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by Cynthia Fuchs

1 Mar 2012


“There’s nothing about that day that was real,” begins Chico Colvard. He means the day that he shot his older sister Paula in the leg. “I do remember distinctly pulling the rifle up and pointing it at her head,” he adds, over photos of the family’s kitchen in Radcliff, Kentucky, circa 1978 as well as footage from The Rifleman a favorite TV show then. He remembers thinking, too, “The rifleman wouldn’t do that.” If Colvard doesn’t remember pulling the trigger, he does remember the sound: “It was just really deafening. I was a kid. I mean up until that moment anyway. I was just a kid.” 

Colvard’s documentary, Family Affair, goes on to consider how kids are kids—and specifically, how kids survive terrible situations, here, Colvard’s father’s longtime sexual abuse of all three of his daughters. Premiering 1 March on Oprah Winfrey’s Network, the film is profound, subtle, and relentless as it looks back on his own and his sisters’ childhoods. In interviews with Paula, Angie, and Chiquita, he asks how they’ve come to forgive their abuser, even as you see Chici downing her meds (she’s diagnosed schizophrenic, worries that her rages might affect her own children) or close shots of Paula’s scarred leg, still debilitating even after 22 surgeries and two bone grafts. Colvard doesn’t have to say that he feels guilty over her ongoing pain, or his ignorance as a boy: his sisters kept their horrors from him, hoping to protect him. As Colvard seeks to understand his sisters’ experiences, they can only begin to explain. “All of us had to go in our own directions and we had to go there by ourselves,” one narrates over a series of literalizing images—roads and houses shot from a car. “We’ve all taken our own roads and now these roads are leading back to each other.” Angie adds, “When we all got separated, we lost our lifelines. As dysfunctional as it was. we needed each other.” As they come to see this, they come to see one another differently, their stories coming together and apart at the same time. As much as Family Affair seems poised for revelation, it is at last focused on the sisters’ survival and generosity.

See PopMattersreview.

Family Affair

by Thomas Britt

29 Feb 2012


An Appointment with The Wicker Man

The biggest news to emerge from a recent Empire web chat with Nicolas Cage is that Cage has not given up on The Wicker Man. The actor starred in Neil LaBute’s 2006 remake of Robin Hardy’s classic 1973 horror film, and the result was an endlessly rewarding misfire, earning the film cult status and generating wildly popular Internet memes.

The Wicker Man (2006) Trailer:

by Comfort Clinton

29 Feb 2012


Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret has lived in purgatory for six years. The film, which is written and directed by Lonergan, who’s past writing credits include Analyze This and Gangs of New York, and who’s last directing foray was 2000’s intimate and critically praised You Can Count on Me, a film that was nominated for an Oscar and won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize. After such an acclaimed directorial debut, hopes were high for Margaret, which was shot in 2005. The film stars a pre-Trueblood Anna Paquin, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, and Matthew Broderick, and includes a brief, but scene-stealing appearance by Allison Janney. Even though filming took place six years ago, the film, produced by Fox Searchlight, has experienced massive delays in terms of actual release, and only hit screens in December of 2011 (the time lapse is most obvious in Matt Damon, who’s skinny appearance is more reminiscent of his Good Will Hunting days than his macho turn in the Bourne series).  It seems that the delays were due largely to Lonergan’s insistence that the film be screened at a run time lasting about three hours. Fox Searchlight countered by stipulating that it clock in at no more than 150 minutes, which is the current timing for the movie. Lonergan maintained that the extended edition of the film, which was edited by film legend Martin Scorsese himself, who reportedly referred to the extended film as “a masterpiece”, was the superlative version, and should therefore be shown to audiences.

by PopMatters Staff

29 Feb 2012


Earlier this year, PopMatters’ Robert Alford described Lost Lander’s latest record DRRT as “an album of honest and affecting songs that seamlessly combine elements of folk and pop with an innovative use of loop-based production techniques…. The instrumentation is inspired and gorgeous throughout.” That perfectly sums up the tune “Wonderful World”, which has new colorful, abstract video, which is designed to interact with DRRT‘s album art to create something of a mini art installation. DRRT is a small planetarium of sorts and you can watch this video on your iPhone, placing the phone inside the record’s artwork, which will then cast a light show on your ceiling when you flick the room’s lights off. Pretty clever.

by Cynthia Fuchs

29 Feb 2012


Shukree Hassan Tilghman wants to end Black History Month. He’s got his reasons, and most of them are familiar: for one thing, by “relegating” black history to one short month each year, it keeps American histories separate and unequal. For another, it generates a Black History commercial products industry that demeans the very history it means to celebrate. To track his quest, he’s made a film, More Than a Month. And now that film is screening on the last leap-yeared day of 2012’s Black History Month as part of
Maysles Cinema’s Doc Watchers series, followed by a Q&A with Tilghman and Anthony Riddle, Managing Director of the Maysles Institute and descendant of Dr. Carter Woodson, creator of Negro History Week. The film raises serious questions while offering a bit of antic framing, interviewing people with investments in history, then pondering how those investments have come to be. As the film seeks value in Black History Month, to understand the purposes it serves, it also finds value in ongoing debates over it.

See PopMattersreview.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

That Ribbon of Highway: Sharon Jones Re-shapes Woody Guthrie's Song

// Sound Affects

"Sharon Jones and Woodie Guthrie knew: great songs belong to everybody.

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