Egypt Independent: Culture-Main news en After actor's death, 'Furious 7' director drives film to finish <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" /><p>When his lead actor died suddenly, James Wan knew there was not another director who could give him advice on how to finish the film.&nbsp;</p><p>Wan was in the midst of the punishing production of &quot;Furious 7&quot; - his first big-budget movie in Universal Pictures&#39; most lucrative and longest-running franchise &quot;Fast &amp; Furious&quot; - when Paul Walker was killed in a car crash in Southern California during a break in November 2013.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;We were just emotionally stricken by it all and it took me a long time after the initial shock even to think about whether or not I could complete the film,&quot; Wan told Reuters ahead of the release of &quot;Furious 7&quot; next week.</p><p>How the 38-year-old director and his cast and crew handled Walker&#39;s demise promises to be one of the most talked about features in one of the year&#39;s biggest films. The $190 million movie opens in U.S. theaters April 3 and is expected to break April box office records with a $115 million debut weekend.</p><p>After a halt in production, the crew began sifting through thousands of hours of shots of the 40-year-old Walker, not only from &quot;Furious 7,&quot; but also previous films in the car-studded saga.</p><p>&quot;There were many sleepless nights poring over hours of footage trying to cull, not just for visuals, but also audio stuff Paul had done,&quot; Wan said.&nbsp;</p><p>In addition to technological sleight of hand, they brought in Walker&#39;s two younger brothers as stand-ins.</p><p>&quot;I think the biggest compliment I have taken away from all the screenings so far is that people say the movie plays pretty seamlessly,&quot; the Australian director said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&#39;RETIRE HIM GRACEFULLY&#39;</p><p>Critics agree and encourage audiences to forego trying to figure out the tricks. Variety film critic Scott Foundas said &quot;for most of the time Walker is on screen (which is quite often), it&#39;s nigh impossible to tell whether he is fully real or partly virtual.&quot;</p><p>Walker reprised his role as former cop Brian O&#39;Conner who joins an eclectic band of street racers led by Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel, in a globe-trotting battle against evil.</p><p>Wan knew right away he would not let Walker&#39;s character die.</p><p>&quot;Luckily everyone felt the same way,&quot; Wan said. &quot;The only thing to do here is to retire him gracefully and send him off in the most honorable way we could think of.&quot;</p><p>Once they figured out the story, they went back to reshoot parts. The film&#39;s July 2014 release was delayed nine months.</p><p>&quot;It was a giant puzzle that was very hard to wrap your head around,&quot; Wan said. &quot;No one has faced anything as unprecedented as this. I couldn&#39;t just pick up the phone and say &#39;What did you do when this happened to you?&#39;&quot;</p><p>As to whether there will be another film in Universal&#39;s franchise with him directing, Wan gives nothing away.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;This one definitely beat the crap out of taking a break would probably be the right thing to do right now,&quot; he said.</p> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:20:00 +0000 Reuters 2447069 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/03/30/43/paul_walker.jpg Party like it's 3000 BC: Egyptian beer vessels unearthed in Tel Aviv <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Fragments of ancient beer-brewing basins unearthed in Tel Aviv indicate that Egyptians more than 5,000 years ago had settled farther north than previously known and were imbibing in what is now Israel&#39;s most hard-partying city.</p><p>Israel&#39;s Antiquities Authority said on Sunday the ceramic vessels, crafted in an Egyptian method that differed from local pottery-making at the time, would have held a thick, partially baked barley and water mixture left to ferment in the sun.</p><p>The shards were found under an office construction site in downtown Tel Aviv in 17 pits used to store agricultural produce in the Early Bronze Age (3500-3000 BC), the Antiquities Authority said in a statement.</p><p>The discovery suggested that Egyptians settled further north during that era than once believed. Archaeologists in&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow">Israel</a>&nbsp;have found evidence of Egyptian communities to the south, in the Negev and along its Mediterranean coast.</p><div>&nbsp;</div><p style="margin-bottom: 20px; font-size: 1.6em; line-height: 1.6em; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; padding: 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">&nbsp;</p> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 11:25:00 +0000 Reuters 2447054 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/03/30/43/r.jpg Taylor Swift wins artist of the year at iHeartRadio Awards <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The iHeartRadio Music Awards should be called the iHeartTaylorSwift Awards.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The pop singer cleaned house at the show Sunday, winning artist of the year and song of the year for &quot;Shake It Off,&quot; and even assisted Madonna by strumming her guitar onstage while the pop icon sang a new song.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;More than anything in the world, I just hope that any of the fans watching know how much I adore you ... we&#39;ve gotten closer and closer with each year, not further apart,&quot; a glossy-eyed Swift said at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. &quot;Like, you make me so happy.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The pop star also won best lyrics for her other hit song, &quot;Blank Space.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Madonna, whose recent awards show performances were energetic and upbeat, toned it down when singing &quot;Rebel Heart&quot; while Swift played guitar next to her.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;My favorite guitar player, yeah!