Off! was formed in Los Angeles, California in late 2009 by Circle Jerks/Black Flag singer Keith Morris, Burning Brides frontman Dimitri Coats, Redd Kross bassist Steven Shane McDonald, and Rocket From The Crypt/Hot Snakes drummer Mario Rubalcaba. The idea to form the band came after Coats had worked as producer on a Circle Jerks album which fell apart. During that time, Coats and Morris had written several songs together which they used to start Off!.
Trash Talk is an American hardcore punk band from Sacramento, California, formed in 2005. Trash Talk combines classic hardcore punk with the aggression of its descendants. They have toured all around the world including Japan and Europe, as well as performed in many festivals in support of their releases which helped give the band recognition from publications including Rolling Stone.
Check out a few tracks:
TRASH TALK : KILL THE SNAKES
OFF! : UPSIDE DOWN
Blurring the lines between art and life, Andrea Zittel creates modular living spaces and clothing that reconsider our domestic environments. Her studio enterprise, A-Z Administrative Services, references the convenience culture of American society in provocative and sometimes humorous ways. Zittel explores the human need for order, noting that architectural space impacts social organization and contemporary perceptions of freedom and personal liberation.
This lecture is co-sponsored by the Friends of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts. This lecture is underwritten for the DIA by the Marvin and Betty Danto Family Foundation, and for CCS by the Woodward Lecture Series, which is made possible by a generous endowment gift from an anonymous donor.
Lecture to be held at:
The DIA Lecture Hall
Detroit Institute of Arts
John R. Entrance
Doors open at 6pm - come early and enjoy a drink and light fare (cash sales) before the lecture.
Lecture at 7pm
ALL ATTENDEES ARE ASKED TO PRESENT A FREE PASS FOR ENTRY AT THE DIA. TO OBTAIN YOUR FREE PASS, PLEASE VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINK:
The definition of “certified copy” states it is a copy of a primary document, which has on it an endorsement or certificate that it is a true copy of the primary document. It does not certify that the primary document is genuine, only that it is a true copy of the primary document.
I must admit I am not overly familiar with director Abbas Kiarostami except for two outstanding films, “Through The Olive Trees” and “Taste Of Cherry”, along with his screenplay for “White Balloon”. Having these films on a resume, as well as the lovely Juliette Binoche (Color Trilogy, English Patient), gives me high hopes for the final product. The film starts with British writer James Miller (first time actor William Shimell) in Tuscany to give a talk about his new book, entitled "Certified Copy", which argues that, in art, issues of authenticity are irrelevant, because every reproduction is itself an original and vice versa. In the audience is a French antiques dealer (Binoche) who has attended with her 11 year old son. She is there to have Miller autograph some copies but leaves early because her son is antsy and hungry. She leaves he number with Miller's translator who later meets up with her at a shop.
The two of them go for a ride, visit a museum, hit a café and finally a motel. OK, this might sound like a boring chick flick, but Kiarostami brings in something a little more interesting to the relationship. As the movie moves along, their relationship builds in an unique way. At the Reading, they are strangers but as they work there way through the movie, they start acting as new lovers until they end up at the hotel where we are told they have been married for 15 years. You can interpret this anyway you want but it seems that as the day go on, the relationship progresses. So morning is the dawning of a relationship and the evening is the later stages. The couple’s conversations deal with complaints about a rebellious son to falling asleep on their anniversary.
The film treats the relationship and time itself with a definite unreality so don’t expect a truly linear film but sit back and enjoy Binoche and Shimell’s chemistry throughout the film. Binoche is extra fun as throughout the film she effortlessly moves between English, French and Italian as is able to showcase her comic side which we don’t see often enough. Whether they are new lovers and long time married doesn’t matter by the time we reach the end as we have two nicely defined characters showing us the many phases of relationships in this atypical romance.
So whether this relation is genuine, we do know that the feelings are true. My grade is an A-.
