Thursday, December 21, 2006

Robert Frisk @ MPAC

link here

Start from 20 minutes in to jump right to his talk.
I would highlight all of the good quotes from this but there are too many, so just watch the whole thing.

p.s. I have added a lot of new links so go check them out. It's as if someone already looked at the whole internet you and showed you what is worth your time.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

florida

I arrived in florida last night. Before I continue I have some unfinished thoughts.

We did shooting for The Last Man on Saturday night at the Masonic temple in downtown Tucson. Needless to say, it was scary and weird. It had multiple conference room looking rooms which had thrones and alters. I don't think anything evil in nature happens there but it looks like a fraternity for really strange white people. However, one of the people on the crew is a Freemason and he is Iranian (wtfawdg?). The strangest things I saw were a wall of photos of old men dressed as medieval kings and a closet full of old sandals and big drums :/ .
We had A LOT of guns that night and my ears have just barely recovered.

So yes, I am in Florida until the 24th. I am photographing a wedding on Friday and will be cold chillin' until then.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

pause button

I am free from school for now.
I have since chained myself to my unfinished documentary.
I had a spurt of inspiration last night that compelled me to shoot a full tape of footage of myself. My film has taken a drastic turn in it's style.

p.s. we got ourselves a cat. More photos can be found here.
and I've been trying to stay updated on this new doc on private security contractors in Iraq. Definitely worth checking out and maybe buying.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Almost Free

One more paper left to write before I unleash the lions of leisure. I'm writing my final paper for History of the Documentary on Marlon Riggs's last film, Black is... Black ain't.
Also... I saw Aronofsky's The Fountain tonight. It was visually intense to say the least. It's too crazy to review it after the first view. If you're a fan of his work, like myself, it is a must see.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Children of Men

Just got back from the press screening of Children of Men. The film was incredible. It paints quite possibly the scariest and most feasable picture of the world in 2027 when the world is incapable of having children. Clive Owen's character is entrusted with a young pregnant women to get her to a safe place called the Human Project. Meanwhile, there is a huge guerilla war happening and militant groups are tracking them trying to use the baby for their own agendas. The photography in the film is amazing and it has some of the most unbelievable long take sequences that I have ever seen. The film is released on Dec. 25th so now you know what you're going to see on Christmas day. Thank me later.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

let the races begin

So all of my projects are due in the next 2 weeks.
I shot everyday this break/weekend. I just hope that everything cuts together... then my heart attack will cease.

For my scene analysis class I shot 2 days at Guadalajara Grill, one of the best Mexican restaurants in Tucson. The owner was really nice about us shooting our scene, even though the whole restaurant was watching us when we shot wednesday night. I hope it only made their dinner more interesting.

I just got back from shooting another night for The Last Man. We have been shooting live ammunition so its been a lot of fun. We also shot our actors with blood capsules from a paintball gun. The director missed the pad he was suppose to shoot Santiago in and hit his shoulder. It made a sweet wealt. We are well into filming the 3rd Act and will be finished with prinicipal photography before Christmas, God willing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Arranged



IMDB says the film was still in post production at the end of August. It looks really interesting though.
"Two young women – one an Orthodox Jew, the other Muslim – meet and become friends as first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. Over the course of the year they learn they share much in common, not least of which is that they are both going through arranged marriages."
The trailer can be found here.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Good Times

1. My film screening went really well this last sunday. A lot of people came out to support. Even a friend of mine who has been living in Hawaii for some months now came to the screening during his really short visit to Tucson. I didn't win any awards but having my film play in the Fox theatre alone is an award.

2. My physical condition is really good right now just incase anyone was getting any ideas of trying to wrestle me or something. I'm taking challengers since I got all hyped up seeing this. (Thanks Hamed)

3. I'm super happy right now about Saddam being sentenced to death by hanging, Rumsfeld's resignation, and both the Senate and the House being changing majorities.

4. I saw Stranger Than Fiction tuesday night at a pre screening at the U of A and I really enjoyed it. Will Ferrell's best movie as of now, for sure. Expect a review sometime soon.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Busy time

Well... I've been more busy this week than I have this whole semester. My professors are having everything due next week and I feel like I'm on crazy pills.

In other developments, my film "An Encounter With Evil and Fate" will be playing at the Loft on Saturday night at 10pm for the Three Minute Thriller Competition. In addition, they might even be playing an older film I made in 2003 called "The Green and Red" featuring two battling comic book geeks. The films will be playing as encore screenings from previous years I have entered the competition.

Also, my film about two Iraqi men and their experiences during Saddam's regime is playing at Reel Inspiration on Sunday the 5th of November.

