Most who know me have heard by now what a big fan I am of the recently elected president of the Cairo International Film Festival, Mohamed Hefzy. To learn more about this great cinematic personality and wonderful supporter of film in and from the Arab region, you can read my interview with Hefzy on The National.
But perhaps not as many people know what a huge fan of Ralph Fiennes I am. I mean, the man redefined acting for anyone who frequented the movies from the 1990s onward. One word, or actually two — ‘Wuthering Heights’ — and with Juliette Binoche. I gotcha right?
Then the actor went on to play the wicked meany in ‘Schindler’s List’ which got him a BAFTA Award, the not so great yet perfectly understandable in ‘Quiz Show’ — which I have been known to watch every single time it is scheduled on TV or find a bit of time — and the enigmatic in ‘The English Patient’ which garnered Fiennes an Oscar nomination.
Yet for the granddaughter of a Shakespeare translator, the roles I adore Fiennes featured in the most have been the ones where he transforms Shakespearean foes like ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Coriolanus’ into utterly magnetic and powerfully bad men. The kind most women would love to fall in love with, and then nurture and change. Fiennes own ambiguity is also at its cinematic best in films like Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘The Hurt Locker’.
About Fiennes, Hefzy said:
“Ralph Fiennes is without a doubt one of the finest talents of our generation, an outstanding and versatile actor, gifted director and accomplished producer. His screen presence has captivated audiences since his earliest roles and he is one of the most versatile actors working today and we are very much looking forward to welcoming him to CIFF for the first time. Not only are we proud to be able to honour his outstanding career, but to be able to introduce him to the Egyptian film community through a public in conversation event is very special.”
That conversation will happen on Tuesday, November 27th, while the actor will also present his latest directorial project ‘The White Crow’ on Monday, November 26 at The Cairo Opera House.
The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) will run from the 20th to the 29th of November, 2018 and kicks off with ‘The Green Book’ directed by Peter Farrelly and starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.
And if you’re in London, you can catch Ralph Fiennes as Antony in the West End production of ‘Antony & Cleopatra’ through January, 2019.