Archive for the ‘the petri dish’ Category

The Beautiful Game

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Between working on my new book and keeping up with the World Cup, my days have been very busy lately. What better soap opera than the implosion of the French team? What better opportunity to compare bad haircuts than the one provided by the Algerian team? What more devastating exit than that of Brazil, who scored against themselves? Was there ever a more exciting football game than the Uruguay-Ghana match this week? I had hoped that Ghana would make it past the quarter-finals and was crushed when they didn’t, especially because the game would not have been decided on penalties if Gyan hadn’t missed his kick against Uruguay. And don’t get me started on Suarez’s left hand! So you see there is plenty of character and drama, which is all I need to keep me happy, whether in or out of books.

Photo credit: Getty images

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The Last Station

Monday, June 28th, 2010

I didn’t know what to expect from The Last Station, the film adaptation of Jay Parini’s novel about the last year of Tolstoy’s life, but I have to say I enjoyed it tremendously.  As I’m sure you’ve heard, the acting is great: Helen Mirren plays Sophia Tolstaya; Christopher Plummer is the great man;  James McAvoy plays Tolstoy’s secretary Valentin Bulgakov; and poor Paul Giamatti gets to be Chertkov.  But really what sets this adaptation apart is that the screenplay is so good. It’s multi-layered, well-paced, and handles its deeply flawed characters with great care.  Which, of course, it owes to Parini’s novel. This movie made me glad I reinstated my Netflix subscription.

On a somewhat related note, it was reported this week that Sergei Tolstoy, the novelist’s 87 year old great-grandson, now lives in a low-income assisted living facility in DC. He wants to write a book about his service as an undercover officer in the U.S. Army.

Photo credit: Sony Picture Classics

The Road

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I went to see the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road a couple of days ago. I tried to trick myself into not expecting anything from the movie because I thought that would prevent me from being disappointed. There was anything wrong with director John Hillcoat’s work. And Viggo Mortensen delivers a fine performance (but then he nearly always does.) But I was still terribly disappointed. The problem, I think, is that there was no poetry to this movie and it simply doesn’t do justice to the novel.

Sandow Birk’s American Qur’an

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

The Californian artist Sandow Birk has just unveiled a new, monumental project titled American Qur’an, a series of paintings of an English-language Qur’an that has been adorned with scenes from American life. He has been working on this project since 2004, and has managed to finish approximately 60 of the 114 chapters. Some of the paintings are on display at the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco and others at the Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Los Angeles.

I went to see the show when it opened this past weekend. Each of Birk’s paintings is made up of a Qur’anic chapter hand-written in ink, in a style of writing reminiscent of graffiti art. According to the New York Times, the text comes from a copyright-free 1861 English translation by J. M. Rodwell. Beneath the hand-written chapters are pictures in gouache. A few of the illustrations seem to me to be literal or expected (e.g. the chapter titled “The Constellations” comes with a picture of a constellation), but the vast majority are novel or unusual in some way (e.g. the first chapter, the Fatiha, appears with a maze of L.A. freeways.) Most of the pictures are narrative scenes: farmers working in a field; people standing in front of a display of dinosaur bones; workers picking up trash; and so on.

When Jori Finkel of the New York Times asked Usman Madha of the King Fahd Mosque what he thought of the project, he cautioned that some people might find the work offensive. The potential for offense is always there, as with any piece of art. But my take on it is that, although the project is titled American Qur’an, it is a highly idiosyncratic series.

It is not what one might call traditionally “American.” The painted scenes do not take place exclusively in the United States; there are representations of outer space and of a South American pyramid. And those narrative scenes that are from the United States include many different races, ethnicities, and languages. Neither could the project be referred to as a proper “Qur’an”. It is not a book, it is a series of paintings. The text is not in Arabic; it’s in English. And it doesn’t even appear to be entirely faithful to one English version. For instance, I noticed that in Rodwell’s translation, Chapter 86 is titled “The Morning Star” and begins with “By the heaven, and by the Night-Comer! / But who shall teach thee what the night-comer is?” whereas in Sandow Birk’s version, Chapter 86 uses the Arabic title of “At Taariq” and begins with the “By the heaven and that which comes in the night/But who shall teach you what it is that comes in the night.” Chapter 36 uses the proper name “Yasin” as its title and so do several English translations, but Birk uses the title “Human Being.” Birk also includes a couple of misspellings. In Chapter 53 (“The Star”) the word revelation is spelled revalation. All in all, this struck me as a highly personal project, in which an artist tries to make sense of the Qur’an on a highly personal level.

