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Monday, March 22, 2010

My article on Pop Matters

Below is a link to an article I wrote for, a nifty pop-culture web site, on my current obsession, French film pioneer Georges Melies:

The guy is well worth checking out, if you care to track down DVDs of his stuff...

The above still is from his 1901 movie The Man With the Rubber Head, in which Melies uses a bellows to expand a copy of his own head to enormous size. It eventually explodes. If this doesn't sound like something you want to see, I can't help you.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Well, that sucks.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that The Hurt Locker won the Oscars last night. After all, it's a movie that shows how rotten war is... for Americans. And how war really takes a heavy psychological and physical toll... on Americans. And how it's really unfair... for Americans... to be put in these dangerous threatening situations. Not much is heard from the Iraqis in this movie. Why should they have a place? They're not important, they're just the villains who set up the big set-piece explosions. What matters in this story is the (white, male) American hero, not the sand niggers that his army has been sent over to kill.

Imagine if this movie had been made about a German soldier in Poland. ("You know, just fighting for his country.") Or a Japanese one in Manchuria. ("Hey, protest the war, but not the brave guys out there doing their duty.") Or (dare I say it?) an Iraqi soldier fighting a war in, um, Iraq. I wonder how many Academy Awards that movie would have won.

No, never mind. I don't need to wonder.

For a more thoughtful parsing of Hurt Locker (and Avatar, its main competition for the Best Picture Oscar) from an Iraqi (who?) perspective, check out this brief article, written about 2 weeks ago:

Of course, the above was written by an Iraqi journalist, so you know, what the hell does he know about anything? Like movies, or pain, or fairness, or war.