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PostArctica: The Searchers

I like discussing influences which may also be a way of simply saying I am not ashamed to admit where it all comes from….anyway, took a shot of a “back […] . . . → Read More: PostArctica: The Searchers

Politics and Entertainment: The Force Awakens: One Big Politically Correct Recycling Machine

The Force Awakens: One Big Politically Correct Recycling Machine

Given all-time box office records for The Force Awakens, it’s pretty obvious almost all comic-con and Star Wars fans in particular do not bemoan in the least the lack of innovation in the latest franchise installment. In fact many seem to have enthusiastically embraced Abrams & Co’s decision to rework, with some new – but not too new – clothes of course, essentially the same trite story material of earlier films. For these fans, familiarly breeds praise. Still there is a considerable contingent of Star Wars fans who are deeply disappointed by this installment, arguing in fact that the film betrays the legacy of the original trilogy, IV, V, and VI, and is profoundly formulaic and unoriginal. The most analytic of these comes from Nicholas Spargo, whose youtube video, Why Stars Wars The Force Awakens is Worse than the Prequels, has gone viral.


But it’s hard to deny that Stars Wars: The Force Awakens, no matter what the film’s audience reception, is one big mother of a recycling machine. And not just in storylines and innocuous themes culled from the first two movies in particular, which in turn culled from countless other recycling literary and film factories, but in obvious character types who have not – as they could have been – repurposed, including a recycled dark side guy called Kylo Ren, with a redesigned black mask but the same flowing black cape and megaphonic voice (the flip side of the dark side father, a dark side son) but with a politically correct cast: one young black male lead (Finn), one young “strong” woman lead ( Rey, the flip side of Luke), two old people (four if you count the bonus characters, Lor San Tekka and Maz Kanata (named after a suburb of Ottawa [lol] and the the flip side of Yoda), one a woman (Princess Leia) and one a man (Han Solo) – both played by purposely recycled actors – one (two if you count the new flip side of Darth Vader, Kylo) young white dude (Poe, channeling Luke in the Top Gun sequences even as Ray and Finn channel Luke in countless scenes), one unintelligible tall hairy purposely recycled endearing guy (Chewbacca) and of course a cute recycled asexual droid standing in functionally for a plucky, courageous child, BB-8 (the flip side of R2-D2).
So what politically correct categories can we safely check off? Racism, gender balance, feminism, ageism, token young and old white males, big hairy guys, and very short rotund asexual droids.
May I suggest, then, that in addition to the strategy to recycle familiar-to-fans story material, which will inevitably turn out to be a mistake I predict, such adroit character choices might have something to do with marketing the film to every conceivable being – including hairy guys and droids or at least people who dress up like that – in the entire film galaxy?* 

*Despite this obvious effort to be politically correct, notice the absence of a gay character – no doubt also a marketing decision for various reasons.


. . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: The Force Awakens: One Big Politically Correct Recycling Machine

Politics and Entertainment: The Force Awakens: One Big Politically Correct Recycling Machine

The Force Awakens: One Big Politically Correct Recycling MachineGiven all-time box office records for The Force Awakens, it’s pretty obvious almost all comic-con and Star Wars fans in particular do not bemoan in the least the lack of innova… . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: The Force Awakens: One Big Politically Correct Recycling Machine

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Will Ferrell does a mock music video of gangster rap – and it’s a scathingly hilarious critique of the genre

A musical commentary, followed by social and political analysis, followed by hilarious spoof rap videos, and more This is scathingly funny. Will Ferrell does a mock music video of macho gangster rap. Man, how I despise that music. As Rage Against the Machine said, “So-called rap’s a fraud.” Worse, most of it is disgustingly offensive, . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Will Ferrell does a mock music video of gangster rap – and it’s a scathingly hilarious critique of the genre

Art Threat: Filmmakers pull out of Istanbul festival in government censorship protest

Nearly two dozen filmmakers have yanked their films from the 34th Istanbul Film Festival in response to the last-minute cancellation of documentary screening about the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The growing censorship protest, which now involves a majority of the filmmakers participating in the event, has led organizers to cancel competitions and the closing . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Filmmakers pull out of Istanbul festival in government censorship protest

PostArctica: The Mystery of the Leaping Fish

Douglas Fairbanks as the greatest drug addict/detective in the history of cinema!

