Sunday, June 11, 2006

SIFF diary 2006, part 5

Screenings: June 9

Linda Linda Linda

Linda Linda Linda is a song by the Blue Hearts, a band that that is an inspiration to girls in Linda Linda Linda. The girls are in an art school and have been in and out of numerous bands. They form a band with a new singer, Son (Du-na Bae of Take Care of My Cat, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance), who is a Korean exchange student and is in the process of learning Japanese.

This is a delightful movie. The plot is simple, a group of girls work on a song for a school performance, but the movie doesn't simply rehash other teen-centric film. Instead of falling into cliches about teen girls, or trying to be a cute fantasy about girls in rock, a la Josie and the Pussycats, it feels more realistic about high school relationships. The girls have crushes, most of which don't develop into anything and are only expressed in occasional brief awkward meetings that feel excruciatingly long, just that way I remember. They have falling outs. They make new friends. And most of all, they work hard at making music.

And the girls are adorable. I especially loved Son, the Korean exchange student who spends her time working at a Korean cultural exhibit at the school. She was so endearing, learning to sing in Japanese via karaoke, playing cow darts... she was too cute and stole nearly every scene with some amazing comic timing and totemo kawaii. The other girls were also endearing, but I'm afraid that Du-na Bae stole the show.

Finally, the music was also so fun. It seems some Blue Hearts music has mysteriously gotten onto 's iTunes. A fun, Japanese take on Western rock that has a lot in common with The Ramones. Really great stuff.

5 of 5

The Power of Nightmares:The Rise of the Politics of Fear

The Power of Nightmares is a very informative documentary about today's politics and the use of fear to gain office, maintain political standing, motivate, and keep the masses from really paying attention to what is happening in the world today. Anyway, that is the film I expected to see, but really this one goes a step further. It documents the emergence of the neo-conservatives, discusses their ideology and how they managed to gain political favor in current political debate. This is really a very fascinating story and alone makes an eye opening story.

Additionally, the Power of Nightmares also parallels the history of radical Islam with that of the neocons and this is a rather startling piece of history. It fascinates me how similar neocon philosophy is to that of radical islam and the interplay and connections between the two are just really interesting.

However, it is challenging to review this three hour long documentary as it covers so much ground. I really feel like I learned a lot about the world I live in today from it and strangely enough, it gave me hope for the future. I would have preferred to have watched this film as intended, that is broken up into three parts spread apart over time, as it was a bit annoying to have a review of the last hour at the beginning of each hour of the film, but regardless, this was a very engaging film. The seats at Broadway Performance Hall are not very conducive of sitting for three hours, but I'm still glad that I saw this film at the festival.



5 of 5


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