his China debut despite worries that the country’s authoritarian government would block his planned shows given the American folk icon’s antiestablishment reputation. China’s Ministry of Culture said in a notice posted on its website Thursday that Dylan will be allowed to perform in Beijing between March 30 and …

DNE

‘Conversations with Scorsese’ well worth a listen

"Conversations with Scorsese" (Knopf), by Richard Schickel: Whether you agree that Martin Scorsese is the greatest filmmaker of his generation, there can be little argument that he’s the most loquacious. His presence in documentaries and on video commentaries about movies, his own and those of others, can seem as ubiquitous as that of film critic …

DNE

The many faces of Anne Consigny: Part 2

  In part two of our interview with Anne Consigny, the acclaimed French actress delves more into her career and a new collaboration with iconic French filmmaker Alain Resnais.   Consigny’s third César nomination came in last year with Lucas Belvaux’s gripping thriller “Rapt.” Based on a true story, the film charts the physical and …

DNE

The many faces of Anne Consigny: Part 1

She’s the patient secretary aiding the paralyzed editor of Vogue to write his memoir in Julian Schnabel’s “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly;” the conflicted, self-absorbed daughter of Catherine Deneuve in Arnaud Desplechin’s “Un conte de Noël;” André Dussollier’s sympathetic wife in Alain Resnais’ “Les herbes folles;” the courageous headmistress in Florian Gallenberger’s wartime drama …

DNE

Three lenses capture the Egyptian revolution

A group exhibition, “To Egypt with Love,” is the newest presentation organized by Safar Khan Gallery showcasing the photographic talents of three young artists: Alaa Taher, Hossam Hassan and Bassem Samir.   Each artist has managed to capture moments during the 18 days of the January 25 Revolution from a multitude of perspectives. Most of …

DNE

French film about Holocaust to be shown in Iran

An epic French documentary about the Holocaust, dubbed into Farsi, is to be broadcast on a satellite channel in Iran as part of a campaign to promote understanding between Jews and Muslims and to fight Holocaust denial. Filmmaker Claude Lanzmann’s renowned nine-plus-hour film "Shoah" includes testimony from concentration camp survivors and employees about the slaughter …

DNE

US publisher to feature Egypt ‘tweets’ in book

WASHINGTON: A US publisher plans to come out with a book next month featuring a collection of Twitter messages sent during the protests in Egypt that led to the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak. The 160-page book, "Tweets from Tahrir," named for the Cairo square at the epicenter of the anti-government protests, is to be …

DNE

Africa’s ‘Oscars’ goes to incest movie from Morocco

A Moroccan film about rape and incest of a young woman by her father who believes she is demon-possessed scooped the top honors at Africa’s biggest film festival. "Pegase" (Pegasus) by Mohamed Mouftakir from Morocco, late Saturday won the Golden Stallion of Yennenga, the grand prize of the Pan African Film Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) …

DNE

Oscar winner gives patchy presentation on sustainable development

Director Michael Wadleigh, sometimes spelled Wadley, is best known for his classic Oscar-winning documentary about the 1969 Woodstock music festival. Wadleigh spoke at the American University in Cairo’s new campus on Sunday about his current work with the Homo Sapiens Report, an organization working with UNESCO to promote sustainable development. The Homo Sapiens Report is …

DNE

Up on the Roof: The sky is the limit

By Caroline Curran Creativity and culture in Cairo managed to thrive in spite of the repressive atmosphere that reigned before recent events opened a new chapter in Egypt’s history. Post-revolution cultural life is a blank page, ready to be filled with expression inspired by recent events. Thursday evening’s “Up on the Roof” open stage night …

DNE

Mexican judge orders hit documentary film pulled

A judge in Mexico City ordered authorities to temporarily halt screenings of an acclaimed documentary about the failings of Mexico’s justice system after a prosecution witness who appears in the film alleged that his privacy rights were violated. The ruling is the latest round in a heated debate over reform of Mexico’s secretive, antiquated justice …

DNE

The Oscars and America’s flight of fancy

After vowing to avoid the meaningless coronation of the over-praised and the undeserved that is the Academy Awards telecast, I imprudently succumbed to temptation in the hope of seeing my second favorite American film of 2010, David Fincher’s “The Social Network,” beat the odds, make history and win the best picture Oscar. Predictably, it didn’t, …

DNE

Africa’s top film festival tackles a continent’s troubles

Africa’s biggest film festival hands out its top award Saturday after a week of viewing works tackling some of the continents pressing issues against the backdrop of the Arab world uprisings. The inclusion of two films from Egypt, among 18 standing for the Pan African Film Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) grand prize, has new relevance …

DNE