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Posts Tagged ‘Film’

In case the post doesn’t make it totally clear, for the record, I love the Rock. And the insightful use of profanity. And funny shit.

Chris-Rock-Corbin-HiarChris Rock may have been wrong about AIDS—but only slightly. In his second blockbuster comedy special for HBO, “Bigger and Blacker” (1999), Rock emphatically suggested that:

They ain’t never curing AIDS. Don’t even think about that shit. There ain’t no money in the cure. The money’s in the medicine. That’s how you get paid. On the comeback. That’s how a drug dealer makes his money. On the comeback. That’s all the government is. A bunch of motherfucking drug dealers. On the comeback. They ain’t curing no AIDS.

It seems Rock may have been right to suspect that a cure would not come from the pharmaceutical industry. A new AIDS vaccine has recently shown promising experimental results, owing to the efforts of a California non-profit called Global Solutions for Infectious Disease.

Rock has had an impressive track record in speaking foul-mouthed truth to power.

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Photo credit: modomatic (via Flickr)

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A Triumph of Ignorance

creationist-idiotmobileWhen I originally submitted it, this post also touched on the difficult path into the US market trod of another controversial film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus–and had the catchy title “Darwin, the Devil and American Cinema.” Why my editor chose to entirely chop out all references to Heath Ledger’s last film, I do not understand.

UPDATE: This post was picked up by The Penn Pusher.

Bible Belters and their red state ilk don’t often infiltrate America’s cosmopolitan coast (the occasional befuddling health care reform protests aside). The righteous and religious have Branson and Dollywood; Hollywood and New York remain the destinations of the decadent and the depraved. The denizens of these opposing poles have little to do with each other, except for within the disappointing realm of politics.

That’s what makes the dispute surrounding “Creation”, a film about the life of Charles Darwin (in British theatres on September 25th), so surprising…

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Photo credit: Amy Watts (via Flickr)

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tommy gThis is a fun little post about a movie I have yet to see.  I hope to change that soon.

 

Over Independence Day weekend Michael Mann, acclaimed director of such films as “Heat”, “The Insider” and “Collateral”, released another beautiful crime drama about an infamous Midwestern bank robber, John Dillinger. Over the course of a 14-month crime spree during the Great Depression, Dillinger came to be viewed by much of the press and public as a modern-day Robin Hood. “Public Enemies“, based on the book of the same name by Bryan Burrough, a Vanity Fair correspondent, is the seventh film to be made about the short-lived bandit turned folk hero. By many accounts, it is also the most elegant. Aided by Johnny Depp’s star power, the film has raked in over $66.5m thus far at the domestic box office.

While the film is not a diatribe against the banking excesses that lead to both the Great Depression and what is now being referred to (perhaps optimistically) as our “Great Recession”, banks and their guardians have not taken its release lightly.

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Photo credit: Aaron Landry (via Flickr)

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“…Who Needs Jobs?” was the full suggested title of my April Fools’ piece.

 

Last week, Britain’s health minister made some ill-considered comments about men’s health during a recession. He explained that while men are ordinarily reluctant to seek healthcare and advice, they are suddenly more likely to see a doctor once they are unemployed, if precedent “in this country and abroad” is anything to go by.

The “abroad” Ben Bradshaw was referring to must have excluded America, land of the free and home of the uninsured. In the only industrialised nation without some form of national health care, the unemployed must find other ways to maintain good health and spirits. This may help to explain the Unemployment Olympics, which took place in New York yesterday.

 

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Photo credit: clementine gallot (via Flickr)

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The Day the Muzak (Almost) Died

49164300_0d375e586b“Waiter, can you stop that noise?”

“What?”

“Yes—what you call music.”

The noise that Lena Olin’s character was referring to in Philip Kaufman’s film adaptation of “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” has irritated millions since “Muzak” was invented in the 1920s.


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Picture credit: massdistration (via Flickr)

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At the Jaipur Literature Festival on January 22nd, celebrations were the order of the evening. “Slumdog Millionaire” had just been nominated for ten Oscars, best original song among them. Gulzar, the songwriter of “Jai ho”, the first Hindi song nominated for the honour, was in attendance. When Gulzar was asked about the controversies surrounding the hotly anticipated Indian debut of the film, he changed the subject: “Why do you want to talk about negative things. Let us celebrate the positive development. [The nominations are] the biggest honour for the country’s entertainment industry.”  

While the Academy Award nominations have returned India to the centre of the cinematic stage for the first time since 1982, when “Gandhi” was in the running for 11 awards, this time around not all of the attention has been appreciated. In India, “Slumdog Millionare” has provoked protests from slum dwellers, arguments among actual millionaires and middling box office receipts.


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A Squalid, Feel-Good Export

Despite my disappointment with his last film, I decided to give Danny Boyle another chance and see “Slumdog Millionaire” in late November. Like Boyle, who admitted to never having been to India before he began shooting in Mumbai, I entered the theatre with some naivety. And like most everyone who has seen this amazing film (well, except for Salman Rushdie), I left the theatre deeply impressed with the director’s ability to bring to life a place I had only read about. As I watched the auditorium empty out, I noticed quite a few South Asians mixed with the cinema-house’s typical pale-faced, bespectacled demographic. I couldn’t help but wonder how such a raw and unflinching portrait of India would be seen by someone who actually lived there. We will all find out next week.

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