Fri 28 Sep 07
OK... I've now seen 4 films total... a goat skinned, ducks plucked, sheep slaughtered, open heart surgery, and grown men dancing around onstage with giant rubber penises hanging out of their flies.
And in all honesty, well, I've loved every minute.
Those films would be EDEN, KILLER OF SHEEP, EL CORAZON, and DIRTY COUNTRY, in that order. There is SO no time for reviews, but as usual I'm taking notes. There were filmmakers at each showing except the last one, too bad, cuz I bet they would have some even dirtier stories.
I saw a side of LA I actually never could've imagined, learned much about Colombia (and how many landmines there are there), and got to see the legendary Blowfly perform. Now that's a range.
KILLER OF SHEEP is a stunner. In this first film of Charles Burnett's from the early 70's you can see this is someone who already has a vision and a way. The black and white is beautiful, the choices for sounds and music and of moments to render or capture, are quietly brilliant. Wow, I see why people didn't like it then did.
And I'm surprised by how much of this is so familiar to me, but then I find this is often the case with getting to be in black American culture, whether it's a club, a concert, a film – and I so wish it was in real life with friends, but that isn't easy in such a white place as this town in the Pacific Northwest, nor was it in Albuquerque. Is this feeling so at home from childhood in Texas?
EL CORAZON took awhile for me to get into, maybe because it was televisionish? And very broad in its scope of considering "the heart"? But at last I did, and it is moving. Director Diego Garcia Moreno mostly understood the questions in English, but answered in Spanish, assisted by his wife and music director Ricky (?). Afterwards I tell them that like the backwards images of Jesus with the Sacred Heart in his film, there is the same situation with Ganesh and his trunk going to one side or the other: one side is auspicious and the other not so, and ships loaded with cargo of inauspicious Ganesh images have mysteriously been sunk, though maybe more for reasons of insurance than luck.
DIRTY COUNTRY was insanely dirty, and the audience mostly just loved it. I was surprised to find finally I thought "I want to sleep by your pussy tonight" was indeed a love song to his wife, and realized that of all those songwriting boyfriends I'd had who never did write one for me, such a song would've been welcome! Cool to see Doug Clark and His Hot Nuts, too, as yep, I did indeed see them at a frat party back at Emory in the early 70's! (As I recall, that was where my Kappa "big sister" Ellen Christian, aka "Connie Carpe Diem", wanted to quick-teach me how to chug beer for an onstage contest. I declined.) The song I remembered wasn't in this doc, though there is a dad about my age who recounts some of their songs and lyrics, and so I did get to hear, "'To hell with the dance and off with your pants!' said Barnacle Bill the Sailor" after all.
This afternoon dropped my minidisc recorder off next to LEADER arts editor Kathie Meyer at the Upstage for the Bruce Hattendorf "class" on the history and present heyday of documentaries. I'm still trying to get EKPHRASTIKINO: POEMS INSPIRED BY FILMS done! So pick up the recorder right at the end, 2 hours later.
Didn't get "Sicilian Feast" from Silverwater either, but I heard it was meatballs. Bet there was some without, but I was busy still trying to get my chapbook of poems inspired by films out!
Odd note: coming down the long Haller steps, I heard all this sound of helicopters, and wondered what in the world – some publicity stunt? some awful airlift emergency situation? Oh, no, it's SUPERMAN on the big outdoor screen. Kinda made me sad to see Christopher Reeve all young and healthy up there.
AND THE WEATHER WAS BEAUTIFUL! After pouring rain last night, blue skies and fluffy clouds all day!
It will be interesting to see what I'll dream of tonight?