Category Archives: Movies & Television

After 35 Years, You Will Finally Be Able To Watch (Not Just Listen) To Ziad Rahbani Plays!

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How many of you have been listening to Ziad Rahbani plays for the past 20 years or more? How many times have you visualized the scenes in your head while listening to the plays? How awesome would it be to actually watch the original footage and put a face to all these voices you have been listening to?

Well M Media is finally making it happen and you will be able to watch two Ziad Rahbani plays in theaters starting Jan 2016. The first play that will roll out is “Bennesbeh Labokra Chou?” and you can already watch its trailer [here]. The plays will be available on [M’s online platform] afterwards along with other movies and plays.


I’m not a Ziad Rahbani fan but I’m really excited about this project, because these plays were all part of our culture and still are, and because the original scenes were recorded in bits and pieces and reconstructing them audio and video took several months of hard work. I have no idea how these plays looked like and a lot of Rahbani fans were too young at the time, so watching the original footage is going to blow their minds away! Two of my friends are already going crazy about it and can’t wait till January.

I am still not sure in which theater “Bennesbeh Labokra Chou?” will be playing but I will have further details next week for sure. Stay tuned 😀

How Lebanese TV Reporters Covered The Burj Barajneh Bombings

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Al-Manar TV Reporter Ali Rasslan decided to visit Haidar, a three-year boy who got injured in the Burj Barajneh blast and ask him about his dead parents. The reporter was clearly aware that Haidar was orphaned after both his mother and father died in the explosion that took place on Thursday in Bourj al-Barajneh, yet he thought it would be a smart idea to visit him at the hospital while he’s laying in bed injured and ask him about his parents’ whereabouts.

To make things even worse, he started by asking the poor kid who’s seriously injured and still traumatized from the blast if he’s ok! Eh walla he’s doing just great. He just survived a terrible bombing, he may have lost his right eye, he just lost both his parents and is laying in a hospital bed instead of playing with his friends or watching TV. He’s having the time of his life I’m sure!

Needless to say, most of the TV reporters here in Lebanon cover the events in an unethical and inappropriate way. This video just happened to be gone viral and caught my attention. Nada Andraos was asking one of the mothers if she saw her dead child’s body. Georges Saliby was asking a kid if he has anything to tell his deceased parent at the worst possible time etc …

I think the Lebanese media needs to take lessons from the French and watch how unfortunate incidents are covered properly.

Check out the video [here].

Here’s a video showing MTV interviewing Haidar and another child Mohammad at the hospital as well (Starting Minute 7:00)


And here’s Al-Jadeed report (Starting Minute 8)


Review: “Spectre” Is Fun But Slightly Disappointing

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I enjoyed “Skyfall” and was looking forward to the latest installment “Spectre”. The trailer was very promising but the movie failed to impress. I don’t know if I had unreasonably high expectations for this installment following the success of Skyfall but I honestly got a bit bored in the last hour and lost interest in the plot.

Spectre did start promisingly with Bond in Mexico City climbing over rooftops, assassinating terrorists, running from explosions, finding himself in a spinning helicopter and causing an international incident. However, the actions scenes that followed weren’t that impressive and could have been executed better especially the car chases. Even the main seduction scenes were disappointing with Monica Belluci showing very briefly and Léa Seydoux not worthy of a Bond girl in my opinion.

As far as the plot is concerned, it’s way too complicated and can easily confuse those who are not familiar with Craig’s previous three installments and old Bond movies as well. In fact, the filmmakers were juggling modernity and nostalgia, just like they did with Skyfall, but it didn’t work out this time. Also, Craig’s character didn’t really help and his lack of humor and emotions remains problematic.

All in all, I think the problem is that Spectre had a lot of everything, from villains, locales, explosions, dialogues. It has all the ingredients but it’s not as fun and entertaining as it should be. It feels like Daniel Craig has had enough of Bond and the last scene where he walks away with his new found love (Bond in love?) is a clear sign of things to come.

Spectre remains a fun and entertaining mid-level Bond movie but I think it’s time we get a new actor to make James Bond relevant again. Quoting Vulture, “the result is fun, even if it’s a mishmash, leaving you shaken, not stirred.”

PS: I hated the song by the way.


Review: 3.5/5

Netflix Might Be Launching In The Middle East Soon

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According to IGN, Netflix has confirmed they will be launching in the Middle East soon. In an email to IGN ME, Netflix’s Joris Evers said, “We plan to complete our global expansion by the end of 2016. Of course the Middle East is part of that, hence our hiring.”

