Clean Bandit to perform live in Jeddah as part of Saudi Grand Prix

Clean Bandit to perform live in Jeddah as part of Saudi Grand Prix
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Updated 16 March 2022

Clean Bandit to perform live in Jeddah as part of Saudi Grand Prix

Clean Bandit to perform live in Jeddah as part of Saudi Grand Prix
  • The concert will take place on the main stage of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit

JEDDAH: The pop fusion music group Clean Bandit will thrill fans in Jeddah with an evening of hits at the post-race concert on Sunday March 27 to close the second successive Formula One race weekend for the Saudi Grand Prix.

The British band will headline the concert series alongside multi-award-winning DJ and producer, R3HAB, to add to a superstar line-up that will keep fans’ adrenaline flowing long into the Jeddah night after the world’s greatest drivers have crossed the finish line.

The concert will take place on the main stage of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, F1’s newest, longest and fastest street circuit, right after the Grand Prix has concluded.

Clean Bandit, one of the biggest names in pop music, have scored four UK No.1 hits, won a Grammy award, and collaborated with a star-studded list of artists including Lizzo, Sean Paul, Ellie Goulding, Mabel and Demi Lovato.

They recently received two Brit Award nominations for their 2018 smash “Solo” featuring Lovato, which became their fourth UK chart-topper. The band have now notched up nine UK top five singles, more than Bruno Mars or Adele.

On March 26, DJ Axwell will perform after the qualifying session has ended, guaranteeing a world class weekend of live racing action and entertainment for all fans.

The Saudi Motorsport Co., the promoter of the Saudi Grand Prix, confirmed that fans will also be able to see the F2 and Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East support series, while entertainment activities, fan festivals, and live concerts will also take place across the circuit and F1 fan zone all weekend.


Golden Globe-winning actor Brian Cox talks witty memoir, role in HBO’s ‘Succession’ at Emirates Lit Fest

Golden Globe-winning actor Brian Cox talks witty memoir, role in HBO’s ‘Succession’ at Emirates Lit Fest
Updated 03 February 2023

Golden Globe-winning actor Brian Cox talks witty memoir, role in HBO’s ‘Succession’ at Emirates Lit Fest

Golden Globe-winning actor Brian Cox talks witty memoir, role in HBO’s ‘Succession’ at Emirates Lit Fest
  • 60-year veteran honors parents’ struggle with autobiography
  • Considers himself ‘overrated’ like ‘overblown’ Johnny Depp

DUBAI: Golden Globe-winning actor Brian Cox certainly knows how to make some noise. The award-winning veteran, known for his portrayal as the angry Logan Roy in HBO’s “Succession,” has an extensive resume spanning six decades across theater, television and films.

Arab News met Cox at the Emirates Literature Festival to discuss his recently released autobiography. The memoir, “Putting the Rabbit in the Hat,” a candid yet highly emotional and hilarious book, journeys through his poverty-stricken childhood to his theater days and a formidable career in Hollywood where he acted in blockbusters including “Troy,” “The Bourne Identity” and “Braveheart.”

Born in 1946 in Dundee, Scotland, Cox lost his father to pancreatic cancer when he was only 8 and dealt with his mother’s struggles with mental health for years, ultimately being raised by his elder sisters. “Writing the memoir was a cathartic experience — I wanted to honor my parents. It was really about my mum and dad and what they went through during a particularly difficult time in the country,” Cox tells Arab News.

Cox was born in 1946 in Dundee, Scotland. (HBO/David Russell)

As a child, he found solace in film and television — often escaping to the cinema. “There were 21 cinemas in Dundee, and I was a regular at every single one,” he writes. Then, one afternoon, while watching Albert Finney in “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning,” he experienced a life-altering moment — if a working-class Englishman can make it in movies, so could he. “I just thought that was very liberating — I felt that Albert was a good muse for me,” says Cox.

As the book tells the tale of his rise to stardom, his shortcomings — professionally and personally — not to be missed are the witty jabs at industry A-listers, including Edward Norton, Steven Seagal and Johnny Depp. Although he turned down a role in “Pirates of the Caribbean” (with no regrets), he does comment on Depp’s acting.

“Personable though I’m sure he is, he is so overblown, so overrated. I mean, ‘Edward Scissorhands.’ Let’s face it, if you come on with hands like that and pale, scarred-face makeup, you don’t have to do anything. And he didn’t. And subsequently, he’s done even less.”

