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Movies: Daughters of the Dust, directed by Julie Dash, 1991, USA.
Keeping with the theme of Black History Month, this week’s film selection is Julie Dash’s landmark film Daughters of the Dust. Dash, who is Black Cinema’s predominant female voice, created one of the most unusual films in American history by crafting a narrative that was told from the perspective of an unborn child. It was also a tale of the underbelly of the American dream, as it is the story of three generations of Gullah women, a community of African Americans in the south who strove to maintain and perpetuate their African heritage by recording and developing new languages and customs. The film was entered into the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress in 2004.
Music: Visions by Grimes.
I was first introduced to Grimes a few years ago by my colleague Joshua Dysart, writer for the acclaimed graphic novel Unknown Soldier, and I was really taken with her. A true artist in an age of highly-manufactured pop ingenues, Grimes has the talent, presence and charm to really hit it big time. With her new album, Visions, Grimes lays down a sonic palette that is one part classic 4AD lushness (think This Mortal Coil mixed with the vocal stylings of Cocteau Twins) with the snyth cool of Cliff Martinez’s Drive soundtrack. It’s still very early in the year, but this record has skyrocketed to the top of my best of the year list.
Funding: Girl Walk, a feature film by Jacob Krupnick.
One of the truly fantastic indie films made in the past year, Jacob Krupnick’s Girl Walk is a feature-length music video that is scored by the complete All Day album by mashup maestro Girl Talk. It’s one of the purely enjoyable films I’ve seen this year, and its origins are true indie film, from crowdsourced funding to a DIY release strategy that includes promotion through dance workshops, symposiums and special events. I applaud Krupnick’s tenacity to create such a bold indie vision and release it on his own terms, and that’s definitely worth supporting. Krupnick is constantly raising funds for the logistics of his distribution, and donations can be made on his blog page via Paypal. You can learn more about the film - including seeing it in its entirety for free - on the film’s website: girlwalkallday.com. Believe me, you don’t want to miss it, it’s something truly, truly special.
Blogs worth checking out (with Twitter links, if available):
If you’re too young to never have seen The Cosby Show (oh, don’t remind me that I’m in my thirties), you owe it to yourself to head over to Netflix and watch the early seasons. One of the more distinguishing features of the program was Bill Cosby’s vibrant array of sweaters, which act as a symbol of aesthetic lunacy but also of cultural significance. This blog catalogs each and every sweater worn on the show, and is a work of true - if not inspired- passion.
A great tumblr blog celebrating the films of yesteryear, an historic journey with the early pioneers of cinema. This is a beautiful blog for anyone looking to learn the roots of cinema, which is an essential starting point for any aspiring filmmaker, myself included.
Art of the Title is one of the truly great film blogs on the internet, and their current feature on the opening credits sequence for David Fincher’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is simply outstanding. Heavily researched and thoroughly documented, the article features in-depth interviews with Fincher and his credits crew, and goes not only into the technical execution of the piece, but also the artistic philosophy and inspirations behind it. An incredible read, and the same goes for the entirety of the blog.
Trailers: The Grandmasters, directed by Wong Kar-Wai.
It’s Wong Kar-Wai. With Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang. With fights by Master Yuen Woo-Ping. ‘Nuff said. I’m sold.
Remember, if you want to get a shout out, you gotta let me know!
Shout Out Sunday Archive:February 19, 2012