Monday, March 03, 2008

Watched two very different but entertaining movies last night.

“It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes.”

All in a days work for your friendly neighbourhood repo man. Repo Man is that most beloved of all things, a geunine cult classic. Hooray! Not a self-concious wannabe trying too hard to be culty but the real thing: a weird, off-beat, slightly hokey but genuinely original and strange creation. It also happens to have one of the best starts to a film of all time, a brilliant Iggy Pop theme song and punk soundtrack.

A disollusioned teenager played by Emilio Estevez, ‘a suburban punk’, gets fired from his job and happens upon Harry Dean Stantion, a repo man. Estevez soon becomes embroilled in the repo business and is taken under the wing of each of the would be father figures on the lot. They describe to him their philosophies on life, the universe and the repo business. Meanwhile there is talk of an alien invasion, time travel, the CIA and a mysterious car you hope you don’t run into.

“Feed the Idiot Box.”

The other was Spike Lee’s new millienium satire Bamboozled, which deals with reperesentations of black people on American television and in American society.

Damon Wayans plays an uptight, nasal voiced writer who works for a major television network in America. Tired of having his ideas for intelligent programmes about black people turned down, he pitches an idea for a show so offensive he will be fired and released from his contract. He schemes to revive the black and white minstrel show, and to his horror, the show is a massive commericial success, which garners him critical praise and awards too.

It’s an uncomfortable watch and a demanding one too. There is very little direction from Lee in terms of how you should be feeling or responding to the charcaters and the events they are embroiled in. Our hero may not be a hero at all.

The message is simple, as is often the case with satire: there is no such thing as black people, only black people. At least, that’s what I took from it, however, the film so ironical and multi-faceted, I would image, different people’s respones to it will be varied in the extreme.


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