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CAPTAIN ABU RAED

Running Time: 100 minutes

Executive Producers: AIDA JABAJI MATALQA,
DAVID PRITCHARD, ISAM SALFITI.
Producers: KENNETH KOKIN, NADINE TOUKAN.
Written and Directed by AMIN MATALQA.

Music composed, orchestrated and conducted
by AUSTIN WINTORY. Additional orchestrations: Christopher Thomas. Score performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony and recorded at the Warner Bros. Clint Eastwood Scoring Stage.

 

PAPER & PEN FILMS, in association with GIGAPIX STUDIOS
A DAVID PRITCHARD PRODUCTION

Rating: ****

This is an early review of the first Jordanian film ever exported for the world's cinema audience.

It is a universal story about friendship, inspiration and heroism, set entirely in Jordan. The film stars the accomplished Jordanian actor, Nadim Sawalha as Abu Raed, the lonely but well read janitor at the Amman International Airport. One day he finds a discarded Captain's hat and starts to wear it. In his neighborhood a group of young children believe him to be an airline pilot and he assumes that role for their benefit and also for his fanciful dreams of travel to far-off lands.Murad (Hussein Al-Sous), an angry young boy, attacks Abu Raed and the stories he tells the children. In his desire to prove that Abu Raed is a liar, Murad gradually discovers new possibilities in his own life. In addition, Abu Raed meets a beautiful young female pilot Nour (Rana Sultan), who has had troubles in her family life. They develop a strong friendship and help each other during difficult times, including the climactic fight with Murad's drunken father, Abu Murad (Ghandi Saber).

This is a simnple story of ordinary people having their lives intersect and is told with great warmth and understanding, with a surprise ending that is gentle and caring rather than violent and repellent.

The writer-director Amin Matalqa began his career in telecommunications in Ohio. Then he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being a filmmaker. He was inspired and influenced by a number of diverse and respected film directors, including: Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean, Steven Spielberg, Akira Kurosawa, and others. Matalqa was also inspired by film composers such as: Jerry Goldsmith, James Newton Howard, Michael Kamen, Basil Poledouris, Howard Shore, John Williams and more. So the director's choice for the composer was undoubtedly treated with more attention than usual.

His choice of Austin Wintory was a very apt one. Wintory was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and began studying piano and improvisation at an early age. He attended NYU and USC for his undergraduate degree, later working in the famed film scoring graduate program at USC. He has since worked in over 100 productions, including independent films, video games (such as Playstation 3), and other projects. He now works full-time as a film composer from his studio.

The Promo copy of the score for CAPTAIN ABU RAED, though lasting about seventeen minutes, is beautifully written and deeply emotional. These are the separate track titles:

1. IN THE FOG - with lyrics and sung by Lisbeth Scott
2. MORE STORIES
3. STORYTELLER
4. GOODBYE AND ASCENT
5. AIRPORT REVELATIONS
6. THE TWO CAPTAINS
7. PROGENICIDE
8. ABU MURAD
9. FLY BY NIGHT
10. TEA WITH UM RAED

Special praise goes to cello solos by Steven Erdody and viola solos by David Walther.

Austin Wintory's score for CAPTAIN ABU RAED is an outstanding one that deserves widespread release, along with the wonderfully told Jordanian film.

A CD release is now available with more music from the film and the film itself is due out on DVD in 2010.

Both the score and film of CAPTAIN ABU RAED are highly recommended to discerning filmgoers.

 

--Roger Hall, 21 January/ revised 30 December 2009

For more information, click on this link:

CAPTAIN ABU RAED

 


 

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