Friday, November 29, 2013

Jinn (2014)

Thanks to Paul for passing this along. Jinn is an upcoming horror film to be released in April of 2014. Unlike other Jinn/Jann/Djinn/Genie related fare, this one seems to be adhering to an "authentic" portrayal of these disruptive spirits.

The Jinn are frequent characters in the Nights, though generally lumped together into a sort of mystical genie caricature. They are, however, different types and different personalities.

The film is reviewed here on Fangoria, the popular horror magazine that you all should subscribe to:

"The horrific side of Eastern mythological folklore is coming to the U.S., as the supernatural horror film JINN has set a release date.

JINN (no relation to Tobe Hooper’s forthcoming DJINN) will open courtesy of Exxodus Pictures and Freestyle Releasing April 4, 2014. Written and directed by Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, the film stars Dominic Rains (pictured above), Serinda Swan, Ray Park, Faran Tahir and William Atherton; here’s the pitch: “In the beginning, three were created. Man made of clay. Angels made of light. And a third made of fire. For centuries, stories of angels and men have captured the imagination and been etched into history crossing all boundaries of culture, religion and time. These two races have dominated the landscape of modern mythology, shrouding the evidence that a third was ever created. This third race, born of smokeless fire, was named the jinn. Modern man has all but forgotten this third race ever existed. It is time for him to remember.”

Monday, November 25, 2013

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The 1001 Nights

Melquiades the Gypsy and The Metal Ingots by Lozano Mary (for sale (with other Cien Anos inspired paintings) at: -

Just finished teaching One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A remarkable book and most surprising, perhaps, for its secret resilience to the outside world which, for the most part, has chosen to either vilify it as an unsurpassable hegemony or adore it in romantically annoying ways.

In any event, of course the Nights infuse themselves (in shadows) into the carpet of Solitude. They are everywhere after all. Here we have Aureliano Segundo discovering them wilting in his grandfather's forgotten workshop, having been brought to Macondo long ago (many years before?) by Melquiades:

"On the shelves were the books bound in a cardboard-like material, pale, like tanned human skin, and the manuscripts were intact. In spite of the room's having been shut up for many years, the air seemed fresher than in the rest of the house. Everything was so recent that several weeks later, when Ursula went into the room with a pail of water and a brush to wash the floor, there was nothing for her to do. Aureliano Segundo was deep in the reading of a book. Although it had no cover and the title did not appear anywhere, the boy enjoyed the story of a woman who sat at a table and ate nothing but kernels of rice, which she picked up with a pin, and the story of the fisherman who borrowed a weight for his net from a neighbor and when he gave him a fish in payment later it had a diamond in its stomach, and the one about the lamp that fulfilled wishes and about flying carpets. Surprised, he asked Ursula if all that was true and she answered him that it was, that many years ago the gypsies had brought magic lamps and flying mats to Macondo" (183).

This is from the 1970 translation by Gregory Rabassa, Harperperennial's 2006 update & etc.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Monaco Stamp - 2004

JC at Wollamshram has a great collection of 1001 Nights inspired stamps on his blog, including a very insightful post on this (pictured) one from Monaco -

Friday, November 15, 2013

Learn Arabic with Sinbad

Learn Arabic with "Sindibad" - this person on youtube has uploaded the 40 minute video with both Arabic and English subtitles.  It is basic Arabic but a helpful refresher.  You can learn how to say useful things like "mother," "father" and "are you a policeman?"!!

Sindibad is/was a hugely popular animated series (outside of the US and particularly in the Arabic speaking world) originating in the 80s or maybe even the 70s.

A new company called "Arabian Sinbad" has produced a number of these videos featuring an updated riff on the old Sindibad. Their website is here -

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hercules & The Arabian Night

Hercules was an animated television show from Disney that aired in 1998-1999. Here is a "crossover" episode called Hercules and The Arabian Night, featuring Disney's Aladdin. More info at wikipedia -

Monday, November 11, 2013

1001 Nights in the World Literary Imagination - Boston University

A Tale of 1001 Nights by Gustave Boulanger

Professor Margaret Litvin ( is teaching her Nights course again (she taught a similar course last Fall) at Boston University.

You should follow their blog, it has student and group work and presentations, and is an excellent, updated resource on the Nights and on teaching the Nights -