Donald Sutherland, star of ‘M*A*S*H’ and ‘The Hunger Games’, dead at 88

Donald Sutherland and his wife Francine Racette attend the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 22, 1975. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 20 June 2024
Follow

Donald Sutherland, star of ‘M*A*S*H’ and ‘The Hunger Games’, dead at 88

  • Known for his unconventional looks and his versatility as an actor, Sutherland played a wide range of memorable characters
  • Ron Howard, who directed Sutherland in ‘Backdraft,’ called him ‘one of the most intelligent, interesting and engrossing film actors of all time’

Donald Sutherland, one of Canada’s most versatile and gifted actors, who charmed and enthralled audiences in movies such as “M*A*S*H,” “Klute,” “Ordinary People” and “The Hunger Games,” has died at the age of 88.
The actor, whose lengthy career spanned from the 1960s into the 2020s, died on Thursday, his son, actor Kiefer Sutherland, said on social media.
A tall man with a deep voice, piercing blue eyes and a mischievous smile, Donald Sutherland switched effortlessly from character roles to romantic leads opposite the likes of Jane Fonda and Julie Christie. He also played his share of oddballs and villains.
One of the biggest stars in Hollywood in the 1970s, he remained in demand for film and TV projects into his 80s. Known for his unconventional looks and his versatility as an actor, Sutherland played a wide range of memorable characters.
These included a rascally Army surgeon in “M*A*S*H” (1970), a quirky tank commander in “Kelly’s Heroes” (1970), a small-town detective in “Klute” (1971), a stoned and libidinous professor in “Animal House” (1978), a local official facing an alien presence in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978) and a despairing father in “Ordinary People” (1980). He won a new generation of fans with his glorious portrayal of a despotic president in “The Hunger Games” (2012) and its sequels.
“I wish I could say thank you to all of the characters that I’ve played, thank them for using their lives to inform my life,” Sutherland said in his speech accepting an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 2017.
Kiefer Sutherland said his father was “never daunted by a role, good, bad or ugly.”
“He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived,” Kiefer Sutherland wrote on X.
Donald Sutherland was born on July 17, 1935, in Canada’s New Brunswick province, and was raised in Nova Scotia. He performed in school productions in college, moved to Britain to hone his craft, then moved to the United States, where his first big break came as a member of a top-notch ensemble cast in the war film “The Dirty Dozen” (1967).
He rocketed to fame three years later playing nonconformist surgeon Hawkeye Pierce in director Robert Altman’s Korean War satire “M*A*S*H” (1970). The film — later spun off into a TV series — depicted hijinks at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, tapping into the anti-war sentiment among many Americans during the Vietnam War era.
Also in 1970, Sutherland starred alongside Telly Savalas and Clint Eastwood in “Kelly’s Heroes” as Sergeant Oddball on a mission to steal gold from the Nazis.
The following year, he was paired with Fonda, one of Hollywood’s luminaries, in “Klute,” and then in 1973 played a grieving father in “Don’t Look Now” that included a sizzling sex scene with Christie. “Klute” sparked a romance with Fonda, with whom he was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement.
His 1978 films could not have been more different. In the uproarious comedy “Animal House,” Sutherland played a professor who sleeps with the girlfriend of a fraternity member. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was a successful sci-fi remake of a classic 1956 original, telling the story of alien pods that take over human beings.
Sutherland’s performance in “Ordinary People,” Hollywood superstar Robert Redford’s directorial debut, helped the 1980 film win four Academy Awards, including best picture. Sutherland starred alongside Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton in this exploration of the splintering of a Midwestern family.
In the 1990s he appeared in films including “JFK” (1991), “Backdraft” (1991), “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1992), “Outbreak” (1995), “A Time To Kill” (1996) and “Instinct” (1999) and won an Emmy Award for his performance in the 1995 HBO TV movie “Citizen X.” In the 2000s, he appeared in the acclaimed “Cold Mountain” (2003) and “Pride & Prejudice” (2005).
In the “Hunger Games” films in the 2010s about a dystopian future in which teenagers are sent into a deadly competition as mass entertainment, he reveled in playing the villainous President Coriolanus Snow.
“The reality was he had a country to run. At least he was running it, which is more than you can say for some people,” Sutherland told the Los Angeles Times in 2017.
“It was funny at the beginning with ‘The Hunger Games’ to walk through an airport and suddenly you feel this tug and you look down and it’s some young person — always a girl, never a boy,” Sutherland said. “And her mother is standing there and they say, ‘Could you take a photograph with my daughter?’ And we’d be standing beside each other and I’d be looking at the camera and the girl would say, ‘Could you look mean?’“
Tributes to Sutherland came in across Hollywood and Canada on Thursday.
Ron Howard, who directed Sutherland in “Backdraft,” called him “one of the most intelligent, interesting and engrossing film actors of all time.”
Sutherland had “incredible range, creative courage & dedication to serving the story & the audience with supreme excellence,” Howard wrote on X.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking to reporters in Nova Scotia, said Sutherland “was a man with a strong presence, a brilliance in his craft and truly, truly a great Canadian artist.”
Sutherland was considered among the best actors to never receive an Academy Award nomination for any of his roles. He was married three times and had five children, including Kiefer.


