Friday, September 25, 2009

VIFF must-sees: Taqwacore, Leslie My Name Is Evil

The author with Reg Harkema, with Ifny to the left of us and Flick Harrison to the right. Photo by David Repa, we think.

I will be preoccupied with packing, cleaning, and moving over the next few days. I will not have much time to blog.

Followers of this blog are highly advised to check out at least two films in the first week of the VIFF: Taqwacore: The Birth Of Punk Islam (official site here), a remarkable film about a group of young American Muslims united around the book The Taqwacores, by Michael Muhammad Knight - a book that imagines community of Muslim punks, written by the author as an act of "extreme loneliness." In a wonderful twist of fate, the imaginary community ended up blossoming into a real one - a vital, vibrant new punk scene with a twist. I've previewed thirteen movies for the fest; this is by far my favourite, and I'll be attending at least one of the screenings - maybe both, I like it so much (I think it plays October 3rd and 5th). By the way, the picture is the cover of The Kominas' Wild Nights In Guantanamo Bay - nearly sold out at CD Baby. Beat the Taqwacore rush here!

Also on my list, though I haven't been able to preview it: Reg Harkema's Leslie, My Name Is Evil (official site here), which I gather continues Christian-raised Reg's ambivalent exploration of the counterculture of the 1960's (begun in Monkey Warfare) here using the Manson trials as a focal point. My old interview with Reg, about Monkey Warfare, is here. A current little thing I did with him to complement my big Motorhead piece in this week's Skinny is here. My next interview with Reg is going to have to wait awhile, unfortunately, but if all works out, I will make time from loading my shit into cardboard boxes and cleaning the mouse's shit from the top of my fridge to post a sizeable piece on Taqwacore, featuring interview material from the filmmaker and members of The Kominas and Secret Trial Five (and maybe others, yet to be heard from); the film is the Hard Core Logo of Muslim punk, I swear.

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