The House with a Clock in Its Walls
Black, more than anyone else, should have been the one to wind up The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Too bad he doesn't…
Wael Khairy is an Egyptian journalist born in London. After five years in the UK, his family moved back to their home country, Egypt, where Khairy has been living in Cairo ever since. His passion for cinema started at a very young age when his father gave him an old video cassette of "Jaws" as a birthday gift, the viewing of which triggered a movie-watching frenzy. Eager to know more about the art form of the twenty-first century, he devoted most of his time to reading and learning about motion pictures. At the American University in Cairo, he studied Communication Media Arts, Film, and Business.
He writes on a regular basis, and, while he works as a film critic for Egypt’s only English-language film magazine C, he prefers to write about the history of motion pictures, film theory, and film analysis. To satisfy this preference, he created his own blog, The Cinephile Fix, where his film essays and reviews are available for movie buffs around the world to read. His goal of having most of his work published and publically recognized, he has achieved! He has always felt that film was a medium often misunderstood as simply a form of entertainment (much like video games) and, while it is that, some films exceed that notion, becoming masterpieces of art, regardless of the medium.
During the revolution Egyptians referenced "V for Vendetta" more frequently than any other work of art. Protestors held up signs that read "Remember, remember the 25 of January." On the internet, Photoshop was used to alter Pharaoh Tout Ankh Amoun's face into a Fawkes smile.
Sarah Abdel Rahman, an activist who ended up on TIME magazine's cover page during the revolution referred to scenes from the film when I discussed the revolution with her. Guy Fawkes' bumper stickers are stuck on the back windows of dozens of cars driving through Cairo traffic; his mask painted red, white and black resembling the Egyptian flag. The list goes on and on, there's no doubt about it, in 2011 "V for Vendetta" stirred up as much conversations in Egypt as when it first spread controversy the day it was released here.
Wolfgang Peterson's "Das Boot" is a tense psychological drama with a powerful anti-war message and enough nerve-wracking suspense to make your heart pound against your chest like depth charges rupturing a submarine's hull. But before I get into why "Das Boot" is possibly the most authentic war film ever made, I'll try to clarify which version to go for as each is almost completely different from the other.
Today I walked the streets of Egypt proud--proud of my people and my country. It took us 18 days of protests to force Mubarak and his corrupt regime to resign. Their accounts will be frozen and the billions of dollars that should've gone into building a better and cleaner country will finally be restored for the good of our nation.
Mubarak left and we're all proud of getting rid of a corrupt dictator but it's the incidents I've witnessed with my own eyes throughout this revolution that has me swollen with pride. When Muslims prayed on a bridge, the police sprayed them with water and even though some slipped and fell, they stood back up and resumed. Egyptians of all religions were moved by this and when the water was pointed back at them, they created another front line of prayers. People kept coming in to reduce the impact of the water.
Wael is a gifted young film critic who joined his fellow Far-Flung Correspondents at Ebertfest 2010. Today the group received this word from him after a week of silence.
We took a specific safe route to my grandfather's house on Thursday night. After a good night sleep, I met up with fellow friends and protestors of Zamalek and walked to Tahrir Square where the majority of the protestors chanted and waved their hands in unity. The Friday protest was exhausting for we were struggling to stand our ground. The police fired tear-gas and it was the first time for me to inhale this toxic material.
Michael Mann's "Heat" ranks right up there with the best of the crime genre from "Rififi" to "The Godfather". In fact, it is in my opinion the single greatest Los Angeles crime epic of all time, for it encompasses themes and visuals rarely achieved by productions. "Heat" is very ambitious and the end result is nothing short of a larger-than-life epic grandeur of a film.
The other day I was discussing the physicality of objects with a fellow Far-Flung Correspondent), Grace Wang. We were mourning the death of physical objects. Like me, she shares this preference of actual physical books over e-books, letters over emails, photo albums on a shelf over digitalized photo albums on Facebook. There is something unique about the physicality of them all, something that will always be absent from their digital replacements. Of course recycling these objects goes without saying.
The smell of a book as you turn a soft page, or the excitement of checking the mailbox for snail mail is something many of us will always prefer over clicking a 'Next Page' icon in an e-book or checking an inbox full of emails. It's why the Jimmy Stewart film "Shop Around the Corner" worked better as a romantic comedy than the Tom Hanks remake "You've Got Mail". Yes, both may contain the same content but content has nothing to do with it. I would rather slam a book with anger or crumble a letter than double click a delete button. This need for physical objects is more than just an act of nostalgia; it's a predilection.
There was a moment in "Winter's Bone" when I felt sheer horror triggering my heart to thump in loud heavy beats. A moment more haunting and terrifying than anything I've seen all year. Not since the gas station scene in "No Country for Old Men" and the French vanilla ice-cream desert in "Inglourious Basterds" have I held my breath for so long. It is what I like to call a pulse-raiser scene, one of those moments when you really want to look away but you simply can't because you care too much for the victim.
I told Roger it would take me 48 hours to review "Sin Nombre" and yet hours turned to days and days to months, and I still had not reviewed it. Scratch that. I did write four reviews, but not a satisfactory one. The first review was too much about my views on immigration and didn't elaborate much on the film. The second was the other way around. The third was about how the film was great based on the way it was shot. That one was too technical. The fourth review was too personal; a review should be about the
It's quite easy for someone to enjoy film. Loving film is completely different. For those who see films enjoy them, yet only those who can read film truly love it and understand it as an art form.
Hitchcock is probably the most well known director of all time. There is no absolute answer to what his crowning achievement is. A lot of critics prefer "Vertigo." Taste varies from one film lover to the other. "North by Northwest", "Notorious", "Vertigo", "Rear Window", "The Birds", "Shadow of a Doubt", "Strangers on a Train", "Rebecca", "Suspicion", "The 39 Steps" and "Psycho" are among his most loved.
The truth is there is no such thing as one ultimate Hitchcock masterpiece, there are only favorites.
The prospect of filming "Waiting for Godot" has always fascinated me. Can film do it any justice? Better yet, will it even translate well on film? I believe it could work. However, it depends on who adapts the screen adaptation. I'm not talking about a re-imagining but a direct adaptation. I cannot see anything being changed in "Waiting for Godot" because if anything is changed it will not be Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" but [Director's Name]'s "Waiting for Godot."
Still, if nothing is changed, it still doesn't mean it will work as a motion picture. Some of the greatest works of literature have been adapted to the silver screen with a faithful structure and direct character quotations, only to fail miserably. Take Henry James' "The Europeans" for example. The novel is a perfectly enriched with interesting characters trying to adapt in a sudden clash of cultures.