Posts tagged ‘animals’
(cinema) Paradise Lost 3, Purgatory (d. Joel Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, 2011) It’s been 16 years and two sequels since I saw the first Paradise Lost documentary at the Film Forum in New York City. I’m glad the wrongfully accused are set free but I still feel the truth rots a in dark, incarcerated place. I remember that the first documentary, a compelling story of wrong compounded by wrong, was also a frustratingly unthorough piece of journalism. The synopsis is that in 1993 three eight year old boys were murdered and thrown in a ditch in West Memphis, Arkansas. Three teenage boys, to be nicknamed the West Memphis 3, were convicted of the murders under highly questionable investigatory and judicial procedures. The first film fell well short for me in providing a sufficient account of the prosecution’s so called case. A year after seeing the first PL the friend I went to see it with called me up and said, “I heard those documentary guys made it all up to make the teenagers look good. When you hear the whole story they are totally guilty.” Really? What’s your source? None, really. Is there a whole story? I have always been convinced that the teenagers were railroaded. But after years of sequels, cult-like public outrage, websites, Eddie Vedder and Johnny Depp I still have no idea what happened back in 1993. If the WM3 were not murdering cub scouts that night in 1993, where were they? None of these films have ever discussed an alibi. If a documentary is presenting itself as the balanced account of its subject matter and one side of the argument is being left out, there must be a reason. I can’t speculate the reason because facts in this case have always been overshadowed by emotions, self-righteousness on behalf of the WM3 supporters, stubborn obfuscation by law enforcement, and repeated attempts by the filmmakers to offer alternative accusations that frankly are as shoddy and irresponsible as the lousy case against the teenagers. There is another feature documentary ,West Of Memphis, in circulation as well as many tv magazine pieces which may provide more information. I’d like to know if there is more to know about what happened the night those young boys were murdered, and I’d like to know more about what the police actually had on the WM3. In Purgatory the defense has gone to all the trouble of pulling together world renown criminal profilers and DNA experts. Yet the new documentary doesn’t reveal one thing we didn’t already know. These films succeeded in calling attention to injustice perpetrated on the accused and the fact that the real killer will never be brought to justice. The Arkansas court system created an outcome in which the case will never be reopened. The whole story is fascinating and sad, but these movies aren’t very good either. ๏ ๏ outof ๏ ๏ ๏ ๏ ๏… The Grey(d. Joe Carnahan, 2012) An airplane transporting ruffian oil workers
crashes in barren Alaska. The men must try to survive arctic conditions, interpersonal conflicts, and attacks by an aggressive pack of wolves. The wolves are of course metaphor for the organizational behavior of a pack of men on the brink as well as the haunting pasts that brought each man to this frozen Purgatory. The challenge includes lots of tense survival action and man-chewing wolves, but what keeps the film interesting are the metaphysical elements, both in the blurry camerawork and the cryptic storytelling. Is this situation real or are we in the self-exiled imagination of the central character? Not brilliant but an experience, however harrowing. ๏ ๏ ๏ out of ๏ ๏ ๏ ๏ ๏… (theatre) West Side Story (RISE theater company at Stadium Performing Arts Center, Woonsocket, RI) I go to a lot of community theater and you might think I am fortunate to live in a place where there are many local companies. One has to approach community theatre with prejudice of lowered expectations. Some of the worst crap in the world gets to Broadway with multi-million dollar underwriting. Under what circumstances can one expect no-budget theatre to be any better? Surprisingly often the risk does pay off in community. I see performers all the time who have dedicated their lives to craft and not to making it big. But “big” took on new meaning for me in seeing this production of WSS when the curtain went up on a cast of teenagers who were mostly all overweight. I’m not kidding. I don’t know anything about casting a play in suburban area where your company may also be completing with a lot of other companies, but surely someone had to realize the absurdity. WSS is as much a dancing show as it is musical as no one wants to see roly-poly people rolling around on the stage floor. I will say that the lead vocals were excellent. But the show itself seemed out of the director’s grasp. The pacing was awkward, the actors were bad, and the choreography was an embarrassment waiting for wincing audience. Whoever you are RISE, you need to set your ambitions lower for now and find material that is appropriate for your acting pool.
Man buys what might be the pelt of an extinct Tasmanian tiger at a garage sale for $5. Could be worth $70,000. These weird dog-like animals were declared extinct in 1936.
link: Cryptomundo » Garage Sale Thylacine Skin Worth Thousands.
The Brown Shoe Diaries Halloween Movie Club.Track down today’s movie and post your comments. Good? Lame? Scary? Not scary? Bring it.
Today’s recommended feature is:
The People Under the Stairs
Between numerous sequels of Nightmare On Elm Street and The Hills Have Eyes, horror director Wes Craven came up with this wild, little urban-horror fairytale. It is a horror movie, but a patchwork of just about everything horrible under the full moon: sadomasochism, poverty, injustice, incest, slumlords, economic exploitation, OCD, racism, child abuse, castration anxiety, haunted houses, gore, slapstick, violence, and animal cruelty.
Fool, a 13 year old boy, gets involved in a home robbery with two adult burglars. Fool is looking for a rumored coin collection, the value of which could prevent his family from being evicted and pay for his mother’s lifesaving cancer surgery. The coin collection belongs to a wealthy, racist and a bizzare man and woman who are also the family’s landlords. After breaking into the fortress-like surburban house, the burglars discover that it is full of passageways between the walls, deadly traps, and a vicious guard dog. Also, the homeowners are holding their teenage daughter captive as well as a dozen or so teenage boys in a cage under the stairs, and their tongues have been cut out. The homeowners themselves are a nerotic folie a deux, alternately compulsively clean and prone to wanton destruction of their own property; alternately sexually perverse and obsessive about their daughter’s chastity. Chased by the couple and their flesh eating dog throughout the house and it’s hidden chambers, Fool befriends the teenage girl and her imprisoned, mutilated consorts, and they help him escape with the coins. His family’s financial crisis solved, Fool makes a deadly decision to return to the house and liberate all of the teen prisoners.
The People Under The Stairs isn’t great horror movie or a great movie period. But its unique story and the story telling is intriguing. It has a fairytale quality and a lot of juvenile humor, yet adult themes. It has slapstick and farce, but it’s also effectively violent and gross. The bawdy comedy and gore is definitely intended for a broad theater audience. However dumb it was, I have to confess it worked on me. The bad guys lose and the audience wins.
The People Under The Stairs (1991, d. Wes Craven)
“All the indicators are there: Mothman-like sightings, UFO encounters, swarms of Gulf of California quakes, animal attacks, pet disappearances, and moody people… We certainly know from research that changes in animal behavior and the appearance of earthquake lights are predictors of earthquakes.”
The story of liquid chicken.