If you read these often you’ll notice that the past week has been quite non-fiction centric, as I continue to explore the diverse world of the ‘actuality’ film for my Mockumentary module. Starting with a conspiracy movie, then a double-bill of vegetarian/vegan awareness documentaries. Not that I’m trying to plant any ideas in your head. Also I have fcuk all time so will keep each review to a hundred words or so.
Zeitgeist (2007) – 3/5
Director: Peter Joseph
Cast: George Bush, Joseph Pretzel, Billuminati Gates, Blackhole Pyramidterrorists, Bortion, Cannibal Holocaust, Ebola
The film than launched a hundred thousand parody clips. However thoroughly/poorly researched or factually correct this internet ‘documentary’ may or may not be, there is no ignoring the massive ripples it caused in the online psyche upon its meteorological impact. With enough conviction and the right music you can convince people of anything, as proved here by Peter Joseph, the writer/narrator/director/editor/composer hyphenate behind Zeitgeist: The Movie. Religion is a hoax; 9/11 was an inside job; Worldwide banking federations are run by Satanists – and what’s more, they’re all connected. Apparently. Don’t listen if you don’t want to though, it’s just information. Man. But it’s ‘dawg’ now, isn’t it? Weird how stuff changes. Dog has become man. Dog backwards is good. Dogs are rewarded for being good by man (man = nam = Apocalypse Now = The Rapture). Rapping in the end times. Blunts have an end. Snoop Dogg raps and smokes blunts. This can mean only one thing… Snoop is Gourd.
Food, Inc. (2008) – 4/5
Director: Robert Kenner
Cast: Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, Carole Morison
Dazzling, informative and commendably objective appraisal of the US food industry and the lengths the big corporations will go to to keep their bovine oligopoly on all fours and churning out the goods. From diabolical birthing pits to cages to mass feeding grounds to the killing floor to the store to the plate of the consumer, the journey of most animals and the quality of the end product is morally and physically disgusting. High fructose corn syrup also gets a well deserved and entirely factual kicking. Food Inc. is a real eye opener, probably even more so if you live in America or aren’t aware that animals are currently experiencing the uber-Holocaust x 3,000,000,000 at the hands of a very few major, profit-mad companies.
Vegucated (2010) – 2/5
Director: Marisa Miller Wolfson
Cast: Marisa Miller Wolfson, Chloe Davis, Cody Tarlow, Molly Wadzeck-Allen
An interesting but overly subjective piece of low-fi film making. Vegan director Marissa Miller Wolfson sets three uninspired New Yorkers a life changing diet challenge, while also informing them of the unintentional harm they are causing to environmental and animal life in maintaining their average everyday eating habits. Vegucated is well made, but relies too heavily on the emotional sensitivity of its subjects to demonstrate why going veggie is a no-brainer. Still, if leading lives of enlightenment and vitality can be as simple as going to a farm to hold a baby chick or watching a slaughterhouse video, then go for it. Positive changes, yo.
Heathers (1998) – 3/5
Director: Michael Lehmann
Cast: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannon Doherty
Wicked black comedy starring Winona Ryder as a depressed high school clique girl whose disgust for popular kids – herself included – drives her to desperate measures. Dark horse new-kid J.D. (Christian Slater) transfixes her with his law baiting, anti-establishment recklessness, and the two form an unspoken but powerful death pact against the bullies and bitches of Westerburg high school. Veronica (Ryder) is a neophyte in the murder business, but under J.D’s wing she soon adapts to her new life’s mission. Probably not as funny a film post-Elliot Rodgers. Watch for the dad at funeral yelling, ‘I love my dead gay son!’
Man with a Movie Camera (1929) – 4/5
Director: Dziga Vertov
Cast: Mikhail Kaufman, Millions of Russian peasants
Long live the Workers’ Utopia! May it reign for an infinity and a thousand years! Russian socialist and documentarist Dziga Vertov is recognised as the inventor of the motion picture montage. It’s a common bit of misinformation that his Soviet contemporary Sergie Eisentstein – most known for his influential propagandist film The Battleship Potemkin – was the founder of this magical editing technique; but no, ’twas Vertov. He believed that capturing on film the purity of the Russian people was key to their continued development and harmony with technology. So occupied was Vertov with compiling footage and cutting it to fit his idealised version of socialist perfection that he began to believe that his film Man with a Movie Camera, complete with time lapses, superimposed images of Lenin and a camera transforming into a giant eye, was a more ‘whole truth’ than reality.
DMT: The Spirit Molecule (2010) – 2/5
Director: Mitch Schultz
Cast: Joe Rogan, Graham Hancock, Roland Griffiths
Talking (pot)heads documentary grounded in anecdotal discussions about personal experience, which attempts to convey that DMT (dimethyltryptamine ) is the skeleton key to the very soul of not just ourselves but the universe. Provided it is used ‘in the correct context’, DMT can supposedly solve all social, political, environmental and psychological problems. ‘Take DMT bro, and for five minutes all the meaningless capitalism drifts away, leaving your consciousness alone with the warm void of truth that is universal love’ – Typical quote from DMT: The Spirit Molecule. Joe Rogan sometimes appears in a shabby suit to yell at you to do drugs.
Demolition Man (1993) – 2/5
Director: Marco Brambilla
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone, Sandra Bullock
Early 90s action trash. Demolition Man wishes it was a cynical-cum-satirical movie about technology and its role in the uncertain future of mankind. However, a Paul Verhoeven movie this is not. Marco Brambilla’s 1984-wannabe dystopia lacks all credibility, reducing the complete turnaround of humanity to throwaway quips about ‘the end of violence’/bad language. The 2032 setting devised in Demolition Man is, for all intents and purposes, a genuine utopia – that’s not interesting it’s just boring, as are the power-play plot twists. Having Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes’ cyrogenically frozen outlaws bust from the ice does nothing to thaw out the film’s frigid feel, which reaches its apex when Sandra Bullock and Stallone have ‘virtual reality’ sexual intercourse. Christ.
Thanks for coming. If you’ve never seen Zeitgeist you could just watch the whole damn thing on YouTube right now. Go on, do it. Wake up. Wake up to the nightmare of reality!