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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Next Cinema

posted by on September 25 at 11:01 AM

About the director of this short film, MANOJ….

….I have written:

Seattle is in the process of developing a cinematic language of its own. And it is the brave ambition of this new language to be distinct from the one that has been developed by outsiders, by those who look at our city in the way a person looks at a goldfish in a bowl. This kind of look, that of the outsider, can be seen in the new movie Battle in Seattle. Stuart Townsend, the film’s director, pictures Seattle in broad, blockish, and general (or generally laughable) terms. We laugh at the depiction of Gary Locke (Seattle as a part/port of the Far East), of a political banner dropped from a construction crane (Seattle as a hub of radical activism), and of the Space Needle (the first and final meaning of Seattle). Countering this general view of our city is a growing local cluster of views, scenes, and scenarios. The primary locus of this counterdepiction has been independent films (the cinema of Lynn Shelton, for example). But there is another locus that deserves our attention, and that is the recent body of hiphop videos produced by Zia Mohajerjasbi.
Zia made MANOJ with local/not local comedian Hari Kondabolu, the star of the short film.

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Interesting analysis of Seattle filmmaking vs. Seattle settings (especially when those films are actually shot in another country masquerading as Seattle).

One might wonder then, why our giant, corporate-driven, flagship film festival (SIFF) chooses to trumpet films like Battle in Seattle (SIFF's opening night feature) to local audiences instead of wonderful films made by local talent.

It might also be worth mentioning that there was a different film festival in town that was championing films this year by Zia AND Lynn Shelton (as well as a host of other worthy LOCAL Filmmakers), at the same time that SIFF was trying to suck off Stuart Townsend because he has a famous girlfriend. But, some probably think that would amount to beating a dead horse.

Posted by True Independent Fan | September 25, 2008 1:26 PM

Very interesting, Charles. Thanks. You've conveyed what this new cinematic language is not. Can you let us in on what it is? I haven't the foggiest (do I have to watch the video and follow the links?).

Posted by fixo | September 25, 2008 1:30 PM

This isht is funny. And the last line? Ouch.

Posted by Thriller | September 25, 2008 2:09 PM

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