Photo credit: Sandow Birk/Koplin del Rio Gallery

Ansari on The Office

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Producers of The Office have announced that Aziz Ansari has joined the cast for their spin-off show. I am unreasonably excited about this–can’t wait to see what he’ll do.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

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I loved Jean-Dominique Bauby’s The Diving Bell and The Butterfly when I read it almost ten years ago, so I was quite reluctant to see the film adaptation, even though I’d heard that it was directed by Julian Schnabel. The movie arrived via Netflix on Friday and…it’s incredible. Schnabel does what so few directors are capable of doing when it comes to adaptations of novels, which is to say, translate literary language into visual language. What a beautiful film.

(photo credit)

The Band’s Visit

Monday, March 17th, 2008

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So last Saturday, we braved traffic on the 405 to go see The Band’s Visit. It’s about a small Egyptian orchestra that arrives in Israel for a performance, but instead finds itself stranded in the desert, in the remote town of Beit Hatikva. All right, so you have to suspend disbelief for this one, considering Egyptians and Israelis aren’t going to be performing in each other’s countries anytime soon. Anyway, the band has no money and no place to stay, and Tewfiq the conductor (Sasson Gabai) is a grouch. One of the film’s running gags is that Tewfiq persists in referring to the band as the Alexandria Municipal Classical Orchestra, and no one has any idea what he’s saying. Eventually, the band is taken in for the night by a restaurant owner named Dina (played by the lovely Ronit Elkabetz). The Egyptians don’t speak Hebrew, the Israelis don’t speak Arabic, so everyone speaks broken English. I thought the story was a bit thin and the director, Eran Kolirin, tried to be cute, but for some reason I was charmed by the film. (And I don’t do cute. Go figure.) My favorite line in the movie is when Dina asks Tewfiq why he still plays Umm Kulthum, and he answers, “This is like asking a man why he has a soul.”

(Photo credit: Sony Pictures Classics. You can view the trailer on YouTube.)

Not Your Erotic, Not Your Exotic

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, so here’s a little poem for you by the lovely and amazing Suheir Hammad: “Not Your Erotic, Not Your Exotic.”

Levantine Center Pledge Drive

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

The Levantine Center is a Los Angeles-based organization that brings the arts, literatures, and films of the Middle East and North Africa to American audiences. It regularly puts together wonderful events (some of which I’ve written about in this space) and now they are in need of your support. This month, a generous donor has offered to match every pledge up to $10,000, so every penny you give the Levantine Center will be doubled. Please: Reach out for that checkbook or credit card and go here.

Atonement in Film

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

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When the Oscar nominations were announced last week, I was a bit surprised to hear that the film adaptation of Atonement had earned a nod for Best Picture. In some ways, the beauty of the novel rests on its use of language, its psychological depth, and a rather odd structure, which Ian McEwan somehow manages to pull off. The first third of the book takes places over the course of one day and is told from the points of view of several characters: the young, impressionable Briony Tallis, who wants to be a writer; her older sister Cecilia, who just returned from Cambridge; their inept mother, Emily; the teenage Lola, a house guest who is raped that evening; and Robbie Turner, the son of the Tallises’ charlady, who also just returned from Cambridge with a ‘first-class degree,’ and stands accused of the crime. The second part of the book is set during the Second World War, in which Robbie serves. Through flashbacks, we find out what happened to him, and learn more about his romantic relationship with Cecilia, and his fight to clear his name. The third part of the book is told through Briony’s point of view. She is now training to be a nurse, and works at a London hospital where a huge number of wounded soldiers are sent. There is also an epilogue, written in 1999 by a now elderly Briony.

