Restrepo

Just finished watching the award winning war documentary restrepo. hard not to be impressed with this documentary (gives a whole new meaning to embedded journalism) and hard not to feel empathy with the soldiers who served more than a year at the end of the world (or as they themselves refer to it, ‘the valley of death’) Aside from the firefights and the portraits of the (extremely young) soldiers restrepo perfectly illustrates the futility of the US-led war in Afghanistan. the whole film shows…

Dark fibre

In march we spend a week in bangalore with jamie and the darkfibre crew. we had flown there to take pictures of them while they were shooting for dark fibre (more pictures will become available later). Dark fibre crew at work on the rooftop terrace of a IT office building in South Bangalore It was fun and extremely interesting to watch the production from behind the scenes and i am really looking forward to the film (jamie has promised that there will be a trailer on the 13th of may). i…

Steal this footage

The league of noble peers has just made available the raw footage of 19 interviews filmed for steal this film 2. the footage is not only available online but also fully text searchable based on the transcripts of the interviews: Thanks to the magic of 0xdb and Pad.ma, plus the hard work of a number of Peers in transcribing STEAL THIS FILM II footage over the last six months, we are able to offer a full text search of the base material from which we made the film. If your search term is found, yo…

Tehran has no more pomegranates!

Watched a screening of ‘Tehran has no more pomegranates!‘ by Massoud Bakhshi this afternoon, which turned out to be a beautiful film that manages to pay homage to the incredibly strange and complex reality of the city of Tehran. While Tehran is one of the least likely city to fall in love with it had a certain strange attraction to me. tehran has no more pomegranates! manages to somehow capture this attraction and to turn it into an extremely entertaining complex portrait of the city. Bakhshi in…

Wearing clown's hats in Beaufort castle

Finally managed to source a copy of Beaufort (בופור) with english subtitles yesterday. Had been waiting to find a version that i could understand for a while and it was definitely worth the wait. Beaufort tells the story of the last IDF unit occupying Beaufort castle in Southern Lebanon in the days before the withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanon in the spring of 2000. It is one of the most impressive war movies i have seen in a while, also because it is the only war movie that i remember that does…

From Beirut to ... those who love us

Is a four minute or so short film produced on July 21, 2006 at the studios of Beirut DC, a film and cinema collective which runs the yearly Ayam Beirut Al Cinema’iya Film Festival. This video letter was produced in collaboration with Samidoun, a grassroots gathering of various organizations and individuals who were involved in relief and media efforts from the first day of the Israeli attack on Lebanon. Click the image above to watch the movie or go to www.beirutletters.org to download it. The f…

Kurtlar Varsi vs. Valley of the Sun

Have seen one and a half war movies today. First i went to Neukölln to see ‘Kurtlar Varsi: iraq‘ (Valley of the Wolves: Iraq) and then tonight on TV i ended up watching the second half of ‘Tears of the Sun‘. For those who have not followed the hysteric discussions in Germany in the last month: Valley of the Wolves is the Turkish Blockbuster that depicts a Turkish secret service agent’s mission in Iraq. He is on a (unofficial) mission to kill a CIA operative who was responsible for arresting and…

How to get fired from a callcenter

Yesterday i saw john & jane, a film about call center workers in new bombay by Ashim Ahluwalia, which is running as part of the berlin film festival. The film is an impressive, beautifully shot (but sometimes slow) portrait of six persons working in a call center (‘4th dimension’) which provides a range of services to callers from the US. Of the six call agents only one, Glen, is unhappy with his job. in fact he seems to hate it. Glen was present for the Q&A session after the screening a…

More on helipads in São Paulo

I blogged about the helipads in São Paulo back in october of last year. Seems like i am not the only person fascinated by the phenomenon of intra-city civilian helicopter traffic: The transmediale06 media arts festival in Berlin features a short video by french artist Richard Nicolas about the helipads of São Paulo: The sky of Sao Paulo is always swarming with helicopters: 350 daily departures and landings – or one flight every four minutes. The city ranks first in helicopter air traffic and its…

Polite pirates

There is fantastic quote in todays Times of India. In an article outlining the practices of Bombay underworld don Abu Salem there there is an description of a phone call he made to Bombay based movie producer Subash Ghai in order to get the overseas distribution rights for the movie Pardes: Though he terrorised the film world, he was also an incorrigible fan who was taken in by the skin and glamour of the industry. Subash Ghai, in an interview with this reporter a few years ago said while admitt…