TOKAI Movie Banned in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

Local movie maker Abdulrahman Alaskar emailed me saying he just found out his short movie titled TOKAI just got banned by the Ministry of Information from being screened at the Kuwait International Film Retreat that’s being held tomorrow. They haven’t given him any reason but if you search YouTube for “tokai kuwait” you can find and watch the movie (it’s in two parts). Once you watch the movie you can kind of develop your own theory on what their reasons for banning it might be. I would have embedded the videos or links in this post but I got worried if I did that then the MOI might ban my blog as well. Here is the synopsis for the movie:

TOKAI (street cleaner) is a short documentary that offers a glimpse into the lives of thousands of street cleaners who sweep the streets of oil rich Kuwait. In a country of abundance and wealth, these men earn menial salaries, as low as $50 a month and eventually regress into the forgotten inhabitants of the Middle East.

It’s a sensitive topic that’s for sure but do you think it merits a ban? I hope it all turns out to be just a misunderstanding.

Update: The Kuwait Film Retreat will still screen all banned films at the Hilton Hotel in Mangaf on Friday during the day. The Kuwait Film Retreat supports Kuwaiti filmmakers and will keep supporting them no matter what obstacles arise.


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Cinemagic rooftop movie schedule for April 2011

Posted by Mark

April might be the final month for Cinemagic’s rooftop movies since they usually stop playing movies once the weather gets really hot. Since the evenings now are still cool you should really take advantage of this.

Saturday, April 2nd at 7:30pm
MICMACS
Director: Jean – Pierre Jeunet
Country: France
Release: 2010
Genre: Comedy | Crime
Running time: 105 minutes
Language: French | English Subtitle
Awards: Best Director, , Best Cinematography, Best edit
Rated: R

Saturday, April 9th at 7:30pm
SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE
Director: Chan Wook Park
Country: South Korea
Release: 2002
Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller
Running time: 129 minutes
Language: Korean | English Subtitle
Awards: Best Actor, Best Film, Best Director
Rated: R

Thursday, April 14th at 7:30pm
THE WIZARD OF OZ
Director: Victor Fleming
Country: USA
Release: 1939
Genre: Adventure | Fantasy | Musical | Family
Running time: 101 minutes
Language: English | English Subtitle
Awards: 2 Oscars, 5 other wins and 8 nominations
Rated: PG

Saturday, April 16th at 7:30pm
AWAY WE GO
Director: Sam Mendes
Country: USA
Release: 2009
Genre: Comedy | Drama
Running time: 98 minutes
Language: English | English Subtitle
Awards: Nominated Best Actors, Best Film
Rated: 15+

Thursday, April 21st at 7:30pm
JAR CITY
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Country: Iceland
Release: 2006
Genre: Thriller
Running time: 93 minutes
Language: Icelandic | English Subtitle
Awards: Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, Cinematography
Rated: 15+

Saturday, April 23rd at 7:30pm
WATER
Director: Deepa Mehta
Country: India
Release: 2005
Genre: Drama
Running time: 117 minutes
Language: Hindi | English Subtitle
Awards: Best Film, Director, Cinematography, Script
Rated: PG

Thursday, April 28th at 7:30pm
THE HEADLESS WOMAN
Director: Lucrecia Martel
Country: Argentina
Release: 2009
Genre: Drama | Mystery | Thriller
Running time: 87 minutes
Language: Spanish | English Subtitle
Awards: Cannes, in competition, Best film, director, actress
Rated: 15+

Saturday, April 30th at 7:30pm
THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST
Director: Daniel Alfredsson
Country: Sweden
Release: 2010
Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller
Running time: 147 minutes
Language: Swedish | English Subtitle
Rated: R

Cinemagic Kuwait, is organizing these events as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by Increasing the public’s interest in – and appreciation for – the art of film-making. Cinemagic movies are screened in the old Salmiya, on the roof on top of Alghanim Electronics and LG. There is a KD1 charge for the venue fees which includes refreshments, popcorn and much more. Here is a link to their Facebook group [Link]


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Quick Movie Reviews

Posted by Mark

The past few days since I’ve been in Lebanon I’ve been watching a lot of movies at the cinema. Here is a quick summary of what I thought of them:

Unknown
– Not bad, you think you know whats going to happen but then you get a nice surprise. I like Liam Neeson although the past 3 movies I watched he’s played a similar styled character which is becoming as annoying as Johnny Depp.

Battle: Los Angeles
– This might have been a good movie if no one spoke in it. The cheesy cliche dialogue just ruined it for me and nearly put me to sleep a few times. The movie is like Transformers but without the Autobots, just the evil Decepticons.

The Adjustment Bureau
– Watch The 13th Floor or Dark City instead.