Back in the saddle again today here at the MCB offices after a few weeks of sand/sun time down south...looks like a killer weekend here in Dietroit but keep the next Motorcity Special listening party penciled in your calender over at Hard Rock Cafe Detroit on Thursday 4/21
This was my first time at the Ark in Ann Arbor. It's a venue that's somewhat on the smaller side. It holds about 200 people, and has tiered seating that wraps around the stage, so that even the back row isn't too far away. The Ark is a non-profit organization, and the majority of the seats seem to be reserved to donors. I'd have to say that the strangest thing about the place is that they sell popcorn. I've never seen that for a music venue of that size.
They're going to be coming back to Michigan on June 6 at Meadow Brook Hall with Ray LaMontagne & Brandi Carlile. In a perfect world they would be on a bill with Blanche and The Sisters Lucas, with Dave Feeny sitting in with The Secret Sisters to play the pedal steel.
Amos Lee has a sort of folk-jazz kind of sound. You might not hear the jazz elements right away, but you'll notice it when you focus on the sounds of the percussion. Lee's voice has a kind of low key, unforced quality that made me think of Nick Drake. He was well received by a crowd of fervent admirers. At the beginning of every song people cheered as song as they recognized what song was starting. The intimate nature of the venue seemed to encourage people to want to shout their own input. Lee seemed to be only slightly annoyed when one woman shouted "my sister is sick too" after he told the crowd of his recent health troubles. In between two of the songs, he told the audience about his involvement with Musicians on Call, a group that gives bedside performances to patients unable to leave the hospital.
Once again, you'll have to settle for this video to see what you missed out on:
MCB hit the road to Lansing this past weekend to pop in at the first annual Shuto Con at the Lansing Convention Center. I'm a big fan of conventions, of just about any type, this is no secret. There's something about a group of people with a singular purpose, depth of interest, and shared references that really gives me a tickle. For a lot of con-goers, it's the time they are most uncensored, letting their geek flags really fly, making all those jokes no one else would get, and sometimes, in very special cases, literally dressing the part.
This was the first Shuto Con, and the organizers' intent was that it be an experience a bit more like what one may find in Japan: Not only do people dress as their favorite anime/manga/comic/movie characters, they act as the characters as well. What they were calling "Interactive Cosplay."
Or, as it was explained to a small group of registrants by the loud and lovely Sarge at the desk, "What we're doing here is INTERACTIVE COSPLAY, so if you are in costume, and someone runs up to you and does something weird, don't panic!"
Once registered, my first stop was the dealer room to OD on the rows and rows of candy-colored cuteness. At an anime convention in particular, there are two things I'm going to focus on: the direct-from-Japan toys and goodies, and the panels.
Where Shuto Con was concerned, there could have been more panels. Some of that was limited, in my case, by the fact that this was a Friday-Saturday con, and I was unable to make it up there before noon Saturday. The con only had one panel room, though, in addition to the large Main Events room. There were also game and video rooms, naturally, which were bustling any time I peeked in.
Very amateurishly gaging by the dress of the con attendees, variations on Lolita are still pretty popular. Cool with me – it's some of the stuff I like, and make myself! I did see the fashion show on Saturday, featuring several different subgenre of the Lolita style.
The Lansing Convention Center is easy to find, roomy and clean, but only next door to the con-selected hotel. Typically, a con would take over the meeting/banquet rooms AT a hotel, giving con-goers the opportunity to have room/suite parties, pop up easily for costume changes or – and this can be important on a long weekend – a quick nap.
Generally, what you get at this sort of event is what you'd expect from a gathering of largely pre- to early-teens: A lot of squealing, running around and sitting on the floor in loose circles.
The preliminary numbers on the con currently are that there were about 1,400 attendees, vendors and artists at the con; a damn good turnout. My main intention was to take a good sampling of photographs, which is not my usual gig, so take it for what it's worth. But next year, oh next year, I may bring my own foam sword.
PHOTOS: AIGA Detroit Portfolio Day 2011: Don't Eat the Crayons (featuring Nick Campbell) by RebeccaMich
At this event, people got the chance to present work to graphic designers working and teaching in the field for evaluation and feedback. It is all an asset to expand your personal network through conversations with professionals from across Michigan who work in the field and know the current job market.
