Egypt Independent: Arts-Main news http://www.egyptindependent.com//enhome_channel/Culture/rss.xml en Last chance to see: 25 magnificent structures on the verge of extinction http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2453496 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/07/02/484151/150316162955-459654152-super-169.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><div>Go see them now, before it&#39;s too late: threatened by neglect, the elements, changing architectural trends or ruthless developers, these outstanding buildings are all fighting a hard battle for survival.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Old City of Jerusalem</strong></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Old City of Jerusalem (pictured above) has held a spot since 1982. A holy city for three different religions, it attracts millions of tourists with over 200 monuments, including the majestic Dome of the Rock. But political tension has hardened relations between Israel and UNESCO, preventing any preservation plans from moving forward.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Petra</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150317143908-petra-ruins-jordan-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>Also called &quot;Rose City&quot; due to the color of its stone, the ancient city of Petra is Jordan&#39;s main tourist attraction, and that&#39;s the problem: touching and rubbing hands, as well as wind and rain erosion, are eating away at the surface of the Al Khazneh temple, which has receded by 1.5 inches in the last century. Camels and donkeys are also contributing to the erosion of the walkpaths and the excess humidity may threaten the structural stability of the dry sandstone.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Teufelsberg NSA Station, Berlin</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150317113701-teufelsberg-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>During the Cold War, this was a <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/25/travel/berlin-spy-tour/"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>listening station</u></span></a>&nbsp;run by the US National Security Agency to eavesdrop on the Eastern Bloc. Today, abandoned and severely damaged, it serves as a decadent vantage point over the city and as a striking testament to Berlin&#39;s past, as it sits on a hill built out of war rubble (&quot;<span style="color:#0000ff;"><u><a href="http://www.wired.com/2011/10/teufelsberg/">Devil&#39;s Mountain</a></u></span>&quot;). But year to year, the degradation of the vandalized structures is becoming evident.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Royal Palace at Caserta, Italy</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150323095104-royal-palace-caserta-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>The world&#39;s largest palace by volume -- over 2 million cubic meters -- this 18th century&nbsp;<a href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/549"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>UNESCO Heritage site</u></span></a>&nbsp;was commissioned by Bourbon King Charles III to rival France&#39;s Versailles. It has appeared in Star Wars and Mission Impossible films. But the structure has faced chronic neglect: a roof section&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ansa.it/english/news/lifestyle/arts/2014/05/08/hole-opens-in-caserta-palace-roof_bb4a81c3-fd01-4db9-85f1-f171c456ece7.html"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>collapsed in 2014</u></span></a>.</div><div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Victorian gas holders, UK</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150323095532-gas-holders-london-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div><div>They&#39;ve been out of use since the 1960s, but they are undeniably a picturesque element of British culture. The National Grid, the entity that controls the power network in the U.K., owns about 500 gas holders and has started <span style="color:#0000ff;"><u><a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30405066">dismantling them</a></u></span>&nbsp;to sell the land to housebuilders. A&nbsp;<a href="http://residents-first.co.uk/no-2-and-no-5-gasholders-at-the-bethnal/"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>petition has been launched</u></span></a> to save those in London&#39;s Bethnal Green (above), which date back to 1866.</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div><div><strong>Melnikov House, Moscow</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150316132419-melnikov-483359287-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>Designed by famed Russian avant-garde architect Konstantin Melnikov, this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.melnikovhouse.org/home.php"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>iconic cylindrical building</u></span></a>, finished in 1929, was long his private residence and stands in stark contrast with traditional Soviet architecture. Now inhabited by the designer&#39;s granddaughter, it&#39;s at risk of collapse due to excavation works for a nearby underground parking lot, which have already caused several cracks in the structure.</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div></div><div><strong>Yemrehanna Kristos, Ethiopia</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150319113155-yemrehanna-kristos-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This <span style="color:#0000ff;"><u><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Aksum">Aksumite style</a></u></span>&nbsp;church is located in a cave perched on a mountain ridge at the altitude of 2,700 meters, 42 kilometers from the nearest city. This has helped its preservation, but the construction of a new road leading to the site and a modern wall across the entrance -- plus recent evidence of structural failure -- have earned it a spot on the <a href="http://www.wmf.org/watch/about-watch"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>2014 Watch List</u></span></a> of the World Monuments Fund.