Friday, February 26, 2010

The Prophet of Kindness (Profeta Gentileza)

Marisa Monte wrote this beautiful song about a street poet, who walked the streets of Rio de Janeiro, preaching a message of kindness in the purported murder capital of the world.

In her essay here, she explains, "What generates violence is the anonymity and loneliness we feel in the middle of a crowd.

Gentileza used to preach fraternal love and urged people to devote their attentions to others and create intimacy with each other.

A prophet is somebody who lights up the people."

The song is off her seminal 2000 album "Memories, Chronicles, and Declarations of Love" The song is titled simply "Gentileza"

See the song here:

Alone in Four Walls

This is a German-made documentary about young, Russian boys sent to a "reform school" which is a military style prison. What was fascinating was the comparison to draconian and unforgiving sentencing that goes on in the "freest" country in the world America, in comparison to the former "evil empire." At the beginning of the film the boys all tell their crimes which range from theft, to strong armed robbery, to multiple murders! yet nearly all of them had the same sentence of two years!!

As the kids tell their stories, some of them come from such dysfunctional homes that in the end some quite literally dread returning home to a life far worse that some of the comforts provided by a strict regimen, daily classes, and warm meals.

For the Bible Tells Me So...

This is a must see for anyone who's gay and struggles with Christian Fundamentalist, ideological violence, or anyone who struggles with any form of "otherness" (and as it turns our ONLY EVERYONE has at the very least some level of "otherness" as part of their subjectivity), or anyone interested in understanding the Christian Faith.

One thing I particularly appreciated was them helping to bring light to the astronomical rates of teen suicide amongst gay teens. this is a critical issue.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Infidelity Article

some critics question the cultural, biological, social constructions of such notions in the first place. however the article below DOES point out the cultural legacies and twisted psychologies that result from male dominance and wealth and power.>1=32023


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Media violence & Fear-Based Politics
The theories of George Gerbner

media violence, fear based politics here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

God's "Chosen People" Assassinate Again

This video report shows cctv camera footage of an 11 person assassination squad, undeniably a mossad operation from Israel, as they assassinate a prominent Hamas operative in a Dubai luxury hotel.

There is a good reason why assassination is against international law, as it would open a floodgate of bloodletting as those in opposition would simply engage in gangland style "hits" on opposing leaders. This would lead to chaos and paralysis. It's a wonder why there is no international outcry about such criminality perpetrated by the state of Israel, which conducted such operations almost chronically in the past.

Interestingly the trigger"man" was probably the lone woman of the group. The mossad used sexual politics in their kidnapping of Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. An alluring Mossad agent seduced him and drew him away to be kidnapped and taken to Israel where he was imprisoned under their ultra-draconian State's Secrets Laws.

Fat burning workout

Some good exercises that you can do at home.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Standard Operating Procedure

"Errol Morris investigates the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Errol Morris investigates the U.S. for abuse and torture of suspected terrorists at Abu Ghraib." Directed by Errol Morris. 2008. 116 mins.

The Last Picture Show

Odd that the co-stars all went on to become significantly more famous than the star. Maybe it was the films from the 70's where this happened a lot, or maybe it's a larger phenomenon.

"A gritty drama takes place in a dying 1950s Texas town." Starring Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich. 1971. 118 mins. Also Eileen Brennan.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


When I first saw this at the time, this film had me really conflicted, which was at the very least one of it's objectives. I personally felt at the time, that it was trying to be ironic and contradictory, yet I wondered if it truly was satire, or actually in the end committed what it was trying to be critical of.

The story is about the production of a satire of minstrel shows with black actors in blackface. I think Spike was asking a deeper question of the notion of black entertainers altogether. Even poking fun at himself, suggesting famous black actors like Denzel would never put on blackface (and then he cuts to a film of Denzel in his own film Malcolm X).

Paul Mooney's stand up act is some of the best moments of the film in addition to Savion Glover's unbelievable tapping!

"A disillusioned TV writer revives a black stereotype." Starring Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smit, Tommy Davidson, Michael Rapaport, Thomas Jefferson Byrd. Directed by Spike Lee. 2000. 135 mins.