Attendees also got the chance to listen to a very informative lecture by Nick Campbell. Nick currently lives in Chicago and works as a motion designer, photographer, iPhone app designer and educator. He has worked for over 6 years in the motion design industry, most recently at Digital Kitchen where he worked on Dexter, Target, Blackberry, and most recently for the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. He started his blog, GrayscaleGorilla, to help creatives make cool stuff. He posts tutorials about his process as well as links to ideas, news, and inspiration. His photo blog allows him to post his favorite shots and explore composition and color correction techniques.
REACT & G3NIUS PRESENTS
Zeds Dead - Rudeboy Tour
Fake Gold Chain
DJ Dru Ruiz
Cultured Citizens / HiJacked Records
Detek / Exchange Bureau
Saturday April 9th 2011
Shelter @ St. Andrews Hall
431 E. Congress, Detroit, MI 48226
18+ Event: Doors @ 9PM
Tickets @ Clubtix.com
Hanging out with Victor Wooten on his stop by the House Of Guitars to give a bass clinic which lasted about 2 ½ hours of him playing music and answering questions by the audience on how to play better bass and other music questions. Wooten is also the bassist for Bela Fleck. If you ever have the opportunity to hear him, play, it is well worth it but it might even be better just to hear him talk. When asked questions, he tends to throw the question back to the person who asked to get them really thinking about what truly makes someone a great musician (or person). He states that "the instrument doesn't make the music ... you do" and tells people that if they want to get ahead as a musician they need to 1) take care of themselves both physically and mentally since when you are in a good place, your music will sound better also, 2) take the time to learn to read music and understand how other instruments work so you can blend your sound with them (esp important if you want to write music), 3) make sure to learn from others even if you don’t fully use everything (he says he has learned many things about music while touring with Stanley Clark but admits he took what he wanted and adapted for his style) and 4) experience life to it’s fullest. To fully grasp what he is about, anyone who likes music or wants to truly get better might benefit from reading his book “The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music”. The closest Victor will be to Detroit in the near future is Rochester, NY’s Jazzfest this summer with Bela Fleck.
>Pixar fans should be excited for State Farm’s “Agents on a Mission” tour as Lightning McQueen, his best friend Mater and master British spy Finn McMissile appear at a free event at Great Lakes Crossing on Wednesday, April 6th between 2-7PM. There will be various activities including a video kiosk, e-photo opportunities, games and giveaways. For more information, you can go to Disney.com/cars.
Here are some upcoming shows you might like to check out this week:
Tuesday (3/29) – Amos Lee @ the Ark, Brett Dennen @ St Andrews Hall
Thursday (3/31) – English Beat @ Crofoot, Jeff Beck @ Michigan Theatre (Ann Arbor)
Friday (4/01) – Lupe Fiasco at Peace Corps Benefit @ Hill Auditorium (Ann Arbor)
Saturday (4/02) – Detroit by Detroit (see below) @ Magic Stick, Ohio Players and the Dazz Band @ Detroit Opera House, Drowning Pool w/Pop Evil @ Machine Shop
Sunday (4/03) – Raveonettes @ Magic Stick, Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Caesar’s Windsor
While I have never seen them in concert, I do admit the Thin Lizzy show @ Motorcity Casino on Thursday does peak my interest as well as this month’s newest wacko, Charlie Sheen, at the Fox Theatre on Saturday (make sure to drink your Tiger Blood and a stripper for him to sign afterwards).
Detroit by Detroit seems like at interesting idea as various local bands will be playing the music of other local bands. For example, The Satin Peaches will be performing as Lightning Love, Citizen Smile will be acting like Macrame Tiger and the HandGrenades as Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr. Along with Illy Mack, Mick Bassett, the Ashleys and more, this could be an interesting night, esp for those that love and know the local music scenes here in Detroit. So basically, you will get an interesting night of music for only $5 or less that .50 cents a band. I like the math on that.
On a sadder not, we saw the passing of a great blues singer, Pinetop Perkins, at the age of 97. He recently won the Grammy for best Blues album this year (also won in 2008 and he is the oldest-ever Grammy winner) and had been doing some touring. His last Detroit performance was a couple years ago at the Detroit Boogie Woogie and Blues Festival when it was at the Music Hall and he put on a very wonderful performance for someone his age. It is a shame that someone who is an originator passes away just as they are starting to gain some attention. He was one of the last pure Mississippi Delta blues musicians and had been a personal friend to Robert Johnson as well as backing up Muddy Waters for 10 years before forming the Legendary Blues Band with frequent touring partner Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. He will be missed. Here is a performance with Muddy Waters and Pinetop on piano.
