Sunday, September 30, 2007


ATONEMENT, directed by Joe Wright. With Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's (Keira Knightley) lover (James McAvoy) of a crime he did not commit. Already garnering award buzz, the film is based on the acclaimed British novel by Ian McEwan.

I’M NOT THERE, directed by Academy Award®-nominee Todd Haynes. With Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Julianne Moore, and Michelle Williams.
Ruminations on the life of Bob Dylan, where seven characters embody a different aspect of the musician's life and work.

REDACTED, directed by Brian De Palma. With Francois Caillaud, Patrick Carroll, Rob Devaney, Izzy Diaz, Mike Figueroa, Ty Jones, Ohad Knoller, and Paul O’Brien.
A montage of stories about U.S. soldiers fighting in the Iraq conflict with a focus on the modern forms of media covering the war.

RENDITION, directed by Gavin Hood. With Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, Alan Arkin, and Peter Sarsgaard.
When Egyptian-born terrorism suspect, Anwar El-Ibrahim (Omar Metwalley) disappears on a flight from South Africa to Washington DC, his American wife, Isabella (Reese Witherspoon) travels to Washington DC to try and learn the reason for his disappearance. Meanwhile, at a secret detention facility somewhere outside the U.S., CIA analyst Douglas Freeman (Jake Gyllenhaal) is forced to question his assignment in an attempt to save thousands as he becomes a party to the unorthodox interrogation of El-Ibrahim. Gavin Hood directed the Academy Award®-winning TSOTSI.

ROMAN DE GARE, directed by Academy Award®-winner Claude Lelouch. With Dominique Pinon, Fanny Ardant, and Audrey Dana
Judith Ralitzer, femme fatale and popular writer, is seeking characters for her next best-seller. A serial killer has just escaped from the Santé prison in Paris's 13th arrondissement. Huguette, a hairdresser in a top Parisian beauty salon, is going to change their destiny. Some encounters are more fatal than others...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Abu Dhabi pt.2

This is my private oasis at the hotel, with some construction in the background. There is construction everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. I'm realizing more and more how conservative this culture is, especially during Ramadan. More on Ramadan later. It's really shocking for a lot of the community to see skin other than hands and face. There is a nice little note in the hotel literature that ask that you not wear shorts to and from the pool, gym, beach or in the lobby. So they build the tourists these little outposts to keep all of that flesh out of public view. There is loads of beach around and I personally find it a tragedy that you can't take your shirt off and experience it any time you like. I've yet to receive a satisfactory answer as to why you can't enjoy the beach or why you are not supposed to touch dogs. I mostly think it was because Mohammad didn't like dogs. Much like the Castillian S.

Also you are not allowed to look a many websites like,
pictured here. Sometimes these come up at the most unexpected times.
So, Ramadan is kind of like lent that ends in something like Christmas. It's the 9th month of the Islam calender. There is NO eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours. Because of this everyone is especially pious and conservative. Because of this I too must fast and be pious during daylight hours. But as soon as the sun goes down it's no hold barred. Except you can really only be outside on certain nights and I haven't really figured it all out yet...Other than it's about 100-110f and about 500% humidity. I have also found that it is not as easy as it seems to take photographs at night. The long exposure. The inability to procure liquor in an easy fashion. It's not illegal. But it is hard to come by. Except for hotels. Where most alcohol serving occurs. I here there are some 'underground' Lebanese discos but...any way...
This is the view of the palace at night. I was fiddling with the exposure and zoom for a while before I figured it out. Here are couple that I liked and finally a clear one...

This a little bit more of the city just next to the palace. Reminds me of the Twilight Singers album cover for Powder Burns.

This is the stuff I was listening to while posting. Some of this neo-shoegaze that I eat up with a spoon.
Glassacre, Slow Attack Caribou, Andorra

A Shoreline Dream, Coastal

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


This is the Abu Dhabi Palace of the Emeriates (I think) as seen from my hotel room. The close up is of what I think is a like a crow's nest but for snipers. So the dude that lives up in there is like a Sultan, Sheik, and Prince all rolled up in one. In my mind, and I'll admit that I'm a philistine, I thought that Sultans were to Kings and Sheiks were to Dukes. I'm not sure how the Prince situation works. I'll try to do some more research.

I don't see any snipers in the basket right now so the Prince must be out.

This is the worlds tallest flag pole. I don't know if they're the worlds biggest flags. I would bet they are hoisted by a big machine. And that building is a mosque. It's a place where muslims gather to pray. Five times a day begining at 4:45am. I know this because they pipe the prayers on loud speakers all through the city, just like in the movies.

Some other things I know:

Nescafe is a poor substitute for coffee

This is the most serious amount of humidity I have ever experienced.

I love bidets

Arabs abhor schedules.