Anyone who wants to come support me and the films should come to the screenings. Thanks.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Buy that which has brought me hours of joy

A bit of a throwback to the 90's for you... I am selling my Sega Game Gear, the best portable game console before the PSP was made. You could actually watch TV on this. I used to have the TV antenna for it but I think it got lost when I moved to Arizona more than 10 years ago. I had some more games for it but I traded them for the Game Genie which I never learned how to use.
Check it out for sure.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Best Film You Haven't Heard About



There is finally a trailer online for this film. This is by far my favorite documentary. From beginning to end the film is
breathtaking, gut wrenching, and beautiful. The film will Premiere in NY November 8th.

Synopsis:
An opus in three parts, Iraq In Fragments offers a series of intimate, passionately-felt portraits: A fatherless 11-year-old is apprenticed to the domineering owner of a Baghdad garage; Sadr followers in two Shiite cities rally for regional elections while enforcing Islamic law at the point of a gun; a family of Kurdish farmers welcomes the US presence, which has allowed them a measure of freedom previously denied.

American director James Longley spent more than two years filming in Iraq to create this stunningly photographed, poetically rendered documentary of the war-torn country as seen through the eyes of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. Winner of Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Editing awards in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival documentary competition, the film was also awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

An Encounter with Evil and Fate



Writer/Director: J Mashouf
Director of Photography: Chris Johnson
Original Score: Debbie

Cast (in order of appearance)
Adina Diaz
Jesus Robles
Justin Mashouf

This is a film I made in early 2005. We shot it in two days and I edited it in about a week. The score and sound effects took another two weeks. This film screened at the Three Minute Thriller in Tucson Arizona that October. Thanks for watching.

p.s. I was almost seriously injured making this movie so email it to a friend, spread it around.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My nephew

الحمد لله

Here are the ultrasound photos of my first nephew. I'm really excited. I can't believe my brother is going to be a dad, it's hard to believe, but I'm sure he will be a cool dad. He's due in February inshAllah.

Monday, October 02, 2006

who doesn't love murals?

A friend of mine is redoing his mural at Skrappy's downtown. I haven't seen the finished product yet but I took photos of it at about 70% completion. It looks dope already. I'm wandering what the finished product will look like.
For contact info of the artist just post a comment with your email.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Habitat

So I moved about a month ago to a house my best friend bought. It's been really nice living here.. thought I would share some of my living space with you.
My sleeping situation.

Workspace.

If you noticed that my keyboard is glowing also note the strange
symbol button on the far left. I have since programmed it to launch rockets : )

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ramadhan Mubarak


Ramadhan Mubarak!

God willing everyone will use this month to bring themselves closer to God and to broaden their understanding of themseleves and others.
I'm going to try to not gain weight this Ramadhan but I'm sure I will fail as I always do..
Be sure to check out Tariq Ramadan's new article regarding the Pope quotation controversy.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Review: The Ground Truth



The Ground Truth
Director: Patricia Foulkrod
Director of Photography: Reuben Aaronson
Editor: Rob Hall

Last week I saw this film at a free screening at The Loft. Most of the audience was over 50 but there were some younger people mixed into the crowd. I had sent out a lot of emails and etc regarding the film screening to over 100 Muslims but my roommate and I were the only Muslims there : (

The film was very well done. It consists of interviews of soldiers who are now veterans from the current Iraq war, footage from basic training, Iraq, and interviews with friends and family of Veterans. The film criticizes the military's manipulative recruiting methods, incompetent health and psychiatric resources, and overall treatment of Vets with Posttraumamatic Stress Disorder.

Many of the Vets in the documentary have been seriously injured in the war, have had amputated limbs, and all have been very psychologically damaged by their experiences in war. The film noted that suicide rates in the US military are very high and Vets have a high risk of committing suicide when they return home. One family in the film found their Iraq Veteran son hanging from their basement ceiling with a garden hose around his neck. Many of those interviewed say they come back from war with a part of them dead inside, never to return.

The Veterans also mentioned that the military's actions in this current war are irresponsible and illegal. Accounts of unarmed innocent civilians being run over by trucks or gunned down were plenty. The method of training these soldiers "to be killers" was mentioned as one reason for indiscriminate killings of civilians. Since the current war in Iraq has what the Vets called "an invisible enemy" it also makes it even harder for soldiers to make decisions.

The film as a whole really highlighted the experience of the soldier during this war but also tackled other issues associated with the current war on Iraq.

The film comes out on DVD very soon so buy it because it is definitely worth it to support this film.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Friday, September 15, 2006

Support Islamic Television : )

I worked here for the summer and I can vouch that the station is definitely worth giving your money to.

Click here to give

Thursday, September 14, 2006

2 stories of interest

I haven't been watching any TV lately but I'm sure the media and the Bush administration is busy at using the 9/11 buzz to get another war rolling. The speculation of many has been that Bush admin is planning to do something similar to "Iraqi freedom" on the WMD/ nuclear threat ticket.

