Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day of the Falcon

I love the desert, camels, middle-eastern music and culture, and was excited to learn about the history of the infamous 'Yellow Belt' in the 1930 Arab states, but sadly I was un-impressed with this 2011 adventure-drama's depiction. Starring Spanish Antonio Banderas, English Mark Strong and French actor Tahar Rahim, this film had it's great moments; but despite it's exquisite cinematography and gigantic budget of 40 million Euros, it was stretched out too long, and because of it's cumbersome dialogue and poor delivery in many parts it became confusing and un-interesting. 

Based on the novel by Italian/Swiss Hans Reusch and adapted into screenplay by French writer Alain Godard and from the Netherlands Menno Meyjes, and directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud; they posed the question to viewers, 'which is better? The traditions or the modern way?' I felt the film had potential to be great like other Eastern film classics like 'Hero' or 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'; however the film's progression wasn't as fluid or poetic in it's delivery.

Indian beauty Frieda Pinto (whom you may remember from Slum-dog Millionaire) offered very little excitement, stirring or believability with her role and it was difficult for the audience to connect or feel for her character at all. Filmed in Tunisia and Quatar, with a run-time of 130 minutes, even though there were some great direction for fight sequences and transitions, it wasn't until 'model turned actress' Ethiopian Liya Kebede came on the scene that the story gain genuine heart and when difficult decisions had to be made. 

I am not a fan of demonizing cultures or people's for their differences in their beliefs and/or ways of life, and I am not suggesting that this film did it tremendously; however there were some references and statements made concerning the Quaran and of the Arab people that did not sit well with me. Huge potential, lovely backdrops and architecture and some good moments, but not gripping or inspirational enough to win awards, garner nominations or become a cult classic.


Recommended for me to watch by a friend, this 2011 French film was written and directed by 32 year old Celine Sciamma. This is only her 2nd film and it is making quite the buzz; similar to her first entitled: Water Lilies. Both films deal with pre-adolescent and adolescents and the potential difficulties faced with sexuality and identity.

Beautiful cinematography, heavy subject matter and very little dialogue is how this film reveals it's delicate story. Enormously interesting and a bit disturbing at moments, the audience is gripped by each dramatic turn of events. Nominated and winner of several awards including multiple gay/lesbian awards, it is unique for exposing the predicaments through the eyes of a ten year old child.

It raises questions to parents and perhaps what would be the right way or loving way to manage or deal with similar situations. Would you allow your child to act out on their feelings, discuss with them, or hinder them from expressing what they may or may not be feeling? I thought that young actress Zoe Heran who stars and plays the main character 'Mikael/Laure' did a marvelous job at expressing confusion as well as easily adapting a male persona. I also loved Malonn Levana whom was the youngest but the most observant and receptive to the entire affair.

This is the perfect example how poignant a film can be, by keeping it simple despite it's 'larger than life' post and depth. Less is more and the viewers can fill in the gaps.

Meet Again

I've been pondering lately on writing something meaningful, hopeful and inspirational for my readers on the topic of Death. Death visits every household, and has been my friend from a young age, and although we know about it, it never gets easier to let go, be at peace or to understand loss when it happens to us. Sure we know that things are born and things die, and we know that our bodies grow old and tired and needs to rest, but what happens when Death visits suddenly, unexpected or to those with so much life left in them? There are no definite answers and perhaps no questions that need to be explained, however we know that when Death comes, beauty also comes with it. We become mindful, we become aware, we awake from our slumber and seek God/Creator/Universe for a more definitive meaning of who we are and why are we here.

Sometimes, even though we cannot wrap our human minds around the departing of others on our spiritual journey, Death can be seen as a new beginning, a release of suffering, and freedom from our earthy shells. Others also believe that it may be of more significance to many with the lessons/blessings of love, heart and awakening that happens when one passes on. Death reminds us how powerful yet fragile we all are, and that we are only here on 'borrowed time'; we at this moment are able to reflect on the mystery that is life and it humbles our human ego, to practice unconditional love, patience and presence, even if only resonating with us for a short time.

Despite the seemingly harrowing experience of what Death appears to be to many of us; it is important that we know that it is not the end. We are, was, and always will be. Vast as the sea, endless like the grains of sand and boundless and radiant as light. Your 'loves' are still with you. They may carry different names in different times, but you are always connected. Many scoff and laugh at the thought of angels and nature spirits, but this world and heavenly realm is real. Because we are too busy to connect with this angelic wisdom does not mean that it does not exist. Sometimes if you are silent and still, you will begin to hear, feel, smell and even see this beautiful world. Trust your instincts and listen to your intuition, because these are whispers from above guiding you on your path in life.

Be joyful darlings, because you will meet your loved ones again… time and space are not the same, but you can be certain that this bond is endless because when you search within through prayer and meditation, the answer resonates…"We are infinite…and we will flow…on and on and on again…"

I will leave you with one of my favorite authors Kahlil Gibran's passages from 'The Prophet' on 'Death':

"You would know the secret of Death
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day, cannot unveil the mystery of light. If you would indeed behold the spirit of Death, open your heart, wide unto the body of life.
For Life and Death are one, even as the river and the sea are one

In the depths of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; and like seeds 
dreaming beneath the snow, your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. Your fear of Death, is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour. 
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die, but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? 
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence, shall you indeed sing.
And when you reach the mountain-top, then you will begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs,  then shall you truly dance."

