Review: ‘Feeding Tomorrow’ is a timely, worrying documentary worth watching

Review: ‘Feeding Tomorrow’ is a timely, worrying documentary worth watching
Directed by brothers Oliver and Simon English, ‘Feeding Tomorrow’ talks about how food is about more than keeping the body alive. (Supplied)
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Updated 23 January 2024
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Review: ‘Feeding Tomorrow’ is a timely, worrying documentary worth watching

Review: ‘Feeding Tomorrow’ is a timely, worrying documentary worth watching

CHENNAI: Food is a universal language — it is a global unifier, says Sekani Nash, an organic farmer of the Field to Fork Community Farm, in an incisive documentary titled “Feeding Tomorrow.” Directed by brothers Oliver and Simon English, the nearly two-hour documentary talks about how food is about more than keeping the body alive. It plays a great role in society — spiritual, cultural, religious. emotional and economic.  

The documentary goes to explain how food influences our personal lives as well as our society. More importantly, food has a direct bearing on our health and well-being and it is in light of this that the documentary explores the grim prospect of international food shortages. 

 

 

In 2015, the United Nations said that we have 60 years of harvest left at the current rate of soil erosion. Top soil is getting depleted faster than the new production of top soil. With agriculture in many parts of the world completely industrialised, this kind of soil erosion becomes inevitable.  

Several experts — such as Mark Shepard, farmer and founder of New Forest Farm; Selima Hauber, owner and organic farmer of Field to Fork Community Farm; and Shenggen Fan, director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute — have chipped in with their invaluable observations in this documentary. One thing is crystal clear: Man is callous about food. 

In this context, Oliver shares: “I grew up in the restaurant business, studied hospitality at Cornell, and worked as a restaurant developer and operator for many chefs and hospitality companies around the world for years. Despite my background in the world of food, while opening a restaurant in Abu Dhabi, I realised that I had never really asked the question, 'Where does our food come from?' or thought it might have a bigger impact on the world around us.”  

Captivatingly photographed, beautifully scored and smartly edited, the work is a feast for the eyes and offers healthy provocation for the mind. The experts offer in-depth suggestions to radically change the way we cultivate our land. Included in these is the need to implement regenerative agriculture, while a teacher tells her students about the importance of food awareness and a nutritionist helps patients by changing hospital menu practices. 

“Feeding Tomorrow,” now available on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video, among other platforms, has great relevance to our world today.  


Review: Nicolas Cage-starring horror-mystery ‘Longlegs’ falls flat

Review: Nicolas Cage-starring horror-mystery ‘Longlegs’ falls flat
Updated 14 July 2024
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Review: Nicolas Cage-starring horror-mystery ‘Longlegs’ falls flat

Review: Nicolas Cage-starring horror-mystery ‘Longlegs’ falls flat

CHENNAI: If one were to walk into a theater to watch “Longlegs” in the hopes of finding something even remotely novel or different from the dozens of horror films that have played in cinemas over the years, disappointment awaits.

Set to be released in Saudi cinemas on July 18, the film is set in 1990s Oregon where mist and fog creep across a deserted, snow-covered landscape. Despite the sometimes eerie set, the movie does not manage to create a sense of sheer terror. Writer-director Osgood Perkins’ work appears clumsy, relying mostly on mood and atmosphere rather than on a substantial core as it follows FBI agent Lee Harker (Maika Monroe) on the trail of a notorious serial killer, played by Nicolas Cage.

Cage is completely hidden under a heavy disguise, with his expressions impossible to fathom, which is a pity because love him or hate him, he is an emotive performer.

Leaving behind coded notes signed as Longlegs — notes that Harker manages to crack as she tries to capture him — the devil on the prowl convinces fathers to murder their wives and children and then commit suicide. Dozens of families are wiped out, but the case itself is a mystery with details that do not add up to a believable whole.

Perkins has a penchant for style over substance — it’s a calling card that has marked his career, beginning with his 2015 debut “The Blackcoat's Daughter.” The director seems to lose his grip over the narrative and lets it sink into nonsensical oblivion. The dialogue is clumsy and the plot is peppered with plot holes.

If there is one plus point in the entire 101 minutes it is Monroe, who rises above a shoddily written part to convince audiences that she can offer a semblance of excellence in a story that seems to go nowhere.

