GAME: UNDERTALE

Indie RPGs keep blowing me away with how brilliant they are. Undertale isn't only a video game that stresses you out, but it's a epitome of storytelling and surreal pixel art. I've enjoyed every second I spent playing this game, and every second I will spend replaying this game for all sorts of hidden goodies & endings. 

*Thank you, Aziz.

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link (steam)

SHOW: HORACE AND PETE

Watching this without knowing what to expect has been one of the highlights this year. My friend Amna recommended it without saying much, and I understand. It's really difficult to explain it or what it's about. I can definitely say that it's about everything from several perspectives, but that's about it.

It's so brilliantly written, and feels like a play, but it also feels like you're part of the ~play~ to some extent. You'll laugh at things and wish you didn't, you'll feel hurt - actual physical pain in your gut- by other parts. 

I think what I really liked about it is the fact that you don't have to agree or disagree with what's being said, just sit back and listen. Take it all in, like it's a natural conversation unfolding in front of you.

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Louis C.K. and Jimmy discuss how he hijacked the Golden Globes to get around agents and get Jessica Lange and Edie Falco on board.

SOME OF MY FAVORITE CLIPS

GAME: THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE

I'm still taunted by this game, if I can even call it that. The best way to describe this is to call it an emotional experience. My friend said I should just watch the gameplay on youtube, and I completely forgot he said that, and downloaded the game anyway. No regrets. I gasped, cried, smiled, and screamed. When it ended, I felt a lump in my throat and an overwhelming sadness. At times, it felt like I was being forced to read someone's diary, and it made me feel very uncomfortable. 

One thing I loved about the gameplay, is that it made me wish games' development courses were taught like this. 

The beginner's guide is a collection of mini-games, or ideas for games that weren't completed. It's 'Coda's' journal entries. I wish I had better vocabulary to describe this experience, I wish it was a longer game, and I wish I knew if Coda was real or not. 

SHORT FILM: THE SEPARATION (NSFW)

This was surprisingly really sad. 

SHORT FILM: MANNY (NSFW)

I think this can easily be see as an anti-capitalism message.

SHORT FILM: D FOR DELOUSED (NSFW)

After watching 'Bobby Yeah', I wanted to watch more of Robert Morgan's work, and stumbled upon this. It's part of 'ABC's of Death 2' and even though I watched the entire collection, this remains a favorite. 

SHORT FILM: BOBBY YEAH (NSFW)

An absolute abomination. If something can make me feel this uncomfortable, then I definitely appreciate its existence. 

ZINE: AZIM AL GHUSSEIN

Azim is one of my favorite artists in the UAE. His work is work is easily described as magical and sometimes leaning towards whimsical. 

What I adore the most is his storytelling, which most arabs can relate to some way or the other. Bonus, his lil zines are incredibly neat with such nice paper. 

* All zines, mini comics and cut-out puppets were purchased in Toil and Tinker event and Comic Con in Dubai. If you'd like to purchase these gems, contact the artist. 

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website // instagram 

FILM: THEEB // 2016

I've been keeping up with 'Theeb' news, the praise, the nomination, the screenings etc but managed to stay away from spoilers or knowing anything about the plot. 

In the Middle East, the word 'Bedouin' is mostly used as a slang to belittle someone's 'simple' actions or personality, this film makes sure we understand Bedouins real way of living, brotherhood and loyalty.  

More than anything, 'Theeb' is a film that restored my faith in MENA's cinema. 

FILM: THE LUNCHBOX // 2013

Can’t get over how human this film is. When I read the summary, I was worried the plot would feel a tad forced, but it all felt so natural. The awkwardness, giddiness and how personal reading a handwritten letter/note feels. We see both of them grow as human beings, with every note tucked under rotti or retrieved from an empty lunchbox.

Top all of these nice feelings, with beautiful cinematography.