Latest in Culture Highlight

Advertising Area






Latest in Culture


You call that a revolution?

By Joseph Fahim The very first Egyptian film I reviewed was “Katkout,” the 2006 Mohamed Saad star-vehicle that became the former king of comedy’s last bona-fide commercial hit. In the years since, I’ve grown to regard mainstream cinema in a different light, driven by an interest in what the story, choice of mise-en-scène and characterization say …

DNE

Women steal the show at Venice film festival

From the red carpet to the big screen, women are dazzling at this year’s Venice Film Festival with the key roles going to female stars who amaze with glamour and sheer chutzpah. Pop diva Madonna crazed the island when she sauntered down the celebrity runway in a striking Vionnet dress with red butterfly motif and …

DNE

McQueen launches sex-addict film ‘Shame’ in Venice

For British director Steve McQueen, there was no better place than Manhattan to film "Shame," his new film that portrays the life of a 30-something sex addict, played by Michael Fassbender in often graphic detail. "Excess and access. New York is the place," McQueen said ahead of his second film’s world premiere in competition at …

DNE

Chastain inspired Pacino’s ‘Wilde Salome’

Al Pacino’s movie "Wilde Salome" is a complicated examination of Oscar Wilde’s once-forbidden play about illicit love and revenge. But his inspiration was simple: Jessica Chastain. "There is Jessica Chastain, who I really believe is the reason I made the movie," Pacino said ahead of the film’s long-awaited world premiere in a side event at …

DNE

Polanski’s ‘Carnage’ wows critics in Venice

Rounds of applause and riotous laughter met Roman Polanski’s grotesque comedy of manners "Carnage" at the press screening in Venice. The screen adaptation of playwright Yasmina Reza’s acclaimed Broadway play "The God of Carnage," Polanski’s film tells the tale of two sets of parents who meet up to talk after their children get into a …

DNE

Taiwan’s warrior epic “Seediq Bale” runs for the Lion

Warrior cries and brutal decapitations color the opening scenes in Wei Te-Sheng’s "Seediq Bale," the fierce Taiwanese epic running against Hollywood favorites for the Golden Lion award at Venice this year. With a record production cost of $24 million, "Seediq Bale" brings to the big screen the true story about a rebellion of aboriginal tribes …

DNE

Clooney opens Venice film festival with political thriller

Hollywood star George Clooney opened a star-studded Venice film festival on Wednesday with the world premiere of his political thriller "The Ides of March" based around a US presidential campaign. Hundreds of fans crowded round as a tux-wearing Clooney, who strode down the red carpet and signed autographs after cruising the watery city on a …

DNE

A state of trance with Aly & Fila

By Maha ElNabawi Egyptian DJ duo Aly & Fila are a bona fide phenomenon. Arguably the most internationally successful electronic DJ and production collective Egypt has ever produced, the powerhouse pair are more than your average DJs. With a booming new record label and a syndicated radio show, both titled “Future Sound of Egypt,” alongside an …

DNE

Ether and earth: Susheela Raman

By Chitra Kalyani One evening at Geneina Theater, like a many-headed Indian deity, Susheela Raman showed her many facets. Her songs are borrowed from covers of Western rock to traditions in Southern India that worship the mountain god “Muruga.” While singing her own songs, Raman enters into the same ecstatic trance of the celebration whose music …

DNE

Brazil’s blind ballet dancers find stride

With a lost look, a group of dancers hold the bare as they practice plies, twists and turns, as their teacher corrects their posture with a gentle touch. Learning is slow and arduous, requiring much patience from ballerina Fernanda Bianchini, 32, who is trying to convey the beauty of the discipline to the students, who …

DNE

Another star is born in the East

By Chitra Kalyani What was Om Kolthoum like when she was young? If Nai Barghouti has already evoked a comparison with the Egyptian legend, one wonders where the 14-year-old will be in a few years time. The shy smile with which Barghouti receives audience applause is a surprising contradiction to the voice of a young woman …

DNE

Life imitates art in ‘living’ paintings

By AFP Alexa Meade does make paintings of people, but on people. The 24-year-old self-taught artist paints over people so that they look like paintings, then photographs them either in a natural setting or with a painted background. Her works on display at the Irvine Contemporary Gallery in Washington, includes one of a man under …

DNE

Romance rules Philippine literary charts

In the fantasy world created by Philippine publishing giant Precious Hearts Romances, the men are rich, sexual promiscuity and homosexuals are taboo, and the story always ends happily after 128 pages. The ultra-cheap local versions of Britain’s Mills and Boon novels are the country’s most popular books, making their authors champions of conservative Christian values …

