Category Archives: Movies & Television

Review: Heritages (2013)

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I went to watch Philippe Aractingi’s latest movie/documentary “Heritages” and it honestly didn’t live up to my expectations or at least to what I’ve heard and read about it. Heritages is basically a documentary on Aractingi’s family, where he shows in pictures and old footage how they’ve been moving for decades from one country to another and why. While I loved the amount of old pictures, old videos, breath-taking stories and impressive archive the director has, I wasn’t really sure what he was trying to prove or the final message he was trying to relay throughout the movie.

In fact, there were several powerful messages that I loved, specially when he went to meet the family of a good friend he lost during the war, when he sat down with his kids and showed them his old “toys” back from the war days or when he tries to describe to his kids what Achrafieh looked like at some point and how children used to play back then. I loved how he approached his children on the war issue and I hope all parents are as honest and straightforward as Philippe is. However, the last scene was a bit too cheesy and the whole “building nations and staying in Lebanon” thingy is not very convincing, specially that the director has been trying to come back relentlessly to Lebanon but in vain and odds are that his sons and daughter will probably leave Lebanon for the same reasons he did.

Don’t get me wrong as I am not blaming him or saying it’s a bad thing to leave. On the contrary, and just like his wife said, Lebanon is a country that people leave, not stay in and build a family, and that’s the unfortunate truth we all live in these days. Unfortunately, not all of us have the option to leave and even when we do have that choice, it’s not as easy as people might think it is because of several factors such as money or family or society maybe, but for me, that’s not a country I’d want my children to grow in at the moment and probably won’t be for the next 10 years or more. The scenery on that final scene was breath-taking though and reminds us of Lebanon’s beauty or whatever is left of it.

All in all, Heritages is a nice family documentary that I do recommend you watch as the director has done an impressive work collecting all his archive and linking between his grandparents’ stories and his.

[YouTube]

Beirut: The Last Home Movie (1987)

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I had posted about this movie back in 2010 and couldn’t find it anywhere in Lebanon. It’s a documentary that sheds the light on the fancy living of the Bustros family in war torn Beirut, and how “the biggest problem faced by the Bustros family was that the chandeliers occasionally vibrate from the distant explosion of bombs and artillery.” [NYTimes]

For those who are interested in watching the movie, check it out [Here].

Thanks Antoine!

TeleLiban Relaunching With A New Logo

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TeleLiban is undergoing some major renovation and will reopen soon with a new logo and a new team. They are already on [Facebook], [Twitter] and their [website] is under construction.

Based on what Sharbel has posted, Tamer Abu Fadi who works at Voice of Lebanon and Nabil Rifai who works for Free Lebanon Radio will be presenting the news. Other known TV figures who are joining TeleLiban include Shada Omar and Sana Nasr.

I wonder if Chef Antoine is gonna keep his show.

Will The Movie Noah Be Banned In Lebanon?

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UAE, Qatar and Bahrain have already banned the Hollywood film “Noah” because it contains scenes that are seen as offensive to Islam. I am not sure whether it will be banned in Lebanon as well but I highly doubt that it will get approved by the censorship bureau.

I wonder how long will it take us to realize that any form of censorship is wrong.

Update: Grand Cinemas told me on twitter that it will start showing on March 27th but they said it didn’t pass the censorship yet.

Review: 300 Rise of an Empire

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300: Rise of an empire is the sequel to the awesome 300 movie that came out few years back and that I’ve personally watched 5 times. It’s basically a follow-up of 300 with events taking place before, during and after the epic Battle of Thermopylae that opposed 300 Spartans led by King Leonidas and the might army of the Persian King “God-King” Xerxes.

I watched 300: Rise of an empire yesterday at Vox and I have to say it was a decent action-packed movie but definitely not as impressive as the first one. The battle scenes are nice but a bit fast-paced and Themistocles who’s leading the Greek armies and most of the battles is not as powerful and charismatic as Leonidas. Moreover, the only sex scene in the movie seems a bit out of place, and there’s this scene with Themistocles riding his horse that’s just ridiculously fake. I understand it’s a fantasy action film but 300 was the same and didn’t have such scenes or at least they felt a bit more realistic.

In all cases, I think it’s a decent sequel/presequel to 300 but I doubt that I’ll be watching it more than once.

PS: It is recommended that you watch 300 before watching 300: Rise of an empire in order to better understand what’s happening.

Lebanese Ziad Doueiri’s Upcoming Movie Foreign Affairs Among The Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014

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We never got to see Ziad Doueiri’s last movie “The Attack” because it was banned in Lebanon. Let’s hope we get to see this one in Lebanese theathers specially that it was placed in the 75th rank of the 200 most anticipated movies for 2014 and Gerard Depardieu is in it.

The film is set soon after the end of the first Gulf War, and portrays American efforts to facilitate an Arab-Israeli peace agreement. A diplomat turned used car salesman is called back to help break the ice between the most important political figures of the time.

French actor Gerard Depardieu, who featured in the films Life of Pi, My Afternoons with Margueritte, and Potiche, has been cast as one of the film’s main characters.

The high-profile French magazine Le Monde mentioned the film in an interview with Depardieu on his future projects.

Producer Jean Bréhat described the French actor’s role to www.lemonde.fr: “[Depardieu plays] a disillusioned character who is somewhat of an alcoholic. He acts as a negotiator for the Americans during the secret discussions which preceded the Oslo Accords.” [Now]

Lebanese Artist Roy Dib Wins Teddy Award For Best Short Film At Berlinale

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[YouTube]

Roy Dib‘s Mondial 2010 won the TEDDY Award for The Best Short Film at the Berlin International Film Festival. His movie is about a “a Lebanese gay couple who decides to take a road trip to Ramallah. The film is recorded with their camera as they chronicle their journey. The protagonists and the viewers are invited through the couple’s conversations into the universe of a fading city.”

I don’t know if Roy is planning to show his movie in Lebanon. I am not sure it will get approved given the topic at hand but in all cases congrats to Roy for this achievement!

Here’s an interview with Roy and the movie trailer below:

via StopCulturalTerrorismInLebanon