Latest Blog Posts

by Cynthia Fuchs

14 Nov 2011


“At the heart of apartheid is the division of the land.” This opening title card for Promised Land introduces its focus. In 1994, South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) initiated a process of reconciliation. The government promised to reallocate ownership of a third of the nation’s land within 10 years. As Yoruba Richen’s Promised Land reveals, this plan was in trouble from its inception. By looking at two particular land disputes—claims made by the 9,000-member Mekgareng community and 1,000 descendants of Abram Molamu—this smart, subtly complex documentary shows essential complications in the process. These include the government’s assumption (or best hope) that changes might be wrought based on a “willing seller, willing buyer” model. In fact, most white owners are unwilling and many black buyers have been ill-prepared, their legal claims unrecorded (owing to decades of oppression, abuse, and exploitation) and their claims still stuck in a kind of first gear, grinding. The trouble is, land is never just land: it is a measure of citizenship, a means to civil rights and self-identity; it is multiply meaningful, across generations and immediately, an emblem of economic and mythic status, political and emotional well-being.

Promised Land screens at Maysles Cinema at 7pm on 14 November, part of “Doc Watchers Presents,” curated by Hellura Lyle. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Yoruba Richen.

See PopMattersreview.

by Cynthia Fuchs

10 Nov 2011


“I know that a documentary is never completely the truth,” says Heather Courtney. “It is always told through the filter of the director and the production/editing process. But what I strive for is to capture moments that are true, and to tell the story sincerely.” The story she tells in Where Soldiers Come From concerns three young men who go to war. As 20-year-old Dom Fredianelli explains, “I joined the National Guard just for the money,” a decision taken by his buddies Cole Smith and Bodi Meaudoin as well. At the start of the film—which premieres POV 10 November—they’re deep in snow, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It’s not long before they’re deployed to Afghanistan, part of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008. The documentary follows the threesome as they make their way to war, a journey that, as the title has it, has as much to do with where they’re from as where they go.

by Sachyn Mital

9 Nov 2011


Contest is now closed! Please be sure to check pick up SMiLE on compact disc or vinyl!

Coinciding with the official release of their long lost SMiLE album this month, The Beach Boys have started up a web series entitled, “Starting a SMiLE”, to discuss the legendary SMiLE Sessions. We are sharing the first of the clips below, but for the rest, please check out the official Beach Boys YouTube page.

We know you’ve been looking forward to the album so be sure to pick up The SMiLE Sessions in a variety of formats. Your options to pick up the Never-Before-Released Original 1966-‘67 Album Sessions include:
* Find SMiLE on iTunes now
* Obtain the 2 CD set of SMiLE from Amazon
* Pick up the gorgeous gatefold 2 LP SMiLE at Amazon
* Shell out for The Smile Sessions Box Set with 5 CDs, 2 LPs, a 60-page book and more at Amazon
* Browse the special packages available exclusively at TheBeachBoys.com

by Cynthia Fuchs

9 Nov 2011


“I was always a good soldier,” remembers Robynn Murray. “She could always carry a heavy ruck,” she says of herself, “And she’s the one they wanted female soldiers to look up to, because I could suck it up and I could take their sexual harassment and I could just shut up and drive on.” The pronoun changes make sense as you listen to Robynn describe her experiences in the U.S. Army—first in Iraq and now Stateside, as a veteran contending with post-traumatic stress and red tape. Every day is an ordeal. “I’d like to say I’m super, but I’d be lying” she tells a collections agency officer on the phone at the start of Poster Girl, Sara Nesson’s exceptional short documentary, premiering 9 November on HBO2. As Robynn works through her memories and her ongoing struggles with the VA, the film shows how she’s affected by PTSD and also, crucially, how she finds strength and a sense of resilience in her art. If trauma is never quite over, Robynn is increasingly able to articulate and share her experience: she engages in protest against the war and discovers a community among other veterans—specifically, a group called Combat Paper Project that makes art out of old uniforms—Poster Girl makes the case that, as extraordinary as Robynn may be, she’s also too typical. She may have been a poster girl, literally appearing with her weapon and two women comrades on the cover of Army Magazine, but she’s also come out the other side.

by J.M. Suarez

9 Nov 2011


Miami’s Forward Motion Records was founded by local musician and producer, Fernando Perdomo, as a way to bring attention to lesser known musicians from the South Florida area. While much of Miami’s music scene is dominated by rap, hip-hop, and dance, Forward Motion Records strives to showcase rock, power pop, folk, and other styles not generally associated with the area.

From the bluesy rock of Omine, to the Chris Alvy Band’s blend of ‘70s classic rock and power pop, to singer/songwriters like Tyler Bernhardt and Jill Hartmann, Forward Motion Records has a varied and impressive roster of both new and experienced musicians. Certainly, Forward Motion Records is eclectic and ambitious in scope – particularly for a label so young – yet it offers a welcome glimpse into the diversity of music in South Florida, despite its lack of wider attention.

Having celebrated its first anniversary in September, Forward Motion Records has released a digital sampler of artists that performed at a recent anniversary show held at Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Hopscotch' is Anchored in Walter Matthau's Playful, Irascible Personality

// Short Ends and Leader

"With his novel, Hopscotch, Brian Garfield challenged himself to write a suspenseful spy tale in which nobody gets killed.

READ the article