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div><strong>Nakagin Tower, Tokyo</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150317095503-nakagin-tower-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A fine example of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolism_(architecture)"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>Metabolism</u></span></a>, an architectural movement that takes inspiration from biological growth, the Nakagin Tower consists of 140 independent capsules that function as living cells and can be individually removed. Completed in 1972 and now mostly uninhabited, it&#39;s been under threat of demolition for nearly a decade due to its prized real estate, and is now in desperate need of renovation.</div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div><strong>Union Terminal, Cincinnati</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/140620075252-endangered-historic-restricted-11-horizontal-large-gallery.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>Built in 1933, at the height of the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Deco"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>Art Deco</u></span></a>&nbsp;movement, this was a central hub for Cincinnati&#39;s railways until 1972. Then it became a shopping mall, before being converted to a museum in 1990. But it is in <a href="http://blog.preservationnation.org/2014/10/31/behind-scenes-tour-shows-critical-needs-cincinnatis-union-terminal/"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>dire needs</u></span></a> of a structural makeover, and it was included in the National Trust&#39;s 2014 list of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.preservationnation.org/issues/11-most-endangered/"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>America&#39;s most endangered historic places</u></span></a>. A campaign is <a href="http://www.cincymuseum.org/union-terminal/save-our-icons"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>ongoing</u></span></a> to gather funds for proposed renovations.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Djingareyber Mosque, Timbuktu</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150317135126-timbuktu-sankore-restricted-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>The oldest of the three great mosques of Timbuktu, the Djingareyber was attacked by Al-Qaeda-linked group <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/10/world/africa/mali-shrine-attack/"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>Ansar Dine in 2012</u></span></a>, shortly after its reappearance on UNESCO&#39;s list of <a href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/119"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>endangered sites</u></span></a>. Two tombs were destroyed, along with several other shrines in the area. This is not the only threat to the historical landmark, which is also facing problems derived from urbanization, climate change and desertification.</div></div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><div><strong>Old buildings of Beirut</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150317140645-beirut-old-building-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>As if decades of civil war and bombardments weren&#39;t enough, the remaining old buildings of Beirut are now under threat by property developers who are looking to create new luxury blocks on real estate currently occupied by traditional structures. Many have been hastily deemed unfit for living, pushing residents away: less than 350 heritage buildings now remain.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Preston Bus Station, Lancashire</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150427093803-last-chance-preston-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Opened in 1969, the massive Bus Station in the Northern England city of Preston is an iconic example of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brutalist_architecture"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>Brutalism</u></span></a>, a movement named after the materials, not the aesthetics -- it originates from the French&nbsp;<em>béton brut</em>, or &quot;raw concrete&quot;. Avoiding demolition in 2013, the building is now the subject of an international competition to turn it into a <a href="http://www.ribacompetitions.com/preston/"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>youth center</u></span></a>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150319154003-liverpool-waterfront-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A UNESCO <a href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1150"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>World Heritage Site</u></span></a>&nbsp;since 2004, the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City played a crucial role in the development of the British Empire and includes several listed buildings over a stretch of about 4 km. The proposed construction of an $8.7 billion development - complete with a 50-storey skyscraper - has granted the inclusion of the site in the <a href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/danger/"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>Heritage in Danger List</u></span></a>, as one of only two in Europe.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Berlin&#39;s gas lamps</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150318102534-berlin-gaslight-restricted-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>No other city in the world has as many gas lamps as Berlin: there are over 40,000, but there used to be twice as many. They&#39;re going fast, replaced by greener and more efficient electric fixtures: according to the <a href="http://www.wmf.org/project/gaslight-and-gas-lamps-berlin"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>World Monuments Fund</u></span></a>, they&#39;re disappearing at the rate of 1,000 a year. Heritage enthusiasts maintain that the lamps are symbolic of the city&#39;s urban landscape and must therefore be preserved.