I recently saw a documentary that was made partly by Ted Demme (R.I.P.) called “Boffo!: Tinseltown’s Bombs And Blockbusters” all about the 70’s and all of the seminal films, writer and directors from that era (also see IFC’s Decade Under The Influence). This era is universally regarded as the Golden Age Of Hollywood (some argue that the Golden Age goes from 1968-1980 while others say 1964-1976) and most agree that it ended either with the release of one of two blockbusters, Star Wars (1977) or Jaws (1980).
These films ended the era of the “inmates running the asylum” and afterwards, studio executives and produces began becoming less adventurous and abandoned art in hopes of making blockbusters that appealed to wide audiences that in turn dumbed down the movie industry (sound familiar to anyone?). Damn, Donnie Hathaway and Brand Nubian were right...Everything IS Everything.
Right now, Hip Hop itself is at a pitstop itself and we can possibly blame everything on Hip Hop getting super popular from 1997-2002. While the music was selling out everywhere it got less and less creative and the artistry became unimportant. The bottom line became the bootom line. Opening week numbers, airplay, video play, single sales, etc. If it wasn’t for indie films and channels like Sundance and IFC Films (and a special thanks to the AZN Network) a film junkie like me’d probably go insane. By the same token with hip hop, there aren’t the same outlets unless you’re constantly online. Comcast On Demand doesn’t have a true dedicated hip hop channel with underground videos and there sure as hell isn’t one on cable (sorry...VH1 Soul doesn’t count).
The independent film movement provides the neccessary balance that the film industry needs and helps people recognize the wide array of voices that are out there. Without that same balance, mainstream rap music has become stale and redundant. Commerce may be sucking the soul out of the industry, but art is used to inspire, relay ideas, and show people fresh images that may enlighten them. We must never lose sight of that whether we speak of the cinema or music. Enough of me, let’s get to point here.
Dart’s Three Trailers Of The Week (3/4/07-3/10/07)
More Netflix releases to consider putting on your queue now:
Talk To Her
Y Tu Mama Tambien
The Devil’s Backbone
A Mighty Wind
The Battle Of Shaker Heights
Ichi The Killer
City Of Lost Souls
A Bullet In The Head
City On Fire
Dead Or Alive
Dead Or Alive 2: Angels
The Shape Of Things
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Killing (1956 noir classic)
Dart’s Picks For The Week:
Little Miss Sunshine-I’ve avoided putting on my list long enough. It’s too good a story and too well made a movie to keep fronting on it (Eddie Mrphy STILL should’ve beat out Arkin for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, though)
Threat- I mentoined this movie in last week’s Dartflix list, but I’m officially reccomending it here. I first heard of this film back in 2000 when King’s Mob were still working on it. They used to tour with this independent film going from state to state doing screenings of it for years until they gained enough money to recut it based on what some audiences felt were improvements to the film. Eventually, in 2005 the film was purchased by TLA and was finally distributed and put on video and DVD.
I tried to get a screening for this film in Boston back in 2001. The good people at King’s Mob fought, sweat and bled for this project to come to life the guerilla way and I think people should see it. It’s essentially about what happens when we all let the powers that be pit young people of different walks of life against each other as opposed of making it so that they work together..the worst case scenario of all possible worst case scenarios happens at the climax of this film. Compelling.
Dart’s WTF? Award/Watch This Bullshit At Your Own Risk:
Let’s Go To Prison-Uhh...no, let’s not.