Emily Duke, a sculptor and ceramicist, will be presenting her exhibit, Mapping the Terrain, to the Re:View Contemporary Gallery. The compositions are based on elements from construction sites, agricultural buildings, and manufacturing complexes, simplifying the structures and accentuating patterns.
The opening reception is on Saturday April 2nd at 7pm; the show runs through April 30th. Re:View Gallery is located in the Willys Overland Lofts at 444 W. Willis in Midtown. Definitely sounds like a neat show worth checking out.
Show starts at 8 pm
Doors open at 7:30 pm
The Secret Sisters are a indie-folk music duo, consisting of vocalists Laura and Lydia Rogers, signed to Universal Republic/Beladroit Records. Their 1950's-inspired musical style has been described as "a guileless, rapturous mixture of rootsified pop". The critically-acclaimed duo's music has been compared to artists like The Everly Brothers and Doc Watson. Their self-titled debut album was released on October 12th, 2010.
a little Detroit love for Toledo...
Experience Toledo Arts.
For three consecutive Saturdays in April, more than 300 Toledo-area artists will take over two vacant buildings in Downtown Toledo, transforming them into the largest, most comprehensive and eccentric multi-media galleries in Northwest Ohio. From beginners to seasoned professionals, Artomatic 419! offers a vast array of painting, sculpture, photography, dance, live music, performance art, theatre, one-of-a-kind installations, live art demonstrations and much, much more. See it. Believe it. This is Toledo's arts scene in action.
April 2nd, 9th & 16th, 2011
11 a.m. ~ 11 p.m.
407 Washington & 25 S. St. Clair
(across from 5/3 Field)
Downtown Toledo, Ohio
Be sure to join them for the Artomatic 419! After Party at The Event Center, 23 N. Summit St. 9:30 ~ midnight, each Saturday
FREE & Open to the Public
Artomatic 419! is a program of the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo
presented through the Live Work Create Toledo initiative, embracing economic development and revitalization through the arts. www.acgt.org
Lansing is usually a little out of the area I cover, but you know me, I'll go anywhere to bring y'all a good time! Being out of town, my plan is to get there early Saturday and play all day. I'll bring back some good cosplay pics, promise. Hit Shutocon central for all the details, and if your fursuit will fit in my car, we can carpool!
Lansing's Premiere Anime Convention, coming March 25th-26th, 2011. This convention will be a two day event held at The Lansing Convention Center in Lansing, MI that focuses on Artists and the art of Interactive Cosplaying.
Shuto Con means “Capital City” Convention, thus named for the city it is held in, Lansing, the great capital of our great state of Michigan!
Stefanie Shall, Chairwoman of Shuto Con, wanted the convention to be about the artist that struggles to get noticed, and the lone cosplayer that puts his/her heart and soul into becoming the character they worked so hard on making the costume for. For to long she had seen such great talents go to waste and in December '09 she started planning the entity that is known as Shuto Con. She has been to many conventions in her day, still traveling around with her Plush Doll business “Otakumals", and she wanted to highlight the two things she always found the most interesting and entertaining in the convention scene, Artists and Cosplayers.
Marco Polio, Pink Lightning, Mister, and Jack Topht/Cosmocean Costume Party
Show up to get the new Octopus record and welcome Human Eye back from their recent tour.
THIS SHOW IS FREE FOR THE PEOPLE!! To celebrate the birthday of the Goddess LauraBelle !!
THE CONFECTIONARY COVEN line-up for this evening are:
Smokin' Joe Leone - drums
Scotty Bellyache Hagen - bass
George Geo Jacobsen - guitar
Abbey Taylor - keys
Did we mention this show is FREE?
Have you heard about “The X Factor”? I don’t mean the comic book spin off of the X-Men but the music show in Britain which was a replacement (due to copyright issues with the name) for the show “Pop Idol” (of which “American Idol” spun off from). I like this title better because it actually refers to that undefinable "something" that makes for star quality while the world “idol” always makes me think of Frankie Avalon and various other 50’s teen idols. The format of the show is different from its competitors such as Idol as instead of an act been solely judged by the judges; the finalists are mentored by a judge. Each judge is assigned a category and then aids the contestant with song selection and styling, whilst the judge also judges the contestants of the other categories. The British version is most notable for launching the career of Leona Lewis.