If you look under Jobs on, you will find that there’s one specific position for the Middle East area. This is definitely great news but we still have to see what will be available on Netflix once it starts here. Currently, people are using VPN services to access Netflix.


What Happens To The Victims Of Car Bombs In Lebanon?

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Jennifer Chedid was seriously injured three years ago in Achrafieh after a car bomb targeted the head of the ISF information branch, Wissam el Hassan. Jennifer’s condition was very critical but she refused to die, fought back and recovered.

Three years later, Jennifer’s wounds still did not heal completely and her family is unable to admit her to the hospital when needed due to financial reasons and lack of support. To make things even worse, Jennifer is being bullied at school and she thinks that it’s normal and she “understands those” who mock her.

Jennifer had nothing to do with politics and just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Even though she survived the blast, she’s obviously in pain and unable to lead a normal life. This being said, the least the authorities can do is provide medical support at all time and make sure she’s fully recovered. Moreover, Minister Bou Saab should intervene and talk to the school principal to see why she’s getting bullied by other students because this is totally unacceptable!

I’m glad MTV shed the light on Jennifer and I hope they do the same with other car bomb victims.


Homeland (TV Series) Got What They Deserved

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homeland via The Guardian

Street artists were apparently approached to add authenticity to the Homeland TV Series set somewhere in Berlin to make it look like a refugee camp on the Syrian-Lebanese border, but they did more than that and planted subversive messages in Arabic like “Homeland is racist”, “Homeland is not a show” and “Homeland is watermelon” to protest the show’s stereotyped portrayal of the Arab world. The Arabic quotes were not checked by the producers and were visible in the second episode of the fifth season, which aired earlier this week.

Here’s what the artists said in a joint statement:

“For four seasons, and entering its fifth, ‘Homeland’ has maintained the dichotomy of the photogenic, mainly white, mostly American protector versus the evil and backwards Muslim threat,” the artists Heba Amin, Caram Kapp, and Stone wrote in a joint statement published Wednesday.

home1 via The Guardian

Three years ago, the Lebanese Government wanted to sue Homeland for misrepresenting Hamra in Beirut and showing armed men roaming in it.

Hamra street according to Homeland

Lebanon Wins the World Cup

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A movie about war and football and the power of forgiveness. I loved the trailer and I think this should be made into a proper film not just a short one. The release date was apparently yesterday in Poland but I’m not sure where and when it will released in Lebanon. I also checked the BIFF screening schedule and it’s not on the list.

If anyone has further info regarding this movie’s release date, please let me know.

Beirut, on the eve of the 2014 Fifa World Cup, two battle hardened veterans – a Christian and a Muslim – who fought each other in the Lebanese civil war prepare to support their favorite team Brazil. More than just a celebration, the tournament will offer them a chance to unite around a game despite all that has gone wrong.

Lebanon Wins the World Cup – Official Trailer from Tony H. Khoury on Vimeo.

LGBT Movie “WASP” by Lebanese-Swiss director Philippe Audi-Dor Banned In Lebanon

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WASP is a movie by Lebanese-Swiss director Philippe Audi-Dor that tells the story of a gay man in a relationship, who finds himself unexpectedly attracted to a woman. The film won Best International Feature and Best Actress in a Feature at the Film Out San Diego Film Festival, and recently had a sold-out UK premiere at the renowned Raindance Film Festival in London. WASP was scheduled to play at the Beirut International Film Festival but failed to secure a screening license due to the film’s topic. The Lebanese-Swiss director was surprised by the decision as LGBT films (Lilting (UK) and Tom à la Ferme in 2014) were previously screened at the festival.

We all know censorship is random in Lebanon but there are several Lebanese films that tackled homosexuality in the past and I’m sure there are tons of Hollywood movies in the theaters that included gay scenes so why did they ban WASP? It’s not even playing in theaters so what’s the big deal?

Actually, I will never understand why the censorship bureau would ban any movie or anything. I don’t even know why this bureau exists in the first place. If some people don’t like a movie or a play or a book, they can simply not watch it. Banning it is useless as it will not stop us from downloading it online or getting a pirated copy. More importantly, it’s about time that the Lebanese authorities acknowledge the fact that homosexuality is not a trend nor an illness and people don’t choose to become gay. There are plenty of homosexuals in Lebanon and it’s their right to be so.

If you are interested in the BIFF screening schedule, check it out [here].