These 2 stories are of interest to the subject.

1.
My roomate said that he doesn't think this aired but I speculate that it did considering someone who doesn't work for MSNBC posted it. I wanna have lunch with this anchor someday though..
2. Headline : US Iran report branded dishonest. If the IAEA is accusing you of lieing on nuclear reports you're an obvious liar. How do you invent reports that contradict the official International Atomic Energy Agency and expect them not to say something? If the US is able to get support for war on Iran based on their exaggerated nuclear capabilities, I will only blame every American for being an idiot. That includes myself... because we should all be trying to right falsehoods and tell the truth to those who are being lied to.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

update shmupdate

1. Rough cut of the ambulance scene of The Last Man looks great.
2. The Noor refugee picnic is on Saturday which means that I will be a clown for the day.
3. Props to Yusra and her poems on this fresh blog. We need more Muslim poets who actually know how to write.
4. Hamed and the Phoenix crew love Eegee's so much they should get endorsements.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Katrina clap gets interrupted

Mos Def was arrested Aug. 31 after MTV's VMA's
because he didn't have authorization to perform outside of Radio City
Music Hall in New York.

Police ordered the rapper to end his impromptu performance of "Katrina
Clap," a song criticizing the Bush administration's response to
the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Representatives for Mos Def said the rapper was unjustly arrested and
that the whole situation was captured on camera.


Video

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Good People

This breaks the pattern of Iranians being some of the most racist people on the planet... especially toward Blacks... if you are Persian, and come to contest this, why is the issue of a Black African speaking Farsi funny while a Black African speaking Hebrew or any other language for that matter not an issue at all?

You can tell I have dealt with this Persian supremacy issue before... It's poison.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bush gets assasinated by UK filmmaker


"Death of a President uses archive footage, actors and computer effects to portray the president being shot dead.

UK broadcaster Channel 4, who made the mock documentary, said it explored the effects of the War on Terror on the US."

Read More

I want to see this film...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Katrina was a year ago...

Katrina's one year anniversary

Spike Lee did a documentary that was on HBO and I missed. Plays again on the 1st of Sept.

Mos Def did a song last year after the storm hit.
Katrina Clap

The Last Man




So... I'm working on a movie called The Last Man. I'm working as 1st AD and Assistant Camera Operator.. This is definitely the greatest project I've worked on. This weekend was crazy and the next phase of shooting is only going to be cooler because we have a shoot out scene with fully automatic machine guns! I'm not going to get into the story too much... You can check out the site at you're own Leisure.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

filmmaker of the week

Lance Weiler came to speak to my Producing course today and he blew my mind.. I looked at his website last night and was thoroughly amazed, but after learning that he essentially does all of his own producing, marketing, buzz, (and not to mention writing and directing his own film) by himself my jaw dropped.

According to Wired Magazine this guy is--
"One of twenty-five people helping to

re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood."


I agree 100%

His online hype campaign is super dope. And his new film Head Trauma, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, looks serious business. He is screening it at The Loft on Friday at 10pm and I'll be there for sure.


If someone were to ask me what I want to be when I grow up it would be him.. LOL
He grossed $4 million on his last film "The Last Broadcast" which he self distributed on VHS when all of the major studios wanted to buy it from him for around $400,000. In my book that makes him a STONE COLD GANGSTER.
It's crazy how down to earth he was too. Most people with that on their repertoire would act like they invented the independent film.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Phoenix Demonstration 8-18-06

Some kind of intelligence.....?
Totally awesome group photo by photoflo

All photos here

I wish all demonstrations were as organized as this one was.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Read Some

A great article by the New Yorker was fowarded to me by a good friend regarding the war in Lebanon and then saw that KABOBfest covered the article as well. The implications of this situation scare me. The Islamic world needs to prepare to defend itself.

I found that an excerpt from the article worth mentioning
"How do you scare people who love martyrdom?"

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Fox News ... never suprises me



Definitely worth watching the whole thing. Fox News Anchors trying to be careful about what they say. I love Youtube for this...
Found this from KABOBfest

Monday, August 07, 2006

Get out

So before, I had the opinion that the US should stay in Iraq to establish the security of the country, train the Iraqi military, and help stop the insurgency.
However, my stance on the issue has changed.
1. The US cannot guarantee the Iraqi people any security.
2. With more instances like this happening the US is showing how irresponsible they are for their personnel. These instances also fuel the fire of radical voices and lose alliances with moderate voices in the region.
3. With the US's unlimited support for Israel, the people of the Middle East have no faith US efforts to improve the region, therefore their presence in the region is met with resistance.