Simon Cowell’s new show of make it or break it competition and it’s hitting the small screen this fall and they are looking for contestants. Solo singers, vocal groups and anyone over the age of 12 will have the chance to win a $5 million recording contract with Sony music. If you think you’ve got what it takes, auditions start soon. Be sure to visit http://www.fox.com/thexfactor for a step-by-step guide for your audition. Make sure you read carefully so you know everything you need to before you show up. You need to be prepared. The closest they are going to be to Detroit is Chicago on April 26th and April 27th at the Sears Center Arena. Best of luck! You can also call their toll free information line at 1-855-345-5678.
Running a bit tight on schedule so here is a look at some upcoming shows for the week.
Wednesday (3/23) – Po Girl @ The Ark
Thursday (3/24) – Taddy Porter @ Machine Shop (Flint)
Friday (3/25) – Kem @ Fox Theatre, Little Anthony & the Imperials @ Motorcity Casino
Saturday (3/26) – British Sea Power @ Pike Room
Take care and have a great week.
what crepe? . Royal Oak, MI
Some places skimp on certain aspects of the dining experience, offering less than stellar appetizers or generic desserts, but that is not the case with PJ. He has truly thought thru each and every aspect of the dining experience here. To deny yourself, or your friends, this experience is criminal. Stop by, don’t plan on going anywhere for a few hours, and simply enjoy the ride from beginning to end. I haven’t even mentioned the wine and beer selection, the $20 All-You-Can-Drink Wine Nights offered, the Movie Nights, the hand-made silver studded tables and non-matching comfortable chairs, or even the fact that the soundtrack to your night is supplied by PJ’s personal musical inspirations/selection and NOT Pandora. There is so much more to what makes what crepes? special that I could go on forever. But I am going to stop. Go in for yourself. Seek out the details that make PJ’s efforts all worth while and the 2-hour wait evenings a no-brainer. Although, I might suggest maybe going between 3-6pm for less crowd and more of an opportunity to talk with PJ as he roams about. In the hours’ time I was able to speak with him during this meal, I couldn’t help but feel connected and motivated to do something grand on my own. You will definitely walk away having felt like you gained a friend… a friend with a really kick ass pad, great music and soul-fulfilling food.
The weather was perfect and the music was hype. Check out photos of today's event below including a video of interviews and footage of the nain rouge.
Le Cirque Détroit,
The Greatest Show on Earth!
Come one, Come all!
The Marche du Nain Rouge will return to banish the red dwarf who has haunted Detroit for more than 300 years!
1 p.m. - OPENING CEREMONIES
The community is invited to gather at 3rd Street Bar at 1 p.m. for the opening ceremony.
1:30 p.m. - MARCH THROUGH CASS CORRIDOR
The procession will then lead revelers through North Cass Corridor and down Cass Avenue to Cass Park. This year’s festival will be more demanding in Detroiters’ efforts to run the Nain Rouge out of the city. Additions to the festival include community-constructed, man-powered chariots and more street theatre along the Marche route.
3 p.m. - CASS PARK TO BANISH THE NAIN ROUGE AND CELEBRATE ANEW
The revelry will be strong in Cass Park as Detroiters banish the Nain Rouge and celebrate anew with local bands, food provided by Slows Bar BQ and Avalon International Breads and beverages including Detroit Dwarf beer and non-alcoholic drinks.
The Marche is free!
Tickets for food and beverages can be purchased at 3rd Street Bar and Cass Park the day of the event.
Tickets are $3 each - 1 ticket for beer, 2 tickets for sandwiches.
The Night Move is providing transportation from Cass Park back to revelers' cars near 3rd Street Bar.