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Kuwait Young Film Contest Reminder

Posted by Mark

This is just a reminder that the deadline to submitting your film for the Kuwait Young Film Contest is March 10th which is less than a month away. If you need more information about the contest, its rules, regulations and details on how to submit your film then visit their website [Here]

They’ve also set up a YouTube channel with tip and tricks to film making [Here]


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Cinemagic rooftop movie schedule for February 2011

Posted by Mark

In 2011 Cinemagic is continuing the journey of the old, the latest and the best. Films that would never see the light in Kuwait and films that you should never miss. From the list of movies this month the only one I have seen is Four Lions which although was funny I thought dragged a bit too long. Here is the full schedule:

Thursday, February 3rd at 7:30pm
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Country: Sweden
Release: 2010
Genre: Crime | Drama
Running time: 129 minutes
Language: Swedish | English Subtitle
Awards: Winner Best Actress, Best Foreign Film
Rated: R

Saturday, February 5th at 7:30pm
THE TIME THAT REMAINS
Director: Elia Suleiman
Country: UK | ITALY | FRANCE
Release: 2010
Genre: Drama
Running time: 109 minutes
Language: Arabic | English Subtitle
Awards: 3 awards, Best DIRECTOR, Best Film…
Rated: PG

Thursday, February 10th at 7:30pm
DEPARTURES
Director: Yôjirô Takita
Country: Japan
Release: 2008
Genre: Drama | Music
Running time: 130 minutes
Language: Japanese | English Subtitle
Awards: 34 wins, Best Film, Actors, Cinematography, editing, sound, costume.
Rated: PG

Saturday, February 12th at 7:30pm
FOUR LIONS
Director: Christopher Morris
Country: UK
Release: 2010
Genre: Comedy | Drama
Running time: 97 minutes
Language: English | English Subtitle
Awards: 7 Nominations, Best Director, Best Film, Best Screenplay
Rated: R

Thursday, February 17th at 7:30pm
THE SECRET OF KELLS
Director: Tomm Moore
Country: France | Ireland
Release: 2009
Genre: Animation
Running time: 75 minutes
Language: English | English Subtitle
Awards: Best Animation
Rated: PG

Saturday, February 19th at 7:30pm
NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Country: Iran
Release: 2009
Genre: Drama
Running time: 106 minutes
Language: Persian | English Subtitle
Awards: Cannes – Un Certain Regard, Special Jury Prize
Rated: PG

Thursday, February 24th at 7:30pm
SURPRISE FILM

Cinemagic Kuwait, is organizing these events as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by Increasing the public’s interest in – and appreciation for – the art of film-making. Cinemagic movies are screened in the old Salmiya, on the roof on top of Alghanim Electronics and LG. There is a KD1 charge for the venue fees which includes refreshments, popcorn and much more. Here is a link to their Facebook group [Link]


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Cinemagic rooftop movie schedule for January 2011

Posted by Mark

For 2011 Cinemagic will continue the journey of The Old, The Latest and The Best. Films that would never see the light in Kuwait, films that you should never miss, films that you might like and others might hate but agreed that it added flavor to your taste, films that we should all discover and cherish. I’ve watched two of the movies from this months schedule, Son of Rambow and City of God. Son of Rambow was pretty cool but City of God is like one of the best movies ever made. If you’re going to choose one movie to watch this month then watch City of God.

Thursday, January 6th at 7:30PM
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Country: Sweden
Release: 2009
Genre: Crime | Drama
Running time: 152 minutes
Language: Swedish | English Subtitle
Awards: Winner Best Actress, Best Foreign Film
Rated: R

Saturday, January 8th at 7:30PM
THE MAID
Director: Sebastien Silva
Country: Chile
Release: 2009
Genre: Drama
Running time: 95 minutes
Language: Spanish | English
Subtitle Awards: 24 awards, Best Actress, Best Film, Best Director…
Rated: PG

Thursday, January 13th at 7:30PM
THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES
Director: Juan Jose Campanella
Country: Argentina
Release: 2009
Genre: Drama | Mystery
Running time: 129 minutes
Language: Spanish | English Subtitle
Awards: 34 wins, Best film, best actors, cinematography, editing, sound, costume…
Rated: R

Saturday, January 15th at 7:30PM
THE WHITE RIBBON
Director: Michael Haneke
Country: Austria | Germany
Release: 2009
Genre: Drama | Crime
Running time: 144 minutes
Language: German | English Subtitle
Awards: 24 wins, Best Director, Best Film, Best Cinematography
Rated: R

Thursday, January 20th at 7:30PM
SON OF RAMBOW
Director: Garth Jennings
Country: UK
Release: 2007
Genre: Comedy
Running time: 96 minutes
Language: English | English
Subtitle Awards: Best Script, Best Film, Best Director
Rated: PG

Saturday, January 22nd at 7:30PM
CITY OF GOD
Director: Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund
Country: Brazil
Release: 2002
Genre: Crime | Drama
Running time: 130 minutes
Language: Portugese | English Subtitle
Awards: 55 Wins, Best Film, Sound, Editing, Cinematography, Script…
Rated: R

Thursday, January 27th at 7:30PM
THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD
Director: Ji-Woon Kim
Country: South Korea
Release: 2008
Genre: Crime | Comedy
Running time: 139 minutes
Language: Korean | English Subtitle
Awards: Best Cinematography, Director, Editing, Soundtrack
Rated: PG

