About Wael Khairy

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Wael Khairy is an Egyptian national film critic writing for a number of local publications. He has written several reviews and essays for two World Film Locations books published in the UK. His revolution-related tweets were published in the bestseller, Tweets from Tahrir. Wael is also one of Roger Ebert’s FFCs and also writes ads for IMPACT BBDO Cairo. Besides his blog www.cinephilefix.wordpress.com, and the Chicago Sun-Times website, http://www.RogerEbert.com,  Wael also writes regularly for The Spectator’s arts blog. He is currently the resident film critic at http://www.CairoScene.com. Wael graduated from the American University in Cairo with a major in Communications of Media Art and minors in both Accounting and in Film, which he completed at UCLA. He was named by legendary film critic, Roger Ebert, as one of the reason we live in the golden age of film criticism in a Wall-Street Journal article. He was also discussed various films on Nile Fm and BBC Radio.

Wael Khairy

31 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Wael. I posted this reply on your entry on Ebert’s Foreign Correspondents page and was wondering if you could enlighten me a bit.

    “Wael, you’ve got huge cahones, and deserve praise. Is film censorship a big deal in Egypt? It seems to me that the Egyptian film industry is the most vibrant in the Middle East. I was in Bahrain a few days ago and the showed AVATAR as is, with subtitles where they normally are.

    Take note though that I’ve only been working in Saudi Arabia for a few months.

    Good job sir.”

    Reply

    • Hi Michael Mirasol, censorship is a huge problem especially since Egypt is the most active film industry in the Middle East. Directors have been challenging censorship here for years..the result is films with a great amount of subliminal messages.

      Thank you for kind words Michael. I can enlighten you some very interesting “censorship” true stories here in Egypt but it would have to be a more private conversation

      Reply

      • Posted by Majd Ibrahim on September 10, 2016 at 11:07 am

        Hey Wael, I am interested in hearing what you have to say about censorship in Egypt if you have the time…
        Thanks a load for the great in-depth reviews of the multiples of films you reviewed.
        ~Majd I.

  2. Posted by stylembe on February 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Hello Wael,

    I don’t know whether you have seen this floating about the net via Roger Ebert, twitter & my wordpress blog, but I thought you may find it humorous. A riff on the current 2010 Oscar nominations.

    http://stylembe.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/8½-altered-subtitles/

    Regards, Peter Combe

    Reply

  3. Posted by literarydreamer on February 17, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Hey, this is the Literary Dreamer. In response to your question earlier, I actually don’t have a twitter account. But thanks for asking!

    Reply

  4. Posted by stylembe on February 17, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Is what ‘kinetic art’?

    Reply

  5. Posted by stylembe on February 17, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Post a comment under the pictures, then I will know which ones. I thought I sent you film stills.

    Reply

  6. Posted by stylembe on February 17, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Oh – I must have sent you a link to my blog. You’ll see film stills soon.

    You know – I’ve never seen Luis Bunuel’s “The Exterminating Angel”. It is going to be my next Netflix rental.I’ve always steered away from it. I was spoiled by “Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie”.

    Reply

  7. Howdy Wael.

    I just wanted to tell you that I have been consistently impressed by your writing and reviews.

    Listen, I write a blog about films that are under-appreciated or forgotten. I see it as a kind of public service to bring these forgotten masterpieces back into the public’s consciousness. So far, I have only made entries on two Egyptian films.

    They are Bab el Hadid (Cairo Station) and The Nightengale’s Prayer. I would love to get your opinion on what I had to say about these films. The links to the reviews are:

    Bab el Hadid (Cairo Station)
    http://forgottenclassicsofyesteryear.blogspot.com/2010/05/bab-el-hadid-cairo-station.html

    The Nightengale’s Prayer
    http://forgottenclassicsofyesteryear.blogspot.com/2010/03/nightingales-prayer.html

    I would also be honored if you just checked my site out and told me what you thought.

    Additionally, I would greatly appreciate it if you could tell me about some Egyptian films that you believe are criminally overlooked in the rest of the world. Please leave me a comment on my site and tell me what you think. The link is:

    http://forgottenclassicsofyesteryear.blogspot.com/

    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Nathanael,

      I just read your reviews and checked out the selection of films you’ve selected to write about. You’re a true cinephile. One who has the rare ability to read films and not just experience them. I tweeted to all my followers a link to your site for it, like the films you write about, deserves more recognition.

      If I were to recommend more Egyptian films, I’d go with the recent “El Gezira” (The Island) directed by Sherif Arafa as well as “3emaret Yacoubian” (“The Yacoubian Building”) and of course Chahine’s last masterpiece, “Heya Fawda” (. As for classics, well there’s a whole bunch but I’ll give you a few of my favorites: “Bedaya w Nehaya” (A Beginning and an End) with a young Omar Sherif, “The Sin” directed by Henry Barakat, “Ghazl el Banat” (“The Flirtation of Girls”).

      I will visit your site regularly.

      Best Regards,
      Wael Khairy

      Reply

  8. Posted by María on April 16, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Dear Wael,

    I’m a spanish grad student in AUC-also a cinephile. I am working on a paper on the role of the army during the Egyptian revolution until now. I have been reading your informative tweets and I would like to interview you if possible; right now I am not in Egypt, so if you were willing to do it,It could send you some questions to any mail you gave me.

    Mabrouk for the website and for your role during the revolution
    Best,
    María.

    Reply

  9. Dan Zukovic’s “THE LAST BIG THING”, called the “best unknown American film of the 1990’s” in the film book “Defining Moments in Movies” (Editor: Chris Fujiwara), was finally released on DVD by Vanguard Cinema. (www.vanguardcinema.com/thelastbigthing/thelastbigthing) Featuring an important early role by 2011 Best Supporting Actor Oscar Nominee Mark Ruffalo (“Shutter Island”, “Zodiac”, “The Kids Are Alright”), “THE LAST BIG THING” had a US theatrical release in 1998, and gained a cult following over several years of screenings on the Showtime Networks.

