Archive for July, 2012

July 28th 2012

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Filmwise: The Cannes documentary is back in my workshop. A particularly insightful and inspiring chapter is taking shape.

Opening Ceremony

Due to a bizarre turn of events, in which the new telephone line meant for a neighbour was connected to my home, and my own line was disconnected, for the past month I have been without a land line. With my TV having regressed more and more into a box, without much going on inside, not having access to land land broadband has had a devastating effect on my TV viewing habits.

The technique of using my mobile phone as a hotspot for my computer to access the internet has been quite a saviour.

However, being a mobile internet connection, the speed is not consistent and one is forever watchful of the rapidly evaporating usage allowance. Watching the entire Olympics Opening Ceremony seemed too great an event to entrust to the mobile-computer contraption.

So, on Friday I rushed home after work, and managed to make it with all of 15 minutes to spare.

The plan was to resuscitate my TV set by investigating the dust-covered corner of the room in which the aerial wire and electric connections of the TV, stereo and VCR (yes, I still have one of those) reside.

Ten minutes into my exploration, I realized that the aerial is no longer working – perhaps it’s been moved from the rooftop.

Humming, “Let Luck Be A Lady Tonight!”, I tethered the computer to the mobile and sank into my armchair as Lord Coe began to deliver his speech.

The moment Mr Bond walked past the Corgis, the dreaded turning circle stamped itself on the frozen image of the expensive looking carpet of Buckingham Palace on the computer screen.

“Best reach for the set-top aerial”, I thought as I rushed into the kitchen to find a chair to help reach the top of the cabinet.

Standing on the chair and moving a couple of pans to get to the small aerial, the internet connection was back on.

“I am already up here, might as well take this thing down with me!”

Fortunately, I was able to watch Messrs Bond and Bean strut their stuff, without attempting to emulate the latter’s routine in order to watch the remainder of the ceremony between the TV and the computer.

A great show. Felt so happy for London and for Danny Boyle that everything came together on the night.

Peace and love,

Ja‘far


July 22nd 2012

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Filmwise: I dedicated the weekend to reviewing the current cut of the Cannes documentary. The six-week break from the project has allowed me some space to view the edit with more objectivity. I think there is more work to be done before I begin to involve the composer and sound designer.

A London first…

On Friday evening, I managed the dash across the river from the office to the embankment  with a few minutes to spare; I had a boat to catch.

This was my first Thames cruise – a fact which I can’t quite understand, in view of my interest in London’s architecture and history.

On the boat, I steadied my legs with a fizzy drink and two slices of lime, and began to snap away – the Millennium Dome (the O2) was impressive.

Loved the opportunity to study the varying designs of the bridges over the river, and discovered that the Golden Jubilee pedestrian bridge from Embankment station to South Bank has a twin flanking the other side of the Hungerford Bridge.

Peace and love,

Ja‘far


July 15th 2012

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Filmwise: Liaising with film festivals.

My free time over the past week has been mainly focused on transforming my treatment and notes for a feature film into a properly formatted feature script.

On Saturday morning, I was up nice and early and on target to complete the first draft by the day’s end.

05:00 of Sunday morning, after 20 hours of typing, with a few food and sitcom breaks thrown in, I finally completed the first draft.

Spent the rest of Sunday on a long “lap of honour” in my neighbourhood, dreaming of the possibilities that the new baby may have.

London 2012

During the past month, we have been inundated with mail shots from London Underground, the Mayor’s Office and London 2012 about the potential transport bottlenecks during the games. The upshot of all this information overload is that a couple of stations I regularly use will become exit only points on the tube. Nothing too taxing to handle.

So, on Tuesday, I headed to London Bridge Station to catch the train to the West End.

A few London Underground employees had blocked the entrance I normally use. Heading to the one employee that seemed to be tasked with responding to passenger queries about the changes to the geography of the station, a middle-aged lady stepped ahead of me and asked the female employee in her solid East London accent:

Middle-aged lady: “Is there bombs going off on the tube?”

TFL employee: “No, it’s the Olympics!”

Peace and love,

Ja’far

July 8th 2012

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Filmwise: Contacts with film festivals continue.

This week, I had a deja vu moment from last summer when I found myself waking up in the early hours on three consecutive days to work on the film.

The film in question is my next feature project – I have set myself the task of completing the first draft of the script by the end of the year.

Rather than limit working on the script to the weekend, an hour or so of writing before launching the morning rituals has been relatively more productive.

Exciting times.

Return

Having followed with great interest the work of Iraqi artistis from the diaspora on their encounters with the motherland in the post-2003 era, I was keen to see Return, written by Dina Almusawi.

The all-women cast transported the audience to the land of the two rivers,  capturing the voices of Iraqi women with all the compassion that tempers their rage against the world.

Loved the innovative production design and the elegance with which the piece conveyed the immediacy and distance of modern communication.

Peace and love,

Ja’far


July 1st 2012

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Film: Continuing to liaise with film festivals and distribution companies.

“Look, there is a man with a net!”

In an attempt to put behind me a particularly gruelling day at the office, I headed to the South Bank for a play followed by a relaxed stroll by the river.

As I emerged from the theatre, I was drawn to the sight of people walking and looking up into the skies. On closer inspection, the centre of their curiosity was a helicopter that was sprinkling the area with what seemed liked an abundance of confetti.

Having plucked one of these flying leaflets as it glided nearby, the whole episode turned out to be part of “Rain of Poems over London” initiative.

As I walked towards Hungerford Bridge, my enchantment with the image of poems raining down on the city was giving way to concern with the litter and waste that this image may produce. Indeed, I was beginning to get annoyed with the number of leaflets that were falling into the river nearby.

My stream of thoughts seemed to be shared by a couple of young ladies going past, when one of them cried: “Look, there is a man with a net!”

The man in question was in a boat moving slowly towards the biggest concentration of leaflets in the water.

Peace and love,

Ja’far