What Art/World/HW Films Have You Been Watching?

Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Feb 11 2018, 07:06 PM #3121

Here's how director Christopher Nolan made one of my favorite films last year, DUNKIRK (he was nominated for it as Best Director for the first time, amazing as that sounds,given his excellent box-office track record:)

How Nolan's DUNKIRK Broke The Rules 6 Times
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Feb 11 2018, 08:17 PM #3122

I'm not much of a Nolan fan - the only Nolan films I've wholeheartedly liked are THE PRESTIGE & MEMENTO - but DUNKIRK surpassed my exceptions. I wish I'd seen it in 70mm.

Hey, here's the first article I know about published in Iran itself about the Mehrdad Oskouei series! I've read it through Google Translate, which turned Anthology Film Archives into "Ontology Film Center," but my name is in it, transliterated into Farsi: https://www.isna.ir/news/96112011701/مر ... وژی-آمریکا

Shirt, the first rapper signed to Jack White's Third Man label, is really amazing. I listened to the BLACK PANTHER soundtrack and his Third Man debut, PURE BEAUTY, back to back this morning. Guess which one I downloaded? Shirt's flow is grimy and desperate-sounding; at times, he seems to be racing to get to the end of the song. His lyrics are socially conscious without devoting an entire song to politics; "Woman Is God" offers sentiments rarely heard in hip-hop. although he does drop "b***h" from time to time despite the lyrics of that song. The production is really imaginative. One song basically consists of samples of choral vocals over a drum machine. The final track, "Miss en abyme," lets Shirt sit aside for samples of a French artist talking for most of its length. The album has the kind of grit that obviously tickled the taste of the man behind the White Stripes, without fetishizing the '90s NYC Wu-Tang/Mobb Deep hip-hop it evokes. 

I also enjoyed the new EP by DJ Ray-Xans, I MISS YOU LIKE DEATH, which makes a mockery of mumble rap, EDM and the current hipness of getting high off Xanax. However, it doesn't do so in an obvious, Weird Al Yankovic-type way. Instead, it features 4 songs with AutoTune-drenched vocals by singers who all sound identical but have names like "Lil Slit Wrist" and "Arjen Xannen" over vapor wave synthesizers on top of extremely hyper and aggressive drum'n'bass beats. You can download it for about $1.25 from Bandcamp, and at that price, it's quite fun. 

Also good new singles: ex-Pavement singer Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks' "Middle America" and MGMT's "Me And Michael," which returns to the psych-pop feel of their first album that they seemed to abandon because they hated becoming rock stars and wanted to drive their pop audience away. The MGMT song has a 7-minute video which comments on appropriation and is both trippy and witty. 
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Feb 12 2018, 07:35 PM #3123

Shamir is delving into another genre black musicians aren't supposed to go and releasing a country single on March 9th. 
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Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Feb 13 2018, 08:16 AM #3124

Sweet! That'll be interesting to hear. The only black country singer I can think of that's actually had any major success on the country charts in the last decade is Darius Rucker, who used to be the lead singer for the successful Southern rock band Hootie & the Blowfish back in the '90s. Interestingly enough, he actually put out an R&B release back in 2002 called BACK TO THEN, which didn't sell--or get promoted much, for that matter. It's the only one he's made to date, but he said he enjoyed doing it regardless. Since 2008, he's put out several country albums, becoming the first black artist to win Best New Artist at the CMAs (Country Music Awards) in 2009,and becoming a genuine country star in the process. His most recent release, WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME, came out in 2017. I'm actually not that familiar with his music, though I did see him perform on a musical showcase on PBS over a year ago. He's always had a good voice,though.