 


‘This has been a journey for me,’ Kevin Costner says of passion project

‘This has been a journey for me,’ Kevin Costner says of passion project
Updated 13 July 2024
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‘This has been a journey for me,’ Kevin Costner says of passion project

‘This has been a journey for me,’ Kevin Costner says of passion project

LOS ANGELES: Oscar-winner Kevin Costner brought his passion project "Horizon: An American Saga" to the big screen this summer. A labor of love since 1988, Costner wrote, produced, financed, starred in, and directed the film.

His dedication paid off at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received an 11-minute standing ovation. Despite a lukewarm international box office take, the second part of the saga is on the horizon and will be released at an unspecified date.

“This has been a journey for me and for the people to stand and clap and not stop. And I basically shut out the noise for a while and walked my life backwards and thought about my journey professionally and the journey for ‘Horizon.’ And I was just really grateful at the end of the day that I stayed true to it,” Costner said of the lengthy standing ovation at Cannes.

Costner tells a Western story and focuses on the experiences of Indigenous Americans during colonization. The film meticulously explores a 12-year span during which white settlers encroached upon indigenous lands. With a diverse cast, the narrative offers a rich tapestry of perspectives on exploring new frontiers.

“We're just playing dress ups and telling a story version. But, you know, the frontier was actually founded on people taking wagon trains across through these uncharted territory. So you really get a bit of empathy towards what actually happened,” actor Sam Worthington said.

"Horizon: An American Saga" takes its time to set the tone for an engaging journey into a pivotal era of American history, told with passion and precision. Despite its three-hour runtime and slow pace, British actress Sienna Miller says she enjoyed the process. 

“I realized there were a lot of characters and there were long scenes and people had long monologues. But I like that,” Miller said.

“It was a massive, epic ... sized film to be doing. It’s like hundreds of actors and cattle everywhere, and we're in the elements. But then as an actor, he just slides into the scene. He's got this deep relaxation about the way that he works,” actress Abbey Lee said, with co-star Isabelle Fuhrman adding: “He knows this story backwards and forwards. I mean, it's been long enough for him to finally be on set doing this.”


Saudi star Fahad Albutairi on his new family comedy film

Saudi star Fahad Albutairi on his new family comedy film
Updated 12 July 2024
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Saudi star Fahad Albutairi on his new family comedy film

Saudi star Fahad Albutairi on his new family comedy film
  • Albutairi plays workaholic dad in Maitha Alawadi’s Saudi-Emirati film ‘Al Eid Eiden’

DUBAI: Saudi actor, writer and comedian Fahad Albutairi cites two main reasons for taking on the role of beleaguered workaholic dad Rashid in the new family comedy movie “Al Eid Eiden,” which follows a young Saudi-Emirati couple and their three unruly children on vacation at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

“What attracted me to the character initially was the fact that Rashid was a father. And I became a father myself recently,” the 39-year-old tells Arab News. “Also, it’s not very common to see millennials being portrayed as parents in productions in the region, and specifically in the GCC.”

Albutairi ’s second reason involved the film’s all-Emirati female crew, including award-winning director Maitha Alawadi, producer Rawia Abdullah and screenwriter Sara Al-Sayegh.

“Sara has been a colleague and a friend for quite some time now. But this was her screenwriting debut. And, for me, I was really curious about the script,” he says. “The fact that it wasn't slapstick in any way, or a little too on the nose when it came to the comedy… It was very much situational. And the premise just got me hooked.

“I also met online with the director Maitha Alawadi and saw that she was a very collaborative person,” he continues. “So that got me really excited about the film.”

Fahad Albutairi and Meera Al-Midfa star as a married couple with three children in ‘Al Eid Eiden.’ (Supplied)

Emirati actress Meera Al-Midfa, making her feature-length debut, plays Rashid’s wife, while Abdulmajeed Fahad, Layal Fahad, and Abdulmohsen Al-Harbi feature as their energetic children: mischievous Ali, headstrong Mariam, and shy Mohammed.

