Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Is There a Better Film Than This?

23 comments:

barbara jane said...

this is in my netflix queue!

re whether there is a better film, i am such a worshipper of kurosawa, you know? :-)

Lee Herrick said...

i think you'll like it. i saw it on the big screen when i was in guatemala, which only enhanced the effect!

i'm woefully lacking in my kurosawa experience. maybe i'll add a few of his to my queue.

pam said...

Agreed. City of God was amazing. I couldn't stop trembling for days.

BTW Lee, very nice actions you put in at the recent shitfest at Ron's comment bar. Very nice moves. Enuff said.

Lee Herrick said...

shitfest is right. thanks for your props/support, pam.

fishlamp said...

Thanks for the recommendation; I've been looking for some more foreign films to see.

Lee Herrick said...

you'll like it, fishlamp---but beware, it's a heavy one...violent and heavy at times.

Michael Parker said...

I have been meaning to see this since it was released on DVD. I recall it being on many notable top ten lists for 2003. So thanks for your recommendation. I'm putting it off no longer.

Kimberly said...

ditto to what michael parker said...

Hui Jeong said...

City of God is an awesome movie w/ an awesome soundtrack. i'm a fan of foreign films and LOVE greencine for it's HUGE collection of korean films. it also has many films by wong kar wai!

Lee, have you read "Reading Asian American Poetry" by Juliana Chang? i'm in the middle of reading this essay. It's helping me overcome my fear of reading poetry (i enjoy seeing/ hearing it read, but don't really like to read it).

Hui Jeong said...

sorry another thought, can you think of any asian american poets who express a socially and politically conservative nature? most of apa poetry either appears to be absent of politics or strongly progressive. this may just be a result of my own political leanings. i actually can't think of any conservative poets who are poets of color.

Lee Herrick said...

michael, kimberly: you know what's funny? after reading your posts i realized i have only seen it once and would probably like it again. i have it coming from netflix!

hui jeong: i'll have to check out greencine. i think someone recommended that to me before, so i should get with it and check it out. yes, i've read chang's essay. i actually had it linked from my blog at one point. poetry can be a challenging form to negotiate, but i'm glad you're getting over the fear of it. as for conservative asian-am poets...you know...i can't think of any off the top of my head. it's partly because the liberal poet might be more likely to write overtly political poems. also, of course, most poets don't declare it because it's not really necessary, but I'm sure they're out there. but if we can align conservatism with positions of power, then the conservative poet might not have as much to vent about. plenty to write about of course, but perhaps not as many specifically political gripes to voice. nearly all of my asian-am poet friends, as far as i know, are democrats, green, etc.

if i think of any, i'll let you know. you do the same, okay?

Kimberly said...

i have rented "City of God" and plan to watch it this weekend. i'm a little nervous though...it says it has brutal violence and i'm not very good with violent movies. meaning, i tend to wince or close my eyes during violent scenes a lot. should i be ready to close my eyes a lot? is it really brutally violent throughout much of the film? prep me, lee!!!

Lee Herrick said...

kimberly,

it's definitely violent, but i don't remember it being an onslaught of endless violence because there is a lot of nuance---relationships, friendships, betrayal, etc. at the heart of the film. part of the violence stems from who is actually being violent. it's startling.

i'll be watching it, too...either tonight or tomorrow night. let me know what you think about it...i hope you don't hate it! then i'd feel compelled to refund your money or something like that...happy viewing!

pam said...

I'd be curious too to see if anyone has an answer to Hui Jeong's query about politically conservative APA poets. Certainly there are politically conservative poets (e.g., Dana Giola), and certainly there are politically conservative Asian Americans (e.g., Michelle Malkin); a combo of the two seems likely and, given the increasing numbers of Asian Americans who are signing up for the Republican party, inevitable (my own progressive self shudders at the thought). It will be interesting to see if they become more visible in the next 5-10 years, and what effect that will have on the APA community as a whole.

Lee Herrick said...

anybody have any thoughts on pam's question? i'd like to know also.

