Saturday, September 24, 2005

Facets Thread

Facets Multi-Media is a film distributor out of here in Chicago. The headquarters is over at 1517 W. Fullerton, and they not only sell films and DVDs out of there, but they have a pretty extensive rental collection and an onsite Theatre.

Their regular rental service is basically the same as any other rental shop, but with a much weirder selection--they have all sorts of indie and foreign films you can't find anywhere else, and a random selection of more mainstream picks. Basically, don't stake your life on being able to find the newest blockbuster to DVD, but if you want to have seen all films that most folks slept on, this is the place.

The best deal is the "Family Freedom Pass" (or the Family French Pass if you prefer) which allows you a NetFlix-ish all-you-can-rent (up to three at a time) mail or in-person DVD arrangement for $24/month. The insane part is that it also gets you and an acquaintance, date or loved one into any film at the theatre for free, and invites to all of the nights where they get a filmmaker in to talk to the audience. You also get a small discount on any stuff you buy in the shop.

My wife and I joined up last week and so far have seen four films:

We started with "Secretary" with Maggie Gyllenhaal. We had both heard a ton about the film. Mostly, everyone we know said repeatedly that Liz looks exactly like Gyllenhaal. At first, as the movie developed, we were like "What the fuck? Liz is similiar to this woman out the mental institution who likes to cut herself?" But we couldn't deny some of the physical resemblance. Then we started to notice more and more mannerisms that she shared with the character. So by midway through the film, I was giggling quite a bit.

We were shocked that they managed to pull off the film without it descending into the normal Hollywood misogynist male fantasy crap. We thought the relationship was really disfunctional, but both characters came across as very decent human beings who actually cared about each other. Plus, it was interesting to see that despite the centering of the film around this sexual/love relationship, it managed to avoid being gratuitous. In the final sexual tryst, it's almost like the audience is receiving the same reward for persevering through the couple's courtship rather than the normal "point-and-shoot" Hollywood sexuality. It passed our "would anyone except white boys actually enjoy the sexuality of this film" test with flying colors.

It was a little bizarre to think that a sizable amount of people identify my wife with the main character in the film.

Whale Rider (2002)
Cidade de Deus (2002)
Homem Que Copiava, O (2003)
Office Space (1999)
Maria, Full of Grace
Love Liza
The Village
Ghost World
Violent Cop
Monsoon Wedding

Monday, September 19, 2005

Be a real American, piss on other Americans

Angry Asian Man linked this story on an Ann Arbor man who followed up a barrage of racial slurs by urinated off of a balcony onto a University of Michigan student.

Much respect to the couple who made a courageous choice to contact authorities. The man is now being charged and will likely have to register in a sex offenders database. (I'm not sure how I feel about those things in general, but this fucker is just lucky Chai Vang was nowhere in sight.)

The whole thing is upsetting, but hardly surprising. I mean, it's not like this is the only guy who has decided that his balcony is the perfect place to project his racist sentiments on to random people of color walking past. I mean, I'm just a poor little half-breed and this type of shit happened at U of I all the time.
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