So the time I would normally spend reading books this week was spent going to a number of different events. The nagging feeling that I was becoming to settled in the work home sleep work routine compelled me to adventure out on evenings I might have preferred to remain couch-bound and book-centered. As such, I will write my first review of an art show.
Common Ground: imaging North Brooklyn Held in the basement of the Greenpoint hospital complex, with art show featured a wide range on mediums (ranging from film to vellum prints) and a wide range of tones. The art installations were in the old kitchens, shower and storage rooms of the hospital, but the setting for the most part did not overpower the artwork. A particular favorite of mine was a piece that re-imagined the root structure under Greenpoint near the Maspeth creek, which will soon be super-funded. Water collected and frozen in bottles dripped from the ceiling and down huge tree branches. This is one place where the setting worked in excellent choreography with the art itself, creating a eerily subterranean feel that gave a sense of the immense and polluted world tucked out of sight in many parts of cities as large as this: dumps, super-fund sites, the oil spill that is now trapped under Greenpoint.
In The Loop Like most good satires, there was a distinct sense of tragedy to this film. The story follows the complex and frequently ego-driven machinations of career bureaucrats in both the British and American governments as they gear up for some-cough cough Iraq war-and seek desperately to try and build a shaky case for the war, and push through an uneducated vote in the U.N. On the other side are an equally bumbling group of bureaucrats who do not go to war, but lose out because they waffle too long about whether to save their careers or their governments from war, allowing themselves to be intimidated. It is a funny, complex film that hints at a larger anger, a larger sense of loss that necessarily involves playing hypotheticals involving certain Floridian supreme courts some ten years ago, hypotheticals that are neither fun, nor worth playing.
Sangre de Mi Sangre, It one of the best film at Sundance in 2007 and never quite stopped feeling like a film that was geared to winning best film at Sundance in 2007. It starts with two immigrants coming to New York, one painfully innocent (who will of course lose his innocence), and one criminally and immaturely minded. The innocent one has a letter to his father, which the criminal one steals, and then spends the film impersonating the son and searching for the father’s miser mound of money. Pedro, for his part, spends his time getting stolen from, befriending (and briefly, horrifically betraying) a prostitute, and searching for his father. The most complex part of the film is how the impersonator is both seeking to steal from the unwitting father and actually pretend that he is the father. It is a good film, one that is infuriating in how perfectly things go wrong. The ending is one of a murder of innocence and redemptions based on lies. Solid, but not overwhelming.