x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Today's entertainment news: Qatar buys Cézanne, breaks records

Plus: Princess Diana biopic in the works; Demi Moore checks into rehab and North Korean accordion players storm YouTube.

The ruling royal family of Qatar has bought Paul Cézanne’s painting The Card Players, paying the highest price ever for a work of art. Stan Honda / AFP
The ruling royal family of Qatar has bought Paul Cézanne’s painting The Card Players, paying the highest price ever for a work of art. Stan Honda / AFP

The ruling royal family of Qatar has purchased Paul Cézanne's beloved painting The Card Players for US$253m (Dh930m), the highest price ever paid for a work of art.

The sale trumped the previous record set by Jackson Pollock's No 5 painting, bought for $140m in 2006.

Cézanne, hailed as the father of modern art, painted the post-Impressionist masterpiece in the early-to-mid 1890s.

The Greek shipping magnate George Embiricos had long been the painting's owner, until he sold it last April to an anonymous buyer.

The work is likely to be put on show at the Qatar National Museum, alongside the works of Damien Hirst, Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol, which Qatar's royal family also bought recently.

Princess Diana biopic in the works

The life of the late Princess Diana is being made into a film based on her bodyguard's memoirs, reported the Daily Mirror on Sunday.

The Bafta-winning British film producer Stephen Evans has confirmed he is looking for a Hollywood actress to play the iconic royal.

The plot will chronicle the years leading up to her 1996 divorce from Prince Charles. It will reportedly not cover her relationship with Dodi Fayed or her death.

The film, told from the point of view of Ken Wharfe from his 2007 book Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, is planned for a 2013 release.

Already two actresses are being linked to the role: Charlize Theron and Carey Mulligan. Ewan McGregor is rumoured to play the bodyguard.

Two other Princess Diana biopics have been previously reported to be in pre-production: Diana, starring Keira Knightley, as well as Caught in Flight, starring Jessica Chastain, about Diana's affair with the heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.

Demi Moore checks into rehab

A source confirmed to Us Weekly on Sunday night that Demi Moore has entered rehab. The actress suffered a seizure after smoking an "incense-like substance" on January 23.

E! News reported that Moore is being treated at the Cirque Lodge in Sundance, Utah, for an eating disorder and addiction issues. It is the same facility that housed Lindsay Lohan and Mary-Kate Olsen for their addictions.

"Demi's life is in complete crisis. She has spiralled since her split from Ashton," a source told Us Weekly. "She is turning 50 in November and has no idea who she is or what her life should be."


North Korean accordion players storm YouTube

A group of North Korean accordion players are proving to be an unlikely hit on YouTube, attracting nearly 370,000 viewings in five days with their spirited version of a 1980s pop song.

Five students of Pyongyang's Kum Song School of Music are seen performing the mid-1980s hit Take On Me by the Norwegian group a-ha, a rare performance of western music in the reclusive communist state.

The video was filmed by the visiting Norwegian artist Morten Traavik, who posted the clip on the video-sharing website on February 1.

* Agence France-Presse

The Artist confuses UAE moviegoers

The Artist is in black and white and has no dialogue. Unfortunately, it seems that while this clever tribute to Hollywood's Golden Age might be the most talked about film of the past few months, picking up numerous awards and seemingly heading for Oscar domination, not everybody in the UAE has been reading the reviews.

"You do know this film is in black and white and is silent, don't you?" was a question many faced when buying tickets in the select Dubai theatres that the film opened in last week. Apparently, some viewers had complained, not having realised the film was of a monochrome and sound-free nature - the very thing critics have said makes the film.

"It's a special movie; it's not for the majority," admits Roy Chacra of Shooting Stars UAE, the distributor for The Artist across the region.

He says the UAE's moviegoing public is generally very "popcorn driven", which is why The Artist was given only a limited launch in the country. "We released it in Dubai where most of the expats are and later on we'll see the results and decide what to do," he says, adding that it will eventually come to Abu Dhabi.

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