Tannoura Maxi – Heels of war: The review
By Admin I :So I had the chance, let’s say to watch the movie one day before its irrelevant nonsense ban, and during the past two days, I also read some reviews published in newspapers and all around the Lebanese blogosphere, so let me start with two side notes: we don’t usually review movies, not because we don’t have the potential to (we’re visual divas, we can do it all) but because controversy and mystery is an added value to any artwork, yet this time is indeed different. I might sound rude (I always do, I know) but if you’re a blogger that is desperate for a post about anything, if you’re not capable to review arts and design matters, please avoid over doing the fun, you’re not funny when you show up your ignorance, you’re not funny when you go to the movies expecting a fast-food film from a Lebanese director that is known for a certain style, that you probably know nothing about, this applies as well to journalists… enough bullshit, stick to food reviews!
Let’s jump to the review:
I know you might not be very familiar with the Lebanese “commercial” visual scene (I know you are), let me introduce you to two names, and their “baby”. It all started with Nadine Labaki, known for an authentic real feel in her videos, an intimate approach that we like to name the “good caliber of commercial”. Nadine’s works like many others were art directed by Yehya Saade, who became a director at a later stage. Yehya works on symbolism and surrealism with an edgy controversial approach. The visual baby is Joe bou Eid (not an insult, I would say if it was); Joe had the blend between the authentic, the symbolic and the surreal, which didn’t help him establish an identity at first.
Yes I primarily think that “Tannoura Maxi” has a lot from Nadine, and a lot from Yehya, and a bit from Khaled mouzannar (even though Mike Massy did a splendid job with the music) but what’s more important, is that it revealed Joe’s personal identity.
I super like when someone celebrates his ego. It’s beyond amazing! It takes balls to stick to your beliefs and influences, to bluntly express them and never care. It takes so much ego to release a non-commercial movie right after “w halla’ lawen” and still never care about the comparison. It takes so much self-awareness to know that your first movie wouldn’t appeal to the mass, ego ego ego, you got my RESPECT!
The movie was simply interesting. It is when you come out of the theater not being able to say “I like, or I hate” it is the kind that makes you “hmmm” and end it with “interesting”. If Tannoura maxi did not make sense to you, then you totally missed the imaginative journey that Bou Eid tried to take you on, you failed to let go. You still suffer from what Pierre Abi Saab called the “Labaki Syndrome”.
Tannoura Maxi is like you all know, the director’s parents’ story, art directed by the mother herself, adding a major shot of fantasy and symbolism.
We’re not saying the movie is perfect, it indeed has rhythm and dialogue issues, even though the silent interaction between the two lead roles is beyond captivating. The advertising campaign unlike the movie lacked art direction and posters had the worst type treatment ever. The movie is full of deja vus and stereotypes, visually blows to the fullest, with total awareness from the filmmaker’s side, so if you think you spotted those missteps, you are definitely wrong!
Interesting Joe, it is super interesting being able to make what you want, the way you see it, with no craving for award shows nor public acceptance. Kudos!