David LaChapelle is probably one of the more famous celebrity photographers around and has worked his way through music videos and now is moving to films.
His first subject is the phenomenal world of clown dancing, or krumping. This is a stylized form of exhilarating and aggresive dancing (analogous to moshing for metalheads). The film starts out with scenes of the 1965 Watts Riots and shifts to 27 years later, when the 1992 South Central Los Angeles Riots occurred. Tommy Johnson, a.k.a. Tommy the Clown, developed clown dancing as an alternative to the violence that he had witnessed on the streets. Most of the participants paint their face like a clown, and it becomes like a war paint. In fact, one of the most intriguing parts, for me, is a series of scenes where LaChapelle juxtaposes this with the ritual donning of face paint and dancing of African men, presumably warriors.
Krumping looks like stylized fighting, but both krumpers know that there is no malice involved. I couldn't but help admire the physical dexterity and flexible body movements they were pulling off while clowning. It reminded me of the body control exhibited by athletes such as basketball players or professional skateboarders. Halfway through the documentary, there is a kind of competition, called Tommy the Clown’s Battle Zone, where they compete for championship clowning belts one on one, which is very exciting. The remainder of the film focuses on the social examiniation of some of the participants and their social divisions from the rest of the world. It slows a bit too much here for me.
Rize is a social examination of expressionism & artistry, combining hope and individualism. It's refreshing to see a part of hip-hop culture motivated to this authentic dance expression instead of the falling (so far) to the cliches of hip-hop. These dancers are the modern b-boys and they are simply uplifting to watch. The bass heavy soundtrack perfectly enhances the film and is a blast to listen to.
Coppermine wrote:How was the weather man? I already knew to stay away from domino but the weather man is getting mixed reviews. Your take kimche guavara?
my take...it was a very good movie. my girlfriend didn't really liked it, but i did. i thought it was funny, especially nicholas cage's interior monologues throughout the movie. it's a loser story in which his personal life is falling apart, but his professional life is taking off.
A friend of mine invited me to an advance screening a little over a month ago, I meant to post a review but never did. Going in I really didn't know what to expect as I didn't know much about the film, beyond the basic premise: It chronicles the efforts of Edward R. Murrow and his CBS News team to publicly challenge Joe McCarthy's communist witchhunts in the '50s. (By way of background: Murrow is a legend in the news biz).
I though it was an extremely well-done, well-put-together film. It was shot in smoky black and white, and this combined with an extremely smooth, Ella Fitzgerald-type jazz soundtrack, really helped to capture an ambience and authenticity of the time period. The performances were also awesome. David Strathairn nails Murrow, and George Clooney was very good as Murrow's producer/friend/sidekick. For McCarthy, they didn't hire an actor, but instead used old news footage. For me this was one of the best parts of the movie, simply because I'd never gotten to see actual footage of him, only photos. Actually seeing him really emphasized how much of a bulldog he was, and made him seem even more sinister. Also, the movie was surprisingly funny, which helped it from taking itself too seriously or sinking under its own weight.
This is obviously a very political film, with some obvious connections to present-day politics. It could have been very preachy, but they avoided that trap for the most part. Given the nature of the film, Murrow's views of course take center stage, but I never felt like I was being hit over the head with them. This is a movie that essentially is about ideas, and about freedom v. paranoia. It's a little dry and flat at times, and the drama is rather subdued, but if you appreciate public discourse of ideas I think you'll like this flick. I didn't love it, but I definitely appreciated it. If you're a McCarthy fan, or think public slander on ideological grounds "for the greater good" is an admirable thing, or think people accused of something shouldn't have a right to defend themselves publicly, or enjoy the time-honored tradition of politicians everywhere making things up as they go, stay away.
George Clooney attended the screening I was at. George, if you're reading this - you make good movies, and you're an entertaining actor in your films, but in real life you are a douchebag. Shut up.
WharfRat wrote:...you're an entertaining actor in your films, but in real life you are a douchebag. Shut up.
Lol. Couldn't agree more. Love Clooney the actor, can't stand Clooney the media personality. Anyway, I hadn't heard of this movie until now but it sounds really good. Looking on IMDB it is apparently playing in Raleigh. I am surprised. I'll have to go check it out.
Maine has a good swing for a pitcher but on anything that moves, he has no chance. And if it's a fastball, it has to be up in the zone. Basically, the pitcher has to hit his bat. - Mike Pelfrey
WharfRat wrote:This is obviously a very political film, with some obvious connections to present-day politics. It could have been very preachy, but they avoided that trap for the most part. Given the nature of the film, Murrow's views of course take center stage, but I never felt like I was being hit over the head with them. This is a movie that essentially is about ideas, and about freedom v. paranoia. It's a little dry and flat at times, and the drama is rather subdued, but if you appreciate public discourse of ideas I think you'll like this flick.
Now in the Netflix queue. Thanks for the revealing review.
WharfRat wrote:Ella Fitzgerald-type jazz soundtrack...
Something tells me that a Jazz music thread is going to be needed very soon.
Good morning America, how are you... Don't you know me, I'm your native son