Blog 2: Electric Boogaloo

Audience, State Theatre, TCFF 2013In prep for moderating Saturday’s run Propaganda was early on my sched. The film was an experience that left me conflicted and uneasy, both of which were acknowledged as intentional results during the Q/A with Slavko Martinov, director, and Michael Moore. I say conflicted, because it was a rail on Western culture that highlighted all its bleakest parts, crammed with an overwhelming number of shameful facts to support them. It was powerfully visualized by a mix of crushing images, generally casualties of the most vulnerable: children. Manipulative montage. Not a criticism, Martinov might agree that it makes his point. If you’re ever in need for examples of the strength of the Kuleshov effect – Martinov and his editor – masters. The reaction of the audience was mixed, a divide between those who felt they “got it” those who felt that the barrage of brutal images were unexpected or too much or both. Whatever your opinion, it is a new twist on cinema.

To further test my general optimism I ended that night with Dirty Wars – Jeremy Scahill and Rick Rowley’s expose on the widening war on terror who’s innocent casualties are increasing and the ultimate end goal is uncertain.

Admittedly this run of stark, punishing global conspiracy reality has given me a strobing intermittent exotropia (cross eye) that’ll only be cured by heavy doses of low-ball comedy. I am still optimistic, just now more informed and determined to add more acts of human kindness in my daily life. For perspective, see Carl Sagan’s “pale blue dot.”

Fanie Farie’s Lobola acted much like The English Teacher yesterday. A buffer between me, a well-needed mood lift before A Hijacking.

A quick stop in to the Filmmaker Soire before A Hijacking.

Top notch psychological suspense about a Danish ship hijacked by Somali pirates that doesn’t pander to easy answers and builds through the camera’s close quarters framing and the uncertain relationship with their captors.

Michael Mittelstaedt is the director of the Motion Picture Arts Division at Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is currently on sabbatical writing his first Western that he plan to produce in the summer of 2014.

Photo by Michael Poehlman