I remember when the Scottish pop band Simple Minds came out with "Don't You Forget About Me" in 1985, from the soundtrack to the film THE BREAKFAST CLUB---it remains their biggest known U.S. hit. I hated the song---that fact that it was played literally every day on the radio didn't help much either. Just recently, there's been a slower, deeper version of the song on a new State Farm commercial about homeless folks---I like this version way better, and it sounds much prettier and sadder. It's by an artist named Willis Earl Beal, from his latest release, an EP called SUN & MOON, I think:




Speaking of Simple Minds, I stumbled across this article about their latest release, titled WALK BETWEEN WORLDS (it just came out this month) where lead singer Jim Kerr (whom I always thought was cute in an offbeat way, and whose deep, dark distinct singing voice I always liked) discusses the group's 40th anniversary in the music biz, and how they're managed to stay around unlike a lot of their contemporaries from the '80's era. I liked the songs "Alive and Kicking" (I think Detroit's own famed gospel group The Clark Sisters sung backup on this one, if I remember right) "Sanctify Yourself", "Promise You A Miracle", and "Up On The Catwalk" much better---I also have a greatest hits CD by them---I didn't even know they were still around, which is nice to hear:

Pop Matters----A Long Walk Between Worlds for Simple Minds

I'll check out the article on your festival. How cool was it to see your name mentioned in an article in another language?
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Feb 13 2018, 02:11 PM #3125

I haven't heard any of Rucker's country songs, but I've been meaning to check those albums out on Spotify. 

The Simple Minds' early album are very good. They are not a million miles away from U2 or Big Country, but they have a huge Roxy Music/David Bowie influence as well. I've been meaning to fill out my collection with all of them. I recall writing a review for my high school newspaper of the album they released after "Don't You (Forget About Me)" became a hit. 

More than getting mentioned in Farsi, I was just thrilled that someone in Iran wrote an article about the series I programmed on an Iranian director, especially since our countries seem to be at each others' throats now. 
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Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Feb 13 2018, 05:08 PM #3126

I clicked on the link to the article on your festival, and couldn't find it, even in English, for some reason. I did look for it on the site, and searched for articles on the director, but couldn't find the one you mentioned specifically. Good to hear that it got namechecked, though.
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Feb 13 2018, 06:17 PM #3127

The article is there at the link, with paraphrases and quotes of the press release for the Oskouei series, but every word of it is in Farsi. I had to feed it through  Google Translate to get some sense of what it's saying and see my name in it, even though GT turned much of it into gibberish. 

My dad came down with a bad case of the flu, so I'm canceling my plans to visit my parents this weekend. I have already contacted Amtrak and gotten 90% of the ticket price refunded on my credit card. I will probably plan on seeing them instead a month from now, but I don't know for sure. I am actually glad I will be able to do some hands-on marketing on the Oskouei series later this week. But I am now planning to get a flu shot Thursday!
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Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Feb 14 2018, 03:57 AM #3128

Yeah, with all the news of this new flu that, in some cases, is actually causing people's deaths here in Michigan and some other places (there's been at least one case in the Detroit area attributed to that) the safest and smartest thing you can do right now is get that flu shot. And the flu,like a cold, is one of the easiest things to catch (I know, because I've caught it twice myself over the past decade, and for the first time when I was 16.)
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Feb 14 2018, 03:59 AM #3129

I haven't had it since I was 19, but back then I wound up hospitalized from deyhydration. The prospect of that happening to me again scares the hell out of me, especially after that stomach bug I got at the end of December. I'm definitely getting a shot Thursday.
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Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Feb 14 2018, 07:55 AM #3130

That's the one thing that sucks about the flu---it kills your appetite, so when I had it all I could eat was soft stuff like yogurt (which I like) for 24 hours, and mainly just drink fluids---the flu bug usually passed after that period (that's what the doctor advised me to do.) I don't get how you get dehydrated when you had the flu---did it make you stop drinking or something?

