Friday, January 21, 2005

Medium Black



This week I have seen some good films.

The Jack Johnson miniseries on PBS (Unforgivable Blackness) was fantastic and the Best Ken Burns I can recall since the groundbreaking kabam of "The Civil War".

Johnson is well known to most folks who following fighting, but Burns' illumination of those times and the people and places in Johnson's life is nothing short of jaw dropping in it's impact.

I was talking with my Sifu and my Kung Fu brother Brandon and we were all amazed at it.

I also saw "'Medium Cool" which is hands down one of the best films I have ever seen. Here's what they say on Amazon about it:

Medium Cool is an almost impossible oddity: director Haskel Wexler wanted to shoot a fictional, narrative film wherein actors mingled with real people in an uncontrolled social environment. With that in mind, he began filming a movie about racial tensions in Chicago during the weeks prior to the 1968 Democratic National Convention, on the assumption that there would be a riot there. Then he brought his cast, crew, and camera to the scene of the proposed mayhem, and waited. . . and lo and behold, civil disorder broke out. It's intensely strange to see actors, playing characters, interacting in a real-life situation with real cops and real hippies fighting and running about. This is made stranger still by the story, about a reporter covering the growing unrest in the black ghettos of the city who discovers that the FBI may be in cahoots with his network. In preparing his script, Wexler assumed that the riot would be racial, but in fact it turned out that most of the rioters were white, so the final scenes seem to interrupt the narrative and make the film an odd pastiche and a commentary on the lack of connection between politics and life. Perhaps more of a curiosity than a wholly successful film, Medium Cool is still worth seeing for its striking footage and unprecedented combination of the real and the imaginary.

I don't agree with those last comments. This is everything a good film is. And is especially poignant to us at these times when our country seems to be feeling as if it may be headed, that WE may be headed, for a similar time of crisis and change.

Lately I have been made more aware of the fact that the Republocrats and their Corporate underwrithers are just doing what they have always done and our outrage at it is the same outrage that was on the streets in the 60's and the same outrage that spilled tea into the Boston Harbor. Let us be heroic in our confrontation with this latest permutation of avarice, greed and lust for power.

More later...

Joe Nolan


Post a Comment

<< Home