Jigoku (translated as 'The Sinners of Hell')

Ever since I was young I've been drawn to interesting and vivid imagery. This film definitely has both those things. It's a Japanese horror film from 1960 and features some truly beautiful (although sometimes gory) scenes. Although the story line doesn't follow most Japanese horror films of the time, I think that unique perspective on hell and escaping hell sets it apart. The lighting and set design are awesome and inspiring. I definitely recommend it to any creative out there.


Cherry - A Video By Supreme

I've grown up watching skate videos the majority of my life. And although I'm not skating as much anymore these days, I still keep up with what's going on in the skate world. 'Cherry' has easily been one of my favourite skate videos of recent years. Some of the most stylish skateboarding went down in this video. I think that William Strobeck (director/editor) was able to capture the youth skate culture and blend that seamlessly together with some serious skateboarding. So much power and grace were displayed by some of my favourite skaters, new and old. I loved that it took me back to montage style videos of the 90s and east coast classics like Eastern Exposure. Not to mention the soundtrack is spot on!


District 9

Forever a fan of sci-fi, I think that this film hit my sensibilities from all angles. I think visually it's very cool and the special effects are spectacular, yet feel very effortless. But once you get you get past the fantasy fiction elements of the first layer, you begin to realise what this film is truly about. I think it was very clever to present the story of the apartheid era and the events of District Six in Cape Town this way. They did a great job telling this story or struggle and power.


No Country For Old Men

I seem to really gravitate towards slow-burning films that take place in the desert lands of America for some reason. I really don't know what it is, especially being from a city like SF. We rarely took trips to the desert, yet for some reason I have this deep connection to it. I love the way the Coen brothers captured the landscape, as well as the suspense of this story in such a simple and beautiful way. It's very thoughtful and well done. Plus, Javier Bardem's character is so strange and calm it's utterly terrifying, yet looks cool as hell doing it.


12 O'Clock Boyz

I know this film is supposed to be a documentary about dirt-bike riders in the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland, but I can't help watching this as if it's the best music video ever. I've seen this type of thing via youtube and home movies, but I think this was the first time I was exposed to this dirtbike scene in such a close-up way. The boy in the film, Pug, is so cool, and such a character. It's hard to believe that he was just 13 when they started the filming of this doc. He's truly fearless and free when he's on his bike. It's a great thing to see.

Hanni El Khatib's new album Savage Times is due out on Feb 17th via Innovative Leisure. Listen to 'Savage Times' below.