Here's an appreciation of the THE WIRE I ran across---it sums up a good number of points about why the show was so good, and why it was so memorable and effective, nearly a decade after it went off the air (yeah, I know it's a TV show, but it did have a cinematic look and feel about it which set it apart from even other cable shows:)

The Outline----Why The Wire Still Matters

Anyway, in light of the #MeToo movement and revelations about the domestic abuse allegations against former WH official Rob Porter, old sexual harassment accusations are being looked at with a more critical and discerning eye. I'd already seen these domestic abuse accusations against actor Michael Fassbinder (12 YEARS A SLAVE, THE SNOWMAN, THE COUNSELOR, ALIEN:COVENANT) from an ex-girlfriend over a year ago on some obscure site,---they're been dredged up, with more detail into what the alleged abuse actually was---it's really messed up:

The Daily Beast

Also, professional snowboarder Shaun White (who just won his third medal at the currently ongoing Winter Games at the Olympics in Pyeongyang) had to settle a sexual harassment suit last year that was brought against him by a former bandmate of his---she was the only female member of a rock band he headed, and she said that he started harassing her a lot more after his Olympic fame went to his head:

Inside Shaun White's Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
Last edited by Kim Greene on Feb 16 2018, 10:19 PM, edited 2 times in total.
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Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Feb 14 2018, 08:01 AM #3131

Forgot to mention that former Detroiter Jack White opened up one of his Third Man Record record store/plants here in the D--in the Midtown area,over a year ago (it's one of onIy three open nationwide, I believe) need to go check it out sometime. Apparently, you're allowed to watch records being made and even record yourself on one---sounds like fun,lol. 

Here's a group of African-American TV showrunners/creators/writers/producers behind such shows as INSECURE, STAR, and DEAR WHITE PEOPLE discussing what it's like bringing in more diversity behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera---they had some pretty interesting things to say:

Deadline-----Black Showrunners Talk About Diversity and Progress on Panel

Here's another article on the Aziz Ansari thing and #MeToo from a man's p.o.v.--really good to look at:

GQ Magazine

BLACK PANTHER director/co-writer Ryan Coogler (FRUITVALE STATION, CREED) talks about the cultural relevance/impact of making a film about black superheroes:

Interview with BLACK PANTHER'S director

Here's an article about the creator of Black Girl Nerds starting a hashtag about the film called #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe, and her surprise at the overwhelming response it's gotten so far:

Meet the woman behind the Black Panther hashtag
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Feb 14 2018, 04:42 PM #3132

I got dehydrated because I vomited up everything I ate or drank for a 24-hour stretch. 

I finally got the Pet Shop Boys downloads today. Now I have to listen to a huge amount of their music and write a 700-900 review of their first 3 album by the 22nd or 23rd. 

I was originally planning to see BLACK PANTHER this weekend, but now that I will be in New York this weekend, I know that it will sell out all its screenings at multiplexes here and I can't reserve free tickets with MoviePass. It will probably even be popular enough to sell out weekday screenings unless I can go during the afternoon. It may be 2 weeks or so before I see it. BAM launched a series on black superhero films in advance of it - an awful lot of people are claiming it's the first film with an African-American superhero, with is totally untrue. 
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Kim Greene
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Feb 15 2018, 06:14 AM #3133

Yeah, anyone who knows anything about movie history knows BLACK PANTHER isn't the first black superhero film. It will be the second one to have such a major cultural impact (the first being the BLADE series with Wesley Snipes back in the late '90s-early '00s.) There have been other black superhero films, such as Robert Townsend's METEOR MAN (1993) a sweet-natured family flick, BLANKMAN (1994) starring Damon Wayans, which was kind of a flop, I think, and SPAWN (1997) featuring future BLACK DYNAMITE star Michael Jai White as the title character. The thing I remember about SPAWN is that in the promotional trailer on TV, you'd never guess that the title character was black because said trailers never showed his real face--apparently the studio thought that if they showed that the superhero was actually a black man, it might hurt the film's box office chances. The film did okay, but not well enough to inspire a sequel or anything. However, since superhero films have come back in vogue and are all the rage now, SPAWN creator Todd McFarlane has been laying down plans for a reboot of the film--he talks about it here:

We Got This Covered-----SPAWN reboot in the works

There was also HANCOCK (2008) starring Will Smith as a washed-up alcoholic superhero who causes more damage than good. I haven't seen either HANCOCK or SPAWN, though. Liked BLADE 2 the most ---it's my favorite out of all the BLADE films and it's unique, mainly because Guillermo Del Toro directed it, and put his stamp on it.

