Egypt Independent: Culture-Main news en New novel on France's first Muslim government stirs outcry <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>His new book has not even been released but Michel Houellebecq -- one of France&#39;s most provocative and widely translated writers -- is already attracting comment with his latest novel &quot;Submission&quot; in which he imagines a France in 2022 under Muslim rule.</p><p>To be published on January 7, &quot;Soumission&quot; is the sixth novel by the author of &quot;The Map and the Territory&quot;, which won France&#39;s top literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, in 2010.</p><p>Set amid political turmoil in 2022, the story begins with the far-right National Front (FN) about to take power from current president Francois Hollande.</p><p>But when a fictional Muslim Brotherhood party, supported by an alliance of three parties from the both the left and the right, beats FN leader Marine le Pen in a second round of voting, the way is cleared for the country&#39;s first Muslim government led by President Mohammed Ben Abbes.</p><p>France finds itself shattered, as does the book&#39;s narrator, the nihilistic Francois, a university professor with an unrestrained but joyless sex life.</p><p>Francois particularly enjoys walking around Paris&#39;s Chinatown in the southeast of the capital where he lives.</p><p>&quot;Nothing, not even a Muslim government, seems to be able to slow down their incessant activity,&quot; he says, watching the Chinese there.</p><p>Francois hesitates to convert to Islam in order to keep his post.</p><p>In the meantime, however, his university is renamed the Paris-Sorbonne Islamic University and the secretaries take to wearing veils.</p><p><strong>- &#39;A reactionary redneck&#39; -</strong></p><p>Always happy to be a polemicist, Houellebecq, 56, whose real name is Michel Thomas, in 2001 provoked outrage by stating in an interview that &quot;the most stupid religion is, let&#39;s face it, Islam&quot;.</p><p>With a first print run of 150,000 copies, his latest work has already stirred plenty of comment.</p><p>&quot;A little afraid that Michel Houellebecq has become a reactionary redneck in his next book,&quot; one Twitter user said.</p><p>&quot;The future of France that Houellebecq describes is a nightmare made of integration, fanaticism and intolerance,&quot; RAI, the Italian public television channel, said on its website.</p><p>French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin has said she is waiting to read the book.</p><p>&quot;Houellebecq has always been provocative,&quot; she told French Radio, adding however that it was important to keep in mind that &quot;there is a second level to him&quot;.</p><p>A bestselling author whose books have been widely translated, Houellebecq nonetheless has plenty of detractors.</p><p>Some accuse him of a lack of style, a charge he has defended himself against by stating that &quot;there is a confusion between style and verbal hysteria&quot;.</p><p>An agricultural engineer by training, he published poems before his current life as a writer began in 1994 with his first novel &quot;Extension du domaine de la lutte&quot; which very quickly established himself as a cult novelist.</p><p>His next novel &quot;Les Particules Elementaires&quot; (1998) was followed by &quot;Plateforme&quot; (2001) about sex tourism, and &quot;La Possibilite d&#39;une ile&quot; (2005), about the Raelian movement which believes life on earth was created by extraterrestrial.</p><p>Then in 2010, he won the Goncourt, an ambition he had cherished for a decade.</p> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 05:55:00 +0000 AFP 2441495 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/12/18/499612/myriam_chaplain_riou.jpg ‘Boyhood’ movie accurately portrays how life changes <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>How many times have you reminisced about your boyhood and found yourself smiling when you remembered the day you cried when the ice cream slipped from your hand to your T-shirt at your grandfather&#39;s house, or when you were left with a black eye from fighting with a schoolmate who snatched the ball from you?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Involuntarily, you may utter: &ldquo;Those were the days.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I often wished I had video recordings of my childhood to know what used to be and what has changed with time. I only have pictures of birthdays, weddings and Christmas parties that I feel no affinity with.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Perhaps that is why I liked the movie &ldquo;Boyhood&rdquo; that was written and directed by the American filmmaker Richard Linklater. It is a piece of art that took 12 years to film. From the summer of 2002 until the fall of 2013, Linklater filmed Mason, the hero child played by Ellar Coltrane, from his boyhood to the day he went to university.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Coltrane was chosen from among many children for his innocent look on his face and deep look in his eyes. It was a good choice, for no other boy would have been more suitable for this role.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Linklater began shooting the film starting when Coltrane was six years old until he turned 18. It depicts Mason&rsquo;s boyhood, adolescence and early youth. His older sister, Samantha, was played by Lorelei Linklater, the director&rsquo;s daughter. She often asked her father to end her role because she was bored with it, but he refused. She might have been right, for actors may no longer &ldquo;feel&rdquo; the role if it takes too many diversions. But her father dealt well with this challenge, for the viewer does not feel for one moment that any of the actors lost the essence or the evolution of the characters.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>You see in the film the detailed real lives of members of a family as they grow up year after year. You see Mason turning into an artist that paints pictures with his camera. It was this talent and not the academic excellence, which his sister had, that got him a scholarship at university.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mason&rsquo;s memories of his family members is what tells about their characters, for we only see them in his memories. Through him, you get to know his strong mother, a university professor played by Patricia Arquette, and how she affected his life when she married men who treated him badly, pushing him to live in his own world of silence. He was more intimate with his father, played by Ethan Hawke, who loved music and whom he only saw from time to time.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The film won the Berlin Festival Silver Bear Award for best director, and is expected to win an Oscar. It is worth seeing more than once, though it is two hours and 45 minutes long.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:27:00 +0000 May Azzam 2441488 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/12/17/484151/boyhood-full.jpg Egyptian Museum to organize sound and light show Thursday <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><span style="font-size: 14px;">The Egyptian Museum, home to the world&rsquo;s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities, will begin Thursday evening its first sound and light show.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said that the show will rely on lights focused on artifacts for the audio commentary.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egypt has been running sound and light shows at many of its landmark archaeological areas since 1960, when the first show was carried out under late president Gamal Abdel Nasser.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from DPA</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:18:00 +0000 DPA 2441449 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/05/08/484151/image.jpg Director Nader Galal dies, leaving a legacy of more than 50 movies <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><span style="font-size: 14px;">Director Nader Galal died Tuesday at 73, leaving behind a legacy of outstanding cinema and TV works, according to Head of the Cinematic Syndicate Mossad Fouda.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Born in January 1941, Galal started his cinematic career in 1965. He produced more than 50 films, most notably &ldquo;Batal men Waraq&rdquo; (A Hero of Paper) and&nbsp;&ldquo;El-Irhaby&rdquo; (The Terrorist).</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>His last work was TV series &ldquo;Al-Aqrab&rdquo;&nbsp;(Scorpion) in 2013, starred by Syrian actor Monther Rayahna.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:29:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2441411 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/12/16/94/director_nader_galal.jpg