Hot Docs 2019: The Pickup Game

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

There’s this weird assumption that dudes are somehow supposed to make it through life intuitively knowing how to save money and treat women properly and you know…be a man. Like it’s some sort of obvious concept: that males would effortlessly mature and evolve as smoothly as you move from room to room in your home.

Read the rest of this page »

Pantsworthy: Hot Docs – April 30, 2019

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

Day 5 of the 2019 Hot Docs festival. How are you holding up? The following are Pantsworthy documentaries from corporate coups to selling lies. We got dogs to people who treat other people like dogs. Here we go!

Read the rest of this page »

Hot Docs 2019: Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

There’s a freshtastic Ron Artest documentary currently playing at Hot Docs: Quiet Storm. S’really well done like 30 for 30 well done…it covers all the hip hop that flows outta Ron’s Queensbridge projects right up to that HUGE 3 with the Lakers. Storm is directed by Johnny Sweet whose previous doc Vick was on another polarizing athlete: Michael Vick.

The basic premise of the Ron Arterst documentary?
“In the world of professional sports no American athlete ever came back from a mental health disorder….until Ron Artest, now known to the world as Metta World Peace.”

You know? There’s this thing we do; it’s not a particularly bright thing but we do it often enough that we have a pattern. We…as in us as a society.

Someone steps forward shares something with vulnerability and…is instantly vilified. However as the years unfold that uncredited and often unrecognized individual will be proven right.

About a year ago Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan released statements about their mental health status and anxiety struggles. We all held hands, called them brave and established the bold narrative that this was the start of a significant revolution.

Thing is before Love and before DeRozan there was Kendall Gill…for some of you that’s a who? In 1995 Gill who played for Charlotte Hornets and Seattle SuperSonics openly talked about his mental health experiences following his diagnosis of clinical depression and was promptly…vilified. Sports reporters at the time label Gill as a malcontent.

And yet the mental health discussion Gill ignited culminated with the infamous Malice at the Palace where on November 19, 2004 Ron Artest climbed in the stands to begin punching Detroit Pistons fans.

Because after Gill and before Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan there was Ron Artest. Quiet Storm is the aptly named and fascinating exploration of Ron Artest’s career and an examination of his character. For you can’t know somebody until you understand them.

The proliferation of quality sports documentaries has forced us to reexamine the narratives we associate with the players. All good documentaries just as all good lives are prompted by asking key questions and fueled by a dogged determination to get answers. It’s evolution in thinking, growth…maturity. It’s what narratives are not good at doing because they’re time-locked; maturity makes narratives like ill-fitting hand me down clothes.

If you don’t wanna put on pants or can’t come to Hot Docs…it’ll be on Showtime on May 31. Which is Mental Health Month.

Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story Trailer:

Sammy Baltic Web

Sammy Younan @ W • T • F

Trial by Trailer: Including…Always Be My Maybe

Is this good?
Will this be good?
Every movie trailer answers or challenges those 2 questions. The ham-fisted rebuttal comes swiftly however: no you don’t need to always see a movie to know it’s tank.

Do you really need to sit through a Michael Bay Transformers movie to know for sure? Tank is Tank. And Fresh…well Fresh is always Fresh. I’m down like I’m Brown for that.

Read the rest of this page »

Hot Docs 2019: Memory: The Origins of Alien

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

Movies are our hieroglyphics. They are the most convenient way we immortalize myths and dreams and fears though over time the semiotics become convoluted.

Read the rest of this page »

Hot Docs: Assholes: A Theory

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

Watching Assholes: A Theory I thought about Kanye West.

Read the rest of this page »

Golden Wonders

Couple night ago I attended The Toronto Magic Company show at Super Wonder Gallery in Little Italy. So good!

Read the rest of this page »

Trial by Trailer: Including…Swamp Thing

Is this good?
Will this be good?
Every movie trailer answers or challenges those 2 questions. The ham-fisted rebuttal comes swiftly however: no you don’t need to always see a movie to know it’s tank.

Do you really need to sit through a Michael Bay Transformers movie to know for sure? Tank is Tank. And Fresh…well Fresh is always Fresh. I’m down like I’m Brown for that.

Read the rest of this page »

#CouchWorthy: Brené Brown: The Call to Courage

You know the thing is I’ve slowly and intuitively figured out a lot of what Brené Brown is saying just from my interactions with people especially in business. She just has the research to back it up and prove it.

That’s the beauty of listening to your gut…you know something to be true; you just can’t explain it.

Read the rest of this page »

112 | May El Calamawy (Ramy)

My Summer Lair Chapter #112: Who Is Ramy?

Hulu’s latest tv show is Ramy which is like a Middle-Eastern Atlanta…the Donald Glover show? Similar non narrative style but set in New Jersey with lots of middle eastern people. (That tone is becoming a trend: AtlantaBarry on HBO and even Orville which offers lots more narrative but balances legit violence with absurd comedy.)

I reached out to Hulu and Ramy Youssef was busy (he’s shooting a comedy special for HBO should be out soon!) so the nice Hulu people suggested I speak to the actress who plays his sister on the show: May El Calamawy.

So she and I talked on the phone. About a lot of things.

AND…this is so interesting. Ramy is about a Muslim family…so we discussed the double standards in the Egyptian culture towards women: if culturally you don’t know what I am talking about check out the tv show for basically a Wikipedia snyposis. Yet.

YET it occurred to me and I pointed this out to her our women are strong…they are oaks. Consistently stubborn, bullheaded, independent and I mean all those as compliments.

Somehow and bizarrely that double standard produces a tough hard woman. I never connected that before. I realize how on the surface that sounds like a careless observation but May is far better at expressing this sentiment as well what working on this show has done for her as a Middle Eastern woman/actress.

Bonus? Ramy’s friend on the show is Dave Merheje who has been a My Summer Lair guest and one of it’s executive producers is Jerrod Carmichael whose stand up special 8 is sublime. One of the best stand up specials from easily the last 10-15 years. Up there with 3 Mics.

Ramy premieres on Hulu on April 19:

Ramy @ WT F

Host Sammy Younan

Recorded: Thursday April 11, 2019 at 6pm at WeWork

Posts, blog and musings.
Events, gigs and appearances.
News

bookcover

"Red Letter Nights"
by Sammy Younan is available!

 

Click here for to enjoy a yummy sample...