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Latest in Culture


Spacey, Moore and 3D in focus at Berlin film fest

A financial crisis thriller starring Kevin Spacey and Demi Moore and a French 3D animated feature will vie for the top prizes at next month’s Berlin film festival, organizers said Tuesday. The 61st edition of the festival, running from February 10-20, will showcase 22 films in its main program including 16 in the running for …

DNE

Old dog, new tricks: Study IDs 9,400-year-old mutt

PORTLAND: Nearly 10,000 years ago, man’s best friend provided protection and companionship and an occasional meal. That’s what researchers are saying after finding a bone fragment from what they are calling the earliest confirmed domesticated dog in the Americas. University of Maine graduate student Samuel Belknap III came across the fragment while analyzing a dried-out …

DNE

Cairo hosts Arab world’s first photo marathon

This past Saturday was a somewhat dreary winter day. Along the streets of downtown Cairo people could be seen clutching their jackets and sweaters tightly, shielding themselves from the cold. At the Townhouse Gallery, however, the mood was upbeat with an abundance of enthusiasm and excitement. Clusters of people milled about, with cameras of all …

DNE

‘King’s Speech’ gets 14 nominations for UK awards

Made-in-England favorite "The King’s Speech" leads the race for the British Academy Film Awards, Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars, with 14 nominations announced Tuesday, including best picture. Colin Firth is the best-actor front-runner for his performance as stuttering monarch King George VI, with Geoffrey Rush nominated for best supporting actor as the unconventional speech therapist …

DNE

Bond heads to Dubai in new novel

British super spy James Bond will head to the glitzy gulf emirate of Dubai, itself no stranger to real-life espionage and assassination, in a new book titled "Carte Blanche," local papers said Tuesday. "When I thought about the setting for the new book, I thought immediately about Dubai," the book’s author, Jeffery Deaver, told reporters …

DNE

‘King’s Speech’ gets 14 nominations for UK awards

Made-in-England favorite "The King’s Speech" leads the race for the British Academy Film Awards, Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars, with 14 nominations announced Tuesday, including best picture. Colin Firth is the best-actor front-runner for his performance as stuttering monarch King George VI, with Geoffrey Rush nominated for best supporting actor as the unconventional speech therapist …

DNE

‘Social Network’ big winner at Golden Globes

Host Ricky Gervas humorously insulted nearly every A-lister in the room at the Golden Globes, while the big winner was "The Social Network" — a movie about a guy who riles up everyone on campus with his new and invasive website. It all seemed fitting Sunday night. Besides best drama, "The Social Network," about the …

DNE

Political parable raises eyebrows in 2B Continued Fest

Clearly, there is something about the plays of Eugene Ionesco that lend themselves to an Egyptian context. Perhaps this is why two of them appear in the five performances of Downtown’s 2B Continued Festival of Theater and Dance this week. It is perhaps also why director Ahmed Shawky El-Bohy chose to tailor his adaptation of …

DNE

Planning world domination with the Zac Brown Band

The five other guys in the Grammy-nominated Zac Brown Band have achieved a Zen-like state of trust in their eponymous leader — but it’s taken some time. The guy has some off-the-wall plans, after all. "The first couple times that Zac had a couple of crazy ideas," fiddler Jimmy De Martini said, "we were like, …

DNE

Oscar-nominated British actress Susannah York dies

British actress Susannah York, one of the leading stars of British and Hollywood films in the late 1960s and early 1970s, has died in London at the age of 72. York died of cancer Saturday at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. Her son, the actor Orlando Wells, said York was an incredibly brave woman …

DNE

Sfeir-Semler Gallery showcases complex Arab contemporary art

In the isolated Beirut neighborhood of Karatina, the Sfeir-Semler Gallery occupies a space apart — both literally and metaphorically. As one of Beirut’s most successful and prestigious commercial galleries exhibiting work by some of the region’s most exciting contemporary artists, the Sfeir-Semler is in a league of its own, leading Beirut’s contemporary art scene and …

DNE

New York exhibit highlights 1,001 Muslim innovations

NEW YORK: Eight-year-old Marissa Campis is playing a game that is part of the new exhibition, “1,001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World” at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York. The touch screen displays a family room, asking visitors to select the items invented during the height of Islam’s …

DNE

When being ‘over the top’ is a good thing

By Heba Elkayal A plethora of designers from the Middle East have started to make their mark on the international fashion scene exhibiting in prominent trade shows in New York and Paris. Some have made an over the top splash with vibrant designs that combine kaftan silhouettes with modern touches. One example is Emirati designer …

DNE

Searching for an ‘exit’ in 2B Continued theater fest

In her book “The Art of Making Dances,” early 20th century contemporary dance pioneer Doris Humphrey observed “all dances are too long.” This couldn’t have been truer in the case of a 30-minute piece entitled “Exit does not Exit” choreographed by Shaymaa Shokry under the mentorship of Laurence Rondoni. Opening the third 2B Continued Festival …

DNE

Sculpting Egypt: The genius of Mahmoud Mukhtar

Egyptian sculptor Mahmoud Mukhtar (1891–1934) is widely viewed as the godfather of modern Egyptian sculpture. Apart from his artistic success and iconic status as a pioneer in modern Egyptian sculpture, Mukhtar’s trajectory reflects Egypt’s turbulent and dynamic atmosphere from the outset of the 20th century to the interwar period. Mukhtar exerted a profound influence on …

