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Latest in Culture


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

Noshokaty Foundation: A creative space for art students

In an old factory in the underprivileged neighborhood of Ard El-Lewa, Shady El-Noshokaty is building a space for local art students to continue learning and growing as artists after graduation. The former Biennale winner and famed painter turned multimedia artist plans to launch the Nokoshaty Foundation in March — but will need to find time …

DNE

Devil gets his due at Bolivia’s raucous Carnival

Brazil’s famous Carnival celebration may steal the world’s attention, but an equally riveting spectacle in Bolivia this week melds indigenous and Christian traditions, and has the devil at the center of the action. Bolivia’s Carnival of Oruro is second only to that of Rio de Janeiro among the world’s riotous celebrations in the days preceding …

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Oscar win highlights plight of Africans in Israel

Students at the Bialik-Rogozin school in a rundown Tel Aviv neighborhood have survived genocide, war and famine. But they were all smiles on Monday after learning that a documentary about their plight had won an Academy Award. "Strangers No More" puts a human face on Israel’s absorption of African migrants — an issue that has …

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Maroon 5 to perform in Egypt for the first time

The fact that Maroon 5 are the first international band to perform in Egypt after the revolution is very fitting. Although not as political as big rock bands like U2, Coldplay or Pink Floyd, Maroon 5 are no strangers to politics. With their hit song “Makes me Wonder” aimed at reflecting their frustration with US …

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Jane Russell, star of 40s and 50s films, dies

She was the voluptuous pin-up girl who set a million male hearts to pounding during World War II, the favorite movie star of a generation of young men long before she’d made a movie more than a handful of them had ever seen. Such was the stunning beauty of Jane Russell, and the marketing skills …

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Egypt’s first comic book store opens

  L ast week, as Egypt continued to celebrate its great revolution, the local alternative culture scene witnessed a transformative event of its own: The opening of the very first comic book store in the country.   Located in Heliopolis, Kryptonite Toys is a wonderland for comic lovers, selling everything related to the vast world of …

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Oscarcast: Young co-hosts, but the same old show

It seemed like a good idea: Pair the shiny, lovable James Franco and Anne Hathaway as co-hosts of the Oscars to give it some youthful pizzazz. On first taking the stage for Sunday’s show, they wasted no time making sport of why they were there. "Anne, I must say you look so beautiful and so …

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‘King’s Speech’ reigns with best-picture Oscar

"The King’s Speech" was crowned best picture Sunday at an Academy Awards ceremony as precise as a state coronation. The monarchy drama won an expected four Oscars, and predictable favorites claimed acting honors. Colin Firth as stammering British ruler George VI in "The King’s Speech" earned the best-actor prize, while Natalie Portman won best actress …

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Major India festival set for Washington

Hundreds of artists will take part next month in the largest festival of India in Washington in more than two decades, with performances ranging from classical dance to modern cinema. Dubbed "Maximum India," the festival will open March 1 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and stretch over 20 days, during which organizers …

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‘Black Swan’ wins top honor at indie Spirit Awards

The ballet thriller "Black Swan" won four prizes Saturday at the Spirit Awards honoring independent film, including best picture, best actress for Natalie Portman and director for Darren Aronofsky. James Franco was picked as best actor for the survival story "127 hours," while the Ozarks crime story "Winter’s Bone" earned both supporting-acting prizes, for John …

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Oscars hash it out between tradition, freshness

Old against young, establishment against upstart, familiar faces against fresh ones. Hollywood has laid out a battle of the ages at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Among the 10 best-picture nominees, the show comes down to just two: "The King’s Speech," a costume drama that oozes Oscar tradition with its British accents, aristocratic pageantry and triumph over …

DNE

The murky realms of post-revolution showbiz

By Joseph Fahim Midway through what became the January 25 Revolution, numerous observers, university professors and experts attempted to write a sketched narrative of the uprising, drawing comparison to other revolutions near and far and deducing predictions while overlooking the specificities and uniqueness of the Egyptian condition. Time proved most predictions wrong. No one was able …

DNE

Cairo’s ‘Complaints Choir’ sings of revolution

By Heba Elkayal If the colloquial poet Ahmed Fouad Negm were to tone down his acerbic take on politics, and mesh it with Egyptian music and dance company Ferqet Reda, one would get something close to the “Choir Project.” A plethora of art has been released to capture the spirit of the revolution, yet nothing in …

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US art sleuth claims new Michelangelo find

A US art detective says he has proof a garish terracotta statue found discarded in a moldy cardboard box in an Italian antiques shop is an original model by Michelangelo for his famous Pieta. "When I first set eyes on the statue I couldn’t speak for fully 10 minutes, it was so beautiful. Such mastery, …

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Jefferson’s books found in Mo. university library