In Joe Wright‘s adaptation, the first third of the book is rendered beautifully and the shifting points of view work well on screen, but the entire project falls apart as soon as Robbie is whisked off to jail. The war scenes inevitably recall in the spectator’s mind the work of Steven Spielberg–and the comparison is not to Wright’s advantage. Where the book is subtle (in France, Robbie sees a single human leg hanging from a tree), the adaptation hits you over the head (a whole group of Catholic school girls dead under a tree.) The parts that are set in the hospital feel bogged down and irrelevant. Saoirse Ronan (who plays Briony as a child) and Vanessa Redgrave (who plays an old Briony) manage to rescue the scenes in which they appear, and the cinematography is certainly breathtaking, but I thought Atonement just didn’t hold together as a film. (In sharp contrast to, say, the Coen brothers’ adaptation of No Country for Old Men.)

Photo: Atonement film still (link.)

Emory Douglas @ MOCA

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

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I had been meaning to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibit on The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas for quite a while, and I finally, finally got a chance to do so this past weekend. Douglas, for those of you who are curious, was minister of culture in the Black Panther Party and designed all their posters–rally announcements, commemorations, calls to action–as well as their official newspaper. I was fascinated by the pieces on show, by how they ranged in tone from pure propaganda to deeply felt testaments of a cultural revolution. The exhibit included articles showing the connection with Algeria (the influence of Fanon‘s theories, Eldridge Cleaver‘s flight to Algiers, the support for the Panthers in post-colonial North Africa) and with other countries of the non-aligned movement. It was interesting, too, to see how Emory Douglas contributed to the branding of the Black Panther image with the consistent use of black berets, army jackets, and rifles in representing party members. (This reminded me of a show I saw a couple of years ago at the V&A museum in London, about Alberto Korda’s iconic photo of Che Guevara. The revolution will be branded!) The exhibit was curated by Sam Durant, and it’s only open for another week, so if you’re in the L.A. area, hurry up and see it before it closes.

Photo: “Power to the People” poster, by Emory Douglas

The Coens’ No Country for Old Men

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

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I finished work early yesterday and went to the Laemmle in Santa Monica to catch a matinee of the Coen brothers’ new film, No Country For Old Men, their adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel by the same title. The story is about a welder named Llewellyn Moss (Josh Brolin) who stumbles on a handful of dead men in the Rio Grande, along with a bag full of cash–about 2 million dollars. He takes the cash, setting off a chain of events, which, although easily guessed at, are nevertheless completely suspenseful. On Moss’s trail are a psychopathic killer (Javier Bardem), a sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones), an assassin (Woody Harrelson), and a handful of unnamed Mexican drug dealers. (Unnamed, and undeveloped as characters, something that is true also of two of the three females in the book.)

In some ways, the Coen brothers’ adaptation remedied a couple of the problems in McCarthy’s otherwise excellent novel. One is that a crucial scene that resolves what happens to Moss is missing from the book, but not from the film. The other is that, in the book, it’s easy to miss the fact that the story is set in 1980 (the date is hinted at the beginning, but not mentioned again until about halfway through the novel.) Obviously, in the movie, the sense of time was immediately clear. The film also gives us the pleasure of hearing McCarthy’s pitch-perfect dialogue spoken by talented actors. (You know how, after watching Fargo, you left the theater and tried to speak like Frances McDormand? You’ll be doing the same with Tommy Lee Jones in No Country.) But there are also ways in which the Coen brothers’ movie doesn’t quite compare with the novel. The one female character, for instance, that did something other than plead with a man or serve him food or coffee ended up being cut entirely from the film. Still, the level of craft that went into making this adaptation is really, really remarkable. Not to be missed.

Arab Film Festival in L.A.

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

The 11th annual Arab Film Festival is coming to Los Angeles in just a few days. You can see a line-up here. There are two movies about Morocco or by Moroccans: The documentary I Love Hip-Hop in Morocco, which follows H-Kayne, Fatima and Brown Fingaz as they set up a music festival, and the short film The Deceased. Be there!

