Underground Film Journal

Posted In » Online Cinema

Short Film: Organ Molly

By Mike Everleth ⋅ July 22, 2008

(This video can be seen in the above shorts collection available on Vimeo.)

Organ Molly, is — like many of Usama Alshaibi‘s short films — totally 100% NSFW. Oh, you might start watching it and think a warning is unnecessary, but stick with it and it gets quite … well, not as extreme as some of his other videos, but does eventually become quite terrifying. And, there is nudity eventually.

I found this video on Alshaibi’s latest internet endeavor, an eponymous new blog in which he hopes to keep visitors abreast of screenings, new works, personal observations, etc. Also, when I visited this site for the first time, I had to click a button saying that I was comfortable with watching disturbing content. I like viewing disturbing things because it makes me un-comfortable, but I understood the point of the warning.

I’m glad I stumbled on this site today because the more I watch of Alshaibi’s work, the more I find that I really dig it. He does have quite the Internet presence, but it’s nice — if he keeps the site maintained — to have this central spot to go find out what he’s up to because his videos are scattered all over, many of which wouldn’t pass YouTube’s censorship limitations.

I really like Organ Molly. It starts off with this sort of sweet and innocent burlesque look about it. Then, Alshaibi starts introducing some nice camera tricks, particularly his videotaping Molly videotaping her own body, which I really like the distancing effect of that technique, especially since it brings up here issues of voyeurism and somebody who is obviously very comfortable with her body, but open to still learning a little bit more about it. Is it voyeurism if you’re checking yourself out?

At the bottom of this post, I’m going to embed another video. This one is totally SFW, so check it out wherever you are. It’s a music video for the band Mahjongg and their song “Tell the Police the Truth,” and in it some unlucky perp gets the shit beat out of him by a cop. I just like when a filmmaker I like does a video for a song that turns out to totally kick ass. I’ve never heard of Mahjongg before watching the video, but I like this songs of theirs. A lot.

Alshaibi also has tons of other videos up around the web. He’s got a great YouTube channel I need to visit more often; as well as a nice Vimeo page; plus a page on a site I haven’t heard of before, Medicine Films. If I were braver, I’d embed Convulsion Expulsion, the video I raved about that’s included on Cinema Abattoir’s Incarnation DVD compilation. But go watch it by all means. It comes with strong warnings, though. Not only is it not safe for work, it’s not safe for the faint of heart.

Oh well, I hope Alshaibi keeps uploading videos and keeps letting us know they’re out there on his blog. I, for one, will be keeping tabs. And, one last thing, before I leave with Mahjongg below: I finally got to see Alshaibi’s feature documentary Nice Bombs on the Sundance Channel recently. Keep an eye out for it cuz it’s brilliant. The film had a very limited theatrical release last year, but it totally got lost in the shuffle of the multitude of 2007 Iraq war films, which is a total shame. It’s an amazing piece of work in which Alshaibi — who was born in Iraq, but mostly raised in the U.S. — and his wife Kristie go to Iraq at the beginning of the war to visit relatives. It’s a very personal, very insightful and very touching documentary. It should have been a bigger hit.

Here’s Mahjongg: