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Comments on "The ABC of ROFFEKE" Screenings (September 2015 at iHub)

I liked all the films especially the one for Superman [“This is Joe”] and the last one which was longer [“ Frontman ”]. I look forward to at...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Review: Microphone

(Microphone was screened at the Samosa Festival in Nairobi, Eastleigh.)

Review by Josephine Koima: Intern

Producer: Kareem Ghafour
Director: Kareem Ghafour
Screenplay: Kareemok
Duration: 9:10 minutes

This short film takes place in a Kurdish society, whose inhabitants are Islamic. A woman and her son are seen walking on a street and the young boy runs to the bathroom in a mosque. The woman isn’t allowed to go in. Worried that her son may be lost, she forces herself in, though after a brief confrontation with the gatekeeper.

It is interesting to note that although the gate keeper is a mute, he and Kamo’s mother are able to communicate and he evens helps with finding the boy. The boy, Kamo, runs off with a microphone that he uses to sing and equally chant a prayer as he had heard before. He’s reluctant to give it back, perhaps realizing the ‘powerful’ tools he’s laid his hands on. The innocent child is simply excited to express himself, and it’s thrilling to know that almost the entire town can hear him due to the microphone’s connection with the mosque’s speakers. This is one element that gives meaning to the film.

The distinct sounds draws one’s attention to the narrative- the sound of the mother’s boot, the water dripping at the bathroom, the sound of the gatekeeper cycling his bicycle. I would say that Soram Fahim did a great sound mix and editing. For example, in the scene where the boy is in the bathroom, he reads the writings on the wall, one can hear water dripping, the prayer being chanted at the mosque plus the film’s soundtrack, all at once. Subtle ‘rock and roll’ elements can be heard in form of music. Kamo plays the harmonica for a while before he grabs the microphone. The film music score incorporates a bit of what I would call jazz rock- there’s the distinct sound of a stringed instrument, probably a cello and drum beats.

The title ‘Microphone’ would make one focus on the microphone, hence the majority of this film’s plot focuses on the boy and what he does. However, there are some subtle themes that may arise e.g. there is the white scarf that the gate keeper gives Kamo’s mother, this and the brief moment of touch as she hands over the microphone. They seem to have bonded over the little incident with her son. The phone is a reason for the gatekeeper to see Kamo’s mother again.

Certainly, this film is provocative and refreshingly funny to watch.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Nirvana, Michael Stipe (REM), Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame

Excerpts from Michael Stipe's speech prior to the induction of Nirvana into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

I’m Michael Stipe. I’m here to induct Nirvana into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

***

Like my band REM, Nirvana came from a most unlikely place. Not a cultural city centre like London, San Francisco, Los Angeles or even New York or Brooklyn but from Aberdeen Washington...a largely blue collar town just outside of Seattle.

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We were a product of a community of youth looking for a connection away from the mainstream. Dave Grohl said: "We were drop outs making minimum wage, listening to vinyl, emulating our heroes - Ian Mackaye, Little Richard – getting high, sleeping in vans, never expecting the world to notice."

***

Keep in mind the times. This was the late 80s, early 90s. America, the idea of a hopeful democratic country, had been practically dismantled by Iran Contra, by Aids, by the Reagan-Bush snr. administrations. But with their music, their attitude, their voice, Nirvana blasted through all that with crystalline nuclear rage and fury.

Nirvana were kicking against the system, bringing complete disdain for the music industry and their definition of corporate mainstream America, to show a sweet and beautiful but fed up fury coupled with howling vulnerability. Lyrically exposing our frailty, our frustrations, our shortcomings, singing of retreat and acceptance ,of our triumphs,of an outsider community with such immense possibility...not held down or held back by the stupidity and political pettiness of the times; they spoke truth and a lot of people listened.

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When an artist offers an idea, a perspective, it helps us all to see us who we are. It wakes us up and it pushes us forward towards our collective and individual potential. It make us, each of us, able to see who we are more clearly.

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I’m purposely using the word artist rather than musician because the band Nirvana were artists in every sense of the word. It is the highest calling for an artist, as well as the greatest possible privilege, to capture a moment, to find the zeitgeist, to expose our struggles, our aspirations, our desires;to embrace and define their time. That is my definition of an artist. Nirvana captured lightning in a bottle.

***

Solo artists almost have it easier than bands. Bands are not easy. You find yourself in a group of people that rub each other the wrong way and exactly the right way and you have chemistry, zeitgeist, lightning in a bottle and a collective voice to help pinpoint a moment, to understand what it is we are going through. Nirvana tapped into a voice that was yearning to be heard.

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The potency and the power of their defining moment has become for us indelible.

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Nirvana defined a moment, a movement for outsiders; for the fags, and the fat girls, and the broken toys, and the shy nerds and the goth kids...for the rockers and the awkward and the fed up and the too-smart kids and the bullied.

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They were singular and loud and melodic and deeply original. And that voice...that voice. Kurt, we miss you. I miss you.

***

...that voice reverberated into music and film, into politics, into worldview and so many fields in so many ways....this is not just pop music. This is something much greater than that.

Source: Youtube.