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Podcast featuring discussions and interviews about the cultural happenings in the United Arab Emirates presented by Hind Mezaina (The Culturist) and Wael Hattar.


Entries in war movies (2)


Die Fälschung (Circle of Deceit) by Volker Schlöndorff








The Empty Quarter continues with its screening of war themed movies this month. This week's screening is Die Fälschung (Circle of Deceit) by Volker Schlöndorff, today, 8th April at 8pm. Free entry.

(Note: The link to the trailer below will take you to a separate site as I could not find a version I could embed here. The trailer is in German language without English subtitles although the screening will include English subtitles.)

Synopsis via

Shot on location in the still smoldering streets of Beirut, Circle of Deceit is a film of riveting tension and passionate eloquence. Director Volker Schlöndorff (The Legend of Rita, The Ogre, The Tin Drum) combines war film verve, documentary immediacy to yield a violent yet character-rich film that’s both politically charged and personally moving.

Grateful for a respite from his imploding marriage, Hamburg newspaperman Georg (Bruno Ganz - Luther, Wings of Desire) arrives in civil war-torn Beirut to chronicle the bloody Lebanese war. Inside a shell-pitted hotel, Georg and his photographer colleague Hoffman (cult director Jerzy Skolimowski - Deep End, The Shout) join a cynical international coterie of competitive fellow journalists. Outside, they take their lives in their own hands, dodging both Christian and Palestinian bullets and conducting interviews that are always just a trigger pull away from becoming executions. When Georg’s affair with a beautiful German ex-pat widow (Fassbinder icon Hanna Schygulla) evolves into something more than an indulgence, Beirut’s bloody whirlpool of brutality threatens to claim Georg’s neutrality and his civilized self-control.

Without taking sides or pulling punches, Schlöndorff’s meticulous direction renders both the lethal chaos of urban warfare and the moral tug-of-war of modern Mid-East politics with equally sensitive precision. Probing an ethical minefield of journalism, exploitation, war, and murder, Circle of Deceit is hauntingly compassionate, shockingly realistic, and "a superior film in every respect." (Leonard Maltin, Movie & Video Guide) 


Trailer Tuesday - The Americanization of Emily

The Americanization of Emily will be screened at The Empty Quarter in Dubai this Friday, 25th March. The film screening is part Known as a great anti-war film, seems like a fitting movie to wac

The film is part of the The Embedded Eye film series that the gallery is screening in conjunction with its latest exhibition, The Spectacle of War. The Americanization of Emily is known as one of the great anti-war movies and although made in 1964, it is just as relevant today. Looking at the absurdities of war with some great lines, I am really looking forward to this. Read this review by Rick Gee if you need further convincing to watch this film.

I love this quote form the film said by Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison that I found on IMDB

I don't want to know what's good, or bad, or true. I let God worry about the truth. I just want to know the momentary fact about things. Life isn't good, or bad, or true. It's merely factual, it's sensual, it's alive. My idea of living sensual facts are you, a home, a country, a world, a universe. In that order. I want to know what I am, not what I should be.   

In wartime London just before D-Day, Lieut. Comdr. Charlie Madison (James Garner), an aide to eccentric Rear Admiral Jessup (Melvyn Douglas), specializes in supplying the top Navy officers with luxuries such as party girls. Madison is an exponent of cowardice as a virtue because he believes reverence of heroism promotes war. He falls in love with Emily Barham (Julie Andres), his British motorpool driver, a young woman who has lost her husband and brother in the war. Admiral Jessup is obsessed with the idea that the Army has a better image than the Navy and is determined that the first dead man on Omaha Beach on D-Day be a sailor. Jessup orders Madison to photograph the D-Day landing, and, despite his protests which alienate Emily, Madison is forced at gunpoint to be the first man to land on Omaha Beach. Running from the bombs, Madison trips a land mine and is reported to be the first man killed in the invasion. Photographs of his supposedly dead body appear in the newspapers, and he becomes a hero, but later he is found alive. Admiral Jessup then organizes a hero's welcome for Madison, but he threatens to confess the true story of his cowardice to the press. Emily, in a reversal of sentiment, promises to marry him if he will keep his secret, and Madison agrees to remain quiet. (Synopsis via


Event details:
Date and time: Friday, 25th March at 8pm
Venue: The Empty Quarter, DIFC, Gate Village, Building 2
Phone: +971 4 323 1210
Free admission