Liverpool Arab Arts Festival’s return showcases entertaining agenda

Updated 14 July 2024
Follow

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival’s return showcases entertaining agenda

  • Vibrant mix of art, theater, music, literature, workshops

LONDON: The Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, the UK’s longest-running festival celebrating Arab arts and culture, runs until July 21 and showcases a vibrant mix of art, theater, music, literature, and workshops.

Founded in 1998, the festival has become a cornerstone of Liverpool’s cultural calendar.

This year’s program features a diverse lineup of artists from Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia, offering a dynamic interplay between traditional and contemporary Arab art forms.

Laura Brown, creative producer of the festival, told Arab News: “Artists are dealing with contemporary ideas and art forms, but often the conversations and themes they are tapping into are something Arab communities have been talking about for generations, like migration, identity and conflict.”

One of the highlights will be the festival’s tribute to Palestine. A special screening of “At Home in Gaza and London” will be held on Monday, with ticket proceeds benefiting collaborators in Gaza.

“Oranges and Stones,” a wordless play told through physical action and music, on Thursday will depict 75 years of occupation and settlement in Palestine. Marina Barham, general director of Al-Harah Theater in Bethlehem, will also speak about the therapeutic role of theater in addressing community trauma.

Port city Liverpool has fostered diverse and multicultural communities, with Arabic reportedly being the city’s second most-spoken language.

Brown said: “What’s really important to us is that we work with the community to ensure everyone feels represented. We talk to the community about artists they like and who they want to see, to bring them over. It was a conversation with members of the Somali community that introduced us to Aar Maanta.”

As an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organization, the festival is part of the 2023-26 investment program.

Brown added: “Being an NPO is something the whole team is incredibly proud of and it is something we take very seriously.

“The arts landscape is very challenging and the ability to be able to know your festival is secured for several years in advance allows you to build relationships with venues and creatives to develop programs and projects further.”
 


Bonjour Saudi presents fresh travel and culture experiences for tourists

Updated 11 July 2024
Follow

Bonjour Saudi presents fresh travel and culture experiences for tourists

RIYADH: In the heart of Diriyah’s Samhan district is an old Najdi-style house that’s been given a new lease of life as Bonjour Saudi — a ‘travel and experience design house’ and a local offshoot of UAE-based Bonjour Middle East.

“At Bonjour Saudi we focus on being a bridge between foreigners, expats, tourists and Saudi culture by creating experiences that showcase different parts of that culture — like cuisine, art, and tradition,” French co-founder Cecilia Pueyo told Arab News. “It’s very important for me to work routinely with Saudis to make this happen.

Whether guests are signing up for a multi-day journey around historical sites or for a two-hour cooking or art workshop, though, the aim is the same: to leave them with a better understanding of Saudi culture and history. (AN Photo/ Abdulrhman Bin Shalhuob)

Pueyo is a crafting enthusiast herself, and noticed a gap in the market when she visited the Kingdom and found it hard to access workshops on traditional Saudi crafts such as Sadu weaving, palm weaving, or Kabsa cooking. So, she wanted to create a space for such workshops. It also includes House of Artisans — a store showcasing local handicrafts like candles, abayas, handbags, jewelry, and more, giving guests an opportunity to take a piece of Saudi home with them. 

And Bonjour Saudi also provides guided tours across the country to popular spots including Jeddah, Abha, and AlUla.