Dozens of Thomas Jefferson’s books, some including handwritten notes from the nation’s third president, have been found in the rare books collection at Washington University in St. Louis. Now, historians are poring through the 69 newly discovered books and five others the school already knew about, and librarians are searching the collection for more volumes …

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The eyes of the revolution: Carlos Latuff

By Heba El-Sherif Certain elements will remain specific to our revolution; Kentucky Fried Chicken, the battle of the camel and a promised Egyptian Hyde Park. Such absurdities will forever bind Egyptians together, provide instant comic relief and endless material for artists miles away from Tahrir. As we fought for liberty on our soil, thousands of …

DNE

Limbless singer gives voice to India’s rural poor

Bant Singh, a scarred survivor of class violence in rural India, has an indisputable claim to be a voice for India’s impoverished and muted millions. The folk singer lost both arms and a leg in an attack five years ago after he dared to challenge high-caste landlords in his area of the northwestern state of …

DNE

A dogged Aussie collective lands at the Oscars

The Australian filmmaking collective Blue-Tongue Films has been around since 1996, when a handful of friends made a short that turned out good enough to warrant persistence. Next Sunday, they’ll enjoy a moment in movies’ biggest spotlight: the Academy Awards. Among the nominees of Hollywood veterans and glamorous movie stars is Jacki Weaver, whose supporting …

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Star Belgium artist’s home-coming smeared by ‘vile’ politics

Luc Tuymans, the star Belgian artist known for works on the Holocaust, 9/11 and his nation’s dark colonial legacy, this week brings his life’s work home — to an almost equally "hallucinatory" political trauma. "The situation in Belgium is vile, I have no idea what will happen," the 53-year-old painter viewed as one of Europe’s …

DNE

‘King’s Speech’ v ‘Network’ in Oscars home straight

British historical drama "The King’s Speech" enters the home straight as frontrunner to take the Oscars crown this week, but "The Social Network" is poking all its friends for last-minute help. Colin Firth, who plays a stammering George VI, is considered all but unbeatable for the best actor Oscar next Sunday, when the multi-billion dollar …

DNE

Al-Aswany on the state of Egypt

By Sarah P. Blakemore Novelist and columnist Alaa Al-Aswany launched the English translation of “On the State of Egypt” in an event attended by an eager crowd of journalists and fans at the recently re-opened AUC Bookstore in downtown Cairo on Sunday. His work was completed last year, long before the events in Tahrir Square took …

DNE

Egyptian Museum reopens to intrepid tourists

CAIRO: Dozens of foreign tourists braved the revolution in Egypt on Sunday to visit the world’s greatest collection of Pharaonic treasures and were welcomed with roses, as craftsmen meticulously mended artifacts damaged by looting. The usually busy galleries of the Egyptian Museum, which houses the golden death mask of boy king Tutankhamun, were virtually deserted …

DNE

In Qatar, Arab modern art gets its first museum

Paintings acquired by shadowy anonymous buyers paying record prices now hang in the light of day in Qatar in the world’s first museum devoted to modern Arab art. The masterpieces are displayed among other treasures making a collection of almost 6,500 pieces in Mathaf (museum in Arabic), which has gathered works of Arab modern art …

DNE

Risky Austrian Nazi comedy applauded at Berlin fest

An Austrian "Nazi satire" about a Jewish art dealer who dons the uniform of an SS officer to save himself and his mother from the Holocaust was surprisingly well-received Wednesday at the Berlin film festival. "My Best Enemy" stars one of Germany’s most popular actors, Moritz Bleibtreu, in a comedy that takes daring risks with …

DNE

An art revolution born in Tahrir Square

By Heba Fahmy Tahrir Square has not only witnessed the emancipation of hundreds of thousands of Egyptians who found their voice for the first time in 30 years, it gave birth to various art forms that mirrored the endless possibilities generated by the Jan. 25 revolution. Creativity flooded through Tahrir’s corners giving thousands of people …

DNE

Memories of Tahrir

By Heba El-Sherif Throughout 18 days, Tahrir Square in central Cairo gradually became a city on its own. Protesters camped there lived in tents side by side, eliminating religious and class barriers. Vibrant with cultural activities, the Square became an iconic landmark, not only because of the revolution, but for the friendships and memories people …

DNE

Egyptian mummy’s big toe oldest known prosthesis

PARIS: A superbly preserved artificial big toe found strapped to the mummified remains of an Egyptian woman is the oldest functional prosthesis ever found, experts said Monday. Discovered in 2000 near Luxor in the necropolis of Thebes, the wood-and-leather device belonged to Tabaketenmut, a high priest’s daughter who lived between 950 and 710 BC. That …

DNE

Egypt recovers some looted artifacts

CAIRO: Cairo authorities said on Monday they had recovered a pharaonic heart scarab and a tiny statuette, two of several ancient treasures looted from the world-famous Egyptian Museum during the country’s uprising. "The search operation that is being carried out inside and outside the museum for the lost artifacts has succeeded in recovering some of …

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