Short of the Week

Boom Boom

Two jihadists bump into each other at a small coffee shop and bicker over who’s “special day” it is in this dark satirical comedy.

As a dark comedy, Boom Boom sits somewhere between Family Guy’s flashback gags and South Park’s over-the-top storylines. Like a joke with a good punchline, the film tells the story of two old friends, Ahmed and Jamal, who unexpectedly reunite at a coffee house and find themselves on the same “mission”. The film is full of situational comedy and satirical twists with witty dialogue.

The directing duo of brothers Larry and Terry Ziegelman have put a lot of energy and preparation into the short. Now more than ever, it’s important to make the most of your film. There are no small movies, just small-thinking moviemakers—something all too common with the easy access to technology and resources in filmmaking today.

Boom Boom follows in the vein of Chris Morris’ British satire, Four Lions, and features one of the most hilarious moments I’ve seen in a while in a short film: After Jamal suggests to Ahmed they settle an argument with rock-paper-scissors, Ahmed gives Jamal a very serious look to which Jamale responds, “Staring contest?” (Maybe not so funny written out, so you’ve got to watch it!).

~
Georg Csarmann is a filmmaker, new media creative, writer and performer based in Vienna, Austria.
  • Siddharth Bamjus Kulkarni

    Hi. I was disturbed by this film. It simply did not reach any minimal standards of good comedy or any possible cultural understanding whatsoever. Poorly written, poorly acted, averagely directed. Even the accents were a bad joke. As were all the others. Please remove it before it tricks more of our loyal followers into wasting any more time in watching this film.

  • Larry Ziegelman

    Siddarth, our film is polarizing. Love it or hate it. But 15 film festivals so far would disagree with your all of your comments. I could suggest removing your comment from this page, but that would be considered censorship. And I, for one, believe in the freedom of speech. Take care.

  • Meshamrock

    I thought the writing was clever and was pleasantly surprised by how well the actors delivered the jokes. The great thing about humor is, each person has their own sense of it and I believe, more often than not, Boom Boom gets a giggle from its audience.

  • Anonymous

    The best comedy is that which does more than make you laugh.  This does that, it takes a subject we all fear and totally ‘disarms” it by having two goofballs, clearly not very bright, actually have us care about the squabble about virgins, etc. and forget about the overall event/political circumstances taking place.  Great job, looks great as well.  Sound was crisp and tight.  Editing tight.

  • Jack B

    The touchy-subject-comedy we usually see on Family Guy and South Park is here in live action and something I’ve been waiting to see for a long time now!

  • Daniel Bottoms

    Insensitive to a cruel event that unfortunately really happens.Next time portray Jewish settlers, staking a claim on the farm in Germany, lost by their grandparents the Holocaust victims. A nice twist from the settlers on palestinian farms in Israel. No, I don’t think that is funny and neither is this film.

  • J Gold Blum

    As good as some of Monty Python’s best stuff! Excellent job guys!

  • Littlesnoobie

    Great idea! Write it up!

  • RichardJ

    Daniel has a point. The filmmakers are completely insensitive to the plight of the psychotic, terrorist bombers. That’s a demographic that the filmmakers are completely over-looking.

  • Siddharth Bamjus Kulkarni

    Dear Larry, I do apologize for my starkness. My problem is not one about ‘cultural sensitivity’ or the topic being ‘polarizing’. I greatly appreciate the fact that you’re approaching such a sensitive topic through comedy. It is a necessary effort. My issue comes in that it is simply bad comedy. I feel you became so engrossed in making fun of terrorism that you forgot to pay attention to the script. The jokes weren’t well crafted, making them seem more slapstick than dark; the characters were not believably real, and the issues of stereotyping, ideology, etc. were left unresolved . After watching your short, I went and watched Four Lions, and I got more of an idea of what you seemed to be aiming towards. My point is that if you’re tackling a complex subject, then it would come better through equally complex humor and characterization. If the issue is about free speech, then I defend the Danish cartoonist’s depiction of Muhammad, as I do defend your film, but I thought that neither the cartoon, nor Boom Boom were particularly funny. 
    About deleting the film, again, I apologize. It was more of a criticism to the curator.
    I hope that you take this as constructive criticism, not as a joke, and that I am sincerely looking forward to your next film building upon this.

  • Ivanrana

    Freedom of speech and or Freedom in general is a wonderful thing, so Larry can make films the way he wants to, Siddharth can say and feel the way he wants to, taking the film,or the comment off the net is there fore not the solution.  
    In my opinion the same script if approached as a drama/rather than comedy would  have hit home a wee bit better. Then again the director / writer probably wanted it to be funny. I was not disturbed but I did not really find it funny either. I see the lead actors are Indian / middle eastern. If that’s the way they spoke (accent ) I am ok, but if they had to put on an accent which I am afraid they did, it really does not speak much for the One point five billion plus Middle eastern/Asians. 
    Technical mistakes are visible, then again I am not immune to it when I direct. Lets keep making movies the way we feel and let critics say what they feel, we will grow to be pro’s, then again who wants to be a pro. Lets just be creative!!!!!!
    ivan rana

  • Terry Z.

