Friday, January 30, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Man on Wire

Just watched it. A fine film indeed. On Matt Cale's top ten of 2008.

Philippe Petit is one of the more fascinating people you’re ever going to meet, even if he’d likely drive you crazy inside of an hour. Still, it’s a testament to the documentary form that we can spend an entire film with his sheer reckless abandon and not be pushed over the edge. As a typically self-involved artist, Petit thinks only of his next challenge, which, in August of 1974, involved scaling a tightrope fastened between the two towers of the World Trade Center. The audacity is obvious, and the cheek almost beyond compare, but Petit’s charm makes us believe he can accomplish anything. And so he does. The story of how and when he lugged up the equipment, cased the joint, and eventually put one foot in front of the other makes for high drama, and at no point does anyone discuss the current absence of said towers. And though unspoken, we realize that the feat will remain forever unmatched, and likely the crowning achievement of athletic derring-do. One can’t really describe an unnecessary artistic statement as “brave,” but when we see him out there, a solitary figure atop a great, bottomless chasm, we find few other words that could describe something so wonderfully insane. And finally, a documentary not about the trials of war, or abuse, or death, or even the bloody Holocaust, but simply the unadulterated pleasures of risk. For its own sake, at long last.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Big Lie

The world's largest prison.

“There is no humanitarian crisis in the [Gaza] Strip.”

- Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, 1 January 2009.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Daily on the US Chatter and Gaza

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Gaza Bombed and Invaded

The conflict is constantly portrayed as too complex to understand or on the other hand one that is simple to understand: terrorists vs. democrats.

Here's a look at the root cause of the conflict.

A question to ask: if the conflict cannot be solved militarily, as is admitted by even the most reactionary supporter of Israel, then why the bombings and invasion?

Throughout the last week Israeli government spokesmen and its supporters have said to the effect, Hamas and the Palestinians need to be taught a lesson, they need to learn there is a cost for small rocket fire, etc.. In effect then Israeli policy is collective punishment.

Benjamin Boring

A long film examining a long life. A film packed with promise both conceptually and visually but an impossible feat given its leading actor and its empty character. Could it have been good?

Matt Cale's take.