a bit about each of the films I’ve seen so far…
Dave Chappelle’s Block Party was a little overlong and I would have edited the song sequences a bit. That said, it was overall a very fun movie, totally reflective of Dave Chapelle’s easy going, cheerful attitude. I found myself enjoying the rap and hip hop music quite a lot and falling in love with Dave Chappelle. Does anyone else think he looks a bit like a black version of Steve?
This Film is Not Yet Rated is a well made and fun documentary along the same lines as uhm, Super Size Me like it used cute cartoons and funny jokes and subversive tactics the same sort of way. Of course, Morgan Spurlock is directly influenced by Michael Moore, so I have to say Yay Michael Moore for bringing in this era of accessible, interesting, watchable documentaries!
The American film ratings board itself came off looking pretty shadowy and corrupt (as well as homophobic and hypocritcal), and as the credits started rolling a guy stood up in the audience and said loudly “actually it’s pretty much the same sort of thing happening here, come and talk to me about it.” Which was kind of awesome. Now I wish I’d gotten his email address instead of going for lunch immediately.
Lunch was grand: Fluid smoothie and pan fried dumplings with Rachel and Alan.
Then it was off to the yearly fix of Animation Now! It was clearly a bad year for animation. Out of 16 films I think I liked five. There was a lovely paint on glass animation about cat things bugging their neighbours with the sound of taking the washing down and the baby one playing with the moon. (At least, I think that’s what it was about.) I also liked one about a girl who’s heart beat too fast and loud, again disturbing her neighbours…overall the collection was too full of ‘random shapes moving to music’ shorts, which frankly, I’ve seen enough of. I’d seen enough after the ones they used to show on Sesame St. It’s just not that impressive a film after hundreds of people have already done the same thing.
Black Gold (There’s not a lot about it on imdb it turns out) is an in depth look at the coffee trade, with a bit about all the stuff like World Barista Champs but mostly focussed in on one Ethiopian man’s endless crusade to get fair prices for the growers in the co-operative he represents. It’s pretty disgusting that for a kilo of coffee the growers are paid aprox. 27 American cents, while each cup made from those beans is selling for aprox. $2.90 American. As I said yesterday, it made me want to champion Fair Trade Coffee. It’s a pretty easy choice to make, but like so many things, it’s a bit more expensive (just like free range eggs are like, twice the cost.) My brother in law was wondering why Free Trade coffee is more expensive if all the middle men are being cut out. I think it boils down to the growers actually getting a fair price for their produce.
The really scary thing was that even if they only get paid three times what they’re getting now, the quality of life would improve immensely. A lot of farmers are cutting down their coffee crops and switching to a narcotic called Chat because it’s more profitable. Not so that they can buy a car or fancy clothes, just to get enough food to eat.
So, yeah. That was a pretty depressing film with a clear message of action. Free trade coffee = good. Ema linked me to a fair trade coffee place in Wellington: coffee supreme. I also found this flyer in my work intray linking to fair cuppa, which was apparently a day in May, but has some interesting looking links. (Not reviewed.)
My initial impression of Fearless is that it was Tai Chi master from an older, wiser point of view. Apart from the fact that they both star Jet Li both films share themes of loss, sacrifice and hubris leading to rebirth, wisdom and spiritual strength. I enjoyed it very much, although the sound at the Paramount was up so loud to combat the music from Boogie Wonderland I had to hold my scarf over my ears for the sword fights. (Uhm, being tired makes my ears more sensitive. It was the end of a long day).
I really liked the movie and definitely recommend it to fans of martial arts and Chinese culture. And obviously, Jet Li. (Is it just me or is he looking more and more like Jacky Chan as he ages?) Plus it featured the cutest little girl in the world ever. Ever.
On Sunday we started off with an Inconvenient Truth. I feel the impact of it lessening with each hour since I saw it, but Lee and I have made some solid plans about what we’re going to do to reduce our carbon emissions so yay. In terms of film making, the documentary was slick, smooth and well informed. The science was kind of terrifying, with predictions about the sea levels rising and animations of parts of the world going under water.
I was pretty freaked by the whole thing, but right after that I saw my parents and sister and they assured me that there was nothing to worry about and it’s all hyperbole, and they’d know right?
So, now I need a copy of the movie so I can start lending it out….The website’s pretty good actually, apparently they’re going to start training people to present the slideshow that Al Gore does.
Then last night Lee and I saw Tristram Shandy: a Cock and Bull Story which was a strange mix of period film, fictionalised film making and utter hilarity. The hot chestnut bit has stuck with me as the funniest bit, but there were many. Steve Coogan obviously enjoys playing the pretentious arrogant Hollywood bastard type, as he seemed exactly the same as he did in Coffee and Cigarettes. It was a really good film, but the freaking fire alarm went off when we had about five minutes to go and we had to evacuate!
After people had come back in (less than half the audience returned) the projecter wasn’t working, presumably it was something to do with the alarm mucking up a circuit or something. Suffice to say it didn’t start up again and we gave up and got a drink. An annoying end to a very good movie.
Because of the alarm, Shortbus was about half an hour late starting.
It was worth the wait. It was a light, funny, beautiful magic realism type of film. There was a lot of sex, but as Rachel said, it all seemed integrated and part of the story. I liked it very much, go and see it. Definitely NC-17 because there was an awful lot of footage of penis.
CO: half eaten snickers