In historic first, ‘Parasite’ sweeps Academy Awards with Best Picture win

In a historic first, South Korea’s ‘Parasite’ has won the Oscar for Best Picture. (AFP)
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Updated 10 February 2020

In historic first, ‘Parasite’ sweeps Academy Awards with Best Picture win

DUBAI: In a historic first, South Korea’s ‘Parasite’ has won the Oscar for Best Picture, marking the first time a non-English language film has taken home the top prize at the Academy Awards. 

Earlier in the evening, British Oscar-winner Olivia Colman took to the stage to announce that Joaquin Pheonix won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards for his role in "Joker" while Renée Zellweger won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the for her portrayal of singing icon Judy Garland.

Meanwhile,  Brad Pitt and Laura Dern won their first acting Oscars on Sunday, and “Parasite” also nabbed the Best International Feature Film award and its director Bong Joon Ho won the Oscar for Best Directing.




“Parasite” nabbed the Best International Feature Film award.

Dern took home the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as a ruthless divorce lawyer in “Marriage Story,” and dedicated it to her celebrity parents Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern.

“This is the best birthday present ever,” said Dern, who will turn 53 on Monday.

Pitt was named best supporting actor for playing a charming stunt double in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” after having collected an armful of trophies earlier this year for the role. It was his first acting Oscar.

“I’m a bit gobsmacked to tell you the truth,” said Pitt, who recalled his early days starting out as an unknown actor.




Brad Pitt won his first acting Oscar on Sunday. (AFP)

“‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ - ain’t that the truth?,” he said, dedicating the Academy Award to his six children with former wife Angelina Jolie.

“Parasite” got off to strong start by winning the original screenplay Oscar.

The social satire about the wealth gap in South Korea also nabbed Best International Feature Film award and won its director the Best Director.  

“American Factory,” about the decline of jobs in the industrial Midwest from former U.S. President Barack and first lady Michelle Obama’s new production company, won for best documentary.

Nazi satire “Jojo Rabbit” brought a best adapted screenplay Oscar for director, star and writer Taika Waititi.




Former hosts Steve Martin and Chris Rock delivered a string of barbed jokes about the lack of female directors and people of color among this year’s nominees. (AFP)

Despite again having no formal host, the Oscars ceremony started with a surprise appearance by former hosts Steve Martin and Chris Rock, who delivered a string of barbed jokes about the lack of female directors and people of color among this year’s nominees.

“I thought there was something missing this year,” said Martin.

“Vaginas?” quipped Rock, to loud applause.

Rock pointed out Cynthia Erivo, who played slavery-era freedom fighter Harriet Tubman in “Harriet” and who was the only actor of color nominated this year.




US rapper Eminem performed onstage during the 92nd Oscars. (AFP)

“Cynthia did such a great job hiding black people that the academy got her to hide all the black nominees,” said Rock.

In another surprise, rapper Eminem took the Oscars stage to perform “Lose Yourself,” his 2003 Oscar-winning song from the movie “8 Mile.”

The nominees and winners are chosen by the 8,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


From the UAE to Jordan, viral songs keep thousands entertained during self-isolation

Emirati social media star Rashid Al-Nuaimi has become a viral sensation. (Instagram/@r__a__n)
Updated 30 March 2020

From the UAE to Jordan, viral songs keep thousands entertained during self-isolation

DUBAI: From singing opera on their balconies to performing online concerts, musicians all around the globe are finding different ways to keep themselves — and others — entertained while self-isolating at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Some are doing their part by rewriting the lyrics to their favorite songs into COVID-19 parodies, while others are creating clever new compositions to bring a little levity to these unprecedented times.

Emirati social media star Rashid Al-Nuaimi has become a viral sensation after taking to his Instagram on Sunday to upload a coronavirus-themed song about being bored in quarantine.

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What a moment to be alive. So many emotions take place at the same exact time. It’s important however to remind ourselves that we are all in this together. The world comes together for once in a common cause, and I personally will aim to not let this tragic scenario send me into a pit of fear, but use it to dig for every ounce of love. Love is expressed is many ways, and right now it’s expressed by staying at home. We will come out of the other side of this changed humans! Changed for the better. So let’s start being better now and stay home. My heart is filled with gratitude for every effort and risk the people are taking to protect the whole! Thank you to food delivery drivers, thank you to nurses and hospital workers, thank you to government officials who are working day and night to keep us safe. Thank you thank you thank you! #خلك_في_البيت Piano credit / Sing2piano

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“Has it been a month/No it’s only been a day,” croons the singer, who is surrounded by a pile of books and a cup of tea while wearing yellow sweatpants paired with a hoodie. “I read through a pile of self-help books/ The Uber Eats on the way,” continue the ultra-relatable lyrics.

“Bored in quarantine/I’ll sit with the parts of myself that I have never seen/I’ll be bored in quarantine/I know for a fact, it’ll all be over one day/So I’ll stay in today,” the young jazz singer belts out.

As of this week, the musical clip has garnered nearly 30,000 views and over 200 comments. “Love this. Embracing individual boredom for the greater good,” wrote one user. “Thank you for making this,” quipped another user.

Meanwhile, Jordanian choir The Mosaica Singers came together online to record the song “Khalik bil Bait,” which translates to “stay at home.” 

Legendary singer Neil Diamond remixed his own song, “Sweet Caroline” with some new lyrics, while former “The Voice” contestant Chris Mann released a brilliant coronavirus parody based on Adele’s “Hello,” wittingly titled “Hello (From Inside).”

During troubled times, people often turn to music for comfort, a distraction or to calm the nerves. The coronavirus crisis has produced several moments of musical communion across the globe, including in Italy, where countless online videos have captured scenes of Italians under lockdown playing instruments and singing from apartment windows and balconies. Last week, actress Gal Gadot posted her own Instagram video — a montage of celebrities taking turns to croon John Lennon’s “Imagine” into their cellphone cameras.