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No lie --- I went to high school with a bunch of those Darkon guys and one of them was my true and only love for a handful of months (and a deliciously kinky lay - which I didn't really know until I really started sleeping around and realized that not everyone liked to ... well, do that stuff). I can see one of them in the background in the trailer. Freaked me out for a sec. We were drama club together, go fig. Now they all vote republican except the one diehard high-school conservative -- he's in the Peace Corps.

Posted by PG-rated | February 2, 2007 3:04 PM

I know I'm a little late on this, but I just saw 'Children of Men' and thought it was the best sci-fi movie since 'Dawn of the Dead'. So, so great, and raises the bar on the genre to a level it hasn't seen since Kubrick was stalking this territory.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | February 2, 2007 3:32 PM

Children of Men had GC written all over it GC.

Posted by Josh Feit | February 2, 2007 3:42 PM

Children of Men is good, but I've said it before and I'll say it again. Not sci-fi. Dystopian fantasy.

Posted by annie | February 2, 2007 3:56 PM

The brand of dye-colored drink used during the massacre actually was not Kool-Aid!

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | February 2, 2007 4:10 PM

It was Flavor Aid. Similar to Kool-Aid, sure.. but the more popular latter product got attached as this facet of cult stereotypes regardless.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | February 2, 2007 4:15 PM

read the review, mfw. i got there first:

Maybe I've been reading too much Michael Pollan lately, but it's occurred to me that the idiom "to drink the Kool-Aid" might be one of the most perfect products of the 20th century. Of course it's reductive and insensitive to the families of the over 900 people who were coerced into committing suicide by their leader Jim Jones in 1978. Still, there's something fascinating—even repulsively representative—about a countercultural movement born of '60s idealism that ended in sadistic mind control and mass-produced sugar water. (Naysayers like to point out that the powdered drink used in Jonestown was technically Flavor Aid, but one of the great moments in this documentary is archival footage in which Jones shows off his colony's store of "Kool-Aid." Brand names cut both ways.)
Posted by annie | February 2, 2007 4:26 PM

Yo, El Topo at the Grand Illusion this weekend. Psyche!

Posted by opalescent arcs | February 3, 2007 12:02 AM

I reviewed IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS based on a DVD screener, and thought it was one of the best movies I saw last year. So why must it "absolutely be seen on the big screen"? Would you tell everyone who missed it in theaters that they may as well forget about ever seeing it?

I understand that you're not definitively coming out in favor of the big screen versus the small screen, but our debate wasn't completely about that anyway. It was more about the debate itself, and how it leads to cocky, small-town-film-buff-defeating comments like, "This *has* to be seen in a theater."

Most movies are better on the big screen (if the conditions are right), but I refuse to believe there's really that many movies that "just won't work" on DVD. Avant-garde cinema aside, If the viewing experience significantly effects the way a movie is received, then that may be a flaw in the movie.

Posted by Noel Murray | February 4, 2007 4:52 AM

Well, I'm saying "absolutely must" because IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS is getting another theatrical run in Seattle starting February 9. Nobody in this area has an excuse for missing it. If you, like our Seattle readers (who, admittedly, may or may not be a majority of our Slog readers), had the choice between seeing the movie soon in a theater or later on DVD, I would passionately advocate the former. But of course I would never discourage people from seeing it on DVD if that's the only choice. In any case, I think it's condescending to assume that readers who don't have a way to see the film in the theater would take my phrase literally.

Posted by annie | February 4, 2007 11:29 AM

Not my intention to be condescending, but I would argue that when film buffs use phrases like "absolutely must be seen on the big screen" -- literally intended or not -- the result often is that people decide not to see the movie at all. All I'm asking is that we cinephiles put a lid on those kind of blanket statements, and stop making people feel like bums for watching movies at home rather than going out. The differences are, much of the time, negligible. Like I said, I've seen IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS -- twice now -- on DVD. And while I too would urge your readers to see it in a theater, I'd also let them know that it looks great at home too.

I really don't think this debate is pointless. I think the future of movie fandom is at stake. Either we cluck our tongues and act like scolds as people migrate from theaters to living rooms, or we embrace the enthusiasm of people who live in the middle of nowhere yet can still see a Tsai Ming-Liang film thanks to Netflix.

Again, I realize that according to your post you're largely ecumenical on the subject. But I'm assuming you've never had the experience I've had of my film-nut friends -- most of them NY-based -- shaking their heads sadly when I say that I'm looking forward to SATANTANGO coming out on DVD, so that my Arkansas-bound ass can finally see it. As far as they're concerned, even once I watch it on my new 42" plasma HDTV on my upconverting DVD player, I still won't have "seen SATANTANGO." It's pretty infuriating.

Posted by Noel Murray | February 4, 2007 6:00 PM


Why would someone decide not to see a film based on the phrase "absolutely must be seen on the big screen"? It makes you feel like a bum because your colleagues give you shit for being a home video devotee, I guess. But when the Average Joe hears it I suspect it's a positive. If it bothers you that's one thing. Let's be clear.


Posted by Brian | February 19, 2007 1:28 PM

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