Monday, January 23, 2012


I watched this movie "Shame", a kind of controversial film if you ask me. People either hated it or loved it. I am not going  to judge the movie myself or tell you what I think of it, but I am just going to say this: the movie is about a sex addict and here is the full synopsis: there was once a sex addict. The End.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Beirut Hotel: Waste of time

I watched Beirut Hotel. Again, I think we started to see some Lebanese production with a good script, good acting (especially Fadi Abi Samra and definitely not Rodni Haddad) and good shooting techniques, but does that alone make a good movie? I mean come on, where is the story? The movie claims to be a spy movie or a thriller; I wasn't thrilled at all, not even for a second, throughout the whole movie. I didn't laugh, I didn't cry, I didn't feel anything, I didn't think about anything, it just wasted two hours of my time. When is someone going to come up with a Lebanese movie without all those cliches about Lebanon and without all those "this is Beirut", and "this is how we live", and "I am Lebanese, if you lie to me, I kill you"? what does that have to do with you being Lebanese? The main idea of the movie which was bluntly and explicitly mentioned is this: "if you think you understand Lebanon, that means it wasn't well explained to you". So here is another Lebanese movie that reinforces all those cliches about Lebanon, the complex country that is beyond explanation, beyond the grasp of humankind, the unique (in a bad way this time but still unique), the exotic, confused, complicated, different, etc. well, you know what? Lebanon is not so complicated and if you find it hard to explain it maybe that's because you don't understand it yourself so how about you don't make a movie about something you do not understand, because to me it is simple. Complications in Lebanon are no less than in any other country, you just think your country is special, and complicated in a special way. The problem is square and simple: Lebanon is a racist, sectarian, selfish, hypocrite, fake, and pretentious country with people who whine all day about miseries they brought upon themselves, who misread their history and keep recreating it, who victimize themselves to shy away from facing what they really are: racist, sectarian, selfish, hypocrite, fake, and pretentious people. What are you trying to tell people here Danielle Arbid? You want to make a spy movie with unnecessary sex scenes, go ahead, but I still don't get the point. So now instead of the virgin woman living in the village, you bring the sexy liberal woman who lives in the city? how creative! Now the movie should never have been censored. But again, was it really censored or did Arbid sign an agreement with the censorship committee (funny there is such a thing) which she later violated? The censorship committee gave her permission to shoot the film on condition she doesn't mention the Hariri Assassination to which she allegedly agreed. Arbid should have made her case against censorship back then and refuse to sign but instead she produced the original script ignoring the condition and later made her case against censorship. It was stupid to impose such a condition by the committee in the first place but it wouldn't have made any difference if Hariri was not mentioned. But forget about all of that, say you are not Lebanese and you are watching the movie without any background about Lebanon, say you are a Vietnamese watching it, assuming you get through the first few minutes and you don't switch to something else, unless you are just waiting to see some boobs as someone mentioned to me, you would be watching a movie that tells you from the start that there is a conspiracy going on, and so you wait till the end of the movie to see how all of this is going to end (is the French lawyer a spy? is Abbas an Israeli agent? does he know too much? or was he just a victim of a bigger conspiracy?) only to realize after two hours that the conspiracy, the riddle you want to see solved, will never be solved, and you will never understand anything, why? because this is Lebanon, one of the characters tells you in case you didn't realize that two hours had already passed and there is no more time to give you answers. You would end the movie with one thought: Thank God I am Vietnamese.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Debt

I watched this movie "The Debt", a Zionist propaganda film that intends to show how humanitarian, good-hearted, and well-intentioned the Mossad is! Now the movie is bad in all respects so they get a very good cast, but even with that the movie is unbelievably boring. What is funny though is that despite all the propaganda, you could still see how incompetent, stupid, deceiving, and hypocrite the Mossad agents are. That at least is true.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I can't help it

Two persons make me laugh, real hard, and I am one of them.

He wasn't good at Math

The weather forecast has been announcing for days now that the storm will hit Lebanon today. I wake up this morning and put on all my clothes. Everyone in Beirut had done the same: people have emptied their closets only the storm did not arrive. Someone must have made a small mistake while calculating wind speed in relation to distance. It happens, here, only all the time.

P.S. Someone commented on this saying that someone just wanted to sell some umbrellas. It happens too.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


The Lebanese people take pride in reading and sharing anything that is said in the West about them, even if it were something mocking them. They think that simply because they are mentioned in Western media, that means they have some importance or that they are unique somehow. Show them this video for example, and they will tell you it is cute or funny, they will laugh themselves, and instead of changing a certain behavior, they will adopt it even more and make it part of their identity and uniqueness. In short, tell a Lebanese you are a donkey and they will start making donkey sounds.

De Niro's Game

I just finished Rawi Hage's "De Niro's Game", a must read novel about the Lebanon civil war in the context of East Beirut. If you have seen the movie "West Beirut", then you would certainly wish to see this book turned into an "East Beirut" film. Rawi Hage is an excellent novelist and storyteller and you will appreciate the bald use of Arabic style in his English prose underneath every sentence, very elegantly crafted to the smallest detail. His images are so vivid, modern, and creative. The book will hook you from the start and will keep you holding your breaths until you have finished it. Then you will rush to open the second book he wrote "The cockroach" also breathtakingly beautiful. I liked "The cockroach" more but that's maybe because I read it first and was impressed by this very perceptive novelist. You will also not miss the influence of Albert Camus' "the stranger" on both novels and the similarities between Rawi Hage's main character and narrator and the protagonist of the "the stranger" which he refers to in "De Niro's Game". What also made me appreciate Rawi Hage even more is that although he writes in English, you will not get the impression that he is writing to a Western audience. Both novels can be described as universal by all means, but you will enjoy reading them more if you are an Arab, particularly Lebanese, and especially if you know and appreciate Arabic literature.


You are not smart enough until you know how to be stupid a little.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I am a boy

I always feel sorry for young boys who call Radio Stations and are addressed as girls, sometimes as grown up women. The host would say: hello Madam, and they would suddenly stutter and say: my name is Hassan. See? it is not easy to be a kid.


When I hesitate I remind myself of this: better regret something you did than regret something you did not do... That usually ends with: crap!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I will never drink again! ever... ever...

Among the very common phrases you hear and say on the morning following New Year's eve are: "Oh... my head", and "what happened last night?" (usually while your hand is still on your head), and "where do all these bruises come from?", and you could say "where am I?" and "who are you?" but the winner of all time is "I will never drink again".