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Pompeii, Italy</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150317110151-pompeii-damaged-ruins-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This world-famous Roman site is slowly crumbling to pieces: rainstorms have become harbingers of destruction as water has never been drained properly and the soil is now highly unstable. With three distinct walls and an entire building coming down in just the last five years, Italy&#39;s UNESCO commissioner has <a href="http://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2014/03/03/Pompeii-risks-falling-apart-warns-UNESCO_10174834.html"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>recently declared</u></span></a> that &quot;Pompeii is destined to collapse entirely&quot;.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Potosí, Bolivia</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150316132457-potosi-451530530-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div>This colonial city, one of the highest in the world (4,090 meters), has recently been included on UNESCO&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/420"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>list of World Heritage in danger</u></span></a>&nbsp;due to five centuries of mining activity in the mountain that dominates the city, Cerro Rico. Rich in silver ore, the mountain has been left porous and unstable and is now at risk of collapse, with portions of the summit already starting to crumble.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Hasankeyf, Turkey</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150316172936-71653228-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>This ancient town along the Tigris river has a history that stretches back thousand of years, but that might come to and end in 2015 with the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Il%C4%B1su_Dam"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>completion of a dam</u></span></a>&nbsp;that will likely flood it, affecting about 50,000 people. Controversy around the project and loss of international funding have not deterred Turkey from continuing construction, with the promise that artifacts will be relocated and townsfolk compensated.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>House of Wonders, Zanzibar</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150318145946-house-fo-wonders-zanzibar-super-169_1.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>In 1883, when it was built, this was one of the most modern buildings in East Africa: the first to have electricity and an elevator. Situated in Stone Town, a UNESCO <a href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/173"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>World Heritage Site</u></span></a> since 2000, it is today a museum of Swahili culture, but <a href="http://www.wmf.org/project/house-wonders-and-palace-museum"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>work needs to be done</u></span></a> to preserve its structural integrity, after a corner of the structure collapsed in 2012.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div><strong>Battersea Power Station, London</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150316132403-battersea-453822524-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The area surrounding one of London&#39;s most iconic buildings is now a construction site for 1,300 apartments, a hotel and 350,000 square-feet of retail and restaurant space. The chimneys of the power station are currently being demolished and replaced. Even though the developers must respect the building&#39;s status as being of special architectural or historic interest, <a href="http://list.historicengland.org.uk/resultsingle.aspx?uid=1357620"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>Grade II*</u></span></a>, new high-rise blocks will soon obscure some of the most dramatic views of the station.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Machiya houses, Kyoto</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150316173601-81768789-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The oldest among these traditional townhouses date back to the 17th century, but they are disappearing rapidly to make space for modern buildings: their maintenance is difficult and construction of new ones has been prohibited since the end of World War II. After the World Monuments Fund put them on its <a href="http://www.wmf.org/project/machiya-townhouses"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>watch list</u></span></a>, a private company has started refurbishing some of them as <a href="http://www.kyoto-machiya-inn.com/"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>tourist accomodations</u></span></a>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Picasso murals, Oslo</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150316172911-175690097-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Picasso&#39;s first attempts at concrete murals adorn the walls of two government buildings in Oslo, Norway, called H-Block and Y-Block. Both were heavily damaged during the <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/07/22/norway.explosion/"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>Anders Breivik bombings</u></span></a>, in 2011, and given the high cost of repairs -- estimated to be $70 million -- a proposal has been made to demolish them and relocate the murals. But the <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23753192"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>public opinion is divided</u></span></a>, as the artwork was designed specifically for these buildings.