For our 55th instalment, we got in touch with Mohamed El Zayat, an Egyptian filmmaker who directs Narrative and Commercials.
Below are Zayat’s selects and what he had to say:
- The Lives of Others (2006)
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
- Underground (1996)
- ‘Weapon Of Choice’ Fatboy Slim (2000)
- ‘Sledgehammer’ Peter Gabriel (1986)
- ‘Music For a Sushi Restaurant’ Harry Styles (2022)
- ‘Gorilla’ Cadbury’s (2007)
- Melody Films Channel (2009)
- ‘Mr. Wind’ Epuron (2008)
I love everything about this film even though I don’t necessarily care for political dramas. What really got me is how well it’s written and how amazing the characters have been drawn out. The ending gets me every time.
There are so many German movies that have been made about the Stasi, but this film is just on another level.
The first time I saw this film, I was living in Tunisia and the only version available in the video store was dubbed in French, but guess what, it was still hilarious. To me this is hands down the funniest film ever made. I religiously watch it at least once a year.
I think I can safely say that I know the script off by heart.
I don’t know how I feel about the film today because I haven’t seen it in a long time, but I was obsessed with Emir Kusturica when this film came out. I was quite young and it made me feel as if I was a deep filmmaker who watches alternative cinema.
I still love the concept today and I love how theatrical the visual and musical approach was. I loved the absurdity of the world that Kusturica created in this film.
This music video is just so entertaining to watch. I think I watched it 700 times even though I didn’t care for the music. I also caught it fairly late. I couldn’t get enough of Christopher Walken dancing.
I never understood how they decided that this was the way to go? I imagine Spike Jonze saying to Fatboy Slim: “You know what would be perfect for this song? Christopher Walken dancing alone in a deserted hotel” and Fatboy Slim replying: “Yeah man, you nailed it”.
I used to be a hardcore rock fan. Living in Egypt my only outlet was to watch MTV for as long as I could hoping to catch some Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, or Nirvana music videos. Their music videos played a lot but while waiting for them to run, I was exposed to a lot of Pet Shop Boys, Annie Lenox, but this music video stuck with me.
It is so inventive, when everybody was going for linear-ish narratives, Peter Gabriel went for stop motion. Of course, I didn’t know back then what linear narrative or stop motion was, I just wanted to see Slash shredding on the top of a mountain. I knew it was fresh, I just didn’t know why and I still believe that it was way ahead of its time.
This is a more recent music video but I really love the cinematography, the mood, the art direction, the wardrobe. It’s an extreme pleasure to watch.
I was working in advertising when this ad came out. I just couldn’t believe that someone managed to sell this to a client. It was a joy to watch, so free of brand guidelines and pack shots. It actually made me have some loyalty to the product. I would cheer for any product that gives me a gorilla playing drums on a Phil Collins playback.
This will need some introduction. This commercial is part of a campaign for an Egyptian TV channel called Melody Films. It features nothing but Egyptian movies. What the campaign actually did, was make create two characters, one is a producer and the other is his subordinate, while the whole campaign is about the top producer refusing ideas of blockbuster Hollywood films from his producer and insisting on producing iconic Egyptian films. I still believe this is one of the best campaigns Egypt has ever produced.
I love everything about this.