Brilliant film from 1915 with a postmodern ending and you can see that being friends with Chaplin really, really rubbed off…

And read more here at Dangerous Minds.

. . . → Read More: PostArctica: The Mystery of the Leaping Fish

The Canadian Progressive: Inside Vancouver’s Sanctuary City Movement (VIDEO)

In Vancouver, human rights groups and immigration advocates are fighting to make the city a “sanctuary city” for undocumented immigrants.

The post Inside Vancouver’s Sanctuary City Movement (VIDEO) appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Art Threat: Hot Docs 2014 preview: politically punchy program, diversity festival gap still needs work

It’s springtime in Toronto and that means Canada’s premiere documentary showcase is back for another jam-packed ten day event that will deliver the world of doc to eager local audiences and international festivalgoers.

This is Hot Docs‘s first year with new Executive Director Brett Hendrie steering the ship (Chris McDonald is now overseeing the Bloor . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Hot Docs 2014 preview: politically punchy program, diversity festival gap still needs work

Art Threat: Contest: Win swag from Rhymes for Young Ghouls!

Rhymes for Young Ghouls, the debut feature film by Canadian director Jeff Barnaby that garnered well-deserved praise on the film festival circuit this year, including a top ten film nod from TIFF, is opening this month at theatres in Canada’s three largest cities.

The movie is currently screening in Toronto at Cineplex (Younge & Dundas) . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Contest: Win swag from Rhymes for Young Ghouls!

Art Threat: Pinko cyclists rejoice: Rob Ford film on the way

It was inevitable: a Rob Ford movie is coming soon to a theatre near you.

Just one week after the book release of Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, by Toronto Star journalist Robyn Doolittle, Canadian production company Blue Ice Pictures have snapped up the film and television rights to the story.

“If . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Pinko cyclists rejoice: Rob Ford film on the way

Art Threat: Gender Mender: XXY is a cinematic exploration of intersexuality

From a purely organizational standpoint, there are plenty of reasons for the gender binary. The system delineates male and female characteristics as separate and static, ostensibly facilitating a natural and sustainable social order. It readily assigns roles and packages gender identity. It is convenient – when it works.

The problem with the system is that . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Gender Mender: XXY is a cinematic exploration of intersexuality

Things Are Good: Focus on Sustainability Film Festival

York University in Toronto will be hosting their third annual film festival all about sustainability. This year they are running films about oil. If you’re in Toronto next weekend or nearby you should check out what’s playing and take the bus to the festival.

Planet in Focus with York University Present: Focus on Sustainability Film . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Focus on Sustainability Film Festival

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The 2013 Great Gatsby

Watched the 2013 film of The Great Gatsby last night. The first half was spectacular, grandiose and captivating, if somewhat over the top. Like Busby Berkeley meets The Fifth Element. Extravaganza, spectacle and excess. The film doesn’t feel like it’s set in New York of the Jazz Age. It’s too shiny, too polished, too mechanical, . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The 2013 Great Gatsby

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Wild Women of Wongo

Who can resist a film with a title like that? Or Zontar, the Thing From Venus? Robot Monster? Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet? The Atomic Brain? Clearly, I can’t. I love this stuff. B-films, especially scifi B-films. But I am a tad disappointed with this Mill Creek package.* I recently received the set of SciFi . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Wild Women of Wongo

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Makes you feel happy, like an old time movie

There’s something touching about a classic film, something magical about a B&W movie, about a film shot between the wars in that period of recovery and optimism; a film that was new when my parents were young, full of life and hope. A movie from the days before CGI, before green screens and 3D. Before . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Makes you feel happy, like an old time movie

Art Threat: Remembering documentary film legend Peter Wintonick

You want to bring them back. Would they, if they could, return, after such a heavy crossing? You try, until the wish, almost disattached, gnawing, growling, finally bursts loose to call them.