DNE

Townhouse curator on 2011 trends

  For more than a decade, the Townhouse Gallery has acted as a catalyst nurturing independent arts, fulfilling its mission to promote contemporary art within the Middle East and internationally. It has done so by hosting a variety of cultural and educational events, including theater and experimental music performances, film screenings, public lectures and workshops …

DNE

Huda Lutfi: The art of continuity

It’s unfortunate that today we see more pertinence and understanding of the social structure and construct in which we live in from product, fashion and furniture designers — our applied artists — than we do from our visual artists. It has become exceedingly difficult to hear of a contemporary artist who has managed to persevere …

DNE

Modern Art Museum: A mirror of Egypt in the 20th Century

A stone’s throw away from the underground station near Qasr El-Nil Bridge is Egypt’s Modern Art Museum on the Opera House grounds, surrounded by green manicured lawns that separate visitors from the bustle of Cairo. It was not always nestled peacefully in this Zamalek site. The seeds of the idea were first sown by the …

DNE

Mark Twain remains censored, and uncensored

  Mark Twain was the kind of man who might tell an off-color joke, then grievously apologize, who wrote stories and essays he knew would offend and kept others private for the same reason. A century after his death, Mark Twain remains censored, and uncensored. The author and humorist worried enough about what he could …

DNE

Arabic Booker shortlist makes for rich and varied reading

As the inauguration of the 2011 Cairo International Book Fair approaches, getting up to speed on this year’s top Arabic novels, many of which have been translated into English, is imperative. The shortlist for this year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) is a good place to start. The IPAF, popularly known as the Arabic …

DNE

THE REEL ESTATE: The state of Arab cinema as seen in Dubai

Like most budding world cinemas, Arab cinema continues to suffer from a severe state of inconsistency. The excitement induced by a strong, diverse selection of films screened across the region in 2009 signaled a new direction for a stronger, more focused Arab cinema. Alas, prophecies turned to be false as the last batch of Arabic …

DNE

Iran bans ‘Alchemist’ author

Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, who wrote the worldwide bestseller "The Alchemist," accused Iran Monday of banning his books. "My books have been published in Iran since 1998, in different publishing houses," Coelho wrote on his website http://paulocoelhoblog.com, noting estimates that over six million copies of his books have sold in the country. Calling it an …

DNE

Microphone for Alex: A musical show of solidarity

CAIRO- Call it a quintessentially Egyptian habit, but no sooner had the explosions rocked Alexandria’s Al-Qeddesine (Church of the Two Saints) during the early hours of 2011 than melodies of national unity sprang nationwide. Frustrated with the system, activists took to the streets daily for the week following the attacks, chanting against what they branded …

DNE

Turkey PM sparks spat over Armenia friendship art

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan came under fire Monday for deriding a monument to friendship with neighboring Armenia and ordering its destruction. The country’s culture minister sought to soothe the criticism, arguing that Erdogan was misunderstood. "We would never show disrespect to the work of any artist. We would never attempt to destroy and …

DNE

Fincher, Hooper among Directors Guild nominees

The filmmakers behind Academy Awards favorites "The Social Network" and "The King’s Speech" were nominated Monday for the Directors Guild of America’s top prize. Along with David Fincher and Tom Hooper, nominees were Darren Aronofsky for the psychosexual thriller "The Black Swan," Christopher Nolan for the sci-fi blockbuster "Inception" and David O. Russell for the …

DNE

‘Bullitt’ director Peter Yates dies at 81

British filmmaker Peter Yates, who sent Steve McQueen screeching through the streets of San Francisco in a Ford Mustang in "Bullitt," has died at the age of 81. Yates was nominated for four Academy Awards — two as director and two as producer — for the cycling tale "Breaking Away" and the backstage drama "The …

DNE

A journey through an Egyptian’s new modern architecture

CAIRO: Ahmad Hamid remembers being a young boy watching his mother and her friends gather for their weekly tea and sewing get together at his family’s house on Sunday mornings. He recalls the ladies sipping tea, chatting and working on their clothes while sitting at the family’s rather large dining table with room to drape …

Daily News Egypt

Award-season contenders flock to Palm Springs gala

The road to Oscar brought a blast of expected contenders to this desert town some 100 miles east of Hollywood as the Palm Springs International Film Festival held its annual awards gala. Among those attending the Saturday night affair was James Franco, a likely Academy Award nominee for the drama "127 Hours" and also co-host …

DNE

Children’s theater makes a comeback in Old Cairo

It is not always easy to produce theater work for children that is simultaneously interesting for adults. This is the thought that ran through my mind while sitting down to watch the first scenes of “The Invention,” presented by ACT, the Alumni Community Theater group of the American University in Cairo. The play, presented in …

DNE

Iconic Sudan singer eyes the future with sadness

KHARTOUM: Adored nationwide, Sudanese musical icon and former exile Mohammed Wardi, who hails from the Nubian north and has sung about unity for decades, says he will be saddened to see his beloved country split. "For me as a singer who sang for unity for 54 years, what is happening is too difficult… I am …

DNE