“@TaylorSwift wore for her Night 2 of The Eras Tour a custom #ZMCouture pink tulle ball gown, with a starburst bodice and cross strap back (sic),” the fashion house posted on Instagram, referring to the look that was styled by Joseph Cassell Falconer.
Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” kicked off on Friday night in Glendale. She performed a three-hour show that ran through hits from every era of her 17-year career and followed it up with a second show in the city.
REVIEW: ‘The Legend of Zelda’ is a sprawling masterpiece
Updated 08 June 2023
LONDON: In 2017, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” broke records and received glowing critical acclaim. It sold about 30 million copies and set the benchmark for open world exploration games for the Nintendo Switch.
The recent release of “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” had big shoes to fill, but it has already surpassed expectations, selling over 10 million copies within three days of its release.
There is a trend in games reviews to estimate how much time a game will take to complete, but with the new “Zelda” game this is almost impossible. Talk on social media is replete with gamers who have already spent 60 hours on it without really proceeding along the main narrative arc of the story.
Indeed, such is the enormity and complexity of the world that you are dropped into that it is almost a daunting game to invest in. But if you have the time — and, of course, the portability of the Switch allows for a supreme flexibility — then a world of wonder awaits.
Within five minutes of taking on the role of Link, the famous elfin like hero, you have lost the Princess Zelda that you have sworn to protect, had your sword reduced to a useless husk, and lost an arm in the process of unleashing an ancient evil lying dormant below Hyrule Castle.
Link awakes in a kingdom in the sky tended to by a benevolent ghost who replaces the missing limb with a powerful version of his own allowing Link a series of game changing powers. These are the essential difference from previous Zelda titles as the new arm allows Link to manipulate his environment, build unique weapons, reverse time, and ascend through solid structures.
The new powers are then unleashed on the vast open world of Hyrule and the floating islands in the sky above. Here more traditional challenges await from solving puzzle shrines, defeating a range of enemies, and completing a seemingly infinite number of quests from the major to the minor.
In addition to Link’s new arm powers, the game introduces “Zonai devices” that allow the hero to build rafts, gliders, sleds and more to navigate the huge gaming arena. However, a quicker alternative is to fast travel between shrines, but far more rewarding is the capture and taming of wild horses who can be named and stabled.
World exploring rewards curiosity and the approach to crafting ranges from making clothes suitable for the variety of environments, putting together all manner of weapons, to cooking meals that can see you through the tougher tests that lie ahead.
The storyline is the classic good versus evil, but the impact of the release of the evil — what the characters call “the gloom” — is skilfully done and makes the landscape feels suitable distinct from the game the preceded it.
This Zelda may not be a pickup and play, but its magnificent depth can easily be lost within.
Saudi radio host Big Hass launches new show to support regional talent, ‘Catch A Vibe’
Big Hass is a mainstay on the Arab hip-hop scene and has worked artists from across the world
His first guest on his new show is Syrian singer-songwriter and producer Ghaliaa Chaker
Updated 32 min 31 sec ago
DUBAI: The UAE-based Saudi hip-hop promoter, producer and radio host Hassane Dennaoui, aka Big Hass, is launching a new radio show on Saturday, June 10.
“Catch A Vibe,” which will air Saturdays and Sundays at 9 p.m. on Sharjah’s Pulse 95 radio station, will, Dennaoui says, “focus on the local and regional scene — all the artists, musicians, producers and music personalities based in the region.”
Supporting regional talent has been Dennaoui’s main focus for more than 15 years now. His Saudi radio show “Laish Hip-Hop?” — which focuses on Arabic hip-hop — has been running for over a decade now, but his new show will give him the opportunity to “get to know these artists on a personal level.” Each week, a guest will join Dennaoui in the studio to discuss “their challenges, their inspirations, their way of writing,” he explains.
“I want to find out about the human behind the artist and dive into questions that usually don’t get addressed on the radio,” he says. “The most exciting thing for me is getting to do these in-depth conversations: Why did they start doing what they’re doing? What’s the story behind a particular song or record? I also think it’s interesting to discover the challenges they’re facing — some will have family backup, some won’t. Some will prove their families wrong, some of them will have no issues with that at all.
“There’s such a diverse lineup of artists in the region and I think it’s going to be interesting to get to know them. Hopefully, when we’ve done 100 episodes and you take a look at them, you’ll see amazing diversity,” he continues.
Dennaoui intends to talk to up-and-comers and veterans on the show. If his guest has already recorded their own music, then the show will feature some of their tracks. But, he says, “I’ll be talking to artists who don’t have any original work out yet. And part of me doing that is also to prepare them, maybe — put them in a space where they can talk about it and get excited about it.”