It’s difficult to write about our dear friend Peter Wintonick, who passed away less than one week ago at the young age . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Remembering documentary film legend Peter Wintonick

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Coriolanus on Film

Coriolanus is a tough play, full of politics and angry people and shouting mobs. It has no comic relief, no jesters, no romance and no real heroes. No great soliloquies, unsympathetic characters, uncomfortable double dealing, treachery and plotting. No powerful subplot as a counterpoint. Pride, arrogance, and power dominate. Coriolanus himself is empty, driven, bereft . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Coriolanus on Film

PostArctica: FAMADIHANA

Conceived and created by Devin McDermott and Ethan Folk. Movement created and performed by Devin McDermott. Filmed and edited by Ethan Folk.

Score: Rolled Together – The Antlers

Many, many thanks to Ryan Law, Jessica Robinson, Sarah Jo Ward, Alice Gosti, and Darcey Zoller.

Famadihana is a funerary tradition of the Malagasy people in Madagascar. . . . → Read More: PostArctica: FAMADIHANA

The Canadian Progressive: WikiLeaks Leaks Transcript of Hollywood Doc on Julian Assange, Online Activism

WikiLeaks leaks transcript of “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks”, the Hollywood doc on Julian Assange and online activism a day before the $2 million vindictive and biased film is publicly released.

The post WikiLeaks Leaks Transcript of Hollywood Doc on Julian Assange, Online Activism appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Appreciating B-Movies

It drives Susan to distraction that I love B-flicks. She squirms and fidgets if I put one into the DVD player and can seldom sit through an entire movie. They get cut off mid-film, and saved for me some time … Continue reading →

Art Threat: Gay South Korean film director causes stir in Seoul with wedding announcement

Openly gay South Korean film director Kim Jho Gwang-soo announced he will symbolically marry his partner in a ceremony designed to both celebrate their love and make a statement on LGBTQ rights in the conservative country.

“We wanted to convey the message that all sexual minorities should be given rights equally in a beautiful . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Gay South Korean film director causes stir in Seoul with wedding announcement

Art Threat: Disney abandons efforts to trademark Day of the Dead

Thanks to a wave of online backlash, Disney is withdrawing its application to trademark the term Dia de los Muertos — otherwise known as the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead holiday.

The trademark filing was done in advance of an upcoming animated film release by Disney-owned Pixar based on the cultural celebration in which . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Disney abandons efforts to trademark Day of the Dead

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Snow White and the Huntsman reviewed

Take one part Brothers Grimm and one part Malory’s Morte d’Artur, add a dash of Tolkein, a pinch of Joan of Arc, a sprinkling of Robin Hood and a sprig of English folklore; mix it in a bowl with copious … Continue reading →

Art Threat: Return to Gummo

Harmony Korine has been making headlines for his new pop-culture romp, Spring Breakers, with the usual fanfare and some reviewers decidedly giddy with the possibility of maybe “getting it” or maybe not. The film is apparently non-stop debauch and at least one critic has pointed out the work’s contribution to rape culture in the US, . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Return to Gummo

Walking Turcot Yards: CoastalTarSands.ca Launching Today

Today is WORLD WATER DAY and I’m honouring it by launching my next media campaign

http://coastaltarsands.ca

There’s very little time left before the Harper government plans to approve the Enbridge Corporation’s Northern Gateway Pipeline Project in early 2014. This plan includes hundreds of supertankers navigating through the inside passage along the central coast of British . . . → Read More: Walking Turcot Yards: CoastalTarSands.ca Launching Today