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Robin Hood Gardens, London</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150318103310-robin-hood-gardens-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This &quot;streets in the sky&quot; housing estate in East London is yet another example of Britain&#39;s <span style="color:#0000ff;"><u><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brutalist_architecture">Brutalist architecture</a></u></span>&nbsp;in Britain. Demolition has already started at the site, with a <u><span style="color:#0000ff;"><a href="http://www.dezeen.com/2015/03/17/robin-hood-gardens-peter-alison-smithson-campaign-save-demolition-twentieth-century-society/">last-ditch bid</a></span></u>&nbsp;ongoing to stop it. Previous attempts to get the structure listed as a historical landmark have failed, notwithstanding the support from several famed architects, including <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaha_Hadid"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>Zaha Hadid</u></span></a>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Island of Mozambique</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150316173001-89670497-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A unique blend of Portuguese influence and local architecture has granted the inclusion of this fortified city on <span style="color:#0000ff;"><u><a href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/599">UNESCO&#39;s World Heritage list</a></u></span>&nbsp;in 1991. After destruction caused by a typhoon in 1994, it was also included in the World Monuments Fund&#39;s <a href="http://www.wmf.org/project/island-mozambique"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>watch list</u></span></a>, a warning confirmed last year due to new threats from an anticipated growth in tourism and the necessity for a sensible conservation plan.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Portland Public Services Building, Portland US</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150316173957-portland-building-flickr-no-reuse-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This 15-storey municipal office block was completed in 1982, but due to structural problems it already needs renovations to the tune of $175 million. An early example of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>post-Modernism</u></span></a>&nbsp;in a major city, it attracts diverging opinions, with many supporting its proposed demolition to make space for something new entirely. Yet, in 2011, <a href="http://portlandtribune.com/component/content/article?id=15793"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>it was included</u></span></a>, in the US National Register of Historic Places.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Little Green Street, Kentish Town, London</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/150317123537-little-green-street-super-169.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Immortalized by the Kinks in their 1966 video for the song &quot;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0WPC-N3UYE"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>Dead End Street</u></span></a>&quot;, this is one of London&#39;s few intact Georgian streets: it hasn&#39;t changed much since 1780. The dozen houses in the cobblestone thoroughfare are protected historical buildings, but the land behind them is <a href="http://www.littlegreenstreet.com/"><span style="color:#0000ff;"><u>sought after by developers</u></span></a> to build a new gated complex, which would turn the delicate, 2.5 meter-wide street into a truck route.</div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:35:00 +0000 CNN 2453496 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/07/02/484151/150316162955-459654152-super-169.jpg ‘Minions’ ready to monopolise family film outings http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2453497 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/06/12/43/screen_shot_2015-06-12_at_1.43.46_pm.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The mischievous yellow monsters from &quot;Despicable Me&quot; and its sequel get their own film and, thanks to clever timing, look ready to make the most of box office schedules too.</p><p>&quot;Minions&quot; isn&#39;t the franchise&#39;s first spin-off, but the biggest and the only one so far to warrant full feature length treatment.</p><p>It&#39;ll also be Pierre Coffin&#39;s third time in charge and sixth stint as the Minions&#39; voice artist, with the adventurous Kevin, Stuart and Bob sent to find a worthy villain to command their leaderless brethren.</p><p><span style="line-height: normal;">&nbsp;That quest sends the fortunate three off to New York, then Miami, before ending up in London as Scarlet Overkill (played by Sandra Bullock) looks to become queen of the Empire.</span></p><p>By the time &quot;Minions&quot; makes its July 10 homeland debut in the US &ndash; along with launches the same week in France, Hong Kong, Russia, India and beyond &ndash;&nbsp; &quot;Minions&quot; will have already debuted across much of Europe, Oceania and parts of Southeast Asia.</p><p>Positive reviews have followed those early releases, though &quot;Minions&quot; will have to avoid a clash with Disney animation &quot;Inside Out&quot;.</p><p>The colourful exploration of an 11-year-old&#39;s emotional ups and downs released June 19 and grossed US$123 million (RM465.12 million) in its first week, making it the second biggest animated feature of 2015 behind &quot;Home&quot; &ndash;&nbsp; and that was without having yet released in some major European and Southeast Asian territories.