Shikaakwa

Beshara

Saturday, July 7, 2012
7:00 pm

SHoP (Southside Hub of Production)

A donation-and-volunteer run cultural community hub in Hyde Park, Chicago.

5638 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
info.southsidehub@gmail.com

Shikaakwa (lit. wild onion or garlic) is a slide show by Robert Beshara about Chicago using original photographs/videos and music that will be consistent with the current theme for SHoP (Southside Hub of Production)’s show On Making Things Matter: Strategies For Preservation.

“My images and sounds are my artistic interpretation of my experience in the Windy City as an expat who has been living here over the last 3 years.

This event will also serve as my farewell party since I will be moving to Carrollton, GA in August for further graduate studies.” Continue reading

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A Little Piece of Heaven (aka Palm Springs)

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I don’t believe in heaven or hell, but this famous saying is quite interesting: “Palm Springs is God’s waiting room.”

 

There is something magical about PS, I will attempt to explore what it is as I recount my experience there for a week.

 

As some of you may already know, I was in PS promoting my short film N.W.O. at the film market of the Palm Springs International ShortFest.

Continue reading

The Tree of Life

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Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life is either hailed as a masterpiece or as a boring, incomprehensible, unwatchable, and overall pretentious film. However, a masterpiece it is and Malick well deserved the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. Challenging? Surely. It’s not an easy film to watch, but it shouldn’t be simply dismissed because of that, for in my opinion it reinvents the language of cinema through the editing, the story and the concept, the cinematography, the production design, and last but not least, the acting; in other words, through the directing. I don’t think The Tree of Life is the Ulysses of the film world today but maybe it comes close. It is definitely Malick’s magnum opus in a long career of a few but powerful films. The Tree of Life is the culmination of his technique and style, which he had been refining over the years. The ambitious project of “reinventing the langue of cinema” is something he had started working on, possibly unconsciously, since his first feature film Badlands, but which he has finally achieved with TOL.  Continue reading

An Amalgamated Review from An Intense Weekend with Roger Waters, Prometheus, and Radiohead

 

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On Friday night, I saw/heard Roger Waters live perform The Wall at Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs). That was on June 8, 2012. I had seen him doing the same elaborate show in September of 2010 at United Center, and I remember having been blown away back then and this time I was, too. I started listening to Pink Floyd while in high school. A friend of mine introduced me to their music, so I went out and bought some tapes, which I listened to but fell asleep in the middle of. I thought the music was boring, but with repeated listening… it grew on me. My favorite PF album is their debut Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Most PF fans around me at the time in Cairo definitely didn’t agree with me. I was so impressed with Syd Barrett and his eccentricity. Of course, his official madness is a sad story, but this man was the force that got PF started in the first place. He wrote most of the music on their debut psychedelic rock album. Then he got kicked out from the band after A Saucerful of Secrets because of his schizoid behavior. Roger Waters was in charge from then on until The Final Cut with the occasional contributions from David Gilmour and Richard Wright (who was fired by Waters during the making of The Wall as a band member and was hired as a session musician instead), or the group collaborative jams that included drummer Nick Mason. Syd Barrett, from my understanding, was one of the pioneer British songwriter/singer to sing with a British accent without trying to imitate American singers. Something that is now taken for granted, but definitely David Bowie, Robert Smith (of the Cure), and Robyn Hitchcock among many others credit Barrett as a major influence on them. Smith has been even copying Barrett’s proto-Gothic hairstyle until this day.

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Barrett’s songs sound like twisted lullabies; that is quite a unique blend rendering the songs disturbingly funny. As a guitarist, Barrett was truly experimental when it came to soloing or more specifically he was noisy and atonal in his approach. That is contrasted by his replacement on lead guitar, Gilmour, who has a more conventional style as a soloist having been influenced by the blues and rock among other things. Not to say that Gilmour’s solos are not heartfelt, they are. There’s just too many of them, especially from the 80s onwards. They tend to sound the same. So what’s with this long intro if I am simply reviewing a concert? Continue reading

Concert Review: Atoms for Peace at the Aragon Ballroom (04/11/2010), Chicago, IL

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I have always wanted to see Radiohead live. Well, yesterday I didn’t see them, but at least I saw Thom Yorke’s side-project Atoms for Peace (Thom Yorke – lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboard; Flea – bass guitar; Nigel Godrich – keyboards, guitar, backing vocals; Mauro Refosco – percussion; Joey Waronker – drums). The supergroup was formed in late 2009 in LA. 

It was surely exciting to see Thom Yorke and Flea on the same stage.  Continue reading

Soundtrack for the Feature Film “MOONDOG”

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The soundtrack was composed, arranged, performed, recorded, produced, and mixed by Robert Beshara in 2009. The film will hopefully be released by the end of 2012. For more info, follow MOONDOG on Facebook

Some of the lyrics were written by Khairy Beshara, who’s also the co-writer, producer and director of MOONDOG

Mastering was done by Ahmed Saleh & Matthew Kordonowy at The Experimental Sound Studio.