Monday, July 26, 2010

Chameleon Street: 'I think, therefore I scam'

Wendell B. Harris, Jr.'s Chameleon Street is one of The Great Films of the last twenty-five years, and in my top ten. Hilarious, harrowing, exhilarating, relevant, and a crowd-pleaser besides, I saw it for the first time at American Museum of the Moving Image in 1992 and the sold-out audience laughed and cringed and oohed and gave a standing ovation soon as end credits began, afterwards engaging in conversation with strangers sitting beside and behind them.

No films get me to a public movie theater these years, but this one did. A July 6th screening at BAM in Brooklyn, NY was followed by a discussion with Harris and Armond White. Shot on fly with trusty, versatile hand-me-down police brutality capturer, so please excuse shoddy quality - did my best to punch up/down picture/audio.

These also uploaded to youtube, for those sans Flash:

Also check out...
Wendell B. Harris on Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, the term 'post-racial', and the history of Chameleon Street (also, the comment by that young woman in the audience is particularly relevant to this venue of blogspot, as well as facebook, and what we all do on these sites):
"If you are in any way empowering the masses, giving the masses more tools, then you are circumscribed."

Clips from the film...

Other links:

Friday, March 26, 2010

500 Pop Culture References of Summer

500 Days of Summer (2009, Marc Webb) - Boy meets girl.
Woody Allen - nay, Nora Ephron (replete with five or eight music video montages) - by way of Tarantino (minus violence) and Kevin Smith (minus porntalk and gratuitous cameos), this is another film geek pastiche, every scene lifted from some other pop movie (seconds into You Make My Dreams Come True sequence, I was thinking Fletch Lives, and two minutes later, the cartoon birdie appeared), with the kind of clever, precious dialogue (same writers wrote Pink Panther 2) wherein a ten year-old references Freud and everyone references pop culture.
There's also a narrator.
For yuppies too young to remember Rushmore, let alone The Graduate.