Kahlo Letters

Monday, August 13th, 2007

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Fifty years after her death, Frida Kahlo’s letters to one of her best friends, Dr. Leo Eloesser, have been released, and are now published in Mexico, under the title My Beloved Doctor.The letters had been kept sealed on Diego Rivera’s orders for all this time, but now visitors to the Kahlo family home in Mexico City can see the letters, and other artifacts, displayed for the first time. I am a huge fan of Frida Kahlo’s–maybe someday I can finally, finally, visit her house.

Photo: Las Dos Fridas. Via.

‘Hasta La Victoria, Siempre’

Friday, July 7th, 2006

Che-Guerrillero.jpg The V&A is not my favorite London museum (that would be the Tate) but I was there today because they’re having a special exhibit on Alberto Korda’s iconic image of Che Guevara. A thoroughly enjoyable and informative history of how two photographs, snapped quickly when Che appeared on the balcony during a speech by Castro, have become such emblems of revolution, social change, and guerilla chic, reproduced on everything from T-shirts to Russian dolls. Some of the pieces in the exhibit are well-known, like Patrick Thomas’s “American Investment in Cuba,” which uses U.S. brand names to create the image of Che. But others were new and unfamiliar (to me, anyway), and I do wish there had been more effort to document those. (I wanted to know, for instance, what the poster “Bangla Che” said, but no translation was provided.)

Photo: ‘Guerrillero Heroico,’ Alberto Korda.

Indigènes Win

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

I mentioned last week Rachid Bouchareb’s new film, Indigènes, which is about a little known chapter of history: That (Muslim) soldiers from the French colonies were sent to fight the Nazis. It’s a subject that’s near to my heart, because my grandfather was part of the Tirailleurs Marocains, so I am dying to see the movie. I just heard that the ensemble cast (Jamel Debbouze, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila, and Samy Naceri) has won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. The film doesn’t have a U.S. distributor yet, but one hopes that the attention at Cannes will help get it to theatres here.
I’d like to read Elaine Sciolino’s interview with Jamel Debbouze in the NYT, but it’s hidden behind a subscription wall. Can someone send it to me? Thanks, A. Here’s a snippet:

He achieved international recognition with the 2001 film “Amélie,” in which he played Lucien, a stammering grocer’s assistant. In “Astérix and Obélix: Mission Cleopatra” the next year, Mr. Debbouze played an incompetent Egyptian architect who never made his deadlines and put doors near ceilings, justifying them by saying, “In case you ever want to build a second floor.” That role earned him $2.7 million,
making him one of France’s top-grossing actors. Now only Gérard Depardieu commands a higher salary per film.

He credits his mother, who rose every morning at 4 and held down back-to-back jobs to help support him and his five siblings, for his success.

“In everything that’s black, she sees rose, yellow, green,” he said. His mother, a Muslim, wears a headscarf in public.

When he told his father, now a retired sweeper in the Métro, that he wanted to be a comedian, he said his father replied, “That’s for drug addicts and homosexuals.” After a pause, Mr. Debbouze smiled and added, “But he calmed down when I gave him his first Mercedes.”

Mr. Debbouze resents that he is given such labels as “the prince of the housing projects” or the “Arab with attitude.”

“They categorize us always as ‘actors of Moroccan origin,’” he said. “I am not an ‘actor of Moroccan origin.’ I am an actor.”

I’m not sure why we needed to hear about his mother’s headscarf, but oh wait, it is the NYT, after all.

Cannes 2006

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

At Cannes this week, all eyes are on the film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, but I’m really intrigued by the new film from Rachid Bouchareb, called Indigènes, which will also premiere at the festival. It’s set in 1944, and it’s about four young soldiers from France’s colonies in Algeria and Morocco, who are sent to the mainland to fight the Nazis. It stars Jamel Debbouze, Samy Naceri, Roschdy Zem, and Sami Bouajila. You can view a trailer here. The official site also has photos and information about this forgotten moment of history. Notice, by the way, that there was no hand-wringing about “integration” and “assimilation” of North Africans when they were being sent to the front lines to fight for the freedom of their oppressor.