    “A distinctly brilliant and original work.” Kevin Thomas – Los Angeles Times
    “A satire whose best moments echo the tone of a Nathanial West novel…Nasty Fun!”
    Stephen Holden – New York Times
    “One of the cleverest recent satires on contemporary Los Angeles…a very funny sleeper!” Michael Wilmington – Chicago Tribune
    “One of the few truly original low budget comedies of recent years.” John Hartl – Seattle Times
    “‘The Last Big Thing’ is freakin’ hilarious! The most important and overlooked
    indie film of the 1990’s. ” Chris Gore – Film Threat

    Reply

  10. Wael: I was exceedingly disappointed that in your article connecting the events of the Arab Spring to the film V for Vendetta, you congratulated the actors, the director, the cinematographer, and well, just about everyone short of the caterers.

    And yet you didn’t even mention the man who created V for Vendetta and wrote the original material from which the film’s story was taken virtually intact: Alan Moore.

    “Vendetta” did not begin as a film. It began as a serialized story in a British comic book written by Alan Moore. By the time the UK comic folded, there was enough interest in the work that Moore was asked to continue and complete the series for DC Comics in America.

    Several of Moore’s comic book works have been made into films, including Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and From Hell. However, in every case, Moore has demanded that his writer’s credit be removed from the film’s official credits. He’s very particular about how his work is reinterpreted. Basically he doesn’t want it to be moved to other media.

    It would only have taken a minute’s research to connect Moore to V for Vendetta. I think he’d be rather proud that his ideas may have contributed to actually usurping a totalitarian government.

    I tried to make the same point as a comment on Roger Ebert’s “Far Flung Correspondents” page – http://blogs.suntimes.com/foreignc/2011/06/v-for-vendetta.html – but it doesn’t seem to accept comments.

    Reply

    • You’re right. I should’ve given him credit. I knew about the graphic novel but haven’t read it yet. I commented to admit my mistake and give credit on the piece at Roger’s site and it will appear shortly. Thank you for being polite about it. Cheers 🙂

      Reply

  11. Posted by stylembe on October 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Saw Luis Bunuel’s “The Exterminating Angel”. It was brilliant. Thanks.

    Reply

  12. Posted by Alex on July 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Dear Mr. Khairy,

    My name is Alexander Kucy and I am a high school student and an avid reader of your ‘Far Flung Correspondent’ reviews. I would like to thank you for the work you do as your writings bring attention to a variety of intresting, offbeat films I would otherwise never hear about. You have expanded my knowledge and appreciation of film by introducing me to novel, imaginative elements. For this I thank you.

    I understand your duties as a ‘Far Flung Correspondent’ for rogerebert.com and, while it may be presumptuous of me, I wish to send Mr. Ebert a personal correspondence, though some might degrade this letter as fan mail. On rogerebert.com the only listed contact is to the Movie Answer Man and this letter does not strictly fall into that category and so I am left without an address. If you may, could you please forward this letter to Mr. Ebert or provide me with an address to send this letter to. It would be deeply appreciated.

    With humble thanks,
    Alexander Kucy

    The letter follows.

    Dear Mr. Ebert,

    Allow me to introduce myself. I am Alexander Kucy, a high school student from metropolitan Detroit.

    I am writing to you for a very simple and express purpose. In your past blog post “Books Do Furnish a Life” you wrote about your personal library, how it overwhelms your office, and how you appreciate each book too much to unload them upon some used bookstore. If I may be so bold I would like to offer a mutually beneficial solution. I would like to purchase books from you for my own personal reading pleasure.

    At this point you may be wondering who this boy is and why he would hassle with such a thing. You must first understand two points. First, I have passion for reading that manifests itself proactively. Under the header of Book Team: Promoting Global Literacy, a community service group I founded, I have ran film festivals as fundraisers to buy books for orphanages in Ukraine (I myself am Ukrainian), taught recently immigrated Ukrainian children how to read in English, and during the wave of Detroit parochial school closings I redistributed their libraries to families and used book stores saving these books from the recycling bin. While these anecdotes demonstrate my love of the written word, you may still be asking yourself why I would go to all this effort to purchase books from you.

    The second thing you must understand, Mr. Ebert, is how your writings have influenced me. Your reviews were the first I ever read and I have read them every week since. You kindled in me a burning love for film. Further more you blog postings glow with a warm, humanist touch. Where other pundits and reviewers root around in their own screed and snark, you bring empathy to criticism, speaking the truth without offending others. It would be a privilege to buy a few books from you and you can be sure they will have a good home.

    Please let me know your decision regard this matter. I await your reply at 4769 Pier Dr. Troy, MI, 48098 or at AKucy@dcds.edu.

    Sincerely,
    Alexander Kucy

    Reply

  13. A person essentially assist to make seriously posts I would state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and up
    to now? I amazed with the research you made to create this actual put
    up incredible. Fantastic job!

    Reply

  14. Really good blog.

    Reply

  15. Posted by Fran on June 23, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Please continue to write more reviews. I love your blog and many of your reviews persuaded me to see many movies. 🙂

    Reply

  16. Posted by Asmymxix on December 24, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Hey Wael-
    Just got introduced to your website. Looks great! The only bummer is that your reviews seem pretty infrequent. Why don’t you post reviews about most movies regularly? Anyhow, I love your writing!

    Reply

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I will post a big post soon showcasing my favourite films of the year. Your comment is very encouraging..I will write more often 🙂

      Reply

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