Tag Archive: Middle East

Jan
24

Review: MARS AT SUNRISE

Heightened reality illustrates the conflict between a Palestinian artist (Ali Suliman, left) and an Israeli solider (Guy El Hanan) in MARS AT SUNRISE.

The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians goes on and on, amazingly, distressingly. A comedian I recently heard on a podcast said that, past fifty, all Jews suddenly decide that Israel is their top priority, but that hasn’t been the case for me (chalk it up to my parents’ slipshod efforts to instill the faith in …

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May
06

Cinefantastique Spotlight: IRON MAN 3

Robert Downey Jr. casts an acidic glance on superheroics in IRON MAN 3.

It’s felled the likes of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and the X-Men. It’s a more daunting foe than Lex Luthor, Bane, and Magneto combined. It is, of course, the third installment of a superhero franchise, and now it’s time for comicdom’s snarkiest hero to face the figurative music in IRON MAN 3. With Robert Downey Jr, …

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Mar
31

Sally El Hosaini and James Floyd on MY BROTHER THE DEVIL

James Floyd (right) and Fady Elsayed fight the mean streets of Hackney in MY BROTHER THE DEVIL.

Breaking through the clichés is what writer/director Sally El Hosaini is all about. Her debut feature, MY BROTHER THE DEVIL, is about Egyptians living in London, and there isn’t a terrorist among them. There are, however, artists, students, drug dealers, petty thieves, and in the middle of it, two brothers, elder Rashid (James Floyd) and …

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Aug
23

Temple of Bad: AN AMERICAN CAROL

Wrong thinking is punishable. Extremely right thinking will be as quickly rewarded: Kelsey Grammer (right) tries to show Kevin P. Farley the error of his ways in AN AMERICAN CAROL.

Could there be a movie so inanely scripted, so ineptly produced, so all-around awful that it confounds even the staunch acolytes of the Temple of Bad? Uh, yes. Yes there is, and it’s the topic of our latest episode. AN AMERICAN CAROL was intended to serve as a counterbalance to the perceived liberal tilt of …

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May
11

Nadine Labaki on WHERE DO WE GO NOW?

Are You Really Going to Leave THESE Girls Behind?: The women of a Lebanese village recruit some unusual allies to stave off a war in WHERE DO WE GO NOW?

A comedy about dire consequences, WHERE DO WE GO NOW? takes a look at the ease with which humanity slips into war, and the sometimes insurmountable difficulties that arise as people struggle to avoid it. Setting the film in a small Lebanese village where Christian and Muslim live side-by-side, director/writer/actress Nadine Labaki tells the tale …

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Jan
06

THE TIME THAT REMAINS and IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE

The Moment of Desperation: Prisoner Silviu (George Pistereanu, left) holds a social worker (Ada Condeescu) hostage in IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE.

For the first show of 2011, how about a little international perspective? We’ve got interviews with two directors whose latest films deliver gripping, cinematically daring glimpses into worlds rarely examined from our side. First up is Romanian director Florin Serban, talking about IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE, a stark, naturalistic drama about an …

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Sep
03

Sean Baker on PRINCE OF BROADWAY

Real Fatherhood?: Prince Adu (right) and Aiden Noesi in PRINCE OF BROADWAY.

It would appear Sean Baker is equally comfortable with the real and the surreal. On TV, he’s one of the perpetrators of the satirical puppet show, GREG THE BUNNY. In the cinema though, he’s far more grounded, employing a documentary- like shooting style and recruiting a largely amateur cast to tell stories of New York …

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Aug
07

Samuel Maoz on LEBANON

Close Quarters, Damning Decisions: A tank crew (l-to-r: Oshri Cohen, Zohar Strauss, Yoav Donat, and Itay Tiran) gets its first taste of war in LEBANON.

I went into LEBANON convinced that I really didn’t want to see another examination of the moral quandary that is the Middle East conflict. I came out of it — head and heart racing — convinced that I had seen one of the best films of the year. That’s a considerable achievement, considering that LEBANON …

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Jun
13

Cinefantastique Podcast: MICMACS

Clowntime is Over: Dany Boon confronts the enemy in MICMACS.

The premiere audio review of science fiction, fantasy, and horror is back with another exciting episode! This time, Dan Persons, Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowski eschew the big-time summer blockbusters in favor of the French comedy–fantasy MICMACS (Micmacs a tire-lairgot, or “Non-stop Madness”), latest surreal confectionery from supreme stylist Jean-Pierre Jeunet (who charmed audience with AMELIE). Also this …

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May
31

Cinefantastique Podcast: PRINCE OF PERSIA

Why Do They Laugh at My Mighty Sword? - Jake Gyllenhaal in PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME

In the sixteenth episode of Cinefantastique’s weekly Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction Podcast, Dan Persons, Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowski sift through the Sands of Time as they search PRINCE OF PERSIA for hidden political metaphors and/or weapons of mass destruction. The big screen film version of the popular video game stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben …

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