“I immediately picked up on Meera’s tininess,” says Albutairi, laughing. “So that helped with a lot of the physical comedy in the film. I had never seen her in anything before, so then I looked up her short film ‘Monster,’ which she was wonderful in, but that was a drama. Working on comedy scenes is a two-way street; it’s a collaborative effort. If the other person doesn't have good comedic timing, it can ruin (a) funny moment. That was never the case with Meera. She really came into her own when it came to the comedy. I think she’s one of the funniest characters in the film.”

At the heart of the story, Albutairi says, lies “the struggle of parents who are trying to excel professionally as well as have a pretty stable family life. It's a very delicate balance between the two. And in the case of Rashid, I think he's swayed one way more than the other. And the film explores how he turns it around.”

Albutairi — who rose to fame in the early 2010s with his YouTube sketch show “La Yekthar” and, in 2016, was reportedly the first Saudi stand-up to perform at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood — is delighted to be appearing in a movie representing local culture, humor, and family life. It’s something he believes we need more of in the Saudi entertainment scene.

“We have one of the biggest box offices in the region, if not the biggest,” he says. “And it’s happened over a short period of time since we opened cinemas in Saudi (in 2018). With that comes a huge hunger for content and for more representative films that people can watch and relate to a little more — especially if they're made by Saudi filmmakers.

“I'd like to see more family films like this one. But we also need a diversity of genres. There’s definitely a need for more action stuff, more sci-fi stuff. And I'd love to see that happen very soon,” Albutairi continues. “We’re still testing the waters and seeing what the audience's tastes are. As a content creator and filmmaker myself, I’d like to know more about the audience's thoughts through their reactions and appetite for different productions.”


Best & Worst: Actress Darin Al-Bayed talks fashion trends and bad advice

Best & Worst: Actress Darin Al-Bayed talks fashion trends and bad advice
Updated 12 July 2024
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Best & Worst: Actress Darin Al-Bayed talks fashion trends and bad advice

Best & Worst: Actress Darin Al-Bayed talks fashion trends and bad advice

DUBAI: Based in Saudi Arabia, Lebanese actress Darin Al-Bayed discusses fashion trends, breathing exercises, and bad advice. 

Best TV show/film you’ve ever seen?   

“The Pianist.” Adrien Brody gave one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. And I really enjoy true stories in movies.  

Worst TV show/film you’ve ever seen?  

I don't like horror movies because they’re fantasies and I don't like fantasy films.  

Best personal style moment so far?   

I absolutely love oversized clothes! You can wear them out, keep it casual, dress them up for formal occasions… Basically, no matter how you style them, they always look great. Even as PJs or when you're chilling with the girls, they just work. 

Worst personal style moment?   

I can’t stand anything tight. Neon colors are a no-go for me too. One time, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try something new — a fabric test to see what colors suit me. Silver and gold were okay, but bright pinks and similar shades just don’t work for me, and, honestly, I don’t like them. 

Best accessory for a little black dress?   

I prefer when a girl's natural beauty shines through. Simple and natural is my style. I believe the woman should bring value to the outfit, not the other way around. If I do accessorize, I go for simple, petite gold jewelry, like earrings and rings. I hate necklaces. I prefer something subtle that complements the look. 

Worst accessory for a little black dress?   

If someone forces me to wear jewelry they think looks better, it can be tough. That often happens with photoshoots when there’s a stylist involved. They have their own vision, which can be quite different from mine. You know what works best for you and what you’re comfortable with, but sometimes they push you out of your comfort zone. So, I end up wearing the bulky, chunky pieces they pick out. 

Best fashion trend of 2024?    

I still think oversized pieces are trending, and I love that.  

Worst fashion trend of 2024?    

Ripped outfits. I can’t stand them. I just don’t see the appeal. To me, they make a person look like they don't know how to dress properly. I’m not sure how it became a trend.  

 Best advice you’ve ever been given?   

I forget a lot, but the best advice always comes from my mom. She's a treasure trove of wisdom. I’m short-tempered, and my anger issues sometimes lead me to do things I regret. I often wish I’d listened to her when I was younger, around 15, especially about breathing. She’d tell me to go to my room, take 15 seconds to breathe, and make this a habit before bed. When I finally followed her advice, it completely changed me. I thought I needed a doctor, but my mom was the doctor all along. 

Worst advice you’ve ever been given?  

“Do whatever you want” is the biggest lie and the worst advice. I need people who understand situations, especially older people with more experience. I can’t always rely on my feelings. I might think I’m making the right choice, but that’s not always the case. 

