Hot properties: Ones to watch at Cannes 2022

Hot properties: Ones to watch at Cannes 2022
‘Boy from Heaven’ is by Swedish-Egyptian filmmaker Tarik Saleh. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 13 May 2022

Hot properties: Ones to watch at Cannes 2022

Hot properties: Ones to watch at Cannes 2022
  • William Mullally selects some of the highlights from this year’s lineup at the Cannes Film Festival, which opens May 17

‘Crimes of the Future’

Director: David Cronenberg

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart

It’s been more then 20 years since David Cronenberg played in the sandbox of body horror and science fiction. With “Crimes of the Future,” the legendary filmmaker behind gory classics such as “Scanners” (1981), “Videodrome” (1983) and “The Fly” (1986) firmly embraces his roots, reviving a story he has had in the back of his mind for years and never had the opportunity to tell — about a world in which surgery becomes a form of art. The filmmaker has reunited with one of his most fruitful partners, Viggo Mortensen, who plays the lead role. Mortensen was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the pair’s last collaboration, 2007’s “Eastern Promises.”

‘Holy Spider’

Director: Ali Abbasi

Starring:  Mehdi Bajestani, Zar Amir Ebrahimi, Arash Ashtiani

Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, whose last film, 2018’s “Border,” won the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes, now finds himself competing for the festival’s biggest prize with a ‘pitch-black’ thriller, following a family man named Saeed who embarks on a dark quest to ‘cleanse’ the city of Mashhad of immorality — an endeavor that quickly turns deadly. As things progress, Saeed growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of public interest in his murderous mission, leading him to act out even further.

‘Tori and Lokita’

Directors: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Starring: Mark Zinga, Nadège Ouedraogo, Alban Ukaj, Charlotte De Bruyne

At this point, Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are Cannes royalty, having won six prizes at the festival for six different films. That impeccable track record makes their latest, “Tori and Lokita,” a favorite in this year’s competition, with the always socially conscious filmmakers this time turning their attention to two friends who have travelled from Africa to Belgium only to be faced with its cruel realities as they struggle to survive. The film continues their turn towards more race-focused themes, with their last prize-winning film, 2019’s “Young Ahmed,” following a Belgian-Arab boy who falls victim to radicalization.

‘Decision to Leave’

Director: Park Chan-wook

Starring: Tang Wei, Go Kyung-Pyo, Park Hae-il

Korean cinema has finally broken through to the mainstream. While Bong Joon-ho may be the one who successfully broke the Oscar barrier, it was Park Chan-wook who first caught the eye of the world, with his controversial 2003 film “Oldboy” becoming one of the most widely-seen cult classics of the century thus far. With “Decision to Leave,” the filmmaker returns to Cannes for the first time since 2016’s “The Handmaiden,” this time following a detective who falls in love with a mysterious widow after she becomes the prime suspect in his latest murder investigation.

‘Boy from Heaven’

Director: Tarik Saleh

Starring: Tawfeek Barhom, Fares Fares, Mohammad Bakri

Swedish-Egyptian filmmaker Tarik Saleh makes his Cannes debut with “Boy from Heaven,” a follow up to his Sundance Film Festival winner “The Nile Hilton Incident.” While his previous political thriller stirred up some controversy in Egypt (he had to transfer production out of the country after the backlash), “Boy From Heaven” proves he has not lost his taste for confrontation. It is a political thriller following a power struggle in the wake of a high-ranking religious leader’s suspicious death.

‘Mediterranean Fever’

Director: Maha Haj

Starring: Amer Hlehel, Ashraf Farah, Anat Hadid

An aspiring writer and a small-time crook team up for a sinister scheme in “Mediterranean Fever,” Palestinian filmmaker Maha Haj’s return to Cannes after her debut, “Personal Affairs,” premiered in 2016. The film, set in Haifa, sees supporting actor from “Personal Affairs” —Amer Hlehl, who has been honing his craft with the UK’s Royal Shakespeare Company — promoted to his first big-screen leading role. He captures Haj’s trademark dark humor with an existential flare. While this is her second feature, Haj broke into film in the art department of Elia Sulaiman’s acclaimed films “The Time That Remains” and “It Must Be Heaven” before stepping behind the camera herself.