His book tells the tale of his rise to stardom. (HBO/Graeme Hunter)

Was he not worried that his no-holds-barred comments may burn bridges? He clears the air. “I happened to say that Johnny Depp was overrated, but I don't think that — I think we’re all overrated. With Johnny Depp, I think he’s a creature rather than an actor. Edward Scissorhands is an extraordinary creation, and there’s a place for it, but at the same time, I think he’s clearly talented and successful in his time. So I wasn’t dismissing him. I just felt that, like us all, he’s overrated. I’m part of that overrated,” explains Cox. His thoughts on Steven Seagal: ‘He’s as ludicrous in real life as he is on screen,” he writes.

His Logan Roy character sees him as the patriarch of the Roy family and a mean media magnate. Critics have often compared Roy’s character to Rupert Murdoch’s, but Cox believes that isn’t the case. “One of the things that I keep emphasizing about Logan is that he’s not like any of the people he’s compared to — he’s self-made and didn’t inherit anything.

“So his stakes are that much higher because he created it — he wants to know how his creation will be carried on. And he’s a misanthrope,” he says. Another complex part of his character includes his love/hate relationship with his children. “His Achilles heel — the thing that causes the most grief — is that he loves his children. If he didn’t love them, he’d be far better off — but he does,” elaborates Cox.

In 2020, Cox won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series Drama for “Succession” — an award he respects but doesn’t necessarily take too seriously. “It’s the work — that’s the main thing. I’m not interested in awards — I’d rather have a job than an award.”


‘Lord of the Rings’ star Andy Serkis confirmed to attend MEFCC in Abu Dhabi

‘Lord of the Rings’ star Andy Serkis confirmed to attend MEFCC in Abu Dhabi
Updated 02 February 2023

‘Lord of the Rings’ star Andy Serkis confirmed to attend MEFCC in Abu Dhabi

‘Lord of the Rings’ star Andy Serkis confirmed to attend MEFCC in Abu Dhabi

DUBAI: British actor, writer, filmmaker and producer Andy Serkis – most known for his motion-capture performances in blockbuster films – has been confirmed as one of the celebrity guests at the Middle East Film and Comic Con in Abu Dhabi, running from March 3 – 5.  

The actor, who will be in attendance on March 4 and 5, has brought to life several iconic computer-generated characters, including Gollum in “Lord of the Rngs” franchise, Caesar the ape in the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy, Captain Haddock in “The Adventures of Tintin” and Supreme Leader Snoke in the “Star Wars” films.  

The actor also most recently portrayed Kino Loy in the Star Wars DIsney+ series “Andor,” streaming in the Middle East on OSN.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Andrew Serkis (@andyserkis)

In an upcoming role, Serkis will play millionaire villain David Robey in “Luther: The Fallen Sun,” the movie sequel to the popular Idris Elba-led TV series, “Luther.”  

Speaking with Total Film, Serkis said of the role, “I don’t think I’ve come across anything quite as dark for a long time.”  

The script forced him to ask, “do I really actually at this point in the world and time and my life, want to go down this particular rabbit hole of something that’s so hard to fathom in humanity?” 

Meanwhile, at MEFCC, fans can also expect to meet “House of the Dragon” and “Doctor Who” star Matt Smith as well as “Star Wars” veteran Anthony Daniels, who played android C3PO in all 10 films.  


Review: Up for an Oscar, ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ is a heart-warming joy to watch 

Review: Up for an Oscar, ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ is a heart-warming joy to watch 
Updated 02 February 2023

Review: Up for an Oscar, ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ is a heart-warming joy to watch 

Review: Up for an Oscar, ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ is a heart-warming joy to watch 

CHENNAI: Short documentary “The Elephant Whisperers” is in the running for the Best Documentary Short Film at the upcoming Academy Awards and after watching the Indian Netflix offering, you may well find yourself wondering how Academy voters are going to resist the extremely moving documentary about two adorable baby elephants and their warm-hearted caretakers, Bomman and Bellie.  

They live in the lush and delightfully picturesque terrain of Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. With its myriad colors, varied vegetation and fantastic species – captured vividly by Karan Thapliyal and others — the film kept me absorbed for all of its 41 minutes.  

Helmed by Kartiki Gonsalves with narration penned by Priscilla Gonsalves, “The Elephant Whisperers” is crisp and refreshing. As one writer put it, it is this year’s “My Octopus Teacher” — the 2020 Oscar-winning documentary tracing the bond between a filmmaker and an octopus. 

The core story here is about two elephant calves, Raghu and Ammu, who are treated like their own children by the couple. 

When Raghu's mother is killed, forest officials hand the baby to Bomman and Bellie. There are some moving visuals of how the “parents” take care of the calf. There is more joy to come when another calf, Ammu, is also handed over the couple. The two babies hit it off, and it is lovely to watch them play and tussle with eachother. 

