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‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ Review

'Martha Marcy May Marlene' on IMDb

My unexpected watch of 2012 for sure. Took a chance on this film and so glad I did. John Hawkes is easily one of the best actors on the planet and he proved it once again with his subtle portrayal of a cult leader, his charisma was hard to deny even with such a dark character. He is just one of those actors that can bring you into a film and tell you to ‘sit down cause you ain’t leaving until this film is done.

If you are unaware of John Hawkes, I highly recommend you watching his roles in Winter’s Bone and Contagion. Yah, small roles but he makes them big.

Even though I tuned in because of John Hawkes, it was Elizabeth Olsen that made this film a great film. What a coming out party for the younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. She proved in the first 20 minutes of this film that she was born with the acting chops in the family, she clearly has more acting capability than both her twin sisters combined. I know you probably don’t want to take a chance on this film because the lead actress is related to Michelle from Full House, but trust me, even before the urge of singing a song about peanut butter sets in, you will kick yourself in the ass not taking a chance on this film.

Sarah Paulson and Hugh Dancy were the main supporting cast members. I felt their portrayals lacked the emotion needed to make this film better, for this reason, my rating of this film is a bit lower.

For a portrayal of cult life from the inside out and for putting my faith into young actors doing nudity for ‘art’ and not to ‘get ahead’ once again, I rate this film 8/10


Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights of the House of Commons

Statement on Organized Crime
by Mani Amar

Presented April 30th, 2009

To the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
of the House of Commons (Vancouver)

Dear Committee and guests,

My name is Mani Amar, I am an independent filmmaker, writer, and activist based out of Vancouver, BC.

I have been invited here today to share my views on the state of Organized Crime and offer suggestions in order that the Committee may make recommendations in a report to the House of Commons.

I believe that my invitation was based on the film I have recently released, ‘A Warrior’s Religion.’ It is a documentary film which was my attempt to discover the root precursors on why so many South Asians were heavily involved in organized crime in Metro Vancouver during the last 19 years.

I hope that my experiences garnered in the production of this film, along with my ongoing research on this issue can help provide insight, in turn shedding some light on this dark situation.


‘Curious George’ Review

'Curious George' on IMDb

You are never too young to know what love and friendship is. A couple of hours ago I was watching this animated movie with a very special 2.5 year old. As George was being taken away from ‘Man in the Yellow Hat’, this toddler started wincing, his eyes starting welling up. I started watching him instead of the movie, only to learn all too well that he knew that George was being taken against his will from someone he loved. As I held him and began to comfort him, my faith and belief that love and friendship are universal emotions, innate in all of us, no matter what creed, faith, or age, was more than restored, it was enlightened. As George was reunited with the ‘Man in the Yellow Hat’, the smile returned to his face and my heart melted.

If you are ever in need of having your faith in humanity restored, have a movie night with a toddler, they are much wiser than us.

For giving me a night I will never forget, for showing the beauty of love and friendship, and for having the ability to make a child enlighten an adult, I rate this film 10/10


‘Fear not the dark days’

Fear not the dark days as they advance, for they shall perish from our world by the Sun’s warm glow and embrace.

© Copyright Mani Amar


Sigur Rós – ‘Untitled 4 (njósnavélin)’

I was laying in my bed having a crappy day a few years ago…when I decided to watch a movie, settled on Vanilla Sky, loved the movie, but discovered a whole new genre of music that forever changed my life and inspired my art more than anything else before.

Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Post-rock, Ambient, Art Rock, whatever you want to call it, it is hard to mention this genre without people talking about Sigur Rós.

What amazing music, to this day, it blows me away.

This song in particular is one of my favourites, I’d post the lyrics, if they existed…explanation here.

Also posting a video of how they play their music live, amazing how they combine instruments, playing your guitar like a violin, who would have thought?

These guys let me use this track in my first feature length film; A Warrior’s Religion, for which I am forever grateful.

Check out more from Sigur Rós.

About Me
In self-reflection; I can honestly say all that is good in my life has been a direct result of my artistic expression. Be it through writing poetry, prose, or philosophy, through painting or photography, or through filmmaking, art saved my life and it can save yours.
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© Copyright 2010-2018 All rights reserved. All writings herein are the sole property of Mani Amar. Publication of any material herein without authorization is strictly prohibited.