Friday, August 11, 2006


"The Purpose of Art is to Provoke Introspective Thought"

About 3 years ago I got very bored with movies, which is weird because I used to be a comic book nerd and they've come out with movies for some of my favourite titles and I've been pretty disapointed across the board. This is because studio movies, in general are brutally devoid of any depth or artistic merit. Or, maybe it was because I was a broke Uni student who could only afford to see Free Friday Films. Either way the couple of times I went to to FFF I caught some of the best movies I've ever seen (Memento, City of God, Afropunk). The latter movie is a feature doc and I really enjoyed it. In fact I realized that I enjoy feature docs moreso than theatrical movies. They tend to be more artistic and make you think more in depth about any given subject. I think I enjoy them for the same reason that I enjoy non-fiction books. Unlike some theatrical movies, they tend to be more effective at provoking introspetive thought. Here are a few that I've caught as of late that are really worth checking out.

Afropunk- This movie is wicked. It explores what it is like to be black in the punk/hardcore scene. Basically what its like to be an outsider in an outsider community. But its deeper than racial identity: the movie explores issues of isolation, social exile, black power, defying stereotypes, appropriation of culture, the hisory of black music, interracial dating, cultural aesthetics, political music, individuality, rebellion and a million other issues. I really loved this movie, partly cause I love punk music and can relate to being the only black guy at the punk show. But more than that, the movie addresses the larger issues of community and identity. And the sountrack for the movie is killer.

Just for Kicks- I've established that I'm a sneakerhead. I love sneakers, this documentary breaks down what sneaker culture is all about. It gives an insider look as to the nuances in styles of sneakers and the lengths that a true 'sole collector' will go to for his kicks. Also it goes into the history of the sneaker phenomenon and how Hip Hop culture (think Run-DMC) and basketball (think Michael Jordan) influenced corporate America and made sneakers a billion dollar a year industry. The movie is funny and very entertaining but more than anything you don't realize how big of an effect hip hop culture has had on corporate America. It begs the question, is it a cultural exchange or is it exploitation?

Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme- Basically the best documentary ever made about rap music. This movie breaks down the lyrical art of freestlying. I like it because it took the contrarian view of rap music: that when you boil it down to its essence, freestlying is about artistic expression. Pretty much everybody that they feature in this movie isn't rapping because they want the bling, benzes, bitches and Bacardi. They are rapping out of passion for the music and because they need an outlet for their expression.

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