Service: 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Cost: $2 per passenger
The Marche du Nain Rouge is calling for all Detroiters to get involved! Anyone is invited to join the Marche. For those who want to get involved by building a chariot or performing at the Marche in any way (marching band, belly dancing, miming, etc.) please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
City Bird is creating a special line of Nain Rouge merchandise with a percent its sales to benefit the Marche. Products will include t-shirts, vintage style felt pennants, shot glasses, pencils and pins. Several items will feature illustrations by famed artist/cartoonist Michael Burdick. The items will be sold at City Bird and at the Cass Park portion of the festival.
Also on Friday, March 18, 6 – 9 p.m., City Bird will hold a Nain Rouge Party featuring the newly released merchandise and a Nain Rouge Shadow-Puppet Show by Mary Alice’s Menagerie
For more information about the Marche du Nain Rouge, visit www.marchedunainrouge.com.
Come celebrate Pisces with friends, music, food and tarot card readings! Get dressed up.
Dance music by DJ Ho-nA-nA-nA
Donation jars will be out to support repair & maintenance of these old houses; 4210 was built in the 1880s! Tplex is one of Detroit’s oldest community art/music spaces & housing collectives.
4210 Trumbull, Detroit, MI
When I heard of this event, it really piqued my curiosity. I'd never heard of the Destroy Compound, and judging by the address I knew it had to be some kind of D.I.Y. venue. I love finding out about these places and hearing their stories. This place isn't easy to find. If you take Trumbull north out of Woodbridge, pass under the railroad tracks, before you get to the New Center area, Trumbull turns into Lincoln street going north, and you have to...oh fuck it. I'll just link to google maps.
I was able to talk to the owner Chip for a minute and get some of the story. In regards to the former use of the building, "They used to repair automotive and industrial water pumps; vehicle water pumps. This side of the building they did diesel truck transmissions. When I bought this place this was nothing but diesel automotive parts". When he first moved in, he attached a shower massager to a sink, and using that while standing over a sewer drain allowed the residents to have something resembling a shower.
I was already quite inebriated by the time I showed up, due to . I wasn't the alpha drunk or anything, but not quite myself either. After overhearing someone tell a friend some of the troubles they had been experiencing in their personal life, I inserted myself into the conversation and gave the guy some advice based on my professional knowledge. My apologies to Gavin, whenever he might be. While the info I gave you was legit, I assure you I'm normally much better at minding my own business.
Without any prior experience in noise music, I'm not really sure how to best relate the music of the night. There's often not a discernible melody, and I often lost where the beat was supposed to be, if it was supposed to be there at all. Others in the crowd seemed to respond to crescendos that to me seemed very subtle. I had enough liquid courage to ask some complete strangers how to explain it.
First was a young woman named Olivia, who was very patient with me. She described noise music as, "Experimental, improvisational music. They're improvising in between structured songs. The tonality is heavily rhythmic, like...pulsing bass undertones. Perhaps the melody can be rather abrasive at times.". As to whether the average person would understand the music or the concepts behind noise , "Maybe the concept. I think anyone could sort of get into the sound of it, if they could get beyond the initial discomfort. Anyone who would be open to listening to someone experimental could get past the initial perplexity of the concept and could get into it. It's hard for me to judge too because I've heard them play a lot. It's hard for me at this stage to look at it from the foreign mindset, for me it sounds very familiar. I've heard much harsher. For me they're kind of melodic."
Outside before leaving I spotted Randy from Deastro. I just knew this guy could give me some more insight. As to how he would describe noise music, "It's all about breaking down constructs and shit like that. It's all about breaking down barriers and breaking all the rules. This place has broken all the rules and there needs to be some sonic representation of like, how that works, you know. I feel like that's kind of what it represents. It's cool, because Detroit's got one of the most amazing noise scenes on the planet. It's complete in its own thing. It just exists on its own. Amazing."[...]"I used to live with a couple different noise dudes, and it's a cool scene, it's really tight knit. People in it are really good people, it's the kind of music friendship that I experienced as a young kid going to christian ska and punk shows, that kind of brotherhood. Real D.I.Y. Everyone's doing it because they love it, not because they're trying to get in on the scene." For something that's sort of underground like this, it's hard for people to find out about it, but Randy tried his best to explain it. "It's always in different spots. It's all over the place. You can check out my blog, at www.visionincrisis.com for all the gigs that you crave. Noise gigs, hip hop gigs. There's no witch house in Detroit, but all kinds of gigs." I had to look up what witch house is.
