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Feb 4, 2013

Berlin film festival looks east, hot topics in frame

LONDON (Reuters) – The Berlin film festival looks east this year with six of 19 competition entries either made or based behind the old Iron Curtain, while two star-studded U.S. movies tackle big business – energy and pharmaceuticals.

Iran’s record on human rights will be in the frame during the two-week cinema showcase starting on February 7, while the Flintstones make way for “The Croods”, a prehistoric family at the centre of a new 3D animation from DreamWorks.

Feb 4, 2013

London play examines financial crisis using pile of cash

LONDON (Reuters) – One of the first things people see when they sit down to watch “Money the Game Show” at The Bush Theatre in London is a pile of 10,000 pound coins on the floor of the stage.

Standing by is a security guard to ensure the cash does not go missing over the ensuing 90 minutes during which two “hedge fund managers” guide the audience through the world of derivatives trading and the 2008 financial crisis.

Jan 29, 2013

Mantel’s history novel picks up another major award

LONDON (Reuters) – British novelist Hilary Mantel added to her groaning trophy cabinet on Tuesday, picking up the Costa Book Award 2012 for “Bring Up the Bodies,” her historical novel about the life and court of Henry VIII and his chief minister Thomas Cromwell.

The acclaimed bestseller has already won the Man Booker prize for fiction, making Mantel the first Briton and first woman to win that coveted award twice.

Jan 29, 2013

UK show puts Schwitters “rubbish” art back in frame

LONDON (Reuters) – Sheep bones, nails, pegs, a scrubbing brush, a metal toy – all, according to avant garde German artist Kurt Schwitters, are on a par with paint, and all appear in collages and sculptures in a London show dedicated to his time in Britain in the 1940s.

Schwitters remains a relatively obscure figure in his adopted country, where he fled Nazi Germany and remained until his death, aged 60, in 1948.

Jan 29, 2013

London theatre takings edge up despite 2012 Olympics

LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – London’s theatres earned 530
million pounds ($830 million) in 2012, a marginal rise on 2011,
and although the Olympic Games had a noticeable impact on the
West End during the summer it was not the “bloodbath” one
leading producer had predicted.

Figures released on Tuesday by the Society of London Theatre
(SOLT) showed 2012 gross ticket sales at 52 major theatres in
the capital rose 0.27 percent on the year before while
attendances, at 14 million, were up 0.56 percent.

Jan 22, 2013

Extended hours for major Edouard Manet show in London

LONDON (Reuters) – Bold claims have been made on behalf of 19th century French painter Edouard Manet – that he invented modern art, or was the man who bridged realism and impressionism.

A major exhibition of his work, dubbed a “blockbuster” by the media for its scale and some euphoric early reviews, opens at London’s Royal Academy on Saturday and seeks to underline Manet’s importance which few recognized during his lifetime.

Jan 21, 2013

“Death Wish” director Michael Winner dies aged 77

LONDON (Reuters) – Flamboyant British film director Michael Winner, best known for the “Death Wish” series of the 1970s and 80s, died at his London home on Monday. He was 77.

In a statement released to the media, his wife Geraldine said: “A light has gone out in my life.”

Jan 17, 2013

Art not only for “1 percent”, says Christie’s chief

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – When the public sits up and
notices the art market, it is usually when an anonymous buyer
pays a mind-boggling sum to acquire a prized painting or

In 2012, Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” fetched a record $120
million, a Mark Rothko abstract soared to $87 million and a
Renaissance drawing by Raphael sold for $48 million – all in a
year when making ends meet was most people’s priority.

Jan 14, 2013

Art auctioneers eye another bonanza in early 2013

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s two biggest auction houses are predicting a bumper start to 2013, with estimates from key sales in London this February up sharply from last year.

Confident that super-rich collectors and wealthy art institutions will continue their hunt for the very rarest works of art, both Christie’s and Sotheby’s are looking to improve on already spectacular gains in recent years.

Jan 11, 2013

Smile or grimace? Royal Kate portrait splits opinion

LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – The first official portrait of
Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge, popularly known by her former
name Kate Middleton, was unveiled in London on Friday, and
opinion was sharply divided over an image many deemed

The 31-year-old, who as a glamorous future queen is one of
the world’s most photographed women, is portrayed in the large
canvas with a faint smile, long, copper-tinted hair and shadow
under her eyes.

    • About Mike

      "I commission, edit and write major breaking news and initiative stories from across Asia, concentrating on Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. My previous postings include Moscow, Central Asia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. I have covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, arts and entertainment, turmoil in Egypt, the Crimea referendum and major sporting events around the world."
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