It's been nearly two months since I went on the Dubai trip that I've documented in my latest Monoglot Movie Club piece for MostlyFilm. You know, the one that finished with an overnight flight back to London where I got very little sleep and eight hours later had to go to my first film at the London Film Festival and DAMMIT, I still haven't done the Wrap Party roundup for that, it'll be coming soon, promise. Anyway, that one.
The piece in question is called Not Catching Your Drift, which is a moderately amusing reference to one of the films I saw there, the street-racing drama Hajwala. But it could have been quite different. Shortly after seeing the second movie, Bilal, I discovered that it was based on the early life of a real person: Bilal ibn Rabah, best known as one of the most loyal companions of the prophet Mohammed. Count yourselves lucky that I didn't go with my original title of The Fatwa And The Furious.
Providing Red Button Bonus Content for this post is going to be a little tricky: after all, it's the third visit I've made to Dubai this year, and I've more or less drained the well dry when it comes to travel tips and mall reviews. (In the case of the latter, the only new thing worth reporting on from this trip is the discovery of casual eaterie Common Grounds, close to the cinema inside the Mall of the Emirates.) So, below you'll just find a few trailers relating to the movies I saw.
And just to confuse matters, let's follow that with the trailer for Hajwalah, the earlier Saudi documentary on a similar topic. This is the film that Time Out Dubai thought was showing in cinemas that week, rather than the UAE fictional production of almost the same name.
Moving on to Bilal, the CG animation that's been released in both Arabic and English versions. You can guess what's coming, can't you? Here's the Arabic trailer: see if you can work out what's going on...
...and now here's the English version of the same trailer so you can see how well you did. This Monoglot Movie Club stuff's a piece of piss, innit?
Here's a final trailer to bring us back full circle. The Worthy is yet another Emirati film to be released this year, and this fascinating-looking trailer was playing in cinemas while I was in Dubai. I left town before the film made it into local cinemas, but when I returned home I found that it was in the programme for the London Film Festival that week. Sadly, I couldn't make room in my schedule for it: however, my MostlyFilm colleague Susan Patterson did, and she was impressed - "so unlike any Arabic film I have ever seen, it kept me gripped until the end, albeit watching from behind my coat."