Scenes of Bomman giving the animals a bath and later playing football with them remain etched in my memory. The couple feed them just like they would their own children and the feeling of affection is captivating and wonderfully translated on screen. 

As the environment becomes a buzzword in the media, it is especially touching when Bomman says we live off the forest, but we should also protect it. And despite the fact that Bellie's husband was killed by a tiger, she gets over her fear of the forest and begins to mingle with it. Later, when Bomman and Bellie get married, it seems like they have forged a perfect union not just with each other, but also with the rich forest that they call their home.  


Review: ‘Shotgun Wedding’ is a rom-com action flick that is big, dumb – and lots of fun

Review: ‘Shotgun Wedding’ is a rom-com action flick that is big, dumb – and lots of fun
Updated 02 February 2023

Review: ‘Shotgun Wedding’ is a rom-com action flick that is big, dumb – and lots of fun

Review: ‘Shotgun Wedding’ is a rom-com action flick that is big, dumb – and lots of fun

LONDON: Cinema, in its purest form, is about escapism. And what could be more escapist than a rom-com starring Jennifer Lopez as a bride whose extravagant beach wedding is gatecrashed by a group of pirates?

Throw in Josh Duhamel as her slightly dopey husband, Lenny Kravitz as a handsome ex-boyfriend and Jennifer Coolidge as her future mother-in-law and you have got just about everything you need for a couple of hours of mindless entertainment.

Just as Darcy (Lopez) and Tom (Duhamel) are having doubts about their imminent nuptials, they find themselves the only ones not taken hostage by a band of fearsome brigands. Sneaking around their luxury destination wedding, the feuding couple must put aside their doubts and team up to save their family and friends.

High art this is not – but that is no bad thing. “Shotgun Wedding,” directed by “Pitch Perfect” and “Sisters” helmer Jason Moore, is a goofy, lovable riot. It flips a bunch of rom-com tropes on their head, has a charismatic lead in Lopez and – most importantly – does not take itself too seriously.

It also has a secret weapon in Coolidge, who is finally getting the plaudits her stellar comedic talents have long deserved, and who absolutely runs away with the movie as Tom’s mother, Carol.

It is not all seamless, for sure. There are some hinky effects work on the set pieces, a few narrative leaps that are telegraphed about an hour in advance, and some rather plodding exposition right around the time the action starts to ramp up.

But “Shotgun Wedding” is such dumb fun it is hard to hold a grudge. It won’t alter your perceptions, and it won’t make you reassess your life choices, but it will make you laugh. And, let’s face it, watching J-Lo whoop a bunch of terrorists is a decent way to spend a couple of hours.


Saudi social media star Osama Marwah nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award 

Saudi social media star Osama Marwah nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award 
Updated 02 February 2023

Saudi social media star Osama Marwah nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award 

Saudi social media star Osama Marwah nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award 

DUBAI: Saudi social media star and YouTuber Osama Marwah has been nominated for the Favorite Arab Star prize at the 2023 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award, it was announced on Wednesday.  

“When we were younger, we watched Nickelodeon. Today, we are among the nominees,” he wrote to his 4.2 million followers on Instagram. “Thank God. If it wasn’t for God and you, we wouldn’t be anything. Good luck to my creative friends who are also nominated.” 

Best known for his vlogs and prank videos, Marwah is competing with Syrian comedian and social media personality Amro Maskoun, Jordanian YouTuber Raghda Kouyoumdjian – famous for her short comedy skits and lip sync videos; and Rozzah, a 19-year-old Jordanian content creator with more than 4.2 million followers.  

The Favorite Arab Star award honors talents from the Middle East and North Africa. 

The awards ceremony will take place on March 4 and will air in the Middle East on March 7 at 4:00 p.m. (Saudi time). The event will also be available to watch on OSN+ from March 8 onwards.  

CBS Sports Analyst Nate Burleson and social media star Charli D’Amelio host the event.  

Jordanian YouTuber Raghda Kouyoumdjian is famous for her short comedy skits and lip sync videos. (Supplied)

D’Amelio said in a released statement: “I got slimed at the KCAs in 2021, saw my sister get slimed at last year’s show and now, no one is safe with me as co-host!” 

“Nate and I will make sure this year’s show is full of unexpected slime shots, impressive dances and surprise tricks along the way,” she added.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rozzah :D (@rozzah)

First-time nominees for this year’s edition include Jenna Ortega, Jack Harlow, GAYLE, Joji, Nicky Youre and Letitia Wright, among others.  

“Stranger Things” leads the pack with six nominations, followed by “That Girl Lay Lay,” “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” and “The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder” with four nominations each.  

Fans around the world can now cast their votes across 31 categories on the official Kids’ Choice Awards website, with an additional 32 international categories available in regions around the world.