‘The Blue Caftan’

Director: Maryam Touzani

Starring: Saleh Bakri, Lubna Azabal, Ayoub Messioui

In one of Morocco’s oldest medinas, husband and wife Halim (Saleh Bakri) and Mina (Lubna Azabal) run a traditional caftan store in desperate need of help. The two hire a talented young man named Youssef — and quickly find that his presence is having a profound effect on their lives. With “The Blue Caftan,” Moroccan filmmaker Maryam Touzani, collaborator and wife of “Casablanca Beats” filmmaker Nabil Ayouch, returns to Cannes after her highly-acclaimed film “Adam” — itself about a modest bakery in Casablanca that takes in an unexpected guest — lit up the Un Certain Regard section of the festival in 2019.

‘Three Thousand Years of Longing’

Director: George Miller

Starring: Idris Elba, Tilda Swinton

There are few more interesting film careers than that of George Miller, the Australian filmmaker behind the “Mad Max” trilogy, “Babe,” and both “Happy Feet” films. Miller never received the respect he deserved until the release of 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” a deliriously masterful display of skills that garnered 10 Academy Award nominations that year. While we won’t see a follow up to that film until 2024’s “Furiosa,” Cannes will see the premiere of his latest epic, this time following a scholar (Tilda Swinton) who encounters a Djinn (Idris Elba) in Istanbul that offers her three wishes in exchange for freedom.

‘Armageddon Time’

Director: James Gray

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins, Jeremy Strong

While it still feels the world has yet to take notice of director James Gray, the American has long been a favorite at Cannes. His previous films “We Own the Night” (2007), “The Immigrant” (2013) and the Brad Pitt science fiction epic “Ad Astra” (2016) all made their debuts on La Croisette. His latest is his most personal yet, based around his upbringing in Queens, New York and starring some of the best actors in the world, including a still-at-the-peak-of-his-powers Anthony Hopkins, Jeremy Strong (“Succession”), and Anne Hathaway.

‘Triangle of Sadness’

Director: Ruben Östlund

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Harris Dickinson, Oliver Ford Davies

If you’re a fan of scathing satire, there’s a good chance you’re also a fan — or should be — of Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund, whose previous two films, “Force Majeure” and “The Square,” were two of the most hilarious, not to mention deeply uncomfortable, films of the last decade. With “Triangle of Sadness,” the filmmaker has traded in the ski slopes of Sweden and the museums of Denmark for the sunny isles of Greece, filming his latest over 72 days on a deserted island during the pandemic. It tells the story of a pair of models who find themselves at a turning point in their respective careers.


Pop superstar Justin Bieber set to bring world tour to Dubai

The concert, which is part of his Justice World Tour, is just one stop on his tour of more than 30 countries. (File/AFP)
The concert, which is part of his Justice World Tour, is just one stop on his tour of more than 30 countries. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 May 2022

Pop superstar Justin Bieber set to bring world tour to Dubai

The concert, which is part of his Justice World Tour, is just one stop on his tour of more than 30 countries. (File/AFP)

DUBAI: Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber is set to perform at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena on Oct. 8, 2022, it was announced on Tuesday.

The concert, which is part of his Justice World Tour, is just one stop on his tour of more than 30 countries which will run from May 2022-March 2023.

Thomas Ovesen, owner of T.O.P Entertainment and the outfit responsible for bringing the show to Dubai said: “having Justin back for what will be his third visit and fourth performance in the city is so exciting, both for his fans and for me personally. The UAE hasn’t seen shows of this size and scale since pre-pandemic and I can guarantee everyone is in for a real treat – the production is world class and there is no doubt Justin is at the very top of his game right now.”

Pre-sale will start at 10am on May 26 and general tickets will go on sale on May 27.

The upcoming dates start this month in Mexico, with a stop in Italy before continuing on to Scandinavia for shows in August.  Next up is South America, South Africa and the Middle East in September and October.  The tour will close out the year in Asia, Australia and New Zealand before moving to the UK and Europe in early 2023. 

These new shows come on the heels of his 52-date 2022 North American tour, which kicked off in San Diego on Feb. 18.


A slice of Saudi culture on the streets of Davos

A slice of Saudi culture on the streets of Davos
Updated 34 min 24 sec ago

A slice of Saudi culture on the streets of Davos

A slice of Saudi culture on the streets of Davos
  • For Swiss native and consultant Antonin Muller, Saudi Café has allowed him to discover a culture he knew little about.

