16 March 2010

Three documentaries

I got to see three documentaries yesterday at the SXSW film festival. They were Good, Better and Best, and I saw them in that order. 
The Best
The Parking Lot Movie was an absolute joy to watch. Periodically over three years, director Meghan Eckman filmed footage at and about the attendants at the Corner Parking Lot in Charlottesville, Va. The key to it is how she captured the personalities of the attendants in interviews. I guess it takes a certain personality to pass the time in a booth near a top college campus. At the same time philosophical, witty and insane, the attendants discuss the happenings of the parking lot, their reactions to it and it's impact on their lives. This is a great work of art, and I hope it finds its way to a theater near you.

The Better
11/4/08. A date for the history books, for sure. My own recollection is voting in an old church on Fort Washington Blvd in the morning, then late at night, back home in my apartment watching the President-elect's Victory Speech with tears rolling down my cheeks. I knew that America had finally taken a step toward being respected in the world again, and not for economic and military might, but for our character as a people who choose our own destiny.

And now, 11/4/08 is the title of a documentary showing footage from around the world on Election Day. With scenes NYC, Austin, Chicago, Berlin, Dubai and more, this does a great job of capturing the emotion of that momentous day. And, from the perspective of a year-and-a-half later, it's worth remembering. Let's not get forget what President Obama means to the world. It's too easy to get discouraged by the short-term, day-to-day political mess, but in the bigger picture, President Obama is far more than health care or Guantanamo or Afghanistan. He is the fulfillment of the dream of thousands who fought for rights. And he is the source of dreams of millions of children today who need someone to look up to. 

From the website, it doesn't seem to be scheduled to show anywhere else, but I'd expect it to be in indy-type theaters before this fall's elections.
We don't care about music anyways is a portrait of some cutting-edge musicians in Tokyo. Creating amplified sound from turntables, laptops, body parts and, of course, guitars, this film incorporates their music with vibrant images from Tokyo. Recommended especially for music-lovers.

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