Let's brighten the end of this gloomy week with a true ray of starry sunshine - the latest magnum opus in the magnificent career of that Levantine ultrastar, Miss Nancy Ajram.
A daughter of Beirut who often (as here) sings in the Egyptian dialect, and who sets her finest videos (like this) in an indeterminate and Edenic Arabesque fantasy that recalls the old Cairo of Egyptian cinema's Golden Age, Ajram has come through again on this, "Ma Tegi Hena" ("C'mon over here"). Playing "Malikat el-Batikh" ("the Queen of Watermelons"), she's a practical market woman who's found a sure-fire way to sell her goods: "C'mon over here," she sings, "and I'll love you." This one hits all the marks of a successful Ajram video: nostalgic setting, plenty of cleavage, the admiration of hot men and cute children alike, and even the grudging admiration of her fellow women.
I think she's adorable. We saw her in concert in Oman yonks ago, and while the local guardians of all that's proper her forced her into a highly unlikely turtleneck, she was her own exuberant self. We also ran into her in a restaurant in Dubai once, so as a result I can testify that, like so many of the Great and Fabulous from Swanson to Minogue, she's tiny.
From this little epic, though, I think I'd be just as interested in meeting that cop. 50 Shades of Grey, if ever it actually unspools in the cinema, is going to have to work hard to match the gleeful perversity that Nancy and friend can summon up with nothing but a chair and a length of twine...