GET OUT.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

worst update

1. Israel is still killing hundreds of civilians and Americans still think Israel is their immaculate buddy in the Middle East, mainly because these guys are hard at work.

2. My computer is down for some unknown reason.

3. My blog was never originally intended to be so political but it is honestly my greatest concern at the moment.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Anti Israeli Aggression Demonstration 7-19



This took place outside the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles.
more photos
Videos soon to come.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Only God can help us



A Lebanese woman cries as she bids farewell to her Lebanese Swedish daughter and grandchild, who came back to Lebanon after ten years for a holiday, as they are being evacuated from Lebanon, on buses organized by the Swedish embassy, from a road intersection, leading out of the Hezbollah stronghold of south Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, July 18, 2006. About 850 Swedes among about 5,000 in Lebanon have been evacuated, most to Aleppo in northern Syria. Westerners fled by land, sea and air as Israel launched waves of bombings that hit south Beirut, the border and the eastern city of Baalbek in the early hours Tuesday. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

*Pray for those who won't be evacuated.



055.026 كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ
055.026 وَيَبْقَى وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلالِ وَالإكْرَامِ
055.026 فَبِأَيِّ آلاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ
055.026 All that is on earth will perish:
055.027 But will abide (forever) the Face of thy Lord,- full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour.
055.028 Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
Al-Qur'an, 055.026-028 (Ar-Rahman [The Beneficent, The Mercy Giving])

Saturday, July 15, 2006

War in Lebanon


Bodies of civilian villagers are seen next to the wreckage of their vehicles on the main road near the southern border village of Ter Harfa, Lebanon Saturday July 15, 2006. At least 12 Lebanese villagers, including women and children, were killed in what appeared to be an Israeli airstrike on a convoy of vehicles evacuating a village near the border with Israel in southern Lebanon, a witness said. The convoy was leaving the village of Marwaheen, which abuts the border, when it was attacked. (Courtesy of AP)

You won't see photos like these published in US. May God protect the people of Lebanon and Palestine.

Babak and Friends = Stupidity

Nonsense

So according to this cartoon Iranians can't celebrate Easter because they're Iranian and it isn't a part of their culture. "We (Iranians) don't celebrate Easter." This statement isn't made with the following explaination that "My family isn't Christian" but only that Bobak's mother states that it isn't our (Iranian) tradition.
Hmmm...
Is this cartoon saying there are no Christian Iranians?
Think again. To me, this is typical Iranian diaspora insecurity about religious tradition. Muslim Iranian's who have been wronged by the revolution feel a confusion about Islam considering it is the label put on top of of what has wronged them.
I would have rather heard Bobak say "My family does not celebrate Easter because my family is atheist" than to have him represent all Iranians by saying that we don't celebrate Easter because of our ethnicity, making it sound like we observe no religious occasions. This cartoon probably does more to miseducate non Iranians about Iranians than educate. The majority religious tradition in Iran is Islam. If you want to teach Americans about Iranians at least mention Islam and don't just ignore it like the religion of most Iranians is putting things that begin with an "S" on a plate and Haji Firooz with a tambourine in his hand. These people could have made a cartoon about norooz without comparing the Persian new year with a significant Christian religious holiday.
If I were Bobak I would have told my friends that we have Imam Mahdi's birthday on the 15th of Shaban which looks like this and we eat giant cakes.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

YES!



THIS KID'S SONG IS WHERE IT'S AT!
*I captured the audio. If you can't speak farsi
rooz jahani quds= Global Jeruslalem Day
The song teaches kids that occupying people's homeland is wrong.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

update me

1. Buying used photobooks from Amazon.com is my new thing.
2. The first racing game I ever owned was not as fun as this ad.
3. This guy is dope.
4. I miss leisure moments.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

no tape.

Went to the beach the other day to film the ocean but didn't bring tapes. I would have only had enough daylight to shoot for 20 minutes anyway.
nevertheless i took stills.

I have a new excercise for criticizing/titling my photos. You can use it because I knew you were going to steal it anyway : )
boring hallmark garbage


effect whoring
lens LAMING


ooooh a long exposure shot... unoriginal.

throwaway

why?

Why do things involving bjork have to be so crazy yet so awesome looking?

P.S. We need more people in this world who wear giant coats and not because some designer told them so.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Best of Iran

I decided to post what I think are the best pictures i took in Iran.
enjoy.
Sa'adiye, Shiraz

Damovand

Candles at Imam Zadeh Shu'aib

Afghani family, Hafeziye, Shiraz

Man cleaning woodwork, Isfahan

Father and Son, Isfahan

Gol Foroosh, Tehran

Schoolgirl driving service, Isfahan

Qashqai woman driving livestock, Shiraz


Man with dog, Shiraz

Singing under the bridge, Isfahan