Tuesday, July 28, 2009

(S)kin July: A Beautiful Mess of Pictures

The Doctor Is In

In Treatment, on HBO, is the first Israeli drama series to be adapted for an American audience. It just received an Emmy nomination. This honor is indicative of the high level of talent critics, producers and the general viewing public is noticing in the Israeli entertainment industry.

If you can't beat them, join them.

Dr. Sayed El Qemany - Thoughts: Punished

Dr. Sayed El Qemany, the progressive thinker, was granted the State Award for Social Sciences by Egypt. Thinking, awards, sciences? Sounds like something that the Radical Islamists might not like. Am I right?

Well, according to this R.E.A.L. report, he is being branded an apostate and being threatened with excommunication and death.

Admittedly, I have not studied this particular incident enough (to busy listening to the Black Lips live shows in Israel) but, considering the history of Radical Islam's opinion of the arts and sciences, I am willing to report on this topic.

Study it up and let me know your thoughts.

Monday, July 27, 2009


According to this New York Times piece, Hamas has been studying the Artists 4 Israel playbook and trying to run a couple of slant patterns and quarterback options we designed. With a movie, a play, an art exhibit and a book of poems, you'd almost forget that the people of Gaza popularly elected and support a dictatorial terrorist regime that reigns down murder upon the innocent Israelis next door.

Something tells me that this new "culture war," does not mean you are going to start seeing books thrown over the Security Fence instead of rockets or that this will usher in a new era of creative and artistic dialogue.

"How long Hamas will hold its fire and whether it will obtain longer-range missiles — which it says it is seeking — remain unclear."

I guess that answers that question.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

(S)kin: Touch It

Next (S)kin Event: This Sunday

Pass the Popcorn

While Ken Loach continues to demonstrate intolerance and violent, zealous bigotry, Israel moves forward with an increasing critically important movie industry that is sensitive and honest in dealing with the complex issues of the region.

Amaji, a film by Yaron Shani and Scandar Copti, one an Israeli and one a displaced Jordanian, studies the intense inter-relationships between Jews, Christians and Arabs, all living, loving and trying to survive in Jaffa, won the Wolgin Prize for best feature film at the 2009 Jerusalem Film Festival.

Ken Loach - Thy Name is Hypocrisy

Ken Loach, is a noted English filmmaker who claims to abhor censorship. Unfortunately, in his misguided, misinformed and, admittedly, bigoted dislike for Israel, he has allowed himself to become a tool for censorship and shown himself to be woefully undereducated.

Twice this year, Mr. Loach has attempted to use his celebrity to bully international fiIm festivals into denying Israeli filmmakers their right to participate. This thuggish attitude is at odds with his cleverly crafted but, ultimately, false, personae as a champion of free speech and political discourse.

His first attempt, at the Edinburgh International Film Festival generated this response by Sir Jeremy Isaacs "Ken Loach has always been critical of censorship of his own work, albeit it was many years in the past. The idea that he should lend himself to the denial of a film-maker's right to show her work is absolutely appalling."

His second attempt, at the Melbourne International Film Festival was so over-handed and attacking that the Festival's Chief Executive, Richard Moore, equated it to "blackmail."

What to make of such a blatant disregard for the sanctity of ideas by a man who should be protecting them? One must wonder if his penchant for making such irritating, but, newsworthy attacks at a time when his own films are being displayed is nothing more then a publicity stunt? Is Ken Loach a savvy self-promoter, using Israel as a quick ticket to some news coverage on the front page rather than buried in the Arts and Leisure section?

Or, has he simply been blinded by ignorance? Ken's first attack against Israel came under guise of a group of homosexuals who opposed Israel's actions against "Palestine." Talk about strange bedfellows. Considering Israel's open support of civil rights for all, including playing host to the world's largest gay pride parade and allowing civil unions, it seems odd that a gay rights organization would choose to defend another people whose laws make homosexuality punishable by death.

The above makes almost as much sense as belonging, as Ken does, to a socialist party in England, yet not supporting a country, such as Israel, founded on Socialist ideals. But, instead, becoming a puppet for an area where the entirety of wealth is kept by dictatorial leaders while their people suffer in abject poverty.

It makes no sense to me and I welcome Mr. Loach's response to this post. Until he does see fit to clarify his hypocrisy, I demand that he allow all filmmakers their right to exhibit their work and allow taste, and the human marketplace of ideas, the right to judge which are worthy of our consideration.