DAVOS: The Saudi Tourism Authority has brought a small slice of the Kingdom’s culture to the Swiss mountains in the shape of the Saudi Cafe, which is open throughout the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. 

Visitors can enjoy Saudi delicacies, from pumpkin jereesh to a rose mamoul crumble, as well as the staple of the Kingdom's hospitality, Saudi coffee. The cafe is also a unique combination of elements of Saudi design and art, to give people what Abdullah Al-Dakhil, spokesman for Saudi Tourism Authority, calls “a real taste” of Saudi Arabia.

And Al-Dakhil is hopeful that the cafe will continue to raise awareness of Saudi Arabia as a tourism destination, something that has been on the rise since the launch of the tourism visa in 2019.



“Saudi is going through an incredible transformation and tourism is at the forefront of this. Now that borders are open and the world is traveling again, inspiring people to visit Saudi is our top priority. We have already seen a 72 percent recovery to pre-pandemic levels, which gives us the confidence in the world’s desire to explore and discover the diversity and beauty of our country,” he added.

“Our presence, through this experience in Davos at WEF, where leaders meet and connect, plays an important role in driving destination awareness and giving people a glimpse into what Saudi has to offer.”



“Welcoming people with genuine Saudi hospitality, giving them an opportunity to try different specialties that we brought from Saudi Arabia's different regions -- mangoes from Jizan, chillies from Hail, other condiments from Riyadh and Jeddah and more - we wanted to give them a taste of Saudi,” Abdullah said.

“(We are) creating excitement and inspiration about embarking on a journey to Saudi, welcoming the world with open hearts and minds.”

An important aspect of the Saudi cafe, besides showcasing Saudi culture, is the chance to answer questions about how the Kingdom is transforming under its Vision 2030 plan. 

“We only really know what’s going on in Saudi Arabia based on certain news channels we have access to, so definitely pleasantly surprised in terms of the transformation,” Tiffany Jones, one visitor to the cafe from South Africa, said. “I’m happy to see there is some transformation taking place.” 

And for Swiss native and consultant Antonin Muller, the cafe has allowed him to discover a culture he knew little about. 

“I had never tried Saudi food, I knew very little about the country, so to have this here in Davos is great for people who may never have had a chance to sample the culture,” he said. “This is what being at WEF is all about.” 

 


Author Mohammed Alnaas first Libyan to win International Prize for Arabic Fiction

Author Mohammed Alnaas first Libyan to win International Prize for Arabic Fiction
Updated 23 May 2022

Author Mohammed Alnaas first Libyan to win International Prize for Arabic Fiction

Author Mohammed Alnaas first Libyan to win International Prize for Arabic Fiction

DUBAI: Author Mohammed Alnaas, 31, is the youngest author and first Libyan to win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his book “Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table.”

The winner was announced on Sunday and Alnaas will be given a $50,000 prize in addition to funding for an English translation of the book.

The Libyan author delves into gender roles and ideas of masculinity in a faraway village of his native country for the book. After getting engaged, Milad’s family life becomes the talk of the village as he indulges in his passion for bread-making while his fiancé works to support the house.

Milad learns of the gossip by the neighborhood and publicly questions traditional gender roles.

Alnaas’s novel won out of six shortlisted novels, and was praised for its complexity and literary flair. 

The book was written in just six months during the lockdown, while Tripoli was under bombardment.

Alnaas revealed that writing “Bread on the Table of Uncle Milad” was his “refuge from insanity” amidst the news of COVID-19 and war.

“The winning novel is written in the form of confessions of personal experience. Its plethora of detail is deftly unified by a gripping narrative,” said Tunisian novelist and previous IPAF winner Shukri Mabkhout, chair of the 2022 judges. This offers a deep and meticulous critique of prevailing concepts of masculinity and femininity and the division of work between men and women, and the effect of these on both a psychological and social level. It falls into the category of novels which question cultural norms about gender. However, it is embedded in its local Arab context and steers away from any ideological treatment of the issues, as such a treatment would be contrary to the way in which fiction can present multiple points of view,” he added.

Born in 1991, Alnaas obtained a BA in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tripoli in 2014 before publishing his short story collection “Blue Blood” in 2020.