&quot; Madonna said as she presented Swift with song of the year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The second annual iHeartRadio Music Awards also featured Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown and Iggy Azalea. Guests sat at traditional tables - in the vein of the Golden Globes - instead of typical awards show seats. Chris Brown sat with Ludacris, while Swift&#39;s table included Snoop Dogg, Ryan Seacrest and Timberlake.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The former boy band member, who earned the iHeartRadio Innovator Award for his accomplishments as an entertainer, told the audience that he was called &quot;weird&quot; as a teenager, and offered encouraging words to teens experiencing teasing and bullying.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Growing up in school, no one ever called me anything close to an innovator, they called me different, they called me weird, they called me a couple of other words I can&#39;t say on TV,&quot; Timberlake said. &quot;So thankfully my mother taught me that being different was a good thing, that being different meant you could actually make a difference, so tonight I want to thank my mom.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Timberlake, whose wife Jessica Biel is pregnant with their first child, also thanked the actress, who didn&#39;t attend the awards show which aired on NBC.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Finally, I want to thank my best friend, my favorite collaborator, my wife Jessica,&quot; he said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Rihanna performed her new single, &quot;B---- Better Have My Money,&quot; for the first time. The b-word wasn&#39;t bleeped throughout the performance, where Rihanna sported a bright green mink with matching knee high boots and sunglasses.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Azalea and Jennifer Hudson kicked off the show with a jail-themed performance: Azalea was dressed as an inmate and Hudson as a police officer as they performed &quot;Trouble&quot; with a set design that included bathroom stalls and a jail cell with laser light bars.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Nick Jonas followed the theme with his arms and neck tied in thick chains, while he sang his latest hit, &quot;Chains,&quot; as dancers wearing black and white stripes danced around him.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Jamie Foxx hosted the fan-voted show and performed a new song with Brown. Foxx also told jokes about celebrities, including Bruce Jenner, Suge Knight and Marvin Gaye.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Marvin Gaye had an incredible year. Marvin Gaye had the No. 1 song featuring Pharrell and Robin Thicke,&quot; he said. &quot;He&#39;s making beats in heaven. He might be dead, but he ain&#39;t dead broke.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Meghan Trainor, Florida Georgia Line, Snoop Dogg, Jason Derulo and Kelly Clarkson also performed during the three-hour event.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Jason Aldean, who also hit the stage, won country song of the year for &quot;Burnin&#39; It Down.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I want to thank my new wife Brittany over there,&quot; said Aldean, who got married last week.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J won best collaboration for &quot;Bang Bang,&quot; Hozier&#39;s &quot;Take Me to Church&quot; won alternative rock song of the year and Calvin Harris&#39; &quot;Summer&quot; won dance song of the year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Jeremih and YG won hip-hop/R&amp;B song of the year for &quot;Don&#39;t Tell `Em,&quot; beating out Beyonce and Jay Z&#39;s &quot;Drunk In Love.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Since I didn&#39;t get my Grammy nomination for best rap album ... I&#39;ll roll with this,&quot; rapper YG said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Azalea and Smith - who won best new artist and accepted in a video message - were the top nominees with five apiece. They - along with Grande and Luke Bryan - lost artist of the year to Swift.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The awards show also featured numerous video packages with musicians talking about their careers, from Minaj to Imagine Dragons.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 11:18:00 +0000 AP 2447048 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/13/43/taylor_swift_.jpg Grand Museum Chief: King Tutankhamun’s throne chair not broken <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Grand Egyptian Museum Director Tareq Sayyed denied news about a fracture in King Tutankhamun&rsquo;s throne chair, saying that the items belonging to Tutankhamun&#39;s exhibit, which includes 1,700 pieces, will be transferred to the new museum by the end of December 2017, a few months before it opens.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A photo that was published and purported to be Tutankhamun&#39;s throne, which resulted in rumors about the chair, was in fact a small table that was discovered in the Dahshur area in Egypt. It does not belong to any of the royal belongings and is being restored.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In an interview with <em>Al-Masry Al-Youm</em>, Sayyed indicated that though some pieces of the table were broken during the process of restoration, thanks to the specialized restoration centers of the museum, they were quickly repaired.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The museum will open in May 2018, according to Sayyed, as long as the original plan is carried out and suitable funding is provided. Approximately 70 percent of the concrete work has been completed, which is 27 percent of the whole construction.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>To date, nearly 17,500 artifacts have been transferred to the new museum, which is historic, Sayyed added. No archaeological losses occurred during the transfer of the relics and more than 10,000 pieces have been restored. A total of 50,000 relics will have been transferred to the museum by the time the museum is inaugurated.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 10:39:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2447031 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/01/27/1755/tutankhamun.jpg