Always liked the Pet Shop Boys from the moment I heard their first big U.S. hit in 1986, "West End Girls". What's always surprised me about this somewhat haunting but still catchy song, which I still like after all these years---is how depressing it really is if you actually listen to the lyrics--it's basically about a guy who's depressed and wants to commit suicide, and just loses it after that. It also seems to be about the frustration of living and being trapped in a place where no one seems to be going anywhere. What amazes me about it is the fact that it was a top 20 hit at all, given the subject matter, and the song's not really even about girls, when you think about it:

The Pet Shop Boys---West End Girls

I also liked "What Have I Done To Deserve This", the song they did with singer Dusty Springfield, and a couple of others.

And that wasn't even the only depressing song to hit the charts that year----another Brit group called New Order had their first (and only) breakthrough U.S. chart hit with a song called "True Faith", and they did this wonderfully weird,quirky, and artistic video for it which I've always liked---always loved the colorful and unusual costumes in it--never thought the song was all that, even though it's catchy,too:

New Order---True Faith
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Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Feb 15 2018, 07:56 AM #3134

Here's a list of the most interesting monster characters in Guillermo del Toro's films:

Loving The Other: 5 Monsters of Del Toro
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Feb 16 2018, 01:02 AM #3135

I wound up listening to 3 hours of the Pet Shop Boys yesterday and writing a 1,000-word rough draft. My review notes that the opening 2 lines of "West End Girls" describe a man holding a gun to his head and the chorus details the effects of dead-end poverty. Despite the upbeat tune and beat, it's really not a happy song. They would use this same technique repeatedly, and their first 2 albums, in particular, are full of sarcastic odes to making loads of money and empty consumerism that, as I also say in my review, synthesize Madonna's "Material Girl" and the Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant." "Rent" is incredibly blunt about a totally mercantile "love" affair. My favorite Pet Shop Boys song, "The Theatre," is actually quite angry about the way upper-middle-class "patrons of the arts" treat homeless people, and it doesn't pull a lot of punches. 

New Order's "The Perfect Kiss" also sounds cheerful, but it's about suicide: the "perfect kiss" is the kiss of death. 

I got my flu shot today. I also managed to somehow have my crown fall out of my mouth three weeks after it was implanted. I am heading for emergency dental surgery tomorrow afternoon. I really hope I don't have to pay for it, because I think my dentist is incompetent at this point, having had 2 crowns fall out since December. 

Here's my review of Brandi Carlile's album BY THE WAY, I FORGIVE YOU: http://gaycitynews.nyc/lushy-produced-detriment/
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Kim Greene
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Feb 16 2018, 07:33 AM #3136

Weird that you should mention your crown fell out---mine cracked and fell out a couple of months ago when I was chewing something hard, and I hadn't had it in but over a dang month or two. I definitely have to get it fixed. I got my flu shot early last year---I'd been told years ago that I couldn't get one because of my allergies, but since I don't have issues with them anymore,and outgrew them by taking better care of myself over the years, I could finally get that flu shot over with.

I've been enjoying watching the Olympics Winter Games on NBC---what's been interesting about it is that there seems to be more women athletes involved in certain sports---like in the skiing and snowboarding events. My favorite winter sport to watch has always been the ice skating events---I love seeing the beautiful costumes a lot of the skaters wear, and I've always enjoyed watching the graceful, poetic skating routines which are always fun and exciting to watch, depending on what stunts they're able to pull off. There also seems to be a lot more Asian (and Asian-American, such as newcomer Nathan Chen) male athletes involved in the skating and snowboarding events,too.

