US band Metallica’s ‘S&M2’ selling out in GCC ahead of Oct. 9 release

“S&M” is a live album with The San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Kamen. (Getty)
Updated 08 October 2019

US band Metallica’s ‘S&M2’ selling out in GCC ahead of Oct. 9 release

DUBAI: A little over 20 years ago rock giants Metallica recorded the live album, “S&M” with The San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Kamen. The result was a double CD that sold in the millions, as well as a hugely successful video release.

It was certainly an unusual concept — bringing classical music and heavy metal together — but it earned rave reviews from fans and critics, and earned the band a Grammy.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release, Metallica have recorded an updated version, featuring the first live performances of the original arrangements — although the original featured former bassist Jason Newsted who has since been replaced by Robert Trujillo.




Metallica bring classical music and heavy metal together in their music. (Supplied)

The resulting film will be shown across theaters worldwide on October 9th, with advance tickets already on sale in the GCC. Some UAE cinema screenings have already sold out, while Metallica.film states that Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah will confirm screenings. Meaning this could potentially become the first time many of the Kingdom’s Metallica fans see the band “live” (although Metallica have previously performed twice in Abu Dhabi).

Guitarist Kirk Hammett said in a statement, “We’re super-stoked, really excited, and really proud of how it turned out. And we hope you guys will be too. It's a wonderful thing to watch the orchestra. All these musicians coming together… making this huge musical entity. And then for me to then come in and be a part of that — a guitar player who plays loud distorted rock guitar — (is) an amazing opportunity.”

Drummer Lars Ulrich paid tribute to Kamen, who died in 2003.

“Michael was the one who brought the idea 23 years ago,” explained drummer Lars Ulrich. “At that time, the four band members of Metallica were maybe not as involved in the preparations. We trusted Michael. And we depended on him.”

Metallica announced this week that they had postponed their upcoming tour dates in Australia and New Zealand, as frontman James Hetfield has re-entered rehab.

“As most of you probably know, our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years," the band tweeted. "He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again."

At least fans will have the chance to see their heroes on the big screen in the meantime.

 “There is going to be a connection to the audience that might even get emotional,” said Trujillo.


‘It Must Be Heaven’: Elia Suleiman’s sardonic take on the world

Suleiman, who plays the lead role as himself, explores identity, nationality and belonging. (Supplied)
Updated 23 October 2019

‘It Must Be Heaven’: Elia Suleiman’s sardonic take on the world

MUMBAI: Elia Suleiman’s “It Must Be Heaven,” which was screened at the Mumbai Film Festival, is pure cinema. Like his earlier works, here too the Palestinian director uses wit, sarcasm and minimalism, this time to present a series of vignettes that are funny but also a powerful lambast of the world we live in. Suleiman, who plays the lead role as himself, explores identity, nationality and belonging.

He says people worldwide now live in fear amid global geopolitical tensions. Today, checkpoints are just about everywhere: In airports, shopping malls, cinemas, highways — the list is endless.

“It Must Be Heaven” was screened at the Mumbai Film Festival. (Supplied) 

Suleiman’s earlier features, such as “Chronicle of a Disappearance” and “Divine Intervention,” showed us everyday life in the occupied Palestinian territories. This time, it is Paris and New York. 

The first scene is hilarious, with a bishop trying to enter a church with his followers. The gatekeeper on the other side of the heavy wooden door is probably too intoxicated and refuses to let the priest in, leading to a comical situation. Suleiman’s life in Nazareth is filled with such incidents — snippets that have been strung together to tell us of tension in society. Neighbors turn out to be selfish, and only generous when they know they are being watched. 

The Palestinian director uses wit, sarcasm and minimalism, to present a series of vignettes that are funny but also a powerful lambast of the world we live in. (Supplied)

In Paris, the cafes along the grand boulevards, and the young women who pass by, are typical of France’s capital. But a cut to Bastille Day, with tanks rolling by in a show of strength, jolts us back to harsh reality. In New York, Suleiman’s cab driver is excited at driving a Palestinian. 

The film has an interesting way of storytelling. The scenes begin as observational shots, but the camera quickly changes positions to show Suleiman watching from the other side of the room or a street. The camera then returns to where it first stood, and this back-and-forth movement is delightfully engaging.

The framing is so perfect, and the colors so bright and beautiful, that each scene looks magical. And as the director looks on at all this with his usual deadpan expression, a sardonic twitch at the corner of his mouth, we know all this is but illusion. There is bitter truth ahead!