Category: American Muslim


 

jinn-sxsw

So, a film about a young convert finding her place (and herself) as a Muslim while also coming into her own as a young adult.  You would not be wrong to deduce that I’m cheering for this film to succeed on several levels, whether it’s a good film or not.

But the debut film of Nijla Mumin IS a good film.   Better than I was expecting.  That’s not a knock on Nijla, that’s me as a heavily experienced film geek knowing that ‘first films’… you just instinctively lower your expectations after a while.  You look for potential more than you look for anything too promising in what’s in front of you.

So, the story of Jinn, which starts off as a tale of a young black mother (Luke Cage’s Simone Missick) finding herself in Islam, gradually shifts its focus to the point of view of the daughter (Zoe Renee, who is a revelation).  On top of the stresses of being a high school senior trying to get into art school, now add in your mother adopting a new religion and trying to fit into a completely new community that you may not want to be a part of.  Now THAT’S some organic, ready made conflicts.

A perfect film, no.  But a film that left me wanting to see what comes next from its leading actress and director? Absolutely.

High recommend.

 

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tribe-called-quest-1990

The weekend!

I can’t remember the last time we went into the weekend with Tribe, which means it’s been too long.

This song still goes.  And a young Busta.  Those were the good days.

We still miss you Phife.

Have a good one everyone.

 

 

lennon

Happy Birthday John.

 

 

160822-yamato-mahershala-ali-tease_gxseer-1170x780

Not exactly what I was expecting, and also all in at the same time.

Making a note to self to make sure I’m back on HBO to start 2019…

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 3.56.29 PM

The comedy stuff I’ve done hasn’t really been consolidated into one piece, until now.

My buddy Jeebz likes to edit, so we tried to tone a few of the parts I’ve played over the years into a ‘comedic timing/hit the punchline’ highlight reel.

As far as the intro/outro, hand to God, as we were in the middle of it, my only thoughts were ‘Everyone is going to expect me to touch on this, let’s use it to set the tone.’

Only now as a passive observer do I see it and go, ‘Huh, I guess I can officially scratch playing this character on screen off my bucket list.  Cool.’

Anyway, enjoy!

 

Mahershala-Ali-02

Mahershala.  In an awards season release.

I’m there.  Done and done.

 

 

jeffbuckley

I’m not a ‘gospel’ guy in the traditional sense obviously, but damn this song (and this version) gets to me.

And I know I’m far from alone.  First time I heard it was in ‘The West Wing’ I think.  And Kate McKinnon did a nice version on SNL a year or so ago.

Lyrics by Leonard Cohen. Jeff Buckley vocals and guitar.

Enjoy.

 

 

fergie

Well…

We’re still here.

Enjoy the day off everyone.

 

 

Mel-brooks

It’s the weekend!

It’s also Mel Brooks’ birthday.  Even if I’m not terribly focused on comedy in my art right now, I am focused on the world I live in.  Mel Brooks remains one of the best to have done it.

My personal favorite of his will always be ‘Blazing Saddles’ (of course), but this week I was reminded of ‘The Producers’, and this particular number.

No particular reason…

Have a good one gang…

 

 

faith

My Ramadan goal this year wasn’t as dramatic as the past few.  I didn’t focus hard on improving my Arabic; I didn’t donate all my excess material stuff to Goodwill.

I came into the holy month in awe that I’ve been able to live my life without destroying ‘my life.’  I’ve also been aware, for quite awhile, that there’s still a lot of middle ground between the ‘highlight reel’ (social media), and my private relationships with family and close friends.  One of the many things I’ve admired about Kaepernick is he recognized quickly that while people mostly respect ‘quiet and serious’, if you allow the vacuum between your words and your deeds grow too large, you risk your message getting flipped into something completely different (looking at you, league I don’t plan to give any more of my money too for the time being).

I wish I had a better term than this, but I adopted a ‘Plus One’ attitude the past few weeks.  Without being phony about it, I made myself more accessible to my neighbors, I hung out with my co workers a little more off the clock, things like that.  There’s really no grand scheme here beyond being more consciously proactive that the person I want the world to see my as is in line with how I treat everyone around me.  Changing the world is cool, changing the world around me feels right, right now.

I appreciate the calls and texts from everyone who didn’t ‘see’ me the past month.  I’m looking forward to what comes next.

Onward.