WFC El Salvador: Sobreviviendo Guazapa

Man, I’m having having almost no luck with these Central American films. South America: Wonderful. Central America: Not so much. But I guess these countries are a lot smaller (and poorer), so perhaps that’s not that odd…

Anyway, this is pretty bad. And I even ended up buying the DVD twice, since it turned out that the one that said “Surviving Guazapo” didn’t have English subtitles, but the one that said “Sobreviviendo Guazapa” did.


I just watched the “making of” film on the DVD, and it was apparently all bluescreened: Nothing actually filmed in the jungle? I had no idea. So: Kudos on the compositing.

Surviving Guazapa. Roberto d’Avila Alegria. 2008. El Salvador.

San Salvador

  • 1 part lime juice
  • 3 parts orange juice
  • 2 parts Grand Marnier
  • 3 parts dark rum

Shake with ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with an orange slace and a lime slice.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Tonga: When the Man Went South

This is a really charming film. Thoroughly amusing.

I thought the dialogue was strangely like a sitcom set in New York, and it turns out that the director worked on the crew of The Nanny. Yes. Most of these lines could have been delivered by Fran Fine.

So… not completely, er, Tonga… nese?

But very entertaining.

When the Man Went South. Alex Bernstein. 2014. Tonga.

Tonga Mai Tai

  • 4 parts lime juice
  • 12 parts pineapple juice
  • 1 part orgeat syrup
  • 4 parts dark rum
  • 4 parts light rum
  • 4 parts Grand Marnier

Shake with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry, a pineapple slice, and a paper umbrella.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Tunisia: عصفور السطح

I think they’re aiming for a broad, classic Mediterranean coming of age/sex comedy kind of thing, but it’s remarkably creepy (at least it is now, three decades after it was made).

It tries to hard to be charming, but the performances are super-hammy, the cinematography is meh, and it’s all kinda boring. It’s a well-liked film, though: 6.9 on imdb and many positive reviews all over the place, using words like “lush”, “warm” and “whimsical” (but strangely enough, not “Orientalism”).

It’s just creepy.

Halfaouine. Férid Boughedir. 1990. Tunisia.

A Night in Tunisia

  • 1 part absinthe
  • 10 parts vodka
  • 2 parts apricot liqueur
  • 5 parts red vermouth
  • 5 parts orange juice
  • 2 parts grapefruit juice
  • cinnamon
  • orange zest

Shake all ingredients (except the absinthe) with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Add the absinthe and light on fire. Add the orange zest and cinnamon. Don’t drink until the absinthe finishes burning.

(This may not actually be a Tunisian recipe. Oops!)

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Syria: הכלה הסורית

Hey! It’s a comedy! Of sorts. Well, not really. A … “dramedy”?

I love the actors, and it’s amusing and quite moving. The sheer number of characters in this film is a bit on the confusing side, though.

The Syrian Bride. Eran Riklis. 2004. Syrian Arab Republic.


  • water
  • lemon juice
  • sugar
  • mint
  • orange blossom water
  • rum

Middle the mint leaves and sugar in the lemon juice. Add water and an extremely small dash of orange blossom water. Add rum to taste. Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Malta: Adormidera

The version of this film I saw was in English. According to imdb, it’s in English/Italian/Spanish, so I wonder whether they made it in several different versions? Or perhaps they just made it in English and dubbed it into the other languages?


It’s pretty bad. Not amateurish enough to be charming, and not professional enough to pass. It’s in the Uncanny Commercial Film Valley: Not really entertaining, and not very interesting.

Avenging the Throne. Raymond Mizzi. 2013. Malta.

Bounty Boat

  • 2 parts cognac
  • 1 part chocolate liqueur
  • 1 part coconut liqueur
  • 1 part chocolate syrup
  • cream
  • coconut flakes
  • chocolate flakes

Shake the first four parts with ice and strain into a Martini glass. Shake the cream and float it on top of the alcohol. Add the garnish.