With Love,




This 2008 film attracted me because of Jordi Molla, a chameleon of an actor in many ways and 'easy on the eyes.' He has had a life-long career in film, but made his international break-through in the film 'Blow' with Penelope Cruz; born in Spain but studied his craft also in Hungary, Italy and England, he is marvelous to watch. Despite it's star-power, this film was almost painful to watch - predictable to say the least, but poor direction and unbelievable reveals, this film certainly did not impress.

Written by David Markus, and directed by Madison Goeres, (who has had more assistant director roles) this drama-horror had plenty of potential but poor execution and delivery. English Catherine McCormack and new-comer Ida Jorgensen both starred, along with Silvia Tortosa, and the multi-talented Christian Rodrigo to name a few. There were beautiful set designs, architecture, establishing shots and transitions, but un-necessary and anticipated dialogue and a range of characters and surprises that didn't move the story forward, it made for a horrid disappointment.

I feel that there was not enough research that went into the producing of this film; it was a decent attempt but failed to hold the attention of the audience and was a misrepresentation of what death and the spirit world are about.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Listed under Comedy, but more in my opinion a drama-fantasy, this 2009 film was an intrigiuing gem. Written and directed by Princeton graduate Jac Shaeffer, and nominated and winner of both local and international film festivals, this first film was quirky, stimulating and insightful. Filmed in Santa Clarita California with a run-time of 99 minutes, Schaeffer managed to execute passion into her project from start to finish; she posed questions on faith, destiny, and patience.

Nowadays we live in a instant-gratification, fast-paced kinda' life-style and many often mistake jumping in the sheets, satisfaction enough opposed to a lifetime of true-love, respect and friendship. Some take matters into their own hands by seeing therapists, psychics or signing up on; while few tend to practice patience and trust in the best possible outcome. What if you could count-down the moment until you met your soulmate? 'Timer' poses that exact question! :)

Believable and fun characters, including Emma Caulfield, and John Patrick Amedori, who had wonderful chemistry on-screen. Great use of light and a soundtrack reminiscent of 'Atonement's' theme song, which was clever as well as catchy. Charming, and dream-like and posing great questions for us all - would you rather know, or break the rules and follow your heart? :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Casa de mi Padre

It seems like 2012 was the year for a new twist on classic Western films. Quentin Taratino was successful at presenting the sensationally violent action/drama 'Django Unchained' and Will Ferrell also produced an equally entertaining, violent yet comical film entitled 'Casa de mi Padre'. Ferrell was 100% committed to his character and starred while speaking only in Spanish.

Although Rated R for violence, language, sexual content, drug-use and language, this film was absolutely light and comedic throughout. Set in Mexico with true quality of overly dramatic tele-novelas (soap-operas), this film exuded first-class camera-techniques, angles, with exquisite cinematography, marvelous shots and a lovely soundtrack.

Written by Andrew Steele and directed by Matt Piedmont both writers for SNL (Saturday Night Live) had an estimated budget of $6 million USD and although they only made back a touch over $5 million USD, they were awarded 3 nominations and 2 wins. Along with Ferrell's great comic timing and expressions, Mexican adroit Gael Garcia Bernal, also lent his skill, as well as Diego Luna, Pedro Armendariz and talented beauty Genesis Rodriguez.

There wasn't any mysterious and poignant message except perhaps that "…Not all Americans are bad", and "…Not all Mexicans are drug-dealers". Beautifully executed and seriously magnificent shots; if it weren't for the phenomenal acting, it would easily switch from funny to serious. Makes for a fun night! :))

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blood & Tears

Song: Hide and Seek

Artist: Imogen Heap


where are we?
what the hell is going on?
the dust has only just begun to form
crop circles in the carpet
sinking feeling

spin me round again
and rub my eyes,
this can't be happening
when busy streets amass with people
would stop to hold their heads heavy

hide and seek
trains and sewing machines
all those years
they were here first

oily marks appear on walls
where pleasure moments hung before the takeover,
the sweeping insensitivity of this still life

hide and seek
trains and sewing machines (oh, you won't catch me around here)
blood and tears (hearts)
they were here first

Mmmm whatcha say,
Mmm that you only meant well?
well of course you did
Mmmm whatcha say,
Mmmm that it's all for the best?
of course it is
Mmmm whatcha say?
Mmmm that it's just what we need
you decided this
whatcha say?
Mmmm what did she say?

ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut outs
speak no feeling no I don't believe you
you don't care a bit, 
you don't care a bit

(hide and seek)
ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut outs

(hide and seek)
speak no feeling no unbelieving
you don't care a bit,
you don't care a (you don't care a) bit

(hide and seek)
oh no, you don't care a bit
oh no, you don't care a bit

(hide and seek)
oh no, you don't care a bit
you don't care a bit

you don't care a bit