Anyway, I finally listened to STRANGELANDS, the second album by the Crazy World of Arthur Brown a couple of times, and it is definitely one heck of a mind trip---the first song,"Life Jacket", kicks off with a swirl of whacked-out organ sounds, and Brown quickly pulls listeners into his deranged world of '60's era aural madness with his trademark shrieks and hollers. The release is broken down into five parts: the Country, the City, the Cosmos, the Afterlife, and instrumentals by the spin-off band Rustic Hinge,titled "T On The Lawn For 3.". The first five tunes dive straight down without stopping into some genuinely mind-bending, consciousness-tripping psychedelia--it's real fun to hear if you love '60s psychedelic music, which I do,lol. I think "All Forms and Distinctions" might be the one where Brown chants and sounds like his voice is swirling around in an echo chamber from another dimension, with no music backing him up---just weird-a** experimental sounds. "The Lord Dosen't Want You" has Brown actually doing some preaching of his own about whatever he's raising the roof about on that particular track. Took me years to track this release down, and had pretty much nearly given up before finally looking on Amazon for it.

Brown sings, hollers, and whoops it the hell up on only 11 of the 19 tracks on STRANGELANDS, because halfway through the recording of it he ran out of funding for his own independent studio, two band members he didn't get along with left, and the remaining couple of members formed another band called Rustic Hinge, who played the eight instrumentals ( the first couple being quick and quirky-sounding) that make up the rest of the release (the last one, "Macedonia", mainly consists of a violin being played.) Basically, this sounds like the type of full-on psychedelic musical exploration Brown always wanted to make, but wasn't allowed to do completely on his first self-titled classic release. Since he couldn't find a record company interested in the material (recorded in 1969, right after the original Crazy World of Arthur Brown band split up)  it remained unreleased until 1989. So feast your ears (and eyes) on the uninhibited insanity of another Crazy World of Arthur Brown release:

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Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Feb 16 2018, 10:58 AM #3137

Read your Carlile review,which was really interesting---I'll have to catch up with her music, since I really loved her first hit "The Story" a decade ago. I also listened recently to both THE GHOSTS OF HOPE by the Residents and SATURATION II by Brockhampton---liked the latter,since I was already familiar with a number of songs on it (my favorite being the song "Junky") but I'll have to listen to the former again. Sometimes certain releases take a while to grow on you, and I did find GHOST OF HOPE interesting enough because of the subject matter to give it another spin, so to speak.
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Feb 16 2018, 03:47 PM #3138

The U.S. Girls' IN A POEM UNLIMITED is one of the best albums I've heard this year, although I know how little that means in Feb. 16. Like her former label mate St. Vincent on MASSEDUCTION, U.S. Girls leader Meg Remy experiments with mixing rock (including some fairly abrasive guitar) with pop, lncluding strong elements of disco, funk and hip-hop (several songs feature a DJ scratching.) She knows that catchy tunes make leftist politics go down easier, and her album's lyrics live up to the video for its second single, "Velvet 4 Sale," in which she portrays a cop who confronts an abusive man and eventually gets him to throw himself off a cliff. The songs address women's relationships to power and violence in a culture filled with misogyny and their varied reactions to these awful situations. But the production and arrangements make this album as accessible as Lorde; it actually reminds me of the Tom Tom Club and SPEAKING IN TONGUES-era Talking Heads.

I think "Junky" is Brockhampton's best song. Kevin Abstract's verse at the beginning is the best attack on homophobia I've heard within hip-hop, and the verses later on about drug abuse and misogyny have real substance too. Supposedly, their fourth album is coming in April or May! I wonder how long they can keep this pace up. 

I heard an interesting instrumental jazz/orchestral/funk interpretation of songs written and produced by Dr. Dre, Sly 5th Ave.'s THE INVISIBLE MAN. Dre seems like a horrible person and I am not exactly thrilled by the lyrics to songs like "B***hes Ain't S**t," but I must admit he has great talent as a producer and a songwriter. Here, his songs are largely stripped off their lyrics, and their musical content stands up to the orchestral treatment. The label Tru Thoughts, which issued this album, put out a remix of Sly 5th Ave.'s version of "California Love" today. (Tru Thoughts puts out a lot of "future soul" and modern-day jazz that I like, but they have a tendency to release four remixes per album, although they're not the kind of cynical "let's do an acoustic version, an EDM version, and one featuring Rhianna or SZA" remixes that bands like Maroon 5 seem to do these days.) 

