Fantastic article about the failure of the American military

6 01 2015

It’s a super duper long read, but fascinating:

Going to a Town

8 12 2014

Last night, before Rufus played this song during the encore, he said, “Black lives matter” (to the applause of the audience, of course). It really made me think about the song differently, particularly the lyric, “I’m so tired of you, America.”

United in Anger: A History of ACT UP

23 08 2012

Synopsis: a look at ACT UP, an organization vita during the AIDS Crisis in the US during the 1980s.

Super awesome things: I’ve actually been wanting and waiting to see this film for a while.  It screened in town a few months back and I missed the screening and was sad to be unable to find it anywhere online.  So imagine my surprise when I saw that the Queer Film Festival was to be screening this film!  Hell yeah!

There’s so much to say about this film that it’s difficult where to begin.  Interviews with original ACT UP members, archival footage of protests including the big one at the FDA — it’s all extremely powerful stuff, especially considering these mass protests don’t happen much today (with the exception of, say, the Occupy protests).  “ACT UP!  Fight back!  Fight AIDS!” they say (among many things) countless times throughout the film.  THere’s a strong sense that people were literally willing to die for change — some even speak openly about that.  This is what makes United in Anger so raw and powerful: it taps into our human need and drive for change, something so very emotional — something universal.  And the “die-in” at a Roman Catholic Church in New York, where members of the group silently leaped from pews into the aisle to show everyone the amount of those dying every day, has got to be one of the most powerful and bravest things anyone has done as a form of protest, I gotta say.  Such a powerful statement without words.

Not so awesome things: the archival footage is fantastic, but because it’s guerrilla filmmaking, the quality isn’t very good.  More importantly, it’s extremely shaky, and midway through the film, I found myself getting nauseated, despite sitting practically at the back of the theatre.

As well, despite the information about ACT UP, it’s not a balanced film.  There are no interviews or anyone with opposing views of the group.  Sure, there’s the asshole Bishop and the FDA not testing drugs for HIV patients, but no direct interviews.  I’m sure ACT UP wasn’t a perfect organization, and I’m sure they screwed up one time or another, but as presented in this film, it appears they never have.

Good for watching: for a history on gay/queer rights.

Overall: a very good doc, held back from being great by unbalanced info and lack of quality.

Grade: B+

“Support Our Troops?”

23 01 2011

I had favourited this many a year ago but when I watched it again, it’s still as applicable and powerful as before.

Six Feet Under was brilliant.

Saturday Morning Documentary: Outrage

10 08 2010
outrage poster


Gays can be pretty mean mofos.  That’s essentially the premise of Kirby Dick’s 2009 documentary, Outrage.  But we’re not talking trash talk mean–it goes way beyond that.  As we see from Dick’s examination of closeted American policitians, apparently gays will do anything to keep their image as a heterosexual–even if it means denying their own people rights.  Dick attempts to out several allegedly gay policitians with his film; whether it is right or not is up to the viewer to decide.

This is a film you have to watch for yourself and anyway, Dick explains things a lot better than I can right now (also it’s been a while since I’ve seen the film).  If you aren’t outraged at any point during the movie, I’d be surprised, at the things some people will do for their reputation.  In the wake of the recent overturning of Prop 8, Outrage is a reminder that there are certainly gay policitians in the US, though you could’ve just as easily confused them with a Republican.