fri 19/07/2019

Gulf

Blue Planet II, BBC One review - just how fragile?

The eel is dying. Its body flits through a series of complicated knots which become increasingly grotesque torques. Immersed in a pool of brine — concentrated salt water five times denser than seawater — it is succumbing to toxic shock. As biomatter...

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Davos in the Desert: the Global Education and Skills Forum's vision for teaching the arts

I have heard countless speeches advocating the importance of arts education, and making bold cross-curricular claims – from England’s cultural ministers and arts leaders, to the Arts Council and the Creative Industries Federation – but I have never...

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Theeb

The epic and the intimate combine impressively in Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar’s debut feature Theeb. The epic is there is the scale of the stunning desert landscapes that are the backdrop – though the desert itself almost feels like a...

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Wadjda

In the independent cinema world, the question of where exactly a director hopes to find his or her audience never goes away. On home ground? Around the international festival circuit? Or in a lucky combination of the two, when a film resounds both...

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theartsdesk in Abu Dhabi: The Art of Diplomacy

You can’t walk down the street in central Abu Dhabi. Not because of any danger or prohibition, but simply because there just aren’t any pavements yet. Look out of any one of the high-rise buildings that dominate the city, and you’ll see a landscape...

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theartsdesk in Doha: Vangelis at Katara Amphitheatre

If you need music for a ceremonial occasion, Greek composer Vangelis is your man. He has, after all, even had a small planet named after him, and in 2001, NASA used his piece Mythodea as the theme for its Mars Odyssey mission. The following year,...

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Sex and the City 2

There are, in urban myth, those moments when a runway model – leggy, impassively superhuman and dressed in some impossibly haute garment – catches a heel and collapses, foal-like, into a heap of fragile legs. It’s a moment that Sex and the City the...

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theartsdesk in Abu Dhabi: Doing Things by the Book

One of the most serious crises facing the Arabic-speaking world in recent years - but which has received precious little comment both in the Middle East and internationally - has been the serious decline in literacy and the art of reading. A United...

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theartsdesk in the Emirates: A Cultural Arms Race

Water featured: I.M. Pei's Museum of Islamic Art

Rising spectacularly from the warm turquoise waters of Doha Bay, the building which is probably I.M. Pei’s final and perhaps his greatest work, the iconic Museum of Islamic Art, symbolises the cultural arms race among the Islamic Emirates strung out...

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