Pop-culture highlights from across the region

Pop-culture highlights from across the region
Majaz is a Bahraini folk-fusion band. (Supplied)
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Updated 06 November 2020

Pop-culture highlights from across the region

Pop-culture highlights from across the region
  • From an Egyptian Cannes winner to an online alternative-music festival, via an Arab vampire movie

Museland




Desertfish is an electronic act. (Supplied)

Sound & Fiction

The Bahrain-based music label Museland is organizing a month-long music festival running throughout November, which it is billing a “first of its kind” for the region.

The festival — Sound & Fiction — launched last year featuring live performances, talks and workshops. This year’s edition will include all of those, but online.

“We wanted to build on the reaction we got last year, which was centered on the idea of sustaining an engaged community and encouraging a more collaborative approach in music, on all levels — not just making it, but sharing it, promoting it, performing it,” Museland founder Ali Al-Saeed told Arab News. “Taking the concept online makes a lot of sense, not just due to circumstance, but in the spirit of our objective. 




Ali Al-Saeed is the founder of Museland. (Supplied)

“It’s been extremely difficult, as it was, to try and establish an interest and demand for niche music, for something more grounded in an alternative approach to music (in the region),” he continued. “To, in essence, reclaim music as an art form instead of a product. Often, it seemed to me that the community has been neglected across the region, as emphasis on creating an industry is amplified further. I’m hoping that Sound & Fiction can help push the underground, the independent, the alternative and experimental forward, because I believe that’s where the more challenging and exciting music comes from.”

Artists performing at the festival include veteran Bahraini prog-rock outfit Osiris, Emirati singer-songwriter Hamdan Al-Abri, UAE-based dream-pop band WYWY, Bahrain-based trio Doyoureallylikeit?, Kuwaiti-American group Kuwaisiana, Bahraini folk-fusion band Majaz, and electronic acts Kayan, Tarik Omar, and Desertfish.

Every week a show featuring three or four artists will be livestreamed and free to view. Further details are available at www.soundandfiction.me.

Sameh Alaa




The 32-year-old director’s 15-minute movie tells the story of a man called Adam facing a tough journey to be reunited with his true love after 82 days of separation. (Getty)

‘I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face’

Alaa became the first Egyptian filmmaker to win the prestigious Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or prize for his short film “I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face.” It was the first time in 50 years that an Egyptian film had even been selected for the festival’s Official Short Film Competition. Cannes was cancelled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic but ran a three-day mini-festival at the end of October, during which the Short Film Competition was completed.

The 32-year-old director’s 15-minute movie tells the story of a man called Adam facing a tough journey to be reunited with his true love after 82 days of separation. It stars Seif Eldin Hemida and Nourhan Ali Abdelazez.

The Assembly




Twenty-five UAE-based artists and creatives aged between 18 and 24 will have new works showing at the event. (Supplied)

Jameel Art Center Takeover (to Nov 16)

UAE-based artist collective The Assembly has taken over Jameel Arts Center in Dubai for two weeks (ending Nov. 16) and is staging “curated interventions and public programming addressing the chosen theme of ‘Reassigning Value.’”

Twenty-five UAE-based artists and creatives aged between 18 and 24 will have new works showing at the event.

“We believe that the works selected are part of a collective breakthrough; a recalibration of what it means to move and act in the world, maintain identity and shoulder adversity,” the collective announced in a press release.

Rami Yasin




“Bloodline” is the “first Arabic-language vampire horror.” (Supplied)

‘Bloodline’

MBC, whose Shahid VIP service is exclusively streaming “Bloodline,” is billing Rami Yasin’s film as the “first Arabic-language vampire horror.” With two big-name stars on board (Nelly Karim and Dhafer L’Abidine) hopes are high for this movie — which Yasin describes in a press release as “a dream project” — in a genre that has not, traditionally, been a success in the region.

Karim and L’Abidine play Lamia and Nader, parents to twin boys, one of whom is left comatose following an accident. Following an “unorthodox plan” hatched by his parents, the boy is brought back to consciousness, but soon begins to display some unsettling new behavior.

Lazzy Lung




Lazzy Lung is a Lebanese alt-rock band. (YouTube)

‘Younger Years’

To coincide with the 10-year anniversary of their debut album “Strange Places,” Lebanese alt-rock band Lazzy Lung recently dropped a new video of a live performance for Patch Bey Sessions of “Younger Years” — a track taken from their third LP, 2019’s “Swim The Tide.”

Speaking to Arab News on the release of that album a year ago, frontman Allan Chaaraoui (the only permanent member of the band), described the track as “a tip of the hat to all those who’ve had some kind of involvement with (Lazzy Lung). It’s like, ‘Yeah, it was messed up. But it was fun while it lasted.’”