Sofia Coppola makes history with best director win at Cannes

US director Sofia Coppola
Updated 30 May 2017

Sofia Coppola makes history with best director win at Cannes

CANNES, France: Sofia Coppola scooped best director at the Cannes film festival on Sunday night for her star-studded remake of “The Beguiled.”
In a 70th edition marked by raging debate over sexism in the movie industry, Coppola became only the second woman in history to win best director.
Among others she thanked her father, the “Apocalypse Now” director Francis Ford Coppola, who she said “taught me writing and directing.”
Swedish satire “The Square,” a send-up of political correctness and the confused identity of the modern male, won the Palme d’Or top prize.
In a stunning upset, the nine-member jury led by Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and including Hollywood stars Jessica Chastain and Will Smith awarded the trophy to director Ruben Ostlund.
“Oh my God, oh my God!” Ostlund shouted from the stage after besting a raft of favorites for one of global cinema’s most coveted honors with a rare comedy. It was the first-ever Swedish winner.
Nicole Kidman, who appeared in four different projects at the French Riviera festival, accepted a special anniversary award with a video message.
Three-time Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix nabbed best actor for his turn as a hammer-wielding hitman in “You Were Never Really Here.”
Diane Kruger clinched best actress for her first film role in her native German as a devastated mother who has lost her husband and son in a neo-Nazi terror attack, in Fatih Akin’s “In the Fade.”
“I cannot accept this award without thinking of everyone who has been touched by an act of terrorism... you have not been forgotten,” said a visibly moved Kruger.
Chastain called it “disturbing” that there had not been more meaty female roles among the 19 contenders for the Palme d’Or. Only three of the films were made by women.


TWITTER POLL: Almost 3 of 4 readers think there is more to the massive blast in Beirut

Updated 07 August 2020

TWITTER POLL: Almost 3 of 4 readers think there is more to the massive blast in Beirut

  • Impact of the blast was also reportedly felt 200 kilometers away in Cyprus
  • Mushroom clouds and spherical blast waves are conflated as nuclear in nature

DUBAI: Almost three of four readers think there is more to the massive explosions that hit a Beirut port on Tuesday, according to an Arab News straw poll on Twitter.

The blast, caused by a stockpile ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse, generated a shock wave so devastating that it levelled buildings near the port and caused extensive damage over much of the rest of the capital, killing more than 100 people and injuring thousands.

The impact of the blast was also reportedly felt 200 kilometers away in Cyprus.

Specifically, 73 percent of more than 1,000 readers who responded to the poll do not believe the explosion was an accident compared to about 27 percent who thought it was back luck that the ammonium nitrate – unsafely stored for six years – has been the cause of the deadly Beirut blast.

The enormous explosion consequently created a mushroom cloud over Beirut, stoking fears and rumors on social media and, among conspiracy theorists, that a nuclear bomb has been detonated in the Lebanese capital due to the sheer magnitude of the blast.

About 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate was involved during Tuesday’s explosion. Ammonium nitrate is a crystal-like white solid commonly used as a source of nitrogen for agricultural fertilizer, and is relatively safe when stored properly. It, however, becomes deadly as an explosive when mixed with other chemicals and fuel oils.

Some experts pointed out that people who are not accustomed to seeing large explosions may confuse mushroom clouds and spherical blast waves as nuclear in nature.

Others believed the Beirut explosion lacked two hallmarks of a nuclear detonation: a ‘blinding white flash’ and a thermal pulse, or surge of heat, which would otherwise had started fires all over the area and severely burned people’s skin.