Archive for Films

Blade Runner, Bad tenants, Blue Man Group

Posted in Guide to What's Good, The bad list with tags , , , , , , , on October 2, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I finally broke down and saw Bladerunner and I have to say, in light of my love for dystopias, it was a really great dvd. Based on the Philip K Dick book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, it imagined the future in a beautiful post-apocalyptic china town for the senses. I loved it, loved younger Harrison ford, the male on male kiss of death, and most of all the following quote.

“It’s hard to live your whole life in fear, isn’t it? This is what it means to be a slave.” Go Philip! Go Ridley Scott, applause all around.

Which brings me to Bad Tenants (bad list BL) all I can say is avoid them at all costs, they will suck your blood to the very core!

Then Blue Man Group, I don’t know what its about, other than a mild dig against Internet obsession and modern life, something of a plea for a reconnection with the primal, interactive theater loving self. It is mostly just fun and slapstick, and grotesque-dirty. Thoughtful at best, I remember being really inspired by it at 18, this time it felt more like a colorful circus, sadly lacking the bearded lady.

This was my today, now see you tomorrow!

At the Edge of the World Q&A w/Dan Stone

Posted in film, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I used to live in Melbourne, Australia, not Florida. One day the Sea Shepherd docked on our shores and I got to meet some of the people on board, including former Greenpeace activist, Captain Paul Watson. People in Melb were so inspired by the Direct Action Whale Rescue that the Sea Shepherd crew engaged in. A benefit party was organized, t-shirts were bought and one of my friends even decided to join them on their next mission.

Roll forward to last night in NYC, I saw Dan Stone’s film about one of their Antarctic missions, At the Edge of The World as part of IFC‘s Stranger Than Fiction documentary series. I was struck during the Q&A by the apparently contentious relationship that Stone has with Watson and the Sea Shepherd crew. He told us that many of them did not like the final cut. This is a curiosity that I will have to explore further; I intend to interview him and will update this tangent later.

As for last night, I can say that the film was rocky and oceanic, after the dubious Q&A, I ran into an old old NYC activist friend and cracked into some Belgian Beer and lively debate at Vol de Nuit (def on the GOOD list). Obama and Pallin, Stone and Watson, Preservation and Indigenous hunting ceremony, Old gays vs. New Queers, all the relevant rivalries were discussed!

Ballast and The General of the Dead Army

Posted in Book, film with tags , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

The General of the Dead Army rightfully earned Ismail Kadare the Booker Prize. It is a stark investigation into loss and lingering sanity, which takes the form of an anti-hero’s quest, while borrowing heavily from the dystopia genre. The protagonist is an Italian General who wanders the emotionally barren landscape of Albania in search of the bodies of fallen Italian soldiers from World War II. His journey into darkness, whether intentionally or coincidentally, references such magnificently tragic journey’s as those that comprised 1884, the Time Machine, C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy and naturally, Heart of Darkness.

After a significant amount of procrastination, I managed to write my review of A General of the Dead Army for Bookslut. That is the first paragraph and the rest will soon be available on their sight. As a B S exclusive though, I wanted to talk about this book and the film Ballast together. I interviewed the film’s director, Lance Hammer, last week and that will soon see the light of print, I promise. Meanwhile- let’s talk Tragedy.

Hammer used non actors, who were local to the two towns in the Mississippi Delta where he shot the film. After 10 years of research, he decided to make a film that as he told me, “wasn’t so much about race, but about universal human suffering.” He chose African Americans to play the main roles, and encouraged them to use their own distinct vernacular. Rather than hand them a script, he gave them a situation and encouraged them to improvise language around that particular scenario. What remains of this method, in the edited movie is a steely, classical, cinematic gem. Like The General of the Dead Army, Ballast is a tragic play of emotions, which seems to take place in real time. It is similarly stark, subtle and quietly passionate.

Battle in Seatle Q&A with Charlize Theron

Posted in film, Guide to What's Good with tags , , , , , , on September 21, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

Surprisingly, in my food coma, I managed to stumble over to The Angelika, a cinema which is definitely on the Good List. They consistently show great films, offer insightful Q&As and even have a cafe, yay! Last night Charlize Theron, of Monster fame, joined filmmaker Stuart Townsend (also her boyfriend, she is straight), and Kiwi Actor, Martin Henderson, who played the lead male role. Many of my friends were in Seattle at the WTO protests back in 1999. I remember them coming back to New York all pumped and ready to change the face of organizing. It was the dawn of the Internet, birth of The Indy Media Network. A hugely diverse coalition had been formed and would be maintained thereafter. A social movement had descended upon once secret meetings. For those who haven’t seen it, I strongly suggest finding a copy of This is What Democracy Looks Like and viewing it alongside Battle in Seatle. The former is a doco and the latter a dramatization of the events. Also try to wrap your head around Joseph Stiglitz’s Globalization and its Discontents. Or if you can’t hang with economist-speak, Stuart Townsend recommends Take it Personally by Anita Roddick.

The Angelika was packed, and it was an engaging film. Lots of Hollywood style drama- and a little too much sap courtesy of Woody Harrelson et al. Still it was easy to look past the pedestrian romances and focus on the momentum that the film simulates aided by an excellent musical score. The researched and nearly balanced approach it takes towards telling the story of N30 is commendable.