DUBAI: The Cannes Film Festival rolled out the red carpet on Tuesday for the first time in more than two years and opened the spectacle of the French Riviera with the premiere of Leos Carax’s « Annette », the presentation of the jury by Spike Lee and with great hopes for a punishing pandemic year for the cinema.
The occasion drew a wide range of movie greats back to Cannes to celebrate the festival, which was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 virus. Pedro Almodovar, Jessica Chastain, Helen Mirren and Bella Hadid walked the red carpet, which was again lined with photographers in tuxedos and surrounded by eager onlookers.
US actress Jessica Chastain poses on arrival for the opening ceremony and the screening of the film « Annette ». (AFP)
Hadid, 24, stepped out for the opening ceremony of the French festival in a white vintage column dress by Jean Paul Gaultier with a black transparent train and a halter neck.
She wore her hair in a bun and was adorned with glittering Chopard jewelry, including white gold earrings with two pear-shaped diamonds.
Meanwhile, French fashion house Celine, run by Franco-Tunisian designer Hedi Slimane, had a big night at the opening ceremony, which saw jury member Maggie Gyllenhaal and French singer Carla Bruni dressed.
US actress and director Jodie Foster smiles as she speaks during the opening ceremony of the 74th (AFP)
Gyllenhaal showed off two looks by Celine on the opening day, including a chic black jumpsuit at a photo op earlier in the day before changing into a stunning silver dress for the red carpet that evening.
The dazzling floor-length number had sharp folds on the skirt and a medium-length cloak that was fastened to the neck.
Dubai-based influencer Farhana Body showed off a larger than life canary yellow ball gown from the Omani label Atelier Zuhra. (AFP)
There were also a few Middle Eastern offerings when it came to the flashy red carpet dresses, with Melita Toscon du Plantier in a sea green sequin look from Lebanon’s Elie Saab and Dubai-based influencer Farhana Body a bigger one showed -than-life canary yellow ball gown from the Omani label Atelier Zuhra.
Other outstanding fashion moments on the opening evening were the French star Marion Cotillard in a body-hugging, silver dress by Chanel Haute Couture with a delicate fishscale pattern and jury president Spike Lee in a pink Louis Vuitton suit, which he paired with Nike sneakers.
JEDDAH: The Saudi Art Council has launched its eighth edition of the 21.39 Jeddah Arts exhibition, which takes visitors on a new interstellar adventure in « The Secrets of Alidades ».
The new 21.39 exhibition – based on the coordinates of Jeddah – was opened to the public on Thursday.
Curated by French academic Fabien Danesi, Doctor of Philosophy in Art History and University Professor, « The Secrets of Alidades » alludes to the references to astrolabes and other astronomical instruments that help us observe distant objects and guide travelers.
An alidade, or turntable, is a device that has been used since ancient times to see a distant object (astronomy). It was also used by surveyors as a pointer to determine directions or measure angles.
In the exhibition, the ancient alidades guide you through the 33 works of art on a journey that reveals a world of new dimensions and systems, earthly or otherwise.
Danesi’s exhibition reflects the spirit of seafarers who use the stars to guide their voyages across uncharted waters. In the midst of the travel-restricting era of the coronavirus pandemic, 21.39 invites you to take a spiritual journey through the works of art.
“This allegorical perspective means that the show tries to produce a representation with the potential of a journey. Just as sailors used the stars to navigate the seas, works of art can help us float in our cultural field with the opposite winds and currents, ”Danesi told Arab News in an earlier interview.
The exhibition features artwork by a variety of artists including Qamar Abdulmalik, Sarah Abu Abdullah and Alia Ahmad, to name a few.
« For this year’s exhibition, Fabian used his inspiration, his interest and his passion for the stars, the planets and everything else that is part of our vast expanse in view of the tragic pandemic that has changed our lives forever, » said Nada Sheikh , Director of the Saudi Arts Council, said Arab News.
