Laughing for No Reason: Some short movie notes

Under the Shadow: Iranian horror set during the Iran-Iraq War. The movie opens with Shideh (Narges Rashidi) being told, by a man sitting under a portrait of the Ayatollah Khomeini, that she won't be able to continue her medical studies because of her political activities. She goes home to an apartment building where the windows are crisscrossed with masking tape in case bombing raids shatter the glass. She fights with her husband about whether she's unsupportive, taking the disappointment too … [Read more...]

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“How a Mysterious Ghost Ship Brought Cosmic Disco to Cabo Verde”: The Guardian

and how can you not click?? In a calm morning in March 1968, a shipment carrying the latest Korgs, Moogs and Hammond organs set off from Baltimore harbour, heading for an exhibition in Rio de Janeiro. The sea was steady, the containers safely attached. And yet later that same day, the ship would inexplicably vanish. more (you can listen to one song at that link and it is super-excellent) … [Read more...]

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Leaving Addis, Losing DC: Dinaw Mengestu’s “Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears”

I can't remember the last time I read a novel where I was the villain.The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears is a novel about the thwarted romance between a failing shopkeeper from Ethiopia and a white divorcee whose mixed-race daughter comes into the convenience store after elementary school to read The Brothers Karamazov. Two people who have fled their past lives come into D.C. right at the moment that the money started to pour in; before they can get their bearings, the tidal wave of … [Read more...]

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“Common Hells, Private Heavens”: I’m in Commonweal

reviewing a show at the National Museum of African Art: I’m sitting in hell with a couple of little boys, who are trying to prove they’re not scared. We’re watching a cloth-wrapped figure prostrate itself and bang its fists against the floor, as sobs and wordless singing give way to a howled “I, I, I surrender!” Behind us stretches a huge black coiling thing that looks like a well-fed python. “It’s just a video,” one kid says in a subdued voice.We’re in the depths of the National Museum of A … [Read more...]

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“Nigerian Archbishop Comes to Defence of Gays and Criticises Western Efforts to Limit Population Growth”: The Tablet

writes: The Archbishop of Jos has stressed that the Catholic Church in Nigeria is opposed to any discrimination of gay people.Earlier this year, Nigeria adopted a law that hands out 14-year sentences to anyone entering a same-sex union and bans public displays of affection between homosexual couples.At the time, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama announced the Church’s support for the legislation. The move was widely seen has giving Catholic support to punitive discrimination of gay p … [Read more...]

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Squid Video, Vaticanomics, Francis vs the Doctors, African Fiction: Four Friday Things

The things I've been reading. This week's theme is "Things I Know Little About."Inebriate Me: "The Real Problem with Vaticanomics." Our critique of Vaticanomics must start with its being unimaginative and—I will even say—boring.Say about it what you will, but when Jesus instructed the rich young man to give all his money to the poor and talked about camels and needles, it wasn’t boring.I am being provocative, but here’s why it actually matters.The first one is that economics is a … [Read more...]

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“A Personal History of African Cinema”

This is really great at putting African movies in contexts people who know nothing about African cinema will understand: It's very "If you like X, you should try Y." I added some stuff to the long, long list. Via VJM. … [Read more...]

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