17 May 2005

Lars Von Triers new film

[ Guardian article ]

It's called Manderlay, and it's the second part of a trilogy which started with Dogville. It's set on a alabama cotton plantation and is about a bunch of slaves being liberated by a black woman 70 years after their emancipation. Like Dogville I'm sure it's going to be horrendously bleak and cynical and painful to watch, but ultimately compelling.

Most of the slaves in question are having to be played by British actors, because no african american actors would touch it. That whole thing is still pretty touchy, I guess. you really think ignoring it is gonna help? Fuck, let's just go back to the race riots of the 90s, shall we? I mean, if you can't have an open dialogue why not just express yourself with rage? What does it mean when african-american actors are too afraid or uncomfortable to play slave roles in films? aren't we more enlightened than we all were? Maybe not. It can't be good, whatever it means...

Okay, enough of this. It's starting to sound like I'm trying to start a fight when really I'm just an opinionated motherfucker with a penchant for good hiphop and Spike Lee films.

I saw driving miss daisy, or at least a bit of it, the other day and was well impressed by Morgan Freeman's charactersation (is it me or is morgan freeman playing only morgan freeman roles these days? Like, he's the same in every film he's made recently. How annoying is that? Fucking poor typecasted bastard). It takes guts for an african american actor to play such an inflamatory role, a film that hints at the racism of the period but doesn't shove it in your face, and his acting is exquisite. In an era when the negro identity (are you still allowed to say negro? It's just, african-american gets awfully repetative... and 'black' could mean any black person, not just americans... Stupid PC police in my head...) is most widely represented by gangsta rap and blingbling ghettofabulous bullshit it was nice to see something that had some nuance. Sure, the film is 16 years old, but I'd never seen it, so it may as well of been made yesterday. I wonder if a film like that would ever get made these days? I should probably sit down and watch the whole thing at some point.

Here, have a quote from Trier:

"I feel there could just as well be an American military presence in Denmark. We are a nation under a very bad influence, because I think Bush is an asshole and doing a lot of really stupid things."

Go on! Ya big danish freak...

nb: I'd say my favourite Von Trier film would have to be Dancer in the Dark. Man, that movie fucked up my head. Best... Ending... Ever! ^_^