The 21, 39 Jeddah Arts is a non-profit initiative organized by the Saudi Arts Council to highlight and maintain the city’s position at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s contemporary art scene.
The 21, 39 Jeddah Arts is a pivotal opportunity for emerging artists to join an internationally recognized platform that helps emerging artists get into the professional world, Sheikh said.
An alidade, or turntable, is a device which has been used since ancient times to see a distant object (astronomy). It was also used by surveyors as a pointer to determine directions or measure angles.
MUMBAI: Dilip Kumar, one of Bollywood’s most successful and respected movie stars, died Wednesday at the age of 98, sparking tributes from Indian and Pakistani cinema, politics, sports and even animal rights.
Along with Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor, Kumar was one of three names who dominated the golden age of Indian cinema from the 1940s to the 1960s and had a career spanning more than 50 years with nearly 60 films.
Nicknamed « The Tragedy King » – with brooding good looks, tousled hair and a deep voice – he starred in some of the most commercially successful Indian films of the time.
But he missed out on international fame after turning down a chance to play Sherif Ali in David Lean’s 1962 classic, Lawrence of Arabia. The role went to the then little-known Egyptian actor Omar Sharif.
Kumar was born as Mohammed Yusuf Khan on December 11, 1922 in Peshawar, Pakistan, which was then part of British-ruled India. His father was a fruit dealer who took his family to India’s entertainment capital, Bombay, in the 1930s.
The actress Devika Rani discovered him at his father’s fruit stand, which led to a role in his first film « Jwar Bhata » in 1944.
Rani persuaded him to change his name, so he chose Dilip Kumar so that he could hide his actions from his disapproving father.
Although “Jwar Bhata” flopped and leading film magazines criticized his performance, Kumar was not deterred and broke through in 1946 with the film “Milan”.
One of his most memorable roles came in the lavish historical romance « Mughal-e-Azam », which is based on the life of a great Mughal prince. It became one of the top grossing Bollywood films of all time.
Citing Hollywood greats Marlon Brando, Gary Cooper and Spencer Tracy as influences, Kumar received recognition in 1964 for the nationalist « Leader » shown against the backdrop of the recent wars against China and Pakistan.
The 1970s saw fewer roles as the focus was on younger actors like Amitabh Bachchan, now the biggest star in India’s hugely prolific Hindi-language cinema industry.
Kumar even took a five-year hiatus after a series of flops and returned in 1981 with the hit « Kranti » (Revolution) and a role alongside Bachchan in « Shakti » (Strength) the following year, as well as a number of character roles.
He later took on a more active role in politics and in 1998 worked to end the feud between India and Pakistan.
In the same year he received Pakistan’s highest civilian honor, which angered Hindu nationalists. Two years later he became the Indian legislature for the Congress party.
Kumar attributed his success to his early days in Peshawar’s fabulous Qissa Khwani (« storyteller ») bazaar, where travelers shared their adventures.
Former Pakistani cricket captain Shahid Afridi called his death a « great loss » while Prime Minister of the country Imran Khan said he was « the greatest and most versatile actor » of his generation. Funeral prayers were held outside his ancestral home in Peshawar.
Unlike many actors who have starred in hundreds of films, Kumar carefully selected roles – which by Indian standards only enhanced his position in the highly competitive industry.
In 2006 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Indian National Film Awards in recognition of his contribution to Indian cinema.
Still, he admitted that he was stunned by his success.
« To be honest, I have yet to find out how an extremely shy young man named Yusuf Khan became the actor Dilip Kumar, » he told the Hindustan Times in an interview on the occasion of his 85th birthday.
Kumar also filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court in the 1990s to support the lesbian love story « Fire » after cinemas were ransacked by Hindu fundamentalist groups.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Kumar a « film legend ».
« He was blessed with unprecedented brilliance … His death is a loss to our cultural world, » Modi tweeted.
Bachchan called him his « idol » while Anil Kapoor said that « for me he was and will always be the best & greatest actor in our business ».
