Nine Queens (Argentina, 2000).http://bilalhafeez.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/NineQueens-2z92ny293mq9n53nr64qa2.jpg
A double-crossing crime movie with a hint of Usual suspects. Great pace, and keeps you guessing.
To Live (China, 1994).http://bilalhafeez.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/To-Live-2z92nzp21fnprrszrfj956.jpg
An early Yimou Zhang ('Hero'). An epic movie that follows a family from the 1940s to 1970s China. Heart-wrenching at times
Cell 211 (Spain 2009).http://bilalhafeez.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/Cell211-2z92nz6yo9iynkti7ysmq2.jpg
A new prison guard gets stuck inside a prison taken over by the inmates. Very well done with some memorable characters.
About Elly (Iran, 2009).http://bilalhafeez.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/About-Elly-2z92o02mkb9a3x1lx137yi.jpg
Asghar Ferhadi's film before the Oscar-winning 'A Seperation'. This one follows a group of friends take a beach holiday. before events turn bad. Great characterisation and twisty plot.
Elite Squad 1/2 (Brazil, 2007, 2010).http://bilalhafeez.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/Elite-Squad-2z92nzg0culc7ob8zp5xxm.jpg
A searing thriller following an elite squad taking on corruption in the slums of Brazil.
Raid 1/2 (Indonesia, 2011, 2014).http://bilalhafeez.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/Raid2-2z92nyftmibtzac9wrop3e.jpg
An adrenalin rush of an action movie - better than most Hollywood. A cop infiltrates a criminal gang and fights his way to the top.
Tell No-one (France, 2006).http://bilalhafeez.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/TellNoOne-2z92ny6rxx9gf6uj51bdvu.jpg
Rather than the usual French movies of middle-aged men and young women, this is a gripping thriller. Reminded me of Harrison Ford's Frantic.
Ran (Japan, 1985). A Kurosawa classic. A re-telling of King Lear but transplanted to Samurai Japan. The best King Lear on film, much better than the supposed classic Laurence Olivier one. Slow, but worth the time investment.
Kung Fu Hustle (2004, Hong Kong/China).http://bilalhafeez.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/KungFuHustle-2z92nyte5dxebfkw2d8nwq.jpg
A mad action movie that could easily have been a cartoon, but they made it live-action. Amazing characters, funny plot and great stunts.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Japan, 1984).http://bilalhafeez.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/Nausicaa-2z92nyxwzogl3hbrg8fbii.jpg
An early Miyazaki ('Spirited Away') animated feature. The story of the world at the edge of environmental oblivion and the pacifist warrior princess Nausicaa's struggle to end war. Ahead of his time.
Grave of the Fireflies (Japan, 1988).http://bilalhafeez.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/GraveFireflies-2z92ny293mq9n53nr64qa2.jpg
The animated story of two young siblings surviving World War 2. It will make you cry.
Yesterday, I attended a talk on Napoleon by the British Historian Andrew Roberts at the School of Life BusinessWise conference. Napoleon of course is known to some as one of great military commanders in history. But this time, Andrew Roberts instead focused on his broader leadership style and character. This is what I took away from the talk: Continue reading “Napoleon As Management Guru?!”
I gave the speech below at a conference for Women Global Leaders in Germany back in 2013. It’s a five minute read.
“I must say I feel daunted speaking to an audience consisting solely of women. A question that springs to mind is whether as a man I can see the world from the eyes of women. I would think I may have advantage as I am from a minority group. Growing up in the UK with dark skin did make me stand out. Often it would elicit racial abuse. So I have often felt negatively affected by being different. In some ways, that has spurred me on. It has given me the mentality of “I’ll show you society” and” I’ll be as good as anyone else”. However, in the process of trying to measure up to the standard set by society, it has at some level forced me to repress something of myself and feel the opinions of the “other” is more important than myself. Continue reading “A Man In A Woman’s World”
Since the start of the year, I’ve been tracking my every work activity using an app called Toggl. What surprised me was the amount of time I spent on just two activities: email and internal meetings; neither of which are particularly value-added or productive. The problem with an email habit is that I have the itch to check every 10-15mins, which interrupts my flow, and time is needed to gather momentum again on any piece of work. Moreover, my inbox is a list of other people’s priorities, not mine . Continue reading “Doubling My Productivity”
The challenge for a manned mission to Mars is neither cost nor technology, but coping with solitude. Imagine being stuck with the same people for two or three years in a confined space with minimal food, entertainment and contact with Earth. Jason Stuster, a NASA research consultant, who studied the diaries of explorers to remote regions on earth such as the Antarctic found that many would fall into depression or suffer psychoses (think Tarkovsky’s movie “Solaris”). Continue reading “Could You Fly To Mars?”
1. Demote the importance of email. Your inbox is other people’s priorities (Craig Jarrow, Time Management Ninja)
2. To make networking successful, follow up is everything (Jayson Gaignard, MastemindTalks)
3. Scaling requires grinding it out and pressing each person, team, group, division or organization to make one small change after another (Robert Sutton, Hayagreeva Rao, “Scaling Up Excellence”)
4. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do (Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”)
5. Unless you give at least forty-five minutes to careful, fatiguing reflection (it is an awful bore at first) upon what you are reading, your ninety minutes a night [of reading]] are chiefly wasted (Arnold Bennett, “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day”)
6. The acid test for creativity is simply stated: has the domain in which you operate been significantly altered by your contribution? (Howard Gardner, “Five Minds for the Future”)
7. Keeping things “just in case” indicates a lack of trust in the future…Good things cannot easily come into your life if you block the flow of energy by persistently clinging to outdated clutter (Karen Kingston, “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui”)
8. Judging is what the mind does, I discovered. But what you can begin to do is write your judgments down and question them. That will give you a sane and happy life (Byron Katie, “Who Would You Be Without Your Story”)
9. Great presenters have the ability to tell you something you already know, in a way that gives it new and more powerful meaning (Jon Steel, “Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business”)
10. What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do (Timothy Ferriss, “The 4-Hour Work Week”)
11. “Politics is when people choose their words and actions based on how they want others to react rather than based on what they really think” (Patrick Lencioni, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable”)
I’ve been obsessing over my early morning routine this year. The time between waking up and leaving the house for work. Research shows that we have a certain capacity to make decisions over the course of the day, so ideally you want to conserve your decision capacity for the important stuff. Hence having a clear and regular routine with minimal decision points is ideal. It’s as if you can do it in auto-pilot. That’s the key over-arching principle. In fact, my routine requires no decisions to be made. Continue reading “My Optimised Morning Routine”
I attended a talk by Philip Zimbardo a few weeks ago. He’s an accomplished psychologist known for his famous Stanford Prison experiment, where randomly selected students were assigned roles of prison guards and prisoners in a mock prison. Within days, the guards engaged in psychological torture and many prisoners passively accepted it. The experiment showed that the situation, rather than personality, caused the change in behavior.
But on this occasion his talk was on masculinity. Continue reading “Raising Boys”