Whether guests are signing up for a multi-day journey around historical sites or for a two-hour cooking or art workshop, though, the aim is the same: to leave them with a better understanding of Saudi culture and history. 

In the heart of Diriyah’s Samhan district is an old Najdi-style house that’s been given a new lease of life as Bonjour Saudi. (AN Photo/ Abdulrhman Bin Shalhuob)

“Even though it’s relatively new for the Kingdom to welcome foreigners and expats, (it’s clear that) people want to showcase their culture and share it with you, as well as their hospitality and generosity,” Pueyo said.

“Now, we are in a very important moment and shift in Saudi,” she continued. “This is what I think Bonjour Saudi is about; how we want to make an impact on people. Even if they only have one hour, we can connect them with the right person to deliver a message about the country, about the culture — about their passion — and I hope the guests will understand his or her vision of the Kingdom.”


Immersed in lilies — ‘Imagine Monet’ brings art to life in Jeddah

Updated 09 July 2024
Follow

Immersed in lilies — ‘Imagine Monet’ brings art to life in Jeddah

  • The tech-powered exhibition showcases more than 200 masterpieces

JEDDAH: Visitors have the chance to immerse in the ethereal artworks of Claude Monet as the “Imagine Monet” exhibition, created by renowned artists Annabelle Mauger and Julien Baron, debuts in Jeddah.

Part of the 2024 Jeddah Season 2024 until July 28, the exhibition is powered by large scale displays of the paintings of one of the foremost figures of the impressionist school of art.

The exhibition also features a dedicated section for children, designed to engage young visitors with a blend of fun and education. (Supplied)

“Imagine Monet” showcases more than 200 masterpieces and is organized into three distinct sections, each offering a deep dive into different aspects of Monet’s life and work.

The first section shines a spotlight on Monet himself, his family, garden, and the landscapes that inspired him. The second section is dedicated to his famous series, including “Haystacks,” “Rouen Cathedral,” and “Gare Saint-Lazare.” The exhibition ends in a breathtaking display of Monet’s garden in Giverny and his iconic “Water Lilies” series.

HIGHLIGHTS

• ‘Imagine Monet’ brings the artist’s masterpieces to life through the innovative use of 40 HD projectors and Image Totale technology.

• Developed by Albert Plecy and enhanced by Hans Walter Muller’s topo-projection, this technique allows Monet’s artworks to transcend their frames.

• The exhibition space is designed as a discovery room, offering 360-degree views on walls and floors to capture Monet’s artistic journey.

Abdullah bin Slaih, an educational guide at the exhibition, elaborated on Monet’s innovative use of light and nature in his work: “He loved to paint … he especially loved to paint nature as he saw it exactly. That’s why they call it Impressionism, because he impressions nature as it is right in front of him, spot on, without any single error.”

The exhibition also features a dedicated section for children, designed to engage young visitors with a blend of fun and education. (Supplied)

The exhibition showcases works from the 1872 “Impression, Sunrise” to the “Water Lilies” series painted between 1914 and 1926, Slaih noted. “Monet, with no assistance, was inspired very much by nature … the Japanese bridge, for example. He made different paintings of it. So, we can see it in variations, for example, where we can see the same scene but with different lighting effects.

“The water lilies from Japan fascinated him so much that he brought them back home to Giverny, France. He painted them in different variations, angles, and reflections of the sun and lighting. This exhibition allows us to see the same subjects in different settings, such as sunshine, sunset, and different seasons,” he explained.

The exhibition also features a dedicated section for children, designed to engage young visitors with a blend of fun and education. (Supplied)

The exhibition combines the authenticity of Monet’s art with the advancements of modern technology, providing an educational yet deeply engaging experience suitable for all ages.

Visitors to the “Imagine Monet” exhibition are invited to immerse themselves in a transformative experience where Monet’s masterpieces come to life through the innovative use of 40 HD projectors and Image Totale technology.

Part of the 2024 Jeddah Season, the exhibition is organized into three distinct sections, each offering a deep dive into different aspects of Monet’s life  and work. (Supplied/SPA)

Developed by Albert Plecy and enhanced by Hans Walter Muller’s topo-projection, this technique allows Monet’s artworks to transcend their frames, filling the exhibition space with high-definition projections. The exhibition space itself is designed as a discovery room, offering 360-degree views on walls and floors that provide a comprehensive perspective on Monet’s artistic journey.

