Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Karimeh goes to Holyoud - episode 1

For somebody who, like me, simply loves Emir Kusturica, "Holyoud: A musical journey" seems to have been made just for me. And yet, for all my wishes to be extremely supportive of the endeavor I found it a letdown. It's supposed to tackle racism, sexism and other issues related to the pseudo-tribal Lebanese society, and whereas the details are superb (a "chevrelait" truck, or even the name "halib el nawar" - which translates into "the milk of the gypsies" meaning when someone gets totally upset), and the production value very high, something did not cut it for me.
Once more, I really wished I could say otherwise just to be supportive of the work.
Maybe one of the main flaws is the pastiche and vaudeville-spirit (huge mustaches, colored teeth to indicate rotten ones), but all surrounded in a very well-shot and produced setting. In other words, sometimes we love things because they are oh-so-trashy and "it's so bad it's good". This one is not. Had it been shot in super low budget (i.e. zero budget) the whole thing would have been incredibly brilliant.
In his time Michel Elefteriades produced much better videos (I clearly remember the Abdel Karim el Chaar video which showed him on a vintage TV screen throughout all the song and the whole video was showing that TV screen!). Apart from the Kusturica comparisons, I can think of The Party with Peter Sellers... A total nonsense of a movie which works every time one sees it. Here, maybe the whole element is too forced to work.
Maybe in episode 2 we will see the team really perfecting a very promising equation of Karimeh. And to Holyood off she goes....

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