    Hi Siddharth,
    Thanks for your comments. As always, comedy is subjective. Nothing is black and white. Rather, it is varying shades of gray.  I remember watching “Hangover 2″ in the theater,  wondering “why is this  supposed to be funny?”  So  I know how it feels not to be laughing while everyone else was…

  • Eric Arvizu

    I have to say I agree with Siddharth on this. The problem isn’t that comedy is subjective (which it is), the problem is that you haven’t executed it very well here. “Good” is the enemy of “Great”. You had a wonderful chance to do something great with this particular subject matter and you kind of squandered it on mediocre humor. 
    The cinematography is nice, the lighting and sound too, on the technical aspects, the film looks great. But I think what’s being said here, is that there are nuances to great comedy that are completely missing—both from the script and the performances, it’s just not that smart. 
    I could simply repeat Siddharth’s honest and accurate critique, but I imagine you may already get it. However, Instead of asking “why is this supposed to be funny” while watching the “Hangover 2″, I would encourage you to ask, “Why am I the only one laughing?” while watching “Boom Boom”… 

  • Senator Mofongo-Budik

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. Not only have subsequent comments undermined Siddharth’s heartfelt cry of anguish at the substandard attempts to approach any appreciable quality of humor in this film, people have resorted to unwarranted praise and absurdly tasteless opinions to salvage any kind of dignity on behalf of those who were involved in the making of this movie, if one may even be inclined to reach such ludicrous conclusions as to what these wasted minutes of my life may be called…
    For great things to rise, average things must fall… and  I hope anyone who may choose to use this video as an inspiration for their own work give it at least some value by building on its shortcomings. 
    Also, those who agree might consider joining the IGLF (Intergalactic Gremlin Liberation Front™)

  • larryz

    Five comedy film festivals, that have professional comedians/actors/judges humbly disagree with with your comments. Just because you and Siddarth state that it’s not funny it does not make that fact. Perhaps you both should also look at the Vimeo page where over 80 people “like” the film and again disagree with you. 

  • larryz

    Five comedy film festivals, that have professional comedians/actors/judges humbly disagree with with your comments. Just because you and Siddarth state that it’s not funny it does not make that fact. Perhaps you both should also look at the Vimeo page where over 80 people “like” the film and again disagree with you. 

  • larryz

    Five comedy film festivals, that have professional comedians/actors/judges humbly disagree with with your comments. Just because you and Siddarth state that it’s not funny it does not make that fact. Perhaps you both should also look at the Vimeo page where over 80 people “like” the film and again disagree with you. 

  • larryz

    Five comedy film festivals, that have professional comedians/actors/judges humbly disagree with with your comments. Just because you and Siddarth state that it’s not funny it does not make that fact. Perhaps you both should also look at the Vimeo page where over 80 people “like” the film and again disagree with you. 

  • larryz

    Five comedy film festivals, that have professional comedians/actors/judges humbly disagree with with your comments. Just because you and Siddarth state that it’s not funny it does not make that fact. Perhaps you both should also look at the Vimeo page where over 80 people “like” the film and again disagree with you. 

  • larryz

    Five comedy film festivals, that have professional comedians/actors/judges humbly disagree with with your comments. Just because you and Siddarth state that it’s not funny it does not make that fact. Perhaps you both should also look at the Vimeo page where over 80 people “like” the film and again disagree with you. 

  • larryz

    Five comedy film festivals, that have professional comedians/actors/judges humbly disagree with with your comments. Just because you and Siddarth state that it’s not funny it does not make that fact. Perhaps you both should also look at the Vimeo page where over 80 people “like” the film and again disagree with you. 

  • larryz

    Five comedy film festivals, that have professional comedians/actors/judges humbly disagree with with your comments. Just because you and Siddarth state that it’s not funny it does not make that fact. Perhaps you both should also look at the Vimeo page where over 80 people “like” the film and again disagree with you. 

  • larryz

    Five comedy film festivals, that have professional comedians/actors/judges humbly disagree with with your comments. Just because you and Siddarth state that it’s not funny it does not make that fact. Perhaps you both should also look at the Vimeo page where over 80 people “like” the film and again disagree with you. 

  • larryz

    Five comedy film festivals, that have professional comedians/actors/judges humbly disagree with with your comments. Just because you and Siddarth state that it’s not funny it does not make that fact. Perhaps you both should also look at the Vimeo page where over 80 people “like” the film and again disagree with you. 