Things went fine at the dentist, except that I learned a filling in one of my broken teeth came apart. I'm going back on March 15th to get it fixed. I really hope my crown can stay in my mouth till then!

You may already know this, but if you call the organization Moms Rising at (888)668-8919 and then enter your zip code, they will automatically connect you to your Senator. After doing three tweets about gun control yesterday, I felt angry and impotent. I am under no illusions that leaving a voice-mail for Kirsten Gillibrand urging her to support the banning of automatic weaponry and high-capacity ammo is going to accomplish anything much, but at least I got my ass off Facebook and Twitter and actually did something. I have been annoyed by the Canadians, Europeans and Australians doing condescending posts about American tolerance of gun violence and apathy towards massacres, but they are basically right: I sure as hell don't feel proud to be American right now. Although it seems so weird to me that in New York, you need $10,000 of insurance and legal supervision to rent a rubber gun that doesn't even fire blanks for a film shoot, but in Texas, you can have severe problems with mental illness and a record of violence, but you can still walk into a gun store and emerge with a semi-auto half an hour later. Getting a gun in the U.S. should be more like getting a driver's license and car insurance. 
Last edited by Steve Erickson on Feb 17 2018, 04:14 AM, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Feb 17 2018, 04:13 AM #3139

I am planning a massive Spotify playlist of my favorite psychedelic songs to go live on 4/20. 
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Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Feb 17 2018, 01:36 PM #3140

Just listened to some U.S. Girls songs, and so far the only one that's really caught my ear is a song called "Rosebud"---I especially like the video with the beautiful birds in it, and with that one bird made to seem like it's lip-synching the actual song lyrics,lol. I'll check out those Dr. Dre jazz instrumentals later ---that sounds like fun to hear,lol.

About the shooting, hell yeah, I'm disgusted that another one happened (there's always copycat incidents after the first incident like this) especially since the shooter had already been reported as a possible threat at least 20 damn times--a number of those to the FBI who said they tried to find him, but they claim that they couldn't (yeah, right.) And apparently in the South, the right to own a gun is more important than making sure a potential gun owner is actually responsible or sane enough to own one. That obviously hasn't been a priority for quite some time now in some states. Thanks for the info,but unfortunately,nothing's gonna change as a result of this horrible incident----there will be the usual platitudes and requests for thoughts and prayers for the victims, but there damn sure won't be any changes in the current gun laws. I've almost pretty much given up on that ever happening, to be honest. Here in Michigan, which is an open carry state, I saw a gun shop owner on the news earlier this week saying that it's not the guns themselves that are the problem--in response to the Parkland shooting---but the type of people that use the guns that are the problem. I agree with that to some extent, but I also believe that if guns weren't so available every damn where, and that if there were tougher laws to prevent mentally ill people from getting guns (like In Canada) it might make a difference. We'll never know, though, because as long as the NRA have their lobbyists to make damn sure that dosen't happen (like they always do) it won't.

 Here's what happened last year when these two stupid idiots who called themselves making a statement about open carry walked into a local police station in Dearborn,MI, armed and dressed up to look like either robbers or terrorists,and damn near got themselves shot by a group of understandably freaked-the-f***-out police officers---they got locked the hell up,and of course, they were two arrogant white dudes who thought the law didn't apply to them simply because they were armed. Even open carry advocates said they what they did was just flat-out stupid as hell:

CNN----Stupid Michigan open carry stunt backfires

That being said, I actually saw BLACK PANTHER today---I really didn't think I would get to see it simply because of all the hype---I had to consider the very real possibility that all screenings of it at the theatre I was going to might be sold out, and that I would have taken a wasted trip. I decided to take a chance and just go the hell on out there, and that's how I caught said screening. Of course I liked and enjoyed it----it was nice to see a major mainstream film about African people that showed some very real respect for them and their culture ( or at least this impressive futuristic rendering of it) and the fact that they were presented as intelligent,flawed,but dignified human beings (and not as merely the exotic backdrop for some white guy's adventure, which has usually been the case since forever and a day in Hollywood films.) Another big reason I liked it is that virtually all the main female characters are a major part of the films' plot---they're barely sexualized in any way at all during the film---that was a nice big fresh chance of pace in and of itself.