</p><p>But &quot;Minions&quot; is arguably the biggest new family animation for a long while, and in those terms reaching an &quot;Inside Out&quot; level of professional and audience accolade might not matter so much.</p><p>The well-reviewed &quot;Shaun the Sheep Movie&quot; is not making its US bow until August 7 &ndash; it saw action elsewhere during February, March and April &ndash; and then a new voiceover treatment for foosball adventure &quot;Underdogs&quot; comes around August 14.</p><p>All told, it&#39;s a fair stretch until &quot;Hotel Transylvania 2&quot; swoops in on September 25. As long as moviegoers aren&#39;t distracted by any remaining showings of &quot;Inside Out&quot;, there&#39;s plenty of opportunity for Kevin, Stuart and Bob to run riot.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 13:08:00 +0000 AFP 2453497 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/06/12/43/screen_shot_2015-06-12_at_1.43.46_pm.png ‘Old but not obsolete’ Schwarzenegger back again as Terminator http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2453494 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/06/24/43/screen_shot_2015-06-24_at_4.12.43_pm.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>&quot;I&#39;m old but I&#39;m not obsolete,&quot; Arnold Schwarzenegger says of his return as the fearsome cyborg from the future in his new movie &quot;Terminator Genisys&quot;, opening worldwide this week.</p><p>The line is taken from the movie, spoken by his robotic character, but applies equally well to the 67-year-old Austrian-born Hollywood actor and former governor of California.</p><p>Schwarzenegger told a June 19 Paris media conference promoting the movie that he was asked to reprise his most famous role a month after finishing his seven-year stint running California in January 2011.</p><p><span style="line-height: normal;">&quot;I was very, very excited to &#39;be back&#39;,&quot; he said, putting his accented emphasis on what is now his trademark phrase.</span></p><p>&quot;Terminator Genisys&quot; is the fifth movie in the series that launched in 1984 with Schwarzenegger playing a killer cyborg sent to slay Sarah Connor, the woman who would become mother to a future resistance leader fighting the machines.</p><p>Schwarzenegger (who wasn&#39;t in the last Terminator film that came out in 2009 because he was in governor mode) revisits the original 1984 timeframe thanks to some movie magic.</p><p>In one early scene, he fights a version of himself &ndash; with the special effects crew digitally painting his face over that of a bodybuilder hired to incarnate Schwarzenegger as he looked three decades ago.</p><p>&quot;When I saw the movie for the first time three weeks ago I was literally blown away, to see myself fighting me and to see exactly the way I looked in 1984,&quot; Schwarzenegger said.</p><p>&quot;I didn&#39;t actually know when I saw the fight who I should root for.&quot;</p><p>The movie reserves some surprises, not least by introducing British actress Emilia Clarke, of &quot;Game of Thrones&quot; fame, as a tough Sarah Connor &ndash; and propelling the story into near present-day.</p><p>Along the way, it savvily blends together characters and events from the earlier movies.</p><p>Australian actor Jai Courtney plays Sarah&#39;s would-be saviour, Kyle Reese, and &quot;Terminator Genisys&quot; is directed by Alan Taylor, who recently made the Marvel blockbuster &quot;Thor: The Dark World&quot;.</p><p>Curiousity to see Schwarzenegger return to his signature role should help drive box office returns for the movie, which opens in North America and France on Wednesday, and other places around the planet in following days.</p><p>However Rotten Tomatoes, a website that aggregates film reviews, gave &quot;Terminator Genisys&quot; a poor 33% rating, with several critics saying it&#39;s silly, with insufficient dramatic structure.</p><p>That sort of reception, if shared by audiences, would edge most ageing stars closer to the scrapheap of action-star obsolescence &ndash; except Schwarzenegger is convinced that he&#39;s still got what it takes and is determined to show it.</p><p>Next up, he&#39;s about to tackle another musclebound movie role that helped make his fame: that of Conan the Barbarian, which is to hit screens next year.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:20:00 +0000 AFP 2453494 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/06/24/43/screen_shot_2015-06-24_at_4.12.43_pm.png Rihanna becomes recording industry’s top digital singles artist http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2453482 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/05/05/43/yht.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Grammy-winning R&amp;B singer Rihanna is the first artist to surpass more than 100 million cumulative digital singles, the Recording Industry Association of America said on Wednesday.</p><p>Rihanna, 27, topped the list of artists with the most digital single awards, coming in ahead of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry in the second and third places respectively. The recording industry&#39;s digital single certifications count download sales and on-demand streams in the United States.</p><p>&quot;She has not only surpassed RIAA&#39;s one-hundred million mark, but also is the first artist to do so. It&#39;s an historic feat and a testament to an extraordinary career,&quot; Cary Sherman, the association&#39;s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.</p><p>&nbsp;Rihanna has won eight Grammy awards and has seven studio albums to her name. Her songs &quot;We Found Love&quot;, &quot;Stay&quot; and &quot;Only Girl (In The World)&quot; are among her top-selling singles.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 9.5px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px;">&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:30:00 +0000 Reuters 2453482 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/05/05/43/yht.jpg