Visitors can explore Monet’s works from various angles, engaging in an audio-visual experience that deepens their understanding of his artistry while following their own path through the art, discovering new details and connections at their own pace.

The exhibition also features a dedicated section for children, designed to engage young visitors with a blend of fun and education. This area includes a green grass maze where kids can explore and play, surrounded by art installations and plants that reflect Monet’s love for nature. Interactive activities, such as creating their own artworks inspired by Monet’s style, and Monet-themed storybooks that introduce them to the artist’s life and work, are also available for younger visitors.

Arwah Masoud, a local art enthusiast, said: “Walking through the ‘Imagine Monet’ exhibition felt like stepping into a dream. The immersive experience brings Monet’s masterpieces to life in a way I've never seen before. It's breathtaking to see the same scenes in different lights and seasons, and the music adds an emotional depth that truly transports you into Monet’s world.”

Mohammed Saud, visiting with his children, expressed: “This exhibition is ideal for all ages. My kids were fascinated by the vibrant colors and interactive elements. It’s more than just an art display; it’s an educational journey that deepened our appreciation of Monet’s genius.

“They especially enjoyed painting and creating artwork in the kids’ section, which allowed us to explore the space and discover new details in each painting. It’s a great way for parents to keep their children engaged while we enjoy the exhibition.”

 


AlUla unveils groundbreaking study on Neolithic settlements in northwest Saudi Arabia

Updated 09 July 2024
Follow

AlUla unveils groundbreaking study on Neolithic settlements in northwest Saudi Arabia

  • Research, conducted under the auspices of the Royal Commission for AlUla, reveals a more sophisticated society than previously imagined
  • Jane McMahon from the University of Sydney explained that they have uncovered a complex community that engaged in cattle herding, crafted jewelry, and participated in extensive trade

RIYADH: New archaeological evidence reshapes the understanding of Neolithic life in northwest Saudi Arabia, according to a study published in the journal Levant.

The research, conducted under the auspices of the Royal Commission for AlUla, reveals a more sophisticated society than previously imagined, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Jane McMahon from the University of Sydney, working with a research team as part of an RCU-supervised excavation project explained that they have uncovered a complex community that engaged in cattle herding, crafted jewelry, and participated in extensive trade networks. The strategic location of these settlements facilitated commerce with distant regions, including eastern Jordan and coastal areas along the Red Sea.

The research team has presented its latest conclusions and observations on archaeological investigations of structures known as standing stone circles. These dwellings consist of vertically placed stone slabs forming circles with diameters ranging from four to eight meters.

The study examined 431 standing stone circles at various sites in Harrat Uwayrid in AlUla, with 52 undergoing field surveys and 11 being excavated.

Researchers found that stone slabs, arranged in two concentric rows, likely served as foundations for wooden poles, possibly made of acacia. These poles would have supported the structure’s roof. At the center of each circular dwelling, a single stone slab appears to have anchored the main wooden column. This architectural feature suggests a sophisticated understanding of weight distribution and structural support among the ancient inhabitants. The discovery of various tools and animal remains at the site has led archaeologists to propose that dwelling roofs were fashioned from animal hides.

McMahon explained that “this research challenges hypotheses about how early northwest Arabian inhabitants lived.” She emphasized that these people were not merely simple pastoralists but had distinctive architecture, domesticated animals, jewelry, and diverse tools. Based on the number and size of stone circles, their population was likely substantial and much larger than previously thought.

Rebecca Foote, who heads archaeology and cultural heritage research at the RCU, has emphasized the significant impact of the commission’s archaeological initiatives. Under the RCU’s supervision, what is described as the world’s most comprehensive archaeological program has yielded crucial insights into the lives of Neolithic inhabitants in the region. Foote underscored the commission’s dedication to continued research efforts aimed at highlighting AlUla’s diverse cultural heritage and ongoing work towards establishing a globally recognized hub for archaeological studies.

Researchers examining animal bones from the Harrat Uwayrid site have uncovered evidence of a robust prehistoric economy. The findings indicate that the ancient inhabitants relied on a mix of domesticated animals like goats and sheep, and wild animals such as gazelles and birds for their livelihood. This diverse approach to animal exploitation likely provided the population with resilience in the face of environmental fluctuations.

