17th Sep – 23rd Sep 2012

What's On This Week...

What's On

17th Sep 2012

ice

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This week marks one of the most exciting in London’s Middle Eastern cultural calendar with Friday marking the start of Safar: A Journey Through Popular Arab Cinema. With so many wonderful films to be shown, it’s an event not to be missed. Of course though, there’s still plenty of other highlights this week if film isn’t your thing. As always, get in touch if you feel we’ve missed something!

 

Monday 17th September

The Changing Room - Various Locations around Central London

The Changing Room project is into its last fortnight, presenting an alternative vision of the changes that have occurred in and around the Arab region today. Realised in Italy (2011), The Changing Room formulates a contemporary compendium of histories, addressed and documented by groundbreaking artists who either live in exile, emigration, or continue to have a physical presence in their region or nation.

Set in an underground gallery, a magic shop and an office hub in central London, one of the project’s central visual statements is to bring Palestine’s Jerusalem into the heart of London.

For more information, check here

 

Tuesday 18th September

The Horse: From Arabia to Royal Ascot - British Museum, London

With not long to go until it finishes, this free exhibition will allow you to discover the epic story of the horse – a journey of 5,000 years that has revolutionised human history. The story focuses on two breeds – Arabians, which were prized in the desert for their spirit and stamina, and the Thoroughbred which was selectively bred from Arabians for speed and is now raced at world-famous courses such as Royal Ascot.

Objects range from ancient to modern and include depictions of horses in stone reliefs, gold and clay models, horse tack, paintings by George Stubbs, and trophies and rosettes. So, make sure you head down while you still have the chance.

For details, click here

 

Thursday 20th September

99 Words for Peace - The Mosaic Rooms, London

Join renowned broadcaster Fergal Keane, Turkey’s most widely read novelist Elif Shafakhuman rights activist Helen Bamber and performance poet Inua Ellams on the eve of Peace Day to reflect on the question: “If you had breath for no more than 99 words, what would they be?”

Hear their answers and more from among the 99 who responded to film-maker Liz Gray’s request – and bring your own. Now collected in the popular book 99 words (published by Darton, Longman and Todd), 99 pence from the sale of each copy goes to lifesaving, peacebuilding charity Peace Direct.

This evening of celebration is hosted by Scilla Elworthy. With contributions from Stéphane Cornicard and Joan Walker.

For information, see here

 

Jewish West End Walking TourSoho and Fitzrovia, London

Join The London Jewish Cultural Centre on a conducted walking tour of the Jewish West End districts of Soho and Fitzrovia to discover the enthralling hidden history of a former 30,000 strong Jewish community.

Run by Stephen Burstin, he has been conducting guided tours for 25 years and specialises in the fascinating history and rich heritage of London’s Jewish community. For two and a half hours he will provide an informative and entertaining tour, sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for Jewish London.

For more information, see here

 

Friday 21st September

Crime of HonourThe Mosaic Rooms, London

Join The Mosaic Rooms for a dramatised reading from Crime of Honour, a play written by the great Lebanese writer, poet and artist Etel Adnan.

With the actors including Eve Polycarpou, Lisa Caruccio Came and Darwin Shaw, the reading will be directed by Caitlin McLeod, the current Trainee Director at the Royal Court Theatre.

For more information, see here

 

Safar Film Festival: The Friday Forum – ICA, The Mall, London

The film festival kicks off with a discussion forum with internationally renowned experts, industry figures and academics.

The Friday Forum takes popular histories of Arab Cinema as a starting point, and will bring together internationally renowned experts and leaders from both the academic world and the film industry to debate the past, present and the future of Arab Cinema as a cultural form.

For details, click here

 

Bosta - ICA, The Mall, London

The first post-war musical made in Lebanon, this comic tale tells the story of a group of renegade dancers who seek to modernise the traditional Lebanese dance (dabke). When challenged by the conservative regime, the troupe sets out on its bosta (Arabic for ‘bus’), and takes its style of dance to the nation. A box office record breaker at the time of its release, Philippe Aractingi’s road-musical also stars Nadine Labaki (star and director of Where Do We Go Now? and Caramel) in one of her first iconic roles.

For information, see here

 

Saturday 22nd September

Watch Out for Zouzou - ICA, The Mall, London

Watch Out for Zouzou is the legendary Soad Hosni’s (widely recognized as the Marilyn Monroe of Arabic cinema) most famous film. Zouzou is a student who has paid her way through college by bellydancing in her mother’s troupe. She has kept this fact a secret, but has decided to give up dancing because she has fallen in love with her college professor. The professor breaks off his own engagement, although not before his fiancée discovers that Zouzou has been keeping her dancing a secret. Soad Hosni came back into public consciousness recently with visual artist Rania Stephan’s epic homage The Three Disappearances of Soad.

For details, check here

 

Stray BulletICA, The Mall, London

This politically charged family melodrama is set in a northern suburb of Beirut at the end of summer 1976, just as Lebanon’s long civil war is about to erupt. It follows bride-to-be Noha (played by Lebanese screen icon and star and director of Where Do We Go Now? and Caramel, Nadine Labaki) in the run up to her wedding. Her family is relieved she is set to be a married woman and revel in arranging the last minute touches for the big day. To escape the pre-wedding frenzy, Noha sneaks off to the woods with her lover and discovers something devastating that changes her mind completely and forces her to take control of her own life. This sumptuously filmed melodrama won the Muhr Arab Award for Best Film at the 2010 Dubai International Film Festival.

For information, see here

 

Sunday 23rd September

The Beginning and the EndICA, The Mall, London

Omar Sharif’s final film before ascending to Hollywood stardom with Lawrence of Arabia is an adaptation from a novel by Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz. The Beginning and the End was the first film adapted from Mahfouz’s opus; his novels would later usher in some of the most significant films in Arab cinema’s history. Directed by Salah Abouseif – one of Egypt’s significant realist filmmakers – the film charts the life of a modest Egyptian family after their patriarch’s death. Stricken by poverty, the family’s lives unfold into dramatically different paths. In the end, the tension between pride, shame, and blind ambition seems to lead only to tragedy. Boasting one of the most notorious endings in Arab film history, this 35mm of The Beginning & The End is not to be missed.

See here for details

 

Alexandria, Why? - ICA, The Mall, London

Alexandria, Why? marked a radically introspective turn in filmmaker Youssef Chahine’s active career, as well as in Arab world filmmaking in general, marking a striking departure from his 1950s musicals, melodramas and his later epic and political films. The first of Chahine’s semi-autobiographical trilogy (entitled Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), Alexandria, Why? focuses on a precocious adolescent whose dreams and colourful attempts to become an actor unfold against the vivid backdrop of Alexandria during World War II. A marvelous cast, including Ahmed Zaki and Farid Shawqi take part in an array of dramatic subplots that capture both the uproarious and emotional aspects of wartime existence. The autobiographical nature and nostalgic flavor of Alexandria, Why? make it one of Chahine’s most audience-friendly works, and a charming and entertaining film that is a homage to the Hollywood musical genre, and which delivers an impassioned message against conflict.

Check here for information

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