a blog with cultural bulimia.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Movie experiences.

 I saw War of the Worlds and Mad Hot Ballroom on the same day and I couldn't have planned for more antagonistic experiences.

War of the Worlds is the huge Steven Spielberg 'event' that I couldn't help but have weird feelings about, if only because of Tom Cruise's latest unwindings. The special effects are amazing, as one would expect from any SS fantasia but something did not click with me. I was purely an expectator, none of my emotions were swept up -- or even aroused. I agree with The New Yorker review:
As a physical realization of disaster, parts of the picture are stunning" but "as the scenes of destruction cease, one has time to ponder the oddity of a science-fiction movie without science, or even routine curiosity. Who are the aliens? What is their chemical makeup and how might they be vulnerable? What does the attack mean? Nobody raises any of these issues. The movie is given over to a family in flight, the primal survivalist drama. It's as if the aliens landed and everyone died so that Tom Cruise could grow up one more time.
With zero expectations I went to see Mad Hot Ballroom and it blew me away. This small budget documentary adds up to something so beautiful and moving that you can't help but question how have we fallen under the dictatorship of big-budget 'events'. It pains me that more people will not see this movie.

Watching the children express their hopes for a future that will be most likely frustrated is heart-breaking. Or maybe what broke my heart was to see myself projected on those children. But it is, at the same time, encouraging.

Watch a scene from MHB: these kids are wonderful.

Read an interesting article on how MHB survived the copyright cartel.