This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Tag : movie

Taqwacores: A Punk Subculture Inspired By A Book

In 2003 filmmaker and activist James Spooner’s film “Afro-Punk” was released and challenged society’s perception of black identity and the traditionally white punk scene. Also in 2003, Michael Muhammad Knight self published “The Taqwacores“, a book created to mend the rift between his being an observant Muslim and an angry American youth.

Like “Afro-Punk”, Knight’s book continues to inspire young people who are searching for ways to validate their own experiences and defy social norms and the New York Times reports that there will be an independent film version of the book released next year.

Behind The Book

Knight was born an Irish Catholic in upstate New York and converted to Islam as a teenager. He studied at a mosque in Pakistan but became disillusioned with Islam after learning about the sectarian battles after the death of Muhammad.

Five years ago he wrote “The Taqwacores”, inspired by the like of Muhammad, who instructed people to ignore their leaders, destroy their petty deities and follow only Allah.

At first it was handed around in xeroxed versions like a Soviet era Samizdat. Then young Muslims began contacting Michael asking where they could see Muslim punk bands. He told them he just made it up and he didn’t know of any such bands. He told them he just made it up and he didn’t know of any such bands.

The novel’s Muslim characters include Rabeya, a riot girl who plays guitar onstage wearing a burqa and leads a group of men and women in prayer. There is also Fasiq, a pot-smoking skater, and Jehangir, a drunk. Such acts — playing Western music, women leading prayer, men and women praying together, drinking, smoking — are considered haram, or forbidden, by millions of Muslims. (more…)

On My Radar: Swedish Vampire Movies That Make You Cry

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In is a film set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982. Oscar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl who turns out to be a vampire. (IMBD)

It is more than a vampire movie, more than a coming of age tale and more than a love story. It is haunting, beautiful and emotional. Kåre Hedebrant is mesmorizing as a tortured boy who escapes from the world the only way he knows how. Lina Leandersson  gives a heartbreaking performance as a lonely “adolescent” vampire. She reminds me of Judith Vittet, the young actress who played Miet in City of the Lost Children. Both of the young actors make their feature film debuts in this film.

Let the Right One In satisfied my vampire film fetish while authentically evoking the harsh realities of young love, growing up in a working class neighborhood and the universal pains of adolescence. This is something that Twilight will attempt to do tomorrow but judging by all of the script and dailies info online, I doubt it will come close to Let the Right One In.

This film is smart, nuanced, funny and heartbreaking. The locations and cinematography practically transport you back to those days when acceptance on the playground was more important than anything in your universe.

You can watch the entire movie in high quality here but be sure to see it in a theater as well. Who else in your neighborhood was smart enough to check this out? Maybe someone cute will be in the audience and you can talk about the film over coffee…It happens!

Hopefully there’s a ton of great extras on the DVD release!

Stuff I Love: Scaring You With Dolls & Killer/Scary Doll Movie List

 I’ve been re-reading Borderlands: La Frontera this week and have been preoccupied with the passages describing the Shadow Beast. This morning I wondered why that was and then I realized that Halloween is coming up, a time when I tend to focus on the macabre.

Since I’ll probably seem more creepy if I do this another week, I figure a quick blurb on the art of Justin Aerni tonight is as appropriate as it’s going to get before Christmas.

Justin Aerni is a young artist living and working in Spokane, Washington. According to his bio, most of his art has been symbolic in dealing with what he (and other humans) fear most, Death. His work reflects the fragile human condition we are all held in. Most of it could be described as “Abstract Depressionism.”  Yay!

Not to worry folks, he also creates non doll-that-will-haunt-your dreams work. Check out this cheery Obama piece on Justin’s flick. He was also featured in this week’s episode of Epic-Fu.

In honor of Justin’s assemblage of petrifying playthings, here’s some history about scary dolls in cinema + a list of scary doll movies:

Wanna Play? after the jump… (more…)