Despacito Conquers America

Forget the ramblings of xenophobes and threats of building walls.

Music demolishes all barriers to Love… Latino culture today is being embraced even more despite the vitriol in our political landscape. The success of this song is a reminder that America is more diverse today than ever. Yes….we may not live in an equal America, or a fair America, but it does mean we have the opportunity to experience America’s many rich cultures, listen to more stories, whether those stories are told in English or not. They still touch us.

Singer/songwriter Luis Fonsi stated on Instagram that “Music has no language”. Actually, Luis…Music is the language of Love…it is and has always been universal. If we want to understand humanity and love…we have to understand music first.

This is the first Spanish song since “Macarena” (1996-1997) to grace the US Billboard number one position for weeks while refusing to give up its number one position in the UK charts. You hear it blasting out of every sound system today in America. With a boost from Justin Beiber (who adds an English Intro to the extremely catchy Spanish lyrics and beats).

Personally for me though I prefer the original without Justin Beiber which has reached over 2 billion views on Youtube:

R.I.P. Robert Miles, Dance Music Pioneer

DJ Robert Miles has died after a brief illness. If you listened to music in the 90s, you can’t have missed the genius of Italian born DJ/music producer Robert Miles, even today DJ’s sample his music worldwide.

“Children” is the most iconic of hits in the history of dance music and really defined his career and revolutionized dance music, creating an entire genre “Dream House” which brought trance music to the mainstream. In clubs they used to have this as the last track of the night.

It is a track that is very moving and brings strong emotions.

After Miles performed this music in a club, a girl approached him in tears. “What music is this?” she asked him. It was a moment he will never forget that moment, realizing that his feelings had been conveyed through his music. His dream turned into reality.

Children:

Fable was another one of his fantastic tracks…featured in the movie “Ever After” (with Drew Barrymore).

Fable:

 

 

 

Ezel – Turkish Series on Netflix

Three of my addictions… I like to read books from foreign authors (Japan and Scandinavian countries mostly but also some South and South East Asian); listen to foreign music (from everywhere) and watch foreign movies and TV series (Korean, Japanese, Scandinavian, Eastern European, Latin American). I find most American music is just noise – nothing really artistic; and American films and TV series are clichéd, predictable and overrated. Made using the studio cookie cutter formulas – rarely something inspiring comes along. These days even here in Hollywood, they are buying rights to scripts and plots from foreign films and TV series and re-making them as American.

Turkey is one such place where the hottest TV shows come from now. Turkey went from nothing to become the largest producer or TV shows.

Angelina Jolie, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nancy Ajram and other celebrities will appear in roles in a new Turkish series about Syrian refugees…that’s the power of Turkish TV. The production values are higher and licensing fees around the world for many of the Turkish TV series are even higher than American ones, that’s how much the demand is for them. As one Hollywood studio executive said “We’re all learning Turkish now”. When the Turkish drama 1001 Nights aired in Chile in 2014, the ratings beat all the Latin telenovelas and there was a sudden rise in the number of children named Onur and Sehrazat – the main characters in the series. In Israel-Palestine, there were reports that between 3-4pm when a popular Turkish drama airs, everyone stops fighting….governments can’t bring peace there but Turkish dramas can it seems. In India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the number one ratings aren’t for Indian or Pakistani shows but Turkish ones. Turkey is mounting an attack on some of the foremost sources of entertainment for the world. Here’s looking at you, Hollywood and Bollywood.

Currently I am a big fan of a slick Turkish series called Ezel. The story is a revenge crime drama inspired by Alexander Dumas’ novel “The Count of Monte Cristo” (one of my favorite books of all time I have read it so many times but still enjoy it so much that I stay up to finish it).  Normally though I get disappointed by the screen adaptations as they don’t live up to the novel.

However, Ezel was a game changer. Hailed as the best Turkish series ever produced, it tells the story in present and in flashbacks. Originally Dumas wanted to tell the story of “The Count of Monte Christo” in flashbacks, Ezel uses time as a tool going back and forth. However the tale of Ezel doesn’t follow the novel. It is set in present day Turkey and Cyprus instead of 19th century Paris and defies genre as it is a revenge crime thriller, drama, action, mystery, romance. The actors are all brilliant in their roles and the story itself is very poetic….Betrayal tears them apart, revenge brings them together.

 The soundtrack is a masterpiece. Every musical piece in the thrilling scenes or dramatic is moving and fantastic. It has one of the best soundtracks by Toygar Isikli who has created a masterpiece of music that lives up to legendary screen music like the ones from “Last of the Mohicans”, “1492: Conquest of Paradise” and “The Godfather”.

 The series was licensed in about 100 countries, dubbed in many different languages and has even been re-made by Mexico (as Yago) and Armenia (as Ancanoty). A Hollywood re-make is also in the works.

 Here’s one of the gentler tracks from the soundtracks that is one of my favorites:

Mullah Omar/Ayatollah Khamenei to Star in Rumi Biopic

Breaking News.

Los Angeles, California.

Taliban leader Mullah Omar was selected by David Franzoni, the Oscar-winning writer of Gladiator to play the role of 13th century Sufi mystic, scholar, philosopher and poet Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamemei will play the part of Shams-e-Tabriz.

ayatollah-ali-khamenei-smile

Initially, Franzoni after much research, had selected Leonardo DiCaprio to portray Rumi and Robert Downey Jr. to play his friend, instructor and companion Shams-e-Tabriz, but after being deeply moved by the outcries of whitewashing, he decided that in order to be politically correct, only an Afghani should play the part of Rumi who was born in Balkh, which is in present-day Afghanistan and as Tabriz was born in Tabriz, Iran – no one would be better suited than Ayatollah Khamenei (he hopes Khamenei’s birth in Mashhad, Iran will not complicate matters should the Twitter Brigade ask for a birth certificate). Franzoni, who has in the past written great screenplays like King Arthur, Amistad, and Gladiator, hoped this new casting would bring no objection or accusations of whitewashing from the Twitter Whiner Brigade, a powerful group of activists who although never have made a film, are well versed in the art of whining on the Internet from the comfort of their chairs.

In his speech at the Motion Picture Academy’s annual dinner,  Franzoni stated his film could have lost billions by mistakenly casting DiCaprio and Downey Jr despite their being the most bankable stars in the industry today.

“Besides, Mullah Omar and Ayatollah Khamenei’s onscreen chemistry will bring out the sensuality that was lacking in his earlier cast – the world will be drooling over these new hunks.”

“We, the veteran film makers of Hollywood – despite historically being the world’s oldest, largest and most commercially successful film industry – are completely clueless when it comes to making and casting people for successful films. We have proven again and again, that people who produce, direct, write or finance films should have absolutely no say in whom to cast, this should be left to the professionals. I hope to set a trend by engaging the Twitter Whiner Brigade to select casting for all my future films and also have been in talks with President Trump to create a bill making it law that casting for a film will only be serviced by the Twitter Whiner Brigade.”

President Trump has promised to build a wall around Hollywood and make the Taliban pay for it.

(Disclaimer: This is satire)