Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Jim Fouratt's Reel Deal; Movies that Matter July 2013

Jim Fouratt’s REEL DEAL: movies that matter  
July 2013

Yes it is summer: which means  big movies that will try to frighten you on some unconscious level. Blockbusters and they are everywhere. In the current political climate with all the secrets of security surveillance on most people’s  mind i suggest that if you do find yourself at one, you look closely at subtext of these larger than life film. For example superman : man of steel. On the surface a hunk for everyone with a heart of gold and humility bordering on low self esteem. But look deeper and see a film made in collaboration with the department of defense that projects clark kent as a prime example of american exceptionalism .SUPERMAN (superpower)  knows what is best for everyone; he will rescue the world in the same way that the us continues to try to control all nations using its military might and wealth. “oh please”  you may be muttering as you read this.But Let me remind you of what franz fanon, a black african psychiatrist  and a critical political thinker wrote in 1964 in the wretched of the earth (: “ before you can have a fascist political movement, you must first have a fascist popular culture “. Think about this the next time you see a disaster film (in 3-d or imax no less) and see how ordinary people need a superhero to rescue them and the world. 
But there are smaller films that actually matter more spooling this month :

Lets go to the movies:

THE ATTACK director: Ziad Doueriria

Have you ever discovered that someone you love and have no secrets from has committed an act so out of character that it leave’s you  at the deepest level questioning if you ever knew this person .This Is the mystery threading through out the must see political thriller written and directed and written and directed by ziad doueiria, a Palestinian brought up in Lebanon and now living in l.A. .As A child Doueriria was brought up to hate all Jews that is what he, like so many people in the middle east, was indoctrinated with: the politics of the grandfathers. As a teenager he had experienced the israeli military policing of the occupied territories and lived through the war in lebanon. Only when he went to college in the us  was he presented with ideas and people themselves who challenged his ideological thinking. He, like his counterpart israeli youth, began to ask himself how can things be different.

THE ATTACK is based on Jasmina Khadra (né mohammed moulessehoul)’s international bestseller of the same name. It is not a spoiler to let you know that the movies opens with a couple making love. He is successful doctor in Tel Aviv who had been groomed by the Jewish medical establishment to be a symbol of how Israel assimilates Israeli Arabs, Christians and Palestinians. His wife is an artist and a secular Christian.  We See him take her to a bus so she can visit her grandfather in another city on the very day he is to receive the highest award ever given a non-Jew by the Israeli medical establishment. Later the police come to tell him they suspect his wife had become a suicide bomber wow blew herself up and killed 17 people including six children at a birthday celebration.

The husband can not believe his wife is guilty and searches for the truth which takes him into the Palestinian territories. He finally discovers she in fact did become a suicide bomber. This is not the real crux of the story and knowing this should not dampen your enthusiasm for seeing THE ATTACK.

Like 7 MINUTES (screened at Tribeca Film Festival in 2011) the film’s focus is not on known politics but the inner struggle to understand the un-understandable. THE ATTACK shows how sometimes reality must transcend personal relationships grounded in mutual affection for change to happen. Or does it? . now this is political.

Lead actors led by Ali Suliman (the husband) and Reymonde Amsellem (the wife) are create complicated human beings that mirror the world we live in . The subtle score by composer Eric Neveux helps navigate the narrative away from simply melodrama ...

No simple answers are given and the audience like the husband is left having to ask themselves some very hard questions about reality, love and change


Director Daniel Peddle

Now availably free on hulu vod.

There is so much talk these days about gender expression and the body I thought iI would share this new free vod (hulu) link to the film The AGGRESSIVES  

Daniel peddle’s The AGGRESSIVES  is a deep look at bodies born female who choose to express their gender in an very masculine representation.

“the aggressives,” the only film picked up at the sxsw film festival, a mini-sundance of sorts in Austin, Texas, turned away crowds at queer venues everywhere, including sro at new york’s new festival, san francisco’s international gay and lesbian film festival and outfield in los angeles. Programmers apparently misjudged the potential audience for this provocative peek inside the black, lesbian, butch-identified culture invisible to most of the white world.

The intense interest in gender expression, particularly in the academic world where there has been a shift from a focus on gay and lesbian identity to one on queer and trans identity, makes the film particularly timely.

The AGGRESSIVES   documents the lives of six very different women, each of whom identifies herself with the concept of aggressives. The street word is ag, a term popular among women of color to describe females very much in touch with their masculinity. Historically, the words used to describe such women has been butch, passing woman, bulldagger, bull dyke, and stud. Ag has joined this corner of the language of gender expression, as a positive word that these women use to communicate both empowerment and community.

The portraits presented in this film break down the media stereotypes about the women these words are used to describe. The world they inhabit got a fair amount of above ground coverage in the wake of the media reporting of the murder of 15-year-old Sakia Gunn in Newark, New jJersey in may 2003. Gunn, who friends described as an ag, was murdered after she went to the defense of her girlfriend who was being hassled by two black men cruising the city’s downtown streets in the early morning hours.

Gunn and her girlfriend had just returned to Newark after a night of socializing on the Hudson River waterfront at the bottom of Christopher Street in the Greenwich Village, a gathering place frequented at  night predominantly by black gay, lesbian, and trans teens. The turnout of more than a thousand black teenage lesbians in butch/ femme pairings—sporting rainbow doo-rags, necklaces, and hair braids—at Gunn’s funeral in Newark was an eloquent testimony to these women’s willingness to be out and visible.

Daniel peddle is an NYU film school graduate, holds a degree in anthropology as well as being a children’s book author. Since he came upon the late night scene at the end of Christopher street while scouting for talent ( peddle has also been much sought after as a casting director for “real people” models by a fashion industry fascinated by the culture he discovered) he knew he had stumbled upon a world he did not know.  Peddle, a slim, fashionable street-attired, white man, raised in the south, spent five years gaining the trust and confidence of the multi-racial community he found at the river.

The film’s s representation is principally black, though he sensitively includes Asian and Latina aggressives and their femme girlfriends. Audiences everywhere can see a world of gender expression that is almost Genet-like, with heightened femme and butch identities. Significantly, the ags identify as female despite their amazing expression of masculine gender in hair, clothes, names, and role-playing.

Peddle takes his camera inside of a Newark contest hall where the best aggressive is to be chosen. The gender presentation would confuse even those most sensitive to varieties of masculine and feminine expression. These “men” are stunning in their strutting of female masculinity, with the swagger and self-confidence of seductive Olympians. The film offers a clear perspective on butch women who express their female masculinity gender while remaining identified as lesbians, rather than living a male identity in presentation or through medical intervention.

Men, in particular, will also learn much from how these aggressives treat the women they love. Peddle realistically shows expression of male braggadocio, but there is none of the dismissive and sometimes violent behavior some men express toward women they desire. It is important for these images to be seen on the screen, and not only by those who identify with femme/butch gender expression. It would be a loss if this film were simply niched as such.

Peddle has made a beautiful and moving film that does not exploit its subjects. Instead, like Jenny livingston’s 1991 “Paris Is Burning ” and David laChapelle’s more recent “RIZE” it humanizes people who are either invisible or stigmatized and marginalized in the media. Even in it specificity, “the aggressives” opens a window on how all men and women can relate with their sexual partners and those they desire.

Peddle’s film provocative with its revelations about gender expression, it is also full of humor and warmth with which any sensitive individual can identify.

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