Egypt’s ‘Feathers’ nabs top prize at Critics’ Awards for Arab Films

The film just won best film, screenplay and director at the Critics’ Awards for Arab Films. (Supplied)
The film just won best film, screenplay and director at the Critics’ Awards for Arab Films. (Supplied)
Updated 23 May 2022

Egypt’s ‘Feathers’ nabs top prize at Critics’ Awards for Arab Films

The film just won best film, screenplay and director at the Critics’ Awards for Arab Films. (Supplied)

Dubai: “Feathers” by Egyptian director Omar El-Zohairy has swept the board at the sixth edition of the Critics’ Awards for Arab Films by the Arab Cinema Center.

The satirical film won the top prize at Cannes Critics' week last year and has just won best film, screenplay and director at the Critics’ Awards for Arab Films.

The Arab Cinema Center focuses on Arab-language films that premiered on the festival circuit outside of the Arab world in 2021. It was voted on by 167 film critics from 68 countries, who saw the films on Festival Scope.

“Feathers” took six years to reach the big screen and was produced by a multitude of firms and countries. It was co-produced by Juliette Lepoutre from Still Moving in France, with Mohamed Hefzy’s Film Clinic and Shahinaz Al Akkad from Lagoonie Film, both in Egypt, Derk-Jan Warrink and Koji Nelissen from Kepler Film in The Netherlands, Giorgos Karnavas and Konstantinos Kontovrakis from Heretic in Greece, and Verona Meier from Germany and Norway.

Other winners at the event include Palestinian Maisa Abd Elhadi, who nabbed the best actress award for her performance in Hany Abu-Assad’s “Huda’s Salon,” while Palestinian Ali Suliman won best actor for his role in Egyptian director Mohamed Diab’s “Amira.”

The winner for best documentary was Syrian-born Palestinian filmmaker Abdallah-Al Khatib’s “Little Palestine, Diary of a Siege.”


Kravis wedding: Megan Fox makes a case for best-dressed guest in Zuhair Murad look

Kravis wedding: Megan Fox makes a case for best-dressed guest in Zuhair Murad look
Updated 23 May 2022

Kravis wedding: Megan Fox makes a case for best-dressed guest in Zuhair Murad look

Kravis wedding: Megan Fox makes a case for best-dressed guest in Zuhair Murad look

DUBAI: Reality television star Kourtney Kardashian and Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker got married in Portofino, Italy, this weekend — and in true Kardashian fashion, the nuptials were a stylish affair.

Hosted at L’Olivetta, a sprawling villa owned by Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the wedding was the pinnacle of a multi-day affair attended by the couple’s famous families and an intimate group of celebrity friends, including US actress Megan Fox who opted for a vampy look by Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad.

Other well-dressed guests included the new bride’s mother Kris Jenner and her siblings; Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner.

Megan Fox wearing a black strapless Zuhair Murad fall 2021 couture gown. Instagram

Fox, who is a close friend of the newlyweds, attended the wedding with her fiancé Machine Gun Kelly (born Colson Baker) wearing a black strapless taffeta gown with a beaded corset bodice on tulle from the Ras Baalbek-born designer’s fall 2021 couture collection. The gown featured a high slit that showed off her black sandals.

The 36-year-old made sure to embrace the festivities’ Italian theme as Murad’s 45-piece offering was inspired by the Italian city of Venice.

Poosh founder Kourtney and her rockstar husband’s Italian nuptials come less than a week after the pair were legally wed in a low-key ceremony in Santa Barbara, California, on May 15.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kourtney (@kourtneykardash)

Last month, they had an impromptu Las Vegas wedding ceremony without a marriage license.

Other celebrity guests included Travis Barker’s Blink-182 bandmate Mark Hoppus and his wife, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and TikToker Chase Hudson.

Kourtney’s children Mason, Penelope, and Reign were in attendance as were Kim and Kylie’s eldest children, North and Stormi, respectively. Barker’s son Landon, daughter Alabama and step-daughter Atiana De La Hoya also made the journey to the Italian riviera.

Meanwhile, Kim’s ex-husband Kanye West and Kylie’s partner Travis Scott did not attend the wedding. NBA player Tristan Thompson, with whom Khloe shares a daughter, was also not present.

Notably absent was Scott Disick, Kourtney’s previous longtime partner and the father to her three children.

The couple had noted fashion photographer Ellen Von Unwerth capture portraits of their nuptials.