PATRICE GREANVILLE—This is a highly unusual film, a quiet, at times lyrical, other times creepy documentary on the small mansions —actually impressive mausoleums—where Mexico’s most notorious drug lords (and other victims of the drug war) lie at rest. Hauntingly, most of the residents in this city of the dead are extremely young. A meditation on culture and class, the images say a lot about the almost infinite ability of the poor to scrape a living under almost any circumstances, and about the people of Mexico’s unique attitude toward death and their apparent stubborn belief in an afterlife.
ARTS & FILM
ARTS & FILMBRAZIL
Sensual, liberated and irrepressible: When it comes to Carnival, Brazil Remains the World’s Superpower.
PATRICE GREANVILLE—The Samba Schools of Rio de Janeiro are simply a unique cultural phenomenon. Samba Schools do not teach Samba! A samba school (Portuguese: Escola de samba) is a dancing, marching, and drumming (Samba Enredo) club. They practice and often perform in a huge square-compounds (“quadras de samba”) and are devoted to practicing and exhibiting samba, an African-Brazilian dance and drumming style. Although the word “school” is in the name, samba schools do not offer instruction. Samba schools have a strong community basis and are traditionally associated with a particular neighborhood. They are often seen to affirm the cultural validity of the Afro-Brazilian heritage in contrast to the mainstream education system.
GUILERMO ST-I’ve sadly had to see many actors pass away throughout my life, but this one feels sadder than most. Rutger Hauer made possible one of my favorite cinematic experiences during my childhood, which helped me love cinema to this day. One thing’s for sure: his legacy won’t be lost in time, like tears in the rain. There are way too many people who love this movie like I do to let that happen. Time to die… but you will be forever remembered.
AMERICAN DUPLICITYAMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISMAMERICAN PROPAGANDAAMERICAN STUDIESARTS & FILM
MATTHEW JL EHRET —One little known film stands out quite a bit however, and since so little is known of this small masterpiece, a word must be said now. Ten years after Kennedy’s murder, Trumbo, Edward Lewis, David Miller, Mark Lane and Garry Horrowitz created a film which could be called “Trumbo’s last stand”. This film was called Executive Action (1973) and starred Kirk Douglas’ long-time collaborator Burt Lancaster as a leading coordinator of the plot to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.
AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISMAMERICAN STUDIESARTS & FILM
Interview with film historian Joseph McBride: For Kirk Douglas, life was “like a war—you have to fight all the time”
JOSEPH MCBRIDE—Douglas liked to play outrageously tough, even neurotic, explosive guys. He was unafraid to be dislikeable on screen. A lot of stars today have this obsession about being likeable, which is terrible. The best tradition in Hollywood, represented by Humphrey Bogart, Douglas, Lancaster and others, was one of anti-heroes. Intriguing, flawed people. Today leading actors are afraid to do that, so the studios smooth away the edges. They make characters so bland. Douglas was the opposite of that.