Salman Khan called him « the best actor Indian cinema has seen and will ever see » and animal rights group PETA India said « Animals everywhere have lost a good friend ».
Several stars, including Shah Rukh Khan and Anupam Kher, visited his actress widow Saira Banu on Wednesday to pay their respects.
The National Pavilion of Saudi Arabia will shed light on the kingdom’s burgeoning film industry and the opportunities it offers.
According to the organization, the aim of the pavilion is to create a space for dialogue and discussion with leading figures in the film industry from around the world and to enable Saudi film companies to meet and exchange ideas with global filmmakers.
The goals of the Saudi Film Commission are to also introduce the kingdom’s film locations and investment opportunities, and highlight the organization’s programs and initiatives.
The pavilion also has a delegation from Film AlUla, the Royal Commission for the newly established AlUla Film Agency to promote international film and television production in AlUla, a region in northwestern Saudi Arabia of outstanding natural and cultural importance.
After starting at the Berlinale at the beginning of the year, this is the agency’s first appearance in Cannes. Film AlUla also announced its new facilities, which will accommodate 150 film teams and include production offices, recreational facilities and an outdoor cinema.
Film AlUla shows the mostly unexplored travel destination that presents filmmakers and the whole world with some of the most sensational landscapes on earth.
There will also be representatives from the Ministry of Investment, the Red Sea International Film Festival, NEOM, MBC, Ithra, Nebras Films, Cinewave, Telfaz 11 and Arabian Pictures in pavilion 120 of the festival.
DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea International Film Festival announced on Wednesday that it has named Mohammed Al-Turki as chair of the festival committee ahead of the next edition in December 2021.
Al-Turki is a renowned UK producer who has had a career of over 10 years in both Hollywood and the Arab world.
The filmmaker said in a published statement, “I am honored to be attending the Red Sea International Film Festival to support this exciting new festival and bring people together through the universal language of film.
« It is a wonderful time to witness the cultural change in Saudi Arabia with extraordinary plans for Vision 2030, » he added. The festival is the perfect opportunity to develop our thriving industry, nurture and support young Saudi and Arab talent, and share authentic, compelling stories with a global audience. ”
He shared a picture of himself on Instagram and wrote: “I’m delighted to be at my favorite festival on the Cote D’azure, which represents my country. The cinema is back and alive. “
CHENNAI: Cinema lovers get their money’s worth this year, because the 74th Cannes Film Festival wants to reinvent itself.
The event, which started on Tuesday, is intended to make this available to everyone by providing a biographical documentary about the British-American actress Olivia de Havilland on the streaming platform Cine Dailymotion and the festival website.
« The Rebellious Olivia de Havilland », directed by Daphne Baiwir, packs the astonishing life story of the actress in 56 minutes.
The Japanese-born star had a great career in Hollywood before settling in France. She was 104 years old when she died last year after a life of hope and disappointment, joy and sadness, romance and resentment.
She had tremendous courage, which she showed in her groundbreaking role as Melanie Hamilton, fiancé and then wife of Leslie Howard’s Ashley Wilkes character in the 1939 American Civil War epic « Gone With the Wind », and in contrast was the epitome of grace and forgiveness to the fiery Vivien Leigh who played Scarlett O’Hara.
The documentary follows the actress’ battles during the golden era of Hollywood as she battled studio directors and directors to carve out a niche for herself.
Most of the material in the documentary is from De Havilland himself and is quite gripping. However, her private life is not examined, such as the infamous spit with her younger sister Joan Fontaine, who fed Hollywood gossip at the time.
It has been rumored that Fontaine may have been a big reason De Havilland left America for Paris, and the three Oscars the sisters shared between them may not have been enough to instill peace.
Baiwar’s work could have been so much more engaging if it had detailed the sibling rivalry (often referred to as the biggest family feud in Hollywood) or De Havilland’s personal ups and downs. Regardless, the work still pays a huge tribute to one of America’s most seductive divas, and perhaps it was a conscious choice to focus on her work rather than her personal life.
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