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Nasruddin
November 5, 2005 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Albert Brooks is set to release a movie called Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World . No doubt we'll be hearing more on that, but let us reserve judgement. Meanwhile, for those who need persuading, here are some links concerning 13th century sufi and funny man Nasruddin . His people are understandably proud and you can find a lot more of his stuff, probably better than what I've put up. (This post prompted in part by Rumi post earlier today- for those who might be put off by the current trendiness of that most excellent poet.) Enjoy.
posted by IndigoJones (26 comments total)

 
That looks hilarious, can't wait to see it.
posted by mathowie at 4:58 PM on November 5, 2005


Kudos to Warner Independent for picking up the film after Sony dumped it. They're also releasing the Palestinian film Paradise Now, which is terrific news as it's a fantastic film and a very risky release.
posted by Manhasset at 5:20 PM on November 5, 2005


The last Albert Brooks movie I saw was the Muse. I was part of a captive audience that saw it on a transatlantic flight. Funny coincidence, but that was the only time in my life that I ever felt the urge to strap on a semtex harness and blow myself up.

The premise of this film looks funny, but the only time that I liked Albert Brooks (when he actually bothered acting was when he played a Michael Milken type character in the vastly underrated Out of Time. Mostly he just plays an alternate west coast version of Woody Allen.
posted by psmealey at 5:44 PM on November 5, 2005


(Hm. Perhaps I should not have mentioned Mr. Brooks. It was the coincidence of his movie's topic that prompted me to use him as an intro to the main act (Nasruddin), and to the suggestion that there were, are, witty people in Islamdom. For the record, not that anyone cares, I find Mr. Brooks irritating in the extreme. But reasonable people can differ.)
posted by IndigoJones at 5:59 PM on November 5, 2005


Weird that this came up today. I was responding yesterday to a askme thread about movie comedies. I was going to try and make a joke connecting the movie 'Network' and (what I thought was called 'Network News') an Albert Brooks movie. I spent some time looking it up and found that the movie is actually called 'Broadcast News'. It kind of ruined the joke so I didn't mention it but 'Broadcast News' is a good movie.

I think many people who have only seen him in his on-screen roles might think he's a goof-ball but Brooks is actually a talented film maker. I will see this movie when I can.
posted by Mr T at 6:38 PM on November 5, 2005


Mr T, just in case you weren't aware of it, Albert Brooks did not direct Broadcast News. James L. Brooks (no relation) directed it. In fact, Albert Brooks has never directed a film in which he did not star. Albert Brooks' real name is Albert Einstein. His brother is Bob Einstein, aka Super Dave Osborne. They share a terrific scene in Brooks' Modern Romance, a film in which their mother also appears.
posted by Manhasset at 6:58 PM on November 5, 2005


Google Nasruddin, if you have the time. There are plenty of good stories out there.
posted by kozad at 7:11 PM on November 5, 2005


Manhasset: thank you for the correction. I did not know that. I remember seeing 'Brooks' in the credits for the actor and the director but I guess they were scrolling by too fast and I wasn't paying enough attention.

I just can't catch a break lately.

p.s. Super Dave, are you serious!?!
posted by Mr T at 7:41 PM on November 5, 2005


For a second I thought that said Mel Brooks and was very pissed off about no Spaceballs 2.
posted by Talanvor at 8:00 PM on November 5, 2005


Was Albert Brooks ever funny? I don't get him. Is he related to James Brooks? And is there a third writer named Brooks of fame?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:12 PM on November 5, 2005


Nasruddin was out on horseback, he saw some horsemen off in the distance,thinking they were robbers,he wheeled his horse and went hurrying in the other direction.The horsemen ,friends of his recognized him and gave pursuit,Nasruddin rode to the cemetery and hid among the stones,presently his friends arrived,Nasruddin! what are you doing? Well, this is
strange,I am here because of you , and you are here because of me!
posted by hortense at 8:36 PM on November 5, 2005


This was on John Stossel's "Give Me A Break" segment on 20/20 the other night. Stossel was mad that Sony Pictures refused to release the film with the aforementioned title.
posted by banished at 9:04 PM on November 5, 2005


Was Albert Brooks ever funny?

For me, Albert Brooks is always funny. Modern Romance, Real Life, and Lost in America, and Defending Your Life are terrific, imo. Sure, his later films aren't as good but they're still better than the majority of comedies Hollywood is offering up.
posted by Manhasset at 11:27 PM on November 5, 2005



Was Albert Brooks ever funny?


Lost in America and Mother were very funny. Defending your life had its moments. The trailer for this one looks...ok. BTW, if he's looking for Muslim comedy, why does he go to India?
posted by zardoz at 11:34 PM on November 5, 2005


BTW, if he's looking for Muslim comedy, why does he go to India?

Oh, I don't know... perhaps because there are over 140,000,000 Muslims in India

posted by Robot Johnny at 12:07 AM on November 6, 2005


Oh, and I ♥ Albert Brooks.
posted by Robot Johnny at 12:08 AM on November 6, 2005


Color me stupid. I am now a more educated and aware person.
posted by zardoz at 4:11 AM on November 6, 2005


The young, inventive Albert Brooks of 1971 would have had a ball tearing apart the old self-indulgent, complacent Albert Brooks of "The Muse."
posted by Faze at 6:26 AM on November 6, 2005


Nice post, Indigo, but yeah, if you wanted people to talk about Nasruddin it would have been better to leave out Brooks. On the other hand, then you would have gotten about three comments. (For the record, I usually find Brooks more irritating than funny.)
posted by languagehat at 7:54 AM on November 6, 2005


Albert Brooks is very funny, although to enjoy Modern Romance (which seems to split people), I think you need to be really interested in neurosis and obsession. To wit:

The scene where Brooks is desperately trying to convince Garry Marshall to return the "nest egg" and tries to pitch a new campaign for casinos in Lost in America.

The finale of Real Life (and casting Charles Grodin in that was a grand coup).

Brooks is not a mere West Coast Woody. Where Allen deals largely with affluent yuppies (and can't seem to write too well outside of that vernacular, although I have high hopes for Match Point), Brooks has cut a broader swath, tearing into middle-class and upper-class contentment and, I believe, assaulted topics with more liberated gusto than Allen, such as the film world, suburban trappings, documentaries, midlife crises, impassive lives, the like.

This new film looks like a return to his pre-Defending Your Life anarchic roots (i.e., skewering conventions within a seemingly traditional comedy strcture). I'm hoping he pulls it off.
posted by ed at 8:15 AM on November 6, 2005


I'm hoping he pulls it off as well. By the way Ed, that scene was from Lost In America, not Modern Romance..
posted by gfrobe at 8:45 AM on November 6, 2005


Ok, I've read it three times now and still don't see a link to the trailer.
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 4:51 PM on November 6, 2005


Ah hah, it's the "read' link at the bottom. Of course you will want to "read" the trailer.
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 4:52 PM on November 6, 2005


Google Nasruddin, if you have the time.

I did once, only I spelled it 'Nasrudin', as it was in the UNIX system that introduced me to the character, long ago, in the time when 'fortune' was mandatory.

The spelling without the double letter seems to get more hits, or at least different ones.
posted by sfenders at 6:25 PM on November 6, 2005


I just saw the preview for this movie last night, and as much as I wanted (still want?) to like it/think it's funny, it seemed...flat.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 10:29 PM on November 6, 2005


For more recent muslim humor, don't miss Allah Made Me Funny.
posted by BinGregory at 12:37 AM on November 8, 2005


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