DNE

A splendid showcase of Sameh Ismail’s abstract calligraphy

Although Sameh Ismail has been active in the local art scene for the last 10 years, his work has never really gotten the attention it deserves, until now. In association with the Zamalek Art Gallery, The Kempinski Hotel is currently holding an exhibition by Ismail. Ismail is essentially a calligraphist, distinguished for paintings and sketches …

DNE

25 years on, ‘Graceland’ reigns as world music pioneer

If every generation throws a hero up the pop charts, Paul Simon has been twice anointed, first as a 1960s folk-rock icon, then as world music emissary with "Graceland," the landmark album he released 25 years ago this month. Stung by a second failed marriage and looking for a way to boost his flagging career, …

DNE

Egypt inspired people to change things: An interview with Mustapha Kamel Al-Sayyid

How do Israel’s protests look from where you are in Egypt? These protests have raised some interest in Egypt. On the one hand, some people consider the protests to be the inevitable outcome of [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu’s policies of stressing the importance of military expenditures and expansion of settlements. Besides this, Netanyahu has …

DNE

Lessons from an unfinished revolution

By Aida Nasr “This revolution is far from over.” That’s the dynamic message of “Lessons in Revolting,” a theater performance currently showing at the intimate setting of the Rawabet Space for Arts in Downtown Cairo. Co-directors Laila Soliman from Egypt and Ruud Gielens of Belgium have created a challenging, thought provoking play that portrays the Jan. …

DNE

Franco-Chilean cineaste Raoul Ruiz dead at 70

Franco-Chilean director Raoul Ruiz died Friday in a Paris hospital of a lung infection, cutting short a career that was still producing poetic cinematic marvels in his 70th year. Ruiz’s "Mistérios de Lisboa" (Mysteries of Lisbon), a four-and-a-half hour saga about the life of the 19th century Portuguese aristocracy, was last year acclaimed by critics …

DNE

Revolutionary tips from Tunisia’s Badiaa Bouhrizi

By Maha ElNabawi Subtle seeds of change have started to blossom through the liberation of artistic expression, since former Tunisian president Zine Al-Abdine Bin Ali’s ousting in January. Cue Badiaa Bouhrizi — the underground Tunisian singer/songwriter whose Ethno-musical positions reflect passionate socio-political convictions and the dilemma of personal freedom. Bouhrizi, who performed this past Thursday in …

DNE

‘Blaise go!’, a favorite refrain for two Burkina musicians

A rapper and a reggae artist, two leading Burkina Faso musicians belt out similar lyrics to different beats: "Blaise, go!" — their favorite refrain is a dig at the long-standing president. Smockey, with an Afro ‘do’, and dreadlocked Samsklejah are pushing change in Burkina Faso, where protests this year led many to believe President Blaise …

DNE

Mixed impressions at El-Borsaiedy’s calligraphy exhibit

Currently showing at the Picasso gallery in Zamalek is a calligraphy exhibition by artist Khodeir El-Borsaiedy. Calligraphy is a tricky form of art, since for the average layman, it may not be considered ‘art’ per say. People usually take for granted the effort required to properly transcript everything from the Quran and store signs to …

DNE

ICoast museum mourns stolen artifacts

By Christophe Koffi/ AFP Bullet holes pock the vault door and empty display boxes litter the showroom floor of Abidjan’s Museum of Civilization, robbed of 100 ancient artifacts under the cover of deadly conflict in April. “A piece of our history has been wiped out,” museum director Silvie Memel Kassi laments of the collection’s lost crown …

DNE

Sufi Qawwali: Song of the soul

“There is God between me and every breath that I take.” With such profound lyrics and enchanting music, the fourth edition of the Sufi Music and Chanting Festival got off to a captivating start. Eleven troupes from 11 different countries, with different styles of singing and disparate rhythm, scale and even language, came together to …

DNE

Gospel joins nasheeds at Sufi Fest

“Man is the homeland, and the homeland is man.” With this humanistic slogan, Entesar Abd El Fatth, director of El-Ghouri Center for Musical Heritage opens the fourth Samaa International Festival for Sufi Music and Chanting in Cairo on Monday. A variety of nasheeds (Islamic religious and praise songs) from around the world are featured in …

DNE

Subway expansion digs up Roman city under Sofia

By Diana Simeonova / AFP Cars zoom by on the boulevards overhead as work progresses on expanding the subway underneath —and in between a full-fledged Roman city has emerged right in the heart of the Bulgarian capital. Archaeologists have little by little unearthed well-preserved stretches of cobbled Roman streets, a public bath, the ruins of a …

DNE

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 …

DNE

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