Excavations have unearthed tools linked to animal husbandry, including implements for wool shearing and sheep slaughter.

Arrowheads discovered match types used in southern and eastern Jordan, indicating clear interaction between the regions.

Small perforated snail and seashells, likely used as decorative beads, were found at the sites. These shells correspond to those from the Red Sea, 120 km away, suggesting import from the coast during the Neolithic period.

Other artifacts include sandstone and limestone ornaments and bracelets, as well as a piece of red sandstone chalk, possibly used for drawing.

Researchers concluded that the study “greatly clarified the connected (yet distinct) nature of the Neolithic period in AlUla.”

The research team included experts from King Saud University, local AlUla residents like Youssef Al-Balawi who provided ethnographic and cultural insights, and students from the University of Hail.


Resin art shines at third Hail House Festival

Resin art is a modern handcraft which involves blending liquid resin with a hardening agent to create shapes. (SPA)
Updated 05 July 2024
Follow

Resin art shines at third Hail House Festival

  • The festival aims to introduce visitors to ancestral lifestyles, showcasing traditional food, clothing, housing and everyday life practices, while also presenting various regional and external folk arts and shows

RIYADH: The resin art pavilion at the “Hail House,” themed “Your Home Away from Home,” now in its third year, has become a major attraction at the Aja Park during its 30-day run.

The Saudi Press Agency reported that visitors of all ages, drawn to this distinctive art form, have flocked to the pavilion amid the festival’s traditional and artistic atmosphere.

Resin art is a modern handcraft which involves blending liquid resin with a hardening agent to create shapes. (SPA)

Resin art, a modern handcraft, involves blending liquid resin with a hardening agent to create solid, aesthetically pleasing shapes used in various applications.

Artist Layla Saleh Al-Shammari, who has been perfecting the craft for five years, showcased a diverse range of creations including women’s accessories, office and home decor, wall art, pens and serving platters.

HIGHLIGHT

The festival also features popular folk art performances, including the Saudi Ardah and Samri dances.

Her work incorporates techniques such as sea wave and shell imitations, geode stone replications, and the integration of natural materials such as plants and flowers. Al-Shammari also highlighted her use of local elements such as coffee, cardamom and the red sands characteristic of the Hail region, as well as palm fronds and Thamudic inscriptions.

Resin art is a modern handcraft which involves blending liquid resin with a hardening agent to create shapes. (SPA)

Al-Shammari outlined the financial viability of her craft due to its high demand, expressing gratitude to the festival organizers for the opportunity to exhibit these handcrafted items in a heritage setting.

The festival also features popular folk art performances, including the Saudi Ardah and Samri dances, which have captivated visitors with their traditional sword dances and chants.

Resin art is a modern handcraft which involves blending liquid resin with a hardening agent to create shapes. (SPA)

Marsal Al-Marsal, head of the Hail Folk Arts Group, said that “over 30 young performers present eight daily shows, incorporating national themes and traditional instruments like drums and swords.”

The performances showcased traditional Haili arts featuring aerial maneuvers, drums, swords and banners, reaffirming the enduring appeal of Haili folk arts at such festivals among enthusiasts of regional heritage.

Resin art is a modern handcraft which involves blending liquid resin with a hardening agent to create shapes. (SPA)

The festival aims to introduce visitors to ancestral lifestyles, showcasing traditional food, clothing, housing and everyday life practices, while also presenting various regional and external folk arts and shows.

This year, the Madinah region, represented by Yanbu governorate, is also participating with a special pavilion.

Faisal bin Salem Al-Juhani, the pavilion supervisor, explained that it featured Hijazi architecture, including two 150-year-old houses that demonstrated the distinctive and renowned “rawashin” (projecting oriel windows) of the region. These prominent windows, measuring between 60 cm to more than one meter, not only served ventilation purposes but also enhanced the aesthetic appeal and provided wide vistas for the household members.

The Madinah pavilion includes models of old Madinah neighborhoods, a fully equipped traditional fishing boat representing the western coast, and displays of traditional utensils, clothing and heritage models.

According to Al-Juhani, “the participation aims to promote Saudi cultural heritage, particularly that of the Madinah region.”

Al-Juhani thanked the organizers for providing the platform and opportunity for participation in these well-received events over the past three events. He said that he looked forward to future engagements at Hail House.