His first guest on the show is the UAE-based Syrian singer-songwriter and producer Ghaliaa Chaker. “She’s really taken the region by storm with her authenticity and her incredible talent. She’s definitely one of the most talented artists here in the UAE. She’s incredible,” says Dennaoui.
“My main hope is to create a space where artists can really come in and express themselves,” he continues. “I also hope we’ll be able to export the talent that’s here across the region and eventually the world. I think it’s a duty to support regional talent.”
Dina Shihabi’s latest film to premiere at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival
Updated 07 June 2023
DUBAI: Part-Saudi actress Dina Shihabi took to social media this week to promote her latest film “Catching Dust,” which premieres at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival on June 11.
The 96-minute feature was directed by Stuart Gatt and sees protagonist Geena, an artist and painter ready to dream big, tired of living in the desert with her controlling partner. At her wit's end, Geena is preparing to leave when a new couple shows up at the commune in a trailer from New York, eager to make a new life for themselves away from the city. Things turn dangerous for both couples as tensions boil over and egos come to a head as attempts to connect leave everyone frayed and on the edge of disaster.
Shihabi stars alongside US actress Erin Moriarty, who plays Geena, and Australian stars Jai Courtney and Ryan Corr.
Shihabi has a busy summer ahead of her, with her latest series “Painkiller” set to premiere on Netflix on Aug. 10.
The Riyadh-born actress recently took to Instagram to share a series of stills from the miniseries, which focuses on the origins and aftermath of America’s opioid epidemic.
“One of the best experiences of my life with a group of the most talented people that I will love forever. Can’t wait for you to watch,” she told fans.
Shihabi stars alongside US actors Matthew Broderick and Uzo Aduba, as well as Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch.
“Painkiller” is based on the book “Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic,” by Barry Meier, and a New Yorker article, “The Family That Built an Empire of Pain,” written by Patrick Radden Keefe.
The series was created by US screenwriter Micah Fitzerman-Blue and actor and writer Noah Harpster, with US filmmakers Eric Newman, Peter Berg and Alex Gibney as executive producers.
Shihabi spent part of her childhood in Dubai. Her father is Saudi Norwegian journalist Ali Shihabi, and her mother Nadia is half-Palestinian and half-German Haitian.
She moved to the US in 2007 and was the first Middle Eastern-born woman to be accepted to the Juilliard School and New York University graduate acting program. She began appearing in short films in 2010, but her big break came in 2017 with the role of Hanin in the series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.”
Shihabi previously spoke to Arab News to share her advice for up-and-coming actors.
“Look around to the people that are around you right now and start making things. And focus, hard work, determination, passion (are important). Those are real things,” she said.
“I’m still working really hard to make the things I want happen and I don’t think it’s ever going to end. If you choose this life, you are choosing a life where you have to really work hard.”
Tom Cruise to attend Middle East premiere of ‘Mission Impossible’ in Abu Dhabi
Updated 06 June 2023
DUBAI: The UAE is set to host the Middle East premiere of the eagerly awaited “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” at a red-carpet event at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace on June 26.
The film’s screening will be attended by Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie.
Some of the movie’s scenes were shot in the Liwa desert and the Midfield Terminal in the UAE capital’s airport.
McQuarrie, Cruise, and the cast and crew shot in the emirate for almost two weeks in 2021 with the support of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission and other local production partners, including twofour54 Abu Dhabi.
It marks the second time the Paramount Pictures’ franchise has filmed in Abu Dhabi following the HALO jump sequence for “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” in 2018.
Khalfan Al-Mazrouei, acting director general of Creative Media Authority, said: “Hosting the premiere of ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’ is an honor for Abu Dhabi and is also a reflection of the position the emirate holds as one of the Middle East and North Africa region’s top film and TV locations.
“We are proud to have worked with such a genre-defining franchise once again and it demonstrates how Abu Dhabi has everything filmmakers need to successfully complete such large, complex productions.”
US First Lady Jill Biden steps out in Reem Acra gown in Marrakesh
Updated 06 June 2023
DUBAI: US First Lady Jill Biden continued her longstanding relationship with Lebanese fashion designer Reem Acra by wearing a purple ensemble from the designer’s eponymous brand at a meeting with Princess Lalla Hasna of Morocco this week.
“First Lady Dr. Jill Biden radiated elegance and poise as she met with Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasna of Morocco in Marrakesh wearing a regal Reem Acra purple dress,” the label posted on Instagram.
The fashion move comes mere days after Biden showed off another gown by Reem Acra at the wedding of Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II and Rajwa Al-Hussein, nee Al-Saif, in Amman on Thursday.