WFC Pakistan: دختر‎

Hey! Clever film-making. I thought this film was totally going one way, but then it swerved a completely different way. Me like.

It’s very exciting (in parts), has great cinematography (although the scenery is sometimes so pretty you might suspect it’s been sponsored by The Tourist Council of Northern Pakistan) and the actors are somewhere between pretty good and great.

The weird shakycam is annoying. Much of the footage is from inside the cabin of a truck, and the camera and the actors always seem to be bouncing around in opposite direction. Did they use a steadycam or something? It doesn’t look natural.

The plot becomes a bit convoluted, but still obvious, towards the end and loses all semblance of tension.

Dukhtar. Afia Nathaniel. 2014. Pakistan.

Rooh Afza Cosmopolitan

  • 3 parts Rooh Afza
  • 4 parts Triple Sec
  • 3 parts lemon juice
  • 3 parts orange juice
  • 3 parts simple syrup
  • 7 parts vodka

Shake vigorously with ice and double strain into a cocktail glass. Rim the edge with an orange wedge. Garnish with an orange wedge.

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

WFC Dominican Republic: Guaguasi

It turns out that Batista’s police weren’t very nice.

This film has its charms, but it’s really oddly paced. It’s a satirical look at the Cuban revolution with an, er, simple? (OK, developmentally challenged) “hick” at the center of the story. Horror ensues.

It’s a comedy of the “scathing satire” kind, which means that there aren’t really any laughs. But I think it could perhaps still have been a successful film if it had been cut down a couple of hours or so.

I mean half an hour. It just seemed that way while watching.

Guaguasi. Jorge Ulla. 1983. Dominican Republic.

Dominican Goddess

  • 3 parts white rum
  • 1 part grapefruit juice
  • lemon/lime soda

Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top off with the soda.

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

WFC Kyrgyzstan: Beshkempir

Quite Felliniesque.

Man, the director put his young actors through a lot of really embarrasing scenes. And they do them very convincingly. For the most part. Sometimes when they have to emote too much it breaks down.

I love the quiet scenes where the grandmothers are just working at some task or other, like spinning yarn or … er… chaffing the wheat… that’s probably a term…

It loses cohesion towards the middle when all the drama starts, but then gets better again towards the end. So somewhat uneven, but with some really fun bits.

The Adopted Son. Aktan Arym Kubat. 1998. Kyrgyzstan.

Hot Honey Lemon with Vodka

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lemon, zested and sliced
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • Vodka to taste

Let the honey, water, lemon zest and the cinnamon sticks simmer for half an hour. Pour into a glass and add lemon slices and vodka.

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

WFC Cuba: ¡Vampiros en La Habana!

Some jokes I just didn’t get.

Other jokes are easier.


Well, it’s like nothing else I’ve ever seen (vampires and mobsters and revolutionaries and oh my), and the madcap pace it’s going at is charming. But it didn’t make me laugh. It’s amusing.

Vampires in Havana. Juan Padrón. 1985. Cuba.

Cuban Old Fashioned

  • sugar cube with 3 drops of Angostura
  • 1 part cold water
  • 4 parts rum

Stir to dissolve the sugar. Garnish with orange zest.

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WFC Honduras: The Zwickys

Some of the actors here are quite good, but the film doesn’t quite gel. And the hand-held camera is a bit on the annoying side.

It’s an odd plot, and it grows weirder as the film progresses. But not in a good way.

The Zwickys. Andres Valle, Carlos Valle. 2014. Honduras.

Monkey La La

  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 part Kahlua
  • 4 parts half-and-half
  • 4 parts ice cream
  • 1 part cream of coconut
  • chocolate syrup

Run through a blender and top with chocolate syrup.

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

WFC Liechtenstein: Der heiße Tod

While researching films from Liechtenstein, I was intrigued by the extreme number of porn-sounding late sixties/early seventies films marked as being “from” Liechtenstein. I have no idea what’s that’s all about: Did Liechtenstein have looser porn laws back then?

So I picked this one because it had a pretty high rating (4.8, ahem) among this group of films.

It’s less porny that I thought it would be, but apparently a hard-core version was also released (that had unrelated sex scenes edited into the narrative).

The actors are pretty bad. Most of them leave no scenery unchewed. It has a certain charm, but it’s… not very good.

99 Women. Jesús Franco. 1969. Liechtenstein.

Strawberry G&T

  • gin
  • a dash of strawberry puree
  • a pinch of pepper
  • Fever Tree tonic water
  • 2 strawberry halves

Pour gin, strawberry into an ice-filled glass. Add pepper. Stir. Top off with tonic water and stir lightly. Garnish with strawberry.

Strawberry Puree

  • 1 part sugar
  • 8 parts strawberries
  • a dash of water
  • a bit of lemon juice

Halve the strawberries. In a medium saucepan, combine the halved strawberries with the sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let cool, then add the fresh lemon juice. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the puree through a fine strainer into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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

WFC New Zealand: 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous

Is that… Donald!?

Uhm… it would have been nice if this had been subtitled.

But I got the gist!

This film has 5.8 (of 10) on imdb, and I think that’s as low as the scale goes. That’s harsh! As Wikipedia says, “The film opened in 2005 to negative reviews and had little success at the New Zealand box office.” I can see why it would alienate a lot of people… it’s very lo-fi, with strange colour grading, and… er… it’s kinda awkward.

The girl who played Lou is good. Most of them are charming. But… Erhm. This is like a two pillow film. (That you hide behind during especially embarrassing scenes.) On the other hand, I smiled a lot.


50 Ways of Saying Fabulous. Stewart Main. 2005. New Zealand.

Daiquiri Kiwi

  • 2 parts rum
  • 2 parts lemon juice
  • 2 parts Cointreau
  • 2 parts Midori
  • 1 part simple syrup
  • kiwi

Run everything through a blender with ice cubes. Pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of kiwi.

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

Edit: I just watched the making-of featurettetish.  (It’s long.)  Apparently they filmed this film in the rainy season in New Zealand, but they got sufficient money to digitally do colour grading to make it look like it’s in the rainy season.  Honey: It didn’t really work.  (It never does?  I think?  Or do some people believe the past five years, in reality, looked really teal?)

It just looks like somebody ran the whole film through a redising (that’s a word) filter.