Best book you’ve ever read?    

“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” It inspired me to start my show “Ana Wa Heya,” which explored the differences between men and women in their duties, thoughts, responsibilities and feelings. I did two seasons. Back then, YouTube was the trending platform, and we’d get six to seven million views for each episode. 

Worst book you’ve ever read?    

I don’t really have a “worst” one. Some take more time to get through, but I don’t regret reading them — I think it’s good that I did. 

Best thing to do when you’re feeling low?    

Breathing exercises. Seriously, they’re incredibly helpful. I also write. A lot. I jot down things that are hard to talk about. I had habits that I’ve changed. Instead of ranting to a friend, I take a notebook and write down my feelings. I also do yoga and stretching. Or I go outside and sit on the beach. During this time, I don’t speak a word. I just write and keep my phone away. 

Worst thing to do when you’re feeling low?    

You have to confront situations. It’s OK to acknowledge that you’re feeling down and give yourself time to feel that. Escaping is not the solution. Give those feelings time, sit alone, and work through them. Then you can move past it. 

Best holiday destination?    

For me, a perfect holiday is doing what I love. Playing volleyball, going to the beach, swimming, and driving from one city to another with people I love are all I need. Even enjoying my favorite foods can make my holiday special. These might seem like small and simple things, but to me, they’re everything. 

Worst holiday destination?   

I can't stand being around controlling people. I hate when someone tries to force me to do things while I am traveling. Having people dictate where I should go and what I should eat feels really limiting to me.   

Best subject at school?    

I really liked history and arts. I love watching historical movies and exploring monuments when I travel. I used to enjoy them even more when I was younger.  

Worst subject at school?    

Math. I never understood it.  

Best thing to do to ensure you have a productive day?   

I always plan my day the night before. I can’t wake up without knowing what I need to do. Not having a plan makes me feel lost.  


‘Beverly Hills Cop’ cast, director talk ‘iconic franchise’ as nostalgia-fueled film hits Netflix

‘Beverly Hills Cop’ cast, director talk ‘iconic franchise’ as nostalgia-fueled film hits Netflix
Updated 10 July 2024
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‘Beverly Hills Cop’ cast, director talk ‘iconic franchise’ as nostalgia-fueled film hits Netflix

‘Beverly Hills Cop’ cast, director talk ‘iconic franchise’ as nostalgia-fueled film hits Netflix

LOS ANGELES: It took 30 years for the fourth installment of the iconic “Beverly Hills Cop” series to return to the screen and now the latest film has hit Netflix with a nostalgia-tinged bang.

Eddie Murphy returns in "Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F" as Axel Foley. Joining him are familiar faces and new talent — and some of the cast and crew sat down to talk more about the film that sees Axel Foley return to Beverly Hills after his daughter's life is threatened. The high octane, joke-filled film sees our lead star work with old pals John Taggart and Billy Rosewood to uncover a conspiracy.

“It's been a few years since I've seen Eddie because all three of us live in different parts of the country … but we developed a good friendship in the earlier ones. And friendships don't die,” John Ashton, who plays now-police chief John Taggart, said.

Meanwhile, US actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt approached the project from a different position, with "Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F" marking his first time on the set of the franchise. He commented on working with Murphy on the fan-loved series.

“One of the things that I think is often underappreciated about Eddie is even though he's so funny, he's also a very honest and real actor,” Gordon-Levitt said.

It’s a quality that the lead star made full use of in the film, with emotional moments focusing on Axel Foley’s tense relationship with his estranged daughter, Jane, played by Taylour Paige.

But there is also, predictably, a healthy dose of action and this installment trades heavy CGI for action set pieces, notably in a gripping helicopter sequence that reintroduces authentic danger to the franchise.

“That helicopter was being flown by this stunt pilot who really did all that. He dropped the helicopter off the building, came that close to the street, barely missed the bus. That was all real and they just photographed it,” Gordon-Levitt explained.

“To be trusted with the keys to such an iconic franchise like this and get (franchise producer Jerry Bruckheimer) to give me that trust was really humbling. Of course I felt a lot of pressure, but I just tried to be as prepared as possible,” Australian director Mark Molloy, who made his feature film debut with this movie, added.