New Pearl Jam

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Lorraine Ali meets profile of Eddie Vedder and his bandmates for Newsweek:

After the success of their 1991 debut, “Ten,” which sold nearly 10 million copies, the Seattle group stopped making videos, shunned endorsements and shied away from almost all self-promotion. And each subsequent album proved less accessible than its predecessor. (Can you name the last two Pearl Jam records?)

Actually, no, I can’t, and I live with a card-carrying Ten Club member. But I am indeed looking forward to the new CD. I hope it’s good.

Palestinian Cinema

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

The Guardian‘s Xan Brooks (What kind of a name is Xan? A cool name, that’s what) interviews several Palestinian filmmakers about their work, and their challenges.

Feted by the critics and public alike, Palestinian cinema remains a culture in exile, an industry without a home. “Let me tell you about the Palestinian film industry,” says actor-director Mohammed Bakri, who made the documentary Jenin, Jenin after the demolition of the refugee camp. “Very simply, we do not have one. We have some very talented film-makers, but that’s about it. We have no film schools and we have no studios. We have no infrastructure because we have no country.”

From the sound of it, they have no distribution network either. “There is one cinema in Ramallah, and nothing anywhere else,” Bakri says. “And this is probably the biggest problem. We are not reaching the people we are talking about. For me it’s very painful, because obviously I want my people to see my films.” The irony is clear: visitors to the Palestine film festival in London will have had greater access to Palestinian films than the vast majority of Palestinians.

And yet, Palestinians directors still manage to release films, somehow. Read the full article here.

Thanks to David for the link.

‘Out of Sight’

Friday, April 7th, 2006

Another day, another case of foolish racial profiling. This time, it’s John Sinno, the director of Seattle’s Arab and Iranian Film Festival, who was stopped and questioned for nine hours in Vancouver because he had a box of DVDs in the trunk of his car.

“I felt like I was in a military zone,” Sinno says. “They followed me to the bathroom and stood right behind me when I was at the urinal. It was unbelievably harsh for having a small box of DVDs.” That the box included titles such as Fahrenheit 9/11 and The Hidden Wars of Desert Storm was the least of his problems, says Sinno, who was travelling with a white American colleague. The colleague was waved on his way, while Sinno was held for nine hours. “They asked me where I got the DVDs from, and when I told them they didn’t believe me,” he says. “It was pretty scary. I said to them, look, I’m being racially profiled. Let’s admit it and move on.” He hesitates. “I don’t know if it’s a good idea to talk about it. We live in touchy times.”

More at the Guardian.

Arab & Iranian Film Festival

Friday, March 31st, 2006

The Seattle Arab and Iranian Film Festival opens this weekend. It will shows feature films and documentaries from and about Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen, with co-productions from Canada, France, Mexico, and the U.S. Yousry Nasrallah’s film adaptation of Elias Khoury’s novel Gate of the Sun will be shown, as well as the critically acclaimed Moroccan film The Grand Voyage. Check out the rest of the schedule.

Boundaries Pushed

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the ‘Without Boundary‘ show currently on view at MoMA. Now in a New York Observer piece, Tyler Green reports that some of the artists connected with the show are unhappy about it, including Shirin Neshat, who says:

“My immediate reaction was, how could anyone today discuss art made by contemporary Muslim artists and not speak about the role the subjects of religion and contemporary politics play in the artists’ minds?” Ms. Neshat said. “For some of us, our art is interconnected to the development of our personal lives, which have been controlled and defined by politics and governments. Some artists, including Marjane Satrapi and myself, are ‘exiled’ from our country because of the problematic and controversial nature of our work.”

Green points out that it’s “highly unusual” for artists included in a MoMA show to criticize “the most powerful art museum in the world.” You can read more about the artists’ frustrations and MoMA’s stance on the merging of art and politics here.

