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Waleed Zuaiter Discusses Producing and Starring In OMAR

Zuaiter has recently appeared on American movie screens in Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad’s "Omar," in which he plays Israeli Agent Rami. Rami, who works for the Israeli equivalent of our FBI, convinces the title character to snitch on his radical Palestinian friends to get out of jail. He spoke to me recently by phone from his California home.
  • By Steven Erickson
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  • April 11, 2014 3:16 PM
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Africa and France: The Work of Jean Rouch

The French director Jean Rouch invented so many new cinematic forms that his films gave rise to new words: “ciné-trance,” “ethno-fiction.” Yet his prolific oeuvre has fallen in and out of favor; in the past few decades, it’s been hard to see most of his films in the United States.
  • By Steven Erickson
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  • February 26, 2013 9:38 AM
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  • 1 Comment

REVIEW: The Trials of (Not) Making a Movie in THIS IS NOT A FILM

In the past two years, the Iranian government has moved from merely banning films (most of which were allowed to be released internationally) to arresting actors and filmmakers. Jafar Panahi is the highest-profile director to suffer such treatment. In 2010, his request to travel to the Berlin Film Festival was denied. He was arrested in March of that year, purportedly because he was making a film inspired by the protests following Iran’s 2009 election. In May, he was released on bail. In December, he was sentenced to six years in jail. Furthermore, he was banned from directing films, writing screenplays, giving interviews (even to Iranian media) and leaving the country for 20 years. While he appealed the sentence, he lost it in October 2011. Although he’s currently out of jail, he could be sent back at any moment.
  • By Steven Erickson
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  • February 28, 2012 9:36 AM
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DVD REVIEW: JEAN-PIERRE GORIN: a new DVD box set spotlights the director's best documentaries

At first glance, the title of "Three Popular Films by Jean-Pierre Gorin" looks like a joke. If Jean-Pierre Gorin, a Frenchman who moved to San Diego to teach at UCSD in the ‘70s, is known in the U.S. at all, it’s because he collaborated with Jean-Luc Godard as a member of the Dziga Vertov Group. However, except for Tout Va Bien and Letter to Jane, most of the Dziga Vertov Group’s work is now difficult to see. Eclipse’s 3-DVD set of Gorin’s California-made documentaries, completed between 1980 and 1992, rescues them from oblivion. They’ve rarely been screened theatrically in the U.S. in the twenty years since the most recent one, "My Crasy Life," was made, apart from a 2010 retrospective at New York’s Migrating Forms festival.
  • By Steven Erickson
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  • January 16, 2012 12:06 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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