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Showing posts from May, 2013

Movie Critic Article: The Struggle for Acceptance

"Denying democracy and freedom to a national minority leads to the denial of democracy and freedom to all the country's inhabitants. It is impossible to portion out democracy and freedom." Tawfik Toubi, an Arab communist born in Haifa and the last surviving member of the 1949 Knesset.

"In November 2005, Ahmed Khatib, a twelve-year-old Palestinian boy from the Jenin refugee camp, was accidentally killed by an Israeli soldier. Despite his grief, the boy's father Ismael consented to donate his son's organs to several Israeli children. Thanks to this act of humanity, four of those children, each from a different part of Israeli society, are alive today. The Heart of Jenin explores the legacy of Ismael's decision during the two years following his son's death."Synopsis of the German movie The Heart of Jenin 2008.

In spite of all the odds and the various incidents in which bold steps to wave a joint flag were exploited to create a fake appearance …

Movie Critic review: Driving Miss Daisy

On The Ticket LineA movie that depicts the friendship between a rich, elderly middle class woman and her chauffeur of nearly the same age is very likely a bore.
But if this woman is a Jew and the driver a black man then a curious quiver would run up your spine. And If the setting for the story is the southern state of Georgia, USA just after world war two, then Bingo! You have something to see. You are on the ticket line wondering why such a movie is categorized as a comic drama as both these two types of people suffered from prejudices by the dominant majority either in the form of segregation, in the case of the blacks or, isolation in the case of Jews. Later, you learn that the humor is one dynamic of the movie that grows each time you watch it or recall it! It is consistently heard from people who saw the movie that they didn't remember there was so much humor on first time. This is an attribute of a classic movie.
What Is The StoryScreen-written from a 1987 off-Broadway play, …

Movie Critic Article: France Commemorates Chahine

Article by Badreldin H. Ali 

I was delighted by the news concerning the late but ever-present Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine.
I have seen most of Chahine's movies and I value and respect them and believe that his significant contribution to enriching the domain of arts in general and cinema in particular  was behind the decision of the Palais du Cinéma in Paris to refurbish and rename one of its main halls after his name.














Misr International Films a company that was founded by the late filmmaker reiterated in its press statement the series of international recognition won by Chahine who was one of the most prominent film directors in Egypt and the winner of several international awards. Several streets in different cities around the globe were named after Chahine. The Palais du Cinema, one of the cinema complexes in Paris which was built in 1921 and closed in 1983 for renovations, is scheduled to re-open on April 17 this year with a screening of "Destiny", a You…

Eisenstein: You Got'm? Yeah, I Got'm!

The Grand Central Station Scene in Brian De Palma's 1987 The Untouchables:


Terry Gilliam's 1985 Brazil


The Runaway Baby Carriage Scenes from the Odessa Steps Sequence in Eisenstein's 1925 movie  Battleship Potemkin:


The full Eisenstein Sequence:


There are other movies that paid homage to or referenced Eisenstein's method of editing (Montage) exemplified by this renowned sequence such as Coppola's The Godfather, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. It was also easiy recalled in Spielberg's Schindler's List (the helpless girl in red in the middle of a massacre). Reflected upon in Woody Allen's Bananas, Death and Love and probably used in tens of movies worldwide. Homage or intertextuality, tribute or plagiarism or whatever, it seems that these creative filmmakers (creative in their own right) have to tell us that they know the basics of filmmaking and connect verily with their creative ancestors such as Eisenstein. In fact, the impact of editing, …