Snap Judgments

Friday, March 17th, 2006

Over at the New York Times, Holland Cotter reviews “Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography,” which is currently showing at the International Center of Photography. Of the curator, the Nigerian Okwui Enwezor, Cotter writes:

If Martians tuned in to our television news broadcasts, they’d have a miserable impression of life on Earth. War, disease, poverty, heartbreak and nothing else. That’s exactly how most of the world sees Africa: filtered through images of calamity. “Afro-pessimism” is the diagnostic term that Okwui Enwezor, the Nigerian-born art historian and curator, uses for the syndrome. And he has offered bracing antidotes to it in two major photography exhibitions.

The first, “In/Sight: African Photographers, 1940 to the Present,” appeared at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1996. It was fantastic, a revelation. Now, a decade later, the second one has arrived, “Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography” at the International Center of Photography. It, too, is fantastic — stimulating, astringent, brimming with life — and different from its predecessor.

You can read the rest of the rave review here.

The online gallery for “Snap Judgments” is worth a visit. I was happy to see a strong showing by Moroccan artists in this exhibit, with artwork by Yto Berrada, Ali Chraibi, and Lamia Naji.

‘Without Boundary’ @ MoMa

Monday, March 13th, 2006

The Museum of Modern Art is currently running an exhibition called “Without Boundary: Seventeen Ways of Looking.” Curated by Fereshteh Daftari, the pieces in the collection explore the false notion of “Islamic art,” which is generally taken to mean any art produced in Muslim lands, regardless of ethnicity or culture.

The artists come from various countries (with a strong showing by Iranian artists, including photographer Sherin Neshat and comic artist Marjane Satrapi) and various religious backgrounds, showcasing the diversity of thinking about art from (or about) “over there.” Michael Wise, writing in the Los Angeles Times, finds the exhibit “subversive.” I think we can all use a bit of subversion. You can view the online page for Without Boundary here. (Click on “Full Program” for a guided tour.)

Kelani on the BBC

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

A reader sends words that London-based Palestinian singer Reem Kelani, whose songs speak of the plight of refugees, was recently interviewed on the BBC’s Everywoman and Radio 4′s Woman’s Hour. There also a print interview here.

Bosnian Film Wins Golden Bear

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Jasmila Zbanic’s Grbavica, a film that deals with the aftermath of the mass rape of Muslim women during the Bosnian genocide, has won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. The movie’s website has stills and other information.

Admirable Olympian

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

American speed skater Joey Cheek has donated his Olympics gold medal award ($25,000) to Darfur refugees.

Dept. of WTF

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Reuters reports that Israel and some U.S. Jewish groups have lobbied organizers of the Academy Awards to change the name of the nominating country for Hany Abu-Asad’s Paradise Now. They want it to change from ‘Palestine’ to ‘Palestinian Authority.’

Many Israelis were irked when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in publishing the nomination, said “Paradise Now” came from “Palestine.”

While the tag remains on the academy’s Web site, an Israeli diplomat said he expected the film to be described as coming from the “Palestinian Authority” during the awards ceremony.

What the hell?

Independents Get Their Day

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Over at the L.A. Times, Kenneth Turan looks at this year’s Oscar nominees, and is thrilled to find so many independent features, like Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, Crash, and Capote. In addition, notes Turan, the Academy seemed to embrace rather than shun controversy, picking Steven Spielberg’s Munich for one of the Best Picture slots. And, he adds:

As to the commentators who hyperventilated over “Munich,” they are likely to have full-blown coronary attacks once they get a look at “Paradise Now,” the exceptional Palestinian film that is one of five nominees for best foreign-language film.

Though the category is a real tossup (all five Oscar nominees are strong enough to have U.S. distribution deals already in place), this powerful and provocative drama about the nightmare of terrorism is as involving and relevant a film as the year has produced.

Seriously, go see Paradise Now.

NYC Event: Another Road Home

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

Reader David S. sends word that Danae Elon’s Another Road Home will be screened tonight at 6 pm at Symphony Space in New York.

Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street
212-864-5400
Reserve tickets here.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion led by Adam Shatz with Elias Khoury, Dahna Abourahme, Bashir Abu-Manneh, Danae Elon, Stuart Klawans, David Ofek, Richard Pena, Ella Shohat and Debra Zimmerman. Signed copies of Khoury’s Gate of the Sun will also be available.

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