A Year in Film – as seen from Lebanon

Here’s the year in film, as seen from the eyes of a reviewer for the Lebanon Daily StarTwo parts interest me:

Last year, the Middle East was grist for the mill of “Fahrenheit 9-11,” by that propagandist of America’s militant center, Michael Moore. This year militant Islam – in the form of terrorists from the fictional “Durkadurkastan” – was fodder for the vulgar wit of “Team America: World Police,” by “South Park” veterans Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

This marionette melodrama a la “Thunderbirds” lampoons both ignorant militarists and presumptuous entertainers – aka the American Screen Actors’ Guild and Michael Moore.

“Team America” will never darken the cinemas in this region, of course, but rumor has it that copies have leaked into select DVD-rental outlets and you can always download it off the net.

It’s refreshing to see an outside voice stating the obvious truth that Michael Moore is a Centrist. Fox News Fans might have a difficult time accepting this, though.

Unfortunately, while at this point in the review I have a high opinion of the author, he ruins that opinion in the final two paragraphs of the piece:

There’s always a film that should be missed and in 2005 it’s Ari Sandel’s “West Bank Story.” This 35-minute musical short, centering on rival Israeli-Palestinian fast food restaurants, recasts “West Side Story” in the Palestinian territories. It depicts “Juliet” as a doe-eyed Palestinian babe and “Romeo” as a ruggedly handsome Israeli soldier manning a checkpoint.

Many would question whether Palestine’s persistent agonies are the appropriate point of departure for a form as flimsy and jejune as the musical comedy. The screening of “West Bank Story,” though, late in the schedule of a recent film festival, afforded a much-appreciated opportunity to catch a nap between films.

Well…he considered it worthy to mention. And he considers my cousin “ruggedly handsome.”