Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dourbin.net Celebrates the Best Photos of the Year

Dourbin.net is looking for the best photos of the Iranian Year 1388. We can only imagine which images will make the cut. Send them your suggestions at Doorbin.net@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Mashouf Reunites with JorDan in LA

I met up with JorDan last week to talk about his premiere of My Father's Son at Cinequest Film Festival. Check out the video for a clip of the film.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Hurt Locker: The (Mis)use of Sacred Muslim Symbols

After watching Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker I felt it was necessary to write about what I found to be a careless use of sacred sound design. The Hurt Locker is an Oscar nominated film about a US army bomb disposal unit in Baghdad during the early stages of the US occupation of Iraq in 2004. The film contains various intense scenes encountering IEDs, car bombs, and explosive vests disarmed by the film's protagonist, a young die hard bomb expert Sergeant First Class William James.

My greatest criticism with The Hurt Locker is its inconspicuously (conspicuous for Muslims) offensive use of the Muslim call to prayer and the Quran as a device to prelude a scene of violence. The sound of the "Adhan" (call to prayer) or verses from the Muslim holy book are heard before every scene discovering an explosive device.

However, the film's overall portrayal of Muslims and/or Iraqis is not completely homogeneous, unlike 95% of American films about the Middle East, but by no means is it a huge step forward. Iraqi characters range from militant Muslim gun men, pornography selling merchants, and innocent Iraqis living in a war torn Iraq.

The film as a whole I feel has no intention of painting Iraqis and/or Muslims as evil people. However, the use of Islamic symbols in the form of the Adhan and the Quran are used specifically to connote the presence of violence and danger. The use of these symbols as dark, exotic, and evil forces is not new to cinema (see The Exorcist), however, we should expect more from a film produced in 2008. Non-Muslim film producers somehow fail to see that these verses are sacred in Islam, a religion followed by over a billion people worldwide. Any use of these symbols to connote danger alienates the non-Muslim world from seeing Islam as a faith tradition rather than a doctrine of violence and hate.

I hope I'm not the first to tell say that this "critically acclaimed" work needs a lot more... work. I think it's time filmmakers stop pretending that they "understand" and start admitting that pretentious portrayals of the world only expose their ignorance.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

REPOST: Oldschool Varzesh Bastani Tape

Since people have been asking where the old varzesh bastani tracks are that I posted on imeem a while back are, I decided to repost them on Soundcloud.


Zurkhaneh Side A by mashouf

Zurkhaneh Side B by mashouf