Kevin Smith says that Slacker was the inspiration for his film Clerks. It shows. And more than that, it shows what happens time and time again in art and media: first, political radicals and engaged philosophers create new styles and genres; then, derivative work picks up the aesthetics and surface-level ephemera and leaves the core behind. Continue reading Slacker (1991)→
Some of the best films use war and politics as backdrop to tell a story that isn’t about war. The Anarchist’s Wife is one such film.
I heard about this movie when it came out, but with a title like The Anarchist’s Wife, I wasn’t hopping up and down to go see it. Why is the film about the wife but she’s only known in relation to her husband? Why is he the anarchist and her just a wife? Continue reading The Anarchist’s Wife (2008)→
Among anarchists, my informal poll shows three responses to The East. Most people hate it. They feel it grossly, and perhaps dangerously, misrepresents us. Other people would prefer to ignore it—it’s a minor film, after all, and seems to have had no lasting effect on the broader culture, so lets just ignore it and hope it goes away. And then there’s the minority who, well, kind of love it, for all its flaws.
Writers: Serge Le Péron, Robert Guédiguian, Gilles Taurand
French Title: “L’armée du crime”
In Paris 1943, the Nazi occupation tried its hardest to maintain a veil of social peace. No, fuck that, let me be more specific: they tried to maintain actual social peace. And the French cops, being cops, tried their hardest alongside the occupiers.
Army of Crime is a film about criminals — heroic criminals fighting against a Nazi occupation, but criminals nonetheless. Army of Crime follows the Manouchian Group, a network of about fifty armed anti-fascist, communist, and/or Jewish immigrants who committed sabotage, murder, and bombings by the score. In real life, their round-up, trial, and execution — along with the Nazi propaganda efforts to label them as foreign devils — is referred to as the Affiche Rouge (red poster) affair. The propaganda efforts largely backfired: the 23 dead communists became martyrs. And the Allies liberated France soon after their deaths regardless. Continue reading Army of Crime (2009)→
Recommended? Well, we’re the bad guys in it, so… no.
Another fantasy movie set during the Spanish Civil War! I loved Pan’s Labyrinth! What can go wrong?
A lot, apparently.
El Bosc (translation from Catalan: The Forest) follows a small landowning family outside a tiny town in Spain during the war. The lead male is petit-bourgeois and a sexist ass and runs away from the fight into a portal into another world. His wife is, presumably, our protagonist, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lead character with so little agency: she just waits around while men are shitty to her. That’s basically all she does the whole movie. Continue reading El Bosc (2012)→
I’m a ho and an anarchist and I feel a special connection to art portraying anarchists and sex workers. So, I started on a quest to find and watch as many films about anarchists and sex workers ad possible. My current partner being very supportive and patient; (also they might have a personal interest in the topic as well considering they’re an anarchist dating an anarchist whore) I give you my two favorites so far: Lady L and The Front Page.
Look, I know this isn’t a surprise to anyone by this point, but MRAs really are the whiniest little pissbabies this side of a playpen full of over-tired toddlers.
I’ll keep my review of Mad Max: Fury Road short: the screenplay of Mad Max: Fury Road was clearly created by someone eating Slayer liner notes and then drinking tequila until they threw up, while drag racing, and I mean that in the best possible way. It had maybe a cumulative 10 minutes worth of spoken dialogue, not counting wordless yelling, and at least 45 minutes of cumulative explosions, and one dude whose whole job was to dangle from bungee cords on the front of a tricked out post-apoc truck playing an electric guitar that shot fire and it was SO FUCKING RAD I SWEAR. Continue reading U Mad (Max) Bro?→
I clearly need to be watching more Bollywood films.
A friend of mine sat us all down to watch a three-hour action movie. “You’ll love it,” she said. “It’s about a circus performer who is on a mission of revenge to destroy a bank in Chicago. You don’t have to watch the first two in the series.”
That was enough for me to want to watch it, and I wasn’t disappointed. I thought, for awhile, that the cops were the protagonists — they’re the two characters returning from the last movie. But that was just my western bias — I’m so enculturated into Hollywood storytelling that I just assumed there were clear-cut protagonists and antagonists in this movie. Continue reading Dhoom 3 (2013)→
It’s really easy to decide, in retrospect, that certain books or movies are what set up my expectations for what my life should be like. While I do believe that aesthetics and media have an incredible impact on who we choose to become, I’m afraid I might ascribe too much importance to specific movies and books. Continue reading Hackers (1995)→