Saturday, January 29th at 7:30PM
IL POSTINO
Director: Michael Radford
Country: Italy
Release: 1994
Genre: Drama
Running time: 108 minutes
Language: Italian | English Subtitle
Awards: Best Film, Music, Script, Director, Acting…
Rated: PG

Cinemagic Kuwait, is organizing these events as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by Increasing the public’s interest in – and appreciation for – the art of film-making. Cinemagic movies are screened in the old Salmiya, on the roof on top of Alghanim Electronics and LG. There is a KD1 charge for the venue fees which includes refreshments, popcorn and much more. Here is a link to their Facebook group [Link]


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Kuwait Young Film Festival

Posted by Mark

Cinemagics have launched a film festival in hopes of paving the way for the new generation of film makers in Kuwait. You can find information on this competition on their website but here is the list of categories you can participate in:

- Cinematography
- Editing & Sound for cinema
- Advertising for Cinema & New Media
- Acting for Cinema
- Directing & Filmmaking

This competition is only for students (school/university) and people under the age of 30. If you are interested in participating in the film festival you can visit their website for more information and details. There is plenty of time to create something if you don’t have a film ready since the submission deadline is March 10, 2011. [Link]


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Trailer: Secret of the Graves

Posted by Mark

Does anyone know if this movie is going to get released in Kuwait? I just watched the trailer and it looks like the best Arabic horror movie I’ve ever seen.. at least judging by the trailer. [YouTube]

Update: I just watched another version of the trailer and I do NOT think this will get released in Kuwait or ANYWHERE else in the region. I don’t think the director or anyone related to the movie is actually safe in this region.


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In Focus: Funoon Centre

Posted by Mark

The post below reminded me I should actually post about the Funoon store. For everyone that’s grown up in Kuwait during the 80′s, this store is a gold mine. They have all the famous Abed Al Hussein Abd Al Rida plays and shows available… on DVD! I picked up the Bye Bye London DVD for just KD3. Quality isn’t DVD quality but it’s better than the VHS tape I had. Only problem I actually had with the DVD is that sound comes out of one speaker only because they took the mono track and assigned it to one side. I would have taken the mono track and repeated on the left and right instead. But anyway that’s a small complaint. They also had Seif Al 3arab (2 DVDs), Bye Bye 3arab, Dars Khoosoosee, Darb Al Zalag and a lot more… all on DVD and all priced at KD3 per DVD.

Not sure how many branches they have but I went to the one off the 5th Ring Road in Salmiya. If Turkish Grill is on your right hand side it’s around 200 meters right after it, on the corner of Amman street.


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Cinemagic rooftop movie schedule for December 2010

Posted by Mark

The weather right now is just amazing for watching movies outdoor and Cinemagic have a ton of great movies scheduled for us this month. I personally want to try and watch North by Northwest since I haven’t watched that yet.

Thursday, December 2nd at 7:30PM
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Director: Robert Wise
Country: USA
Release: 1965
Genre: Adventure | Musical | Family
Running time: 176 minutes
Language: English | English Subtitle
Awards: 5 Oscars, 10 other wins and 10 nominations
Rated: PG

Saturday, December 4th at 7:30PM
LA DOUBLE VIE DE VÉRONIQUE
Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Country: Poland
Release: 1991
Genre: Drama | Fantasy
Running time: 98 minutes
Language: French | Polish | English Subtitle
Awards: Golden Globe Nominee, 8 awards and 15 nominations
Rated: 15+

Thursday, December 9th at 7:30PM
NORTH BY NORTHWEST
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Country: USA
Release: 1959
Genre: Thriller | Action
Running time: 131 minutes
Language: English | English Subtitle
Awards: 3 Oscar nominations, 4 wins and 3 nominations
Rated: PG

Saturday, December 11th at 7:30PM
THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
Director: Julien Schnabel
Country: France
Release: 2007
Genre: Drama
Running time: 112 minutes
Language: French | English Subtitle
Awards: 4 Oscar nominations, 41 wins
Rated: 15+

Thursday, December 16th at 7:30PM
EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Country: Spain
Release: 2006
Genre: Fantasy | Drama
Running time: 120 minutes
Language: Spanish | English Subtitle
Awards: 71 awards and 58 nominations
Rated: 15+

Saturday, December 18th at 7:30PM
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Director: Tim Burton
Country: USA
Release: 1993
Genre: Animation | Fantasy
Running time: 76 minutes
Language: English | English Subtitle
Awards: 4 awards and 6 nominations
Rated: PG

Cinemagic Kuwait, is organizing these events as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by Increasing the public’s interest in – and appreciation for – the art of film-making. Cinemagic movies are screened in the old Salmiya, on the roof on top of Alghanim Electronics and LG. There is a KD1 charge for the venue fees which includes refreshments, popcorn and much more. Here is a link to their Facebook group [Link]


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