Anyway, the film opens with the telling of the legend of Wakanda's beginnings, and it opens in 1992 on a basketball court in L.A. Two men with a lot of guns are startled by a knock on their door. An older man comes in, and reveals himself to be Zuri, the uncle of one of the man, from Wakanda (veteran South African actor John Kani) come to check up on one of the men, who turns out to be his younger brother N'aku (Sterling Brown, from the popular NBC drama THIS IS US.) Turns out N'aku's been stealing a valuable resource from Wakanda, and when he's told to return there and receive his just punishment for that---N'aku tries to kill him, and Zuri's forced to off him in self-defense. Meanwhile, back in Wakanda, the reclusive and advanced African country that's a secret to the outside world, T'Challa, aka the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman, MARSHALL) readies himself to bury his deceased father, and to go through the fighting manhood ritual in which he'll prove his worthiness to be the next king. His spunky smart-as-a-whip sister Shuri (newcomer Letitia Wright) is the brilliant tech genius who creates his teflon bulletproof Black Panther suit, as well as any other defense gadgets she can come up with for protection. His mother the Queen Ramonda (the wonderful Angela Bassett)  and the tough-as-nails General Okoye, who runs Wakanda's mostly female army of bodyguards (Danai Gurira, of the popular THE WALKING DEAD series) as well as the Wakandan spy Nakia (Lupita N'yongo, THE FORCE AWAKENS---finally in a good screen role that actually suits her, and really utilizes her acting talents for a change) are strong, distinctive characters in their own right, and let him know they're always got his back. There's also W'kabi (Daniel Kaluuya, GET OUT) as the equally valuable and tough, thoughtful leader of another army for the king.

 Meanwhile, back in America, a young guy in dreads asks about the African artifacts he's checking out in a museum. Next thing everybody knows, the place is being robbed of a couple of those artifacts, and gunshots and panic ensues. When T'challa and his crew get word about what's been stolen, they head straight to South Korea (where the Olympics is going on now,lol) to track the thief down. T'Challa meets up with an old acquaintance of his, an FBI agent named Ross (Martin Freeman of the HOBBIT films, doing an American accent for the first time I know of) who's working undercover. When his crew's cover is blown, there's lots of tense as hell action while the future King and his subjects chase the thieves down in a very intense as hell car chase sequence. Once the villain, Klaue (Andy Serkis,from the LORD OF THE RINGS flicks) gets caught, he ain't giving up any secrets of his own,except those of Wakanda's. He gets busted out of headquarters by none other than the dreadlocked thief of the artifacts, who calls himself Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan, CREED.) Turns out that Killmonger has a much stronger personal connection to Wakanda than anybody knows about (and a reason for revenge) and that is gradually revealed in a touching sequence in the film, among other things.

The action sequences in this film are really good, and basically the film lives up to the hype, which is well justified if you're seen it. It's all that and a bag of chips,and then some, as they used to say, lol. Plus it was marvelous for me, as an African-American woman, to see a superhero film which revolved around not only a black superhero, but one who was connected to a larger community that had nurtured him and given him the strength to succeed as the man he was and the king he was going to be. (There's also some understated at times humor in it, so there are appropriate and well-timed jokes in the film,too.) And it was just damn nice to see folks who looked like me dominating the screen in a superhero for a change. Of course, the racist haters are already out in full force to hate on this film,calling it racist simply because it has an all-black cast--some of whom haven't even seen it yet--but nobody cares about what the hell they think,anyway.😡
Last edited by Kim Greene on Feb 17 2018, 09:09 PM, edited 2 times in total.
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