Nancy Ajram teams up with Powerpuff Girls to save the world

Nancy Ajram
Updated 09 November 2017
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Nancy Ajram teams up with Powerpuff Girls to save the world

JEDDAH: Arab pop star Nancy Ajram has teamed up with Cartoon Network for the five-part series “The Powerpuff Girls: Power of Four,” becoming one of the first celebrities to have voiced a Cartoon Network character in the Middle East.
She will voice the fourth Powerpuff Girl, Bliss, the long-lost teenaged sister of the other three Powerpuff Girls, in the regional version of the popular American animated TV series.
Ajram said it enabled her “to re-live some of my happy childhood memories in the process. I felt that I was very much in the heart of the action, helping the Powerpuff Girls save the world.”
“It was a great experience for me to participate in the dubbing of The Powerpuff Girls, particularly as it marks the first time that a celebrity has voiced a Cartoon Network character in the Middle East region,” she said.
Ajram completes the line-up of 15 super-powered celebrities across international markets to lend their voices to the fourth Powerpuff Girl, including Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon, who will voice Bliss for the UK.
“The Powerpuff Girls” has been one of the most popular programs on Cartoon Network and has its own dedicated YouTube channel in Arabic to cater specifically to its fans in the region.
The series began airing on Thursday.
The Lebanese singer, who is one of the most powerful figures in Arab pop, will perform at du Forum on the UAE’s Yas Island on Dec. 2.


Pressures and pains that tear a couple apart

A still from the film.
Updated 19 July 2018
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Pressures and pains that tear a couple apart

DENVER: Like a gallery wall-sized enlargement of a microscopic image, “Scenes from a Marriage” is all about size, space and perspective.
Directed by Ingmar Bergman — whose birth centenary was marked this week — at 281 minutes long, its unwieldly length presents an intimidating canvas, yet the claustrophobic intimacy of its gaze is unprecedented: The two leads are alone in nearly every scene, many of which play out for more than a half-hour at a time.
Premiered in 1973, the work is technically a TV mini-series, but such is its legend that theaters continue to program its nearly five-hour arc in its entirety. A three-hour cinematic edit was prepared for US theater consumption a year later (it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was ruled ineligible for the corresponding Oscar).
Not a lot a happens but, then again, everything does. Shot over four months on a shoestring budget, its six chapters punctuate the period of a decade. The audience are voyeurs, dropped amid the precious and pivotal moments which may not make up a life, but come to define it.
We meet the affluent Swedish couple Marianne and Johan — played by regular screen collaborators Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson, both of whom clocked at least 10 Bergman credits — gloating about ten years’ happy marriage to a visiting reporter. This opening magazine photoshoot is the only time we see their two children on camera, and inevitably the image projected is as glossy, reflective and disposable as the paper it will be printed on.
The pressures, pains and communication breakdowns which tear this unsuited pair apart are sadly familiar. The series was blamed for a spike in European divorce rates. It may be difficult to survive the piece liking either lead, but impossible not to emerge sharing deep pathos with them both. Sadly, much of the script is said to be drawn from Bergman’s real-life off-screen relationship with Ullmann.
It’s a hideously humane, surgical close-up likely to leave even the happiest couple groping into the ether on their way out of the cinema.