I heard a rumor that the Destroy Compound will be hosting another show in a few months. I hope to have an update for you by then.
The movie landscape is littered with films about our sexual coming of age, though none have done it better that “Fast Times At Ridgemont High”. “Kaboom” tries to take us this ‘trip’ as we follow an 18 year old film student named Smith (Thomas Dekker from “Nightmare on Elm Street”) who despite a strong sexual appetite, has declared him “undeclared” as he shares gossip with his best friend Stella (a lesbian who also likes having as many partners as possible). We also have the roommate Thor who talks straight but acts like a closet gay. The sci-fi part of the films comes from some dreams Smith is having in regards to two visually sexy women who eventually bleed over into his real life leaving him to wonder if he has discovered a potentially world altering conspiracy or maybe just some bad drugs.
The movie starts off fun and it is easy to get carried away by some of the bizarre situations (this film actually brought back memories of “Liquid Sky”) but the film squanders this by its ending. My favorite part is where the character London, Smith new girlfriend who is also having the same dreams, explains in detail to a boy how to please her. It is so matter of fact and sexy that one wishes the whole film was so adventurous. The main thing I wonder about is how the main character is always obsessing about getting laid when it seems to be thrown at him every day. This film had a lot of potential and has a lot of nice moments and dialogue. It even has a killer soundtrack with bands like The Big Pink, Interpol and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but if they could only come up with a better ending, this could have as good as “Kick-Ass” or “Scott Pilgrim”. It still has some nice reasons to watch but it could have been so much more.
My grade is a C and starts Friday, March 18 at the Main Art Theatre.
As long as I live, I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and there is no way I’m going to summarize it here in a few paragraphs. Face it, there is something that causes them to hate each other to the point where they both want to kill each other and I think with a western point of view, we get the impression that the Palestinians are the main culprit of violence in the area. Their history is filled with bouts of violence and this documentary by Julia Bacha sets itself up to a positive image of an Palestinian town that used non-violence to fend off Israeli aggression.
The town of Budrus is on the West Bank with a population of 1500 and lies near where the State of Israel is in the process of building a 760km fence designed to protect Israeli civilians from Palestinian terrorism (of which there has been a decline since the wall has been built). What this meant to Budrus though was that the town would be encircled by this fence, taking away about 300 acres of their farmland which contain approx 3000 olive trees. While olive trees might not seem like much, they are the main source of revenue for the small town as well being sacred to the town’s history. The wall will also affect eight other nearby villages that once enclosed would diminish their access to fields, offices, construction sites and university classrooms as well as friends and relatives outside the wall.
As the film starts, about 60 trees have been demolished in the drawing of the path the wall will take. The film’s main focus is on the work of Ayed Morrar, a Palestinian leader who made the decision that the town should fight the Israeli’s through the use of nonviolent resistance. While not totally unheard of, the movement of civil disobedience was actually defined as being in opposition to violence. Even the traditional use of stone-throwing was condemned by the movement and placed the women of the town in the front lines causing all sorts of quandaries for the Israeli military.
Bacha has made a few documentaries concerning issues in the area and this might be her best effort. While focused on the Palestinians, the film does it’s part in showing not only the actual protests but the response by the Israeli military, including a funny comment by a ranking Israeli military leader who probably didn’t make his bosses too happy with his comments. It is nice seeing this side of the conflict which rarely gets reported on in this country and can be eye-opening for those trying to understand the conflict in greater detail. We also see Israeli supporters traveling to Budrus to march side-by-side with their Palestinian brothers which really makes one wonder what all the fuss is about over there. I am surprised this film didn’t get a nod from the Academy since it is definitely deserving of such. A must see for those who enjoy the news or history and wish every conflict could be solved by such means.
Please go see this movie. I give the movie an A-.
The movie starts Friday, March 18 at the Main Art Theatre and on Thursday, March 24 at 7:15PM, Rebecca Abou Chedid of Just Vision will be at the theatre. Just Vision is a nonprofit non-partisan and religiously unaffiliated peace organization that informs Israeli, Palestinian and international audiences about under-documented joint civilian efforts between the Israelis and the Palestinians to resolve the conflict nonviolently.