Apres Lui

This strange, almost creepy, yet intriguing film is about the best friend left alive after a tragic car accident that takes the life of a loving and devoted mother played by legendary actress Catherine Deneuve. She begins to obsess over him and "fixing" his troubled life. Bizarre as it is depressing, this film is another example of mixed genres from the mind of Christophe Honore.

directed by Gael Morel. Written by Christophe Honore. Starring Louis Garrel, Catherine Deneuve.

Dans Paris

This film is an refreshing mix of genres: part Odyssey, part melodrama, part psychological introspection (a la Virginia Woolf).

A film quite literally about depression, Christophe Honore seems to be intimately familiar with the mood. Most of his films are utterly drenched in it. But not in a narcissistic or privileged way, but in response to the death of something wonderful or sacred, like love, family, goodness.

Love Songs

Does this film defy genre classification? It is a musical, but it's narrative is a melodramatic one about coping with the death of a lover. Yet it's about the love that blooms after the tragedy, so is a romantic film. Lastly, throw in some homoeroticism, and this ambitiously artistic film moves and intrgues with its endless originality and intellectual and artistic challenges.

Christophe Honores seems to have single handedly resuscitated a dying French Film Scene, however without "going hollywood" as the industry tried (unsuccessfully for the past decade and a half). He has maintained a high level of "art house" cinema, while still being accessible and entertaining.

"A man tries to cope with the sudden death of his girlfriend." Starring Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier, Chiara Mastroianni, Clotilde Hesme, Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet, Brigitte Rouan. Directed by Christophe Honore. From France. 2007. 95 mins.

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story

This is an (delightfully) convoluted movie within a movie (within a movie) where the actors play themselves, but their "themselves" are also scripted, and they talk about the making of the movie, then at the end credits talk about the making of the making of them movie. Though a British film, the power of Hollywood itself still has to make an appearance, itself one of the many "statements" of the film. Some radio clips of the current rise in violence in the Iraq War adds a serious backdrop to a most unserious film. (it's key is it's vanity and friviolity-- which is an implicit critique of it in it's own right.)

Of course, typical to such a movie about making movies, is the intern is the most passionate and knowledgeable about films, and those most involved in the project, and the most narcissistic are at the same time the most fraudulent and exploitive of those who actually are interesting and knowledgeable (again, another "stab" at the film industry).

"A director tries to film an undaptable novel." Starring Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Keeley Hawes, Shirley Henderson, Dylan Moran, Jeremy Northam. Directed by Michael Winterbottom. From UK. 2005. 94 mins.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Second Best

An incredibly cynical and brutally honest screenplay about success, how to measure it, and how to creatively resist it. Another film about hollywood.

"A writer submits a screenplay to a Hollywood producer." Starring Joe Pantoliano, Boyd Gaines, Jennifer Tilly, Peter Gerety, Bronson Pinchot, Matthew Arkin. Written and directed by Eric Weber. 2004. 85 mins.


David Hilliard still speaks a lot in Oakland you can see him at rallies and protests, and has even taught courses on non-violent resistance (with former mayor Elihu Harris).

This film is a bit silly as it degrades into an action film, however, it does address some troubling aspects and hysterical and misguided responses by the government, esp. as concerns Co-Intel Pro (Counter Intelligence Program)

If anything, this film introduces this concept, a program not well known (unlike the Nixon Enemy List), yet unlike the Nixon List, there were terrible outcomes for those targeted by it.

There was also another break-in into government HUD offices by activists, which revealed programs called "Spatial Redistribution" programs, where according to these governemnt documents, in the late 60's american inner cities were "burning with the fires of revolution" and these ethnic centers of popular support for revolutionary movements needed to be depopulated, prices sent into freefall, making these areas then ripe for real estate speculators. This phenomenon was then later called "gentrification". But it was an overtly racist and politicized process.

"A young man becomes swept up in the Black Panther movement." Starring Kadeem Hardison, Bokeem Woodbine, Joe Don Baker, Courtney B. Vance, Tyrin Turner, Marcus Chong. Directed by Mario Van Peebles. 1995. 124 mins.