Kimberly said...

i just watched it, it was excellent. thanks for the reminder to watch it.

barbara jane said...

in response to hui jeong, lee, and pam on conservative APA poets, i am inclined to agree with lee in one of his previous comments: that perhaps if there are conservative APA poets, they really don't need to make such a declaration, ie write pro-war or anti-abortion poetry, etc. since those issues are well-supported by a mainstream american culture and generally well-reperesented by our elected officials.

i do know of APA poets who shy away from radicalism or simply progressive politics, but then again, this isn't terribly remarkable in terms of the larger APA community, is it?

Lee Herrick said...

kimberly, i'm glad you liked it!

barbara, very true. within the larger apa context, it's not surprising. i wonder what roger at apapoetry would say about this.

pam said...

Yes I agree with Barbara-- the shying away from politics is hardly unusual in the larger APA community.

Perhaps a conservative APA poet might skip the "marginal" practices of art and poetry altogether and go straight for the mainstream jugular a la talk radio or the Adam Carolla show-- :o

It's an interesting question to me because I've come to think of the very term "Asian-American" as implying a progressive and possibly activist politics to some degree. I tend to assume this about the term "Asian-American" more than I do about a term like "Chinese-American," maybe because of the historical coalition-building context behind the term "Asian-American"? But maybe I'm assuming too much here?

In other words, would a conservative poet/artist/writer of Asian descent self-identify as Asian-American in the first place? Or would s/he eschew the label and take on a "rogue" or contrarian stance?

But thinking about this question in terms of the larger APA community, beyond the arts, I'm reminded of a news bit I heard about a year ago on the NPR program "Pacific Time": it was a piece on APA elected representatives in the California state congress, and how they had decided to form a bipartisan APA caucus that included both Democratic and Republican reps. At the time, I was surprised to hear that there were elected APA Repubs to begin with, and that furthermore they were teaming up with Dems to address (presumably nonpartisan) issues affecting APA communities. Which kind of blew a hole in my theory that conservative Asian Americans wouldn't take on APA issues/identity, since here they were doing just that.

The particular case of poetry is interesting, because, as is outlined in the Juliana Chang essay mentioned in a comment above, poetry has historically been used as a rallying ground for the progressive politics of the APA community. Poetry has often played this role in communities of color, more so than fiction, maybe because poems have more immediacy in their language and are closer to song? So it will be interesting to see if a conservative APA poet will offer a rally cry for conservative APAs, or if such a poet will compose ostensibly apolitical poems and work his/her conservative agenda more from behind the scenes, within the context of arts-funding establishments and grant-giving bureaucracies (e.g., Dana Giola).

That said, I love it when the kids all get down and funky with James Brown in City of God...

Lee Herrick said...

pam/barbara, this is a really interesting discussion. i want to take it and post something about it in the main section of my blog...do you mind? maybe others will see it and comment. there are some really interesting points here. thanks for raising the question, hui jeong.

pam, you make an excellent point/raise an excellent question here: "In other words, would a conservative poet/artist/writer of Asian descent self-identify as Asian-American in the first place?" chances are not. but i could be wrong.

i think the presence of repub apas has always been there. the range of voter preferences is so vast that i think it's a large reason why politicians do not have to work as hard for the apa vote because it isn't defined as a block. the organization called 80/20 is a good example of this---a group trying to build a coalition whereby 80% of the apa votership would vote one way.

maybe we if we keep this discussion going long enough, the conservative poets out there will get wind of it and respond. we're all poets/writers, so there is our common ground. we could hash out election 2008 in the meantime.

pam said...

Lee, if you want to promote this discussion to your main blog page, I certainly don't mind! I think it's a pretty significant topic too.

Where can I find more info on this 80/20 organization?

barbara jane said...

absolutely, lee, bring it to your main blog page. sounds like you, pam, and i oughtta sit down over coffee and unravel this :-)

Lee Herrick said...

pam: you can find them here-----http://www.80-20initiative.net/

i'll bring it into the main page soon...leaving for a wedding and ridiculously busy this week...but hopefully by sunday.

in the meantime, i'll be thinking of which poets might be green, republican...apolitical?