  • Larryz

    I’m interested in this notion of “complex humor” that you bring up. Perhaps you have some examples of effective complex humor that you can show us in a short film, I’d be interested in seeing it. 

    I understand there is broad, slapstick humor (think Three Stooges, Farrelly Brothers, etc.) and then there is what I’ll call situational humor (think Curb Your Enthusiasm, or the British “The Office”.) The latter is usually more intelligent, drier and character based. But what makes me laugh usually isn’t “complex”. If I really have to think hard about a joke, then it isn’t funny. Certainly a full-length feature like “Four Lions” (which we have never seen) might have 97 minutes to create nuanced comedy and characterizations, but a 6 minute short film has to build it’s humor quickly and that’s often done with creating characters that people know already, aka: stereotypes. And by that I mean the comic duo:  the “straight man” and the “funny man”.  It’s a tried a true formula. Like it or not. 

    But seriously, I am interested in seeing some of this type of humor your speaking of. Is there anything on funnyordie that you’d like to point me to?

  • ajc

    I thought it was a great short and it made me laugh!

  • ajc

    I thought it was a great short and it made me laugh!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=736760154 Soji Ogunnaike

    I think this is a great short and the director described it aptly: “Dark comedy”. Why are you all so serious?

  • John

    A few questions:

    What’s the idea behind having Jamal mispronounce his friend’s name? Is that a jab at Western ignorance of the most basic aspects of Muslim culture?

    Secondly, why does Jamal speak with an Indian accent? I suppose this, too, could be a reference to the Western Orientalist tendency to lump foreign cultures together and overlook important distinctions.

    Finally, was there a point to the film? Comedy doesn’t always need to be purposeful, but in viewing a short film about a serious subject, I expected something a bit more than the “terrorists are goofballs, too,” thing.

    This film seems to avoid the most important subject: what would drive a human being to this level of desperation? In the end, it comes across as something designed not to offend Republican sensibilities.

  • Tiger Blam

    Loved it! Great job.

  • A. Adan

    Most of what I would have said about this film have already been said for me by others like Siddbarth, John etc… The only good thing about this film is that at end, there’s an attempt at a twist, however cliche’d. Why does an Arab have to speak with an indian accent? Why did was ‘Ahmed’ mispronounced? I don’t think this is to make a point. It’s incompetence in the execution of the job, acting and all. Islamic Jihadisst would have undergone enough training of the strictest religious form as to keep their gaze away from females. So much for the comments about the girl in the cafe and the ‘virgins’ chatter. Such young men are at their holiest just before certain death. (Note: for Muslims, Jihadi or not, the belief is that all deeds are recorded and it affects one’s success in the afterlife, and therefore the sooner one repents the better; the idea is to be at your best before you die, which why Islam preaches Muslims be ready all the time)  Clearly, as someone here has stated, there appears to be an attempt to avoid some bigger issues here. If I were to imagine Pat Robertson’s directorial debut in 2012, I would probably guess a plot similar to this one. Overlooking all that just said, as a work of art, it’s still pretty lousy. Siddbarth said it best, ‘poorly acted, poorly written, and averagely directed’. It’s only funny in that it’s really bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joshua-Maddox/1442173356 Joshua Maddox

    Your just to sensitive that is all. I thought it was witty, guessing you like dry humor and for that I’m sorry.

  • HollywoodProducer

    “Lighten up, Francis.” It’s comedy. And it’s funny. 

  • Guest

    Family Guy and South Park cleverly craft touchy subjects into satire. This film may be satire but it’s not clever. It’s overused goofy-terrorist-humor that you see in tasteless teen-sex comedies.

  • Kaushik Alejandro

    I would say there is nothing humble about you Larry. Perhaps you’d do better if you tried to understand that criticism offers far more reward to the artist than praise, and your manner of handling things confirms that you will never be more than mediocre. 

  • Jack Davis

    George Csarmann, you obviously shouldn’t be choosing films for this website. Very disappointing.

  • Jack Davis

    George Csarmann, you obviously shouldn’t be choosing films for this website. Very disappointing.

  • Jack Davis

    George Csarmann, you obviously shouldn’t be choosing films for this website. Very disappointing.

  • Phillip L.

    Everyone’s got an opinion. And no film is going to make everyone happy. If the filmmakers listened to everyone, the film would be so watered down and unfunny that no one would like it. I say ignore these naysayers and go with your gut. I love you got the balls to be politically incorrect and have a message to say. Well done.

  • Pat Dodson

    Did you win, place or show at any of the “Comedy” film festivals?

  • Just Say It

    Not funny at all and it is not because of the sensitive subject but simply because it is weak.