There’s even a video.

I got a new coconut liqueur because I didn’t think the Malibu Rum was cononutty enough. And, wow, the Casa D`Aristi Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur! That’s coconut.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Sri Lanka: සුළඟ එනු පිණිස

This is a beautifully shot, well acted, very slow-moving film. We’re about ten minutes in when the first piece of dialogue appears.

It’s great! It slowly (slowly) reveals what it’s about. Sort of. It’s a bit vague.

Hypnotic. But in an every-day way.

It won the Camera d’Or at Cannes. I’ve always thought that wasn’t a very good film festival (as opposed to, say Berlin), but I find that a lot of the good films in this blog series have gotten some attention in Cannes, too.

(Oh! Me And You and Everyone We Know won the same prize the same year. That’s also a lovely film.)

The Forsaken Land. Vimukthi Jayasundara. 2005. Sri Lanka.

Ceylon Sailor

  • 1 part mango chutney
  • 2 parts mango liqueur
  • 3 parts lemon juice
  • 7 parts arrack
  • some sprigs of coriander
  • some chunks of mango

Crush the coriander and the mango in a cocktail shaker. Add the other ingredients and shake hard with ice. Strain into a wine glass and garnish with a slice of mango.

It’s very tart. Perhaps my mangoes weren’t sweet enough. Perhaps dropping a bunch of simple syrup into it’ll help…

Yes, that’s better.

(Pre-syrup die toss follows.)

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

Android Is Still Fucking Useless

I’ve been trying to use Android (instead of a Linux laptop) for various things lately, because some Android devices have a pretty nice form factor, and I don’t really need a keyboard for all things.  But time and time again, I find that the apps that are available on Android just aren’t good enough.  They are at the “will this do?” level: They almost basically do what they’re supposed to, but they have no polish and are REALLY ANNOYING.

Take watching films and stuff.

For about a month, I’ve been trying to use a Galaxy View as my “moving around the house and tidying stuff up” device. You know, I drag it around while watching Saturday Night Live, basically.

This is what it looks like. It’s an 18 inch huge “tablet” that I carry around while doing chores.

My previous device here was a Linux laptop, but it had a kinda small screen and there’s a keyboard I don’t need and you know, I thought that surely the Android ecology would have progressed beyond my simple sshfs + mplayer setup.

So: I got a Samsung Galaxy View, and it’s pretty nice. The screen is all reflective and stuff, but very clear. And I get the recommended apps, which is the “FX” file browser and “MX Player Pro” for watching films.

(Very X.)

And it all kinda sorta works. When deleting files in “MX”, you go through this:

Yes, that’s a long hold to get the menu, then press “Delete”, and then check off the checkbox and then press “delete”. If you think that’s ridiculous as a default, then there’s a setting for fixing this, so you just hold “long”, then press “delete”, and then press “delete”. Yes! The “dangerous” setting makes the checkbox in-between the “delete” and the “delete” go away!


I could live with all this nonsense, but when playing from sftp, MX Player would not recall where I had left off when playing the last time.

The audio/visual sync in MX player would also require manual adjustment up to about a minute to get in sync.

AND! In addition, FX would drop connections after being inactive for a few minutes, meaning that after pausing for some minutes in MX, I would have to exit, go to the menu in FX and press “reload”, and then find the file again, and then go to where I left off.


This wasn’t enough to make me abandon the setup.

It’s like Stockholm syndrome, but for gadgets.

The breaking point came tonight, when I was watching Saturday Night Live (making fun of Trump, as usual).

It didn’t manage to decode the video fast enough, so everything lagged and stuttered and general sadness.

It’s like every app took the hint from Google Central and thought:  “Will this do?”  Then clicked on “publish”.

So I’m back to my six year old Linux laptop:

That has exactly none of these problems. No audio/visual sync things, no reconnecting over sftp, no lags.

Android app people: This is sad.