Contest is now closed! Please be sure to check out the film Drive in theaters this Friday!
To celebrate the upcoming release of the movie Drive (starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan and Bryan Cranston, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and based on the book by James Sallis) PopMatters is excited to offer our readers a chance to win some unique movie tie-in items. Entering this contest will give you the chance to get away with a collectible Drive package featuring a pair of driving gloves, a key chain, USB Car Charger, USB Drive, Ryan Gosling poster, Ron Perlman poster and Carey Mulligan poster.
Most of 9/11 memorials this week will mark the tragedy and sense of national unity and resolve emerging from the chaos. But there are other stories to be told on this 10th anniversary, including that of David McKay and Bradley Crowder, two young men who went to protest at 2008’s Republican National Convention, and found themselves arrested as terrorists, according to the United States’ altered legal and moral landscapes following 9/11. Premiering 6 September as part of POV series and available online from7 September through 6 October, Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway’s remarkable documentary, Better This World, traces how these friends from Midland, Texas ended up in federal prison. More provocatively, it makes a frightening case that’s less about the laws Crowley and McKay might have broken than the infractions and betrayals by the government they sought to protest. Hailing from a politically conservative small town, McKay and Crowley were new to protesting when they first met the man they came to see as a mentor, Brandon Darby, a cofounder of Common Ground, an organization dedicated initially to helping Katrina survivors. The film investigates his background, and also interviews Crowder and McKay’s families and girlfriends, who express predictable upset and shock at what’s happening: David’s father, Michel, sums up: I don’t know if the FBI and Homeland Security since 9/11, they all went berserk and crazy, but everything about this case stinks.” Their outrage only expands when they must confront the government’s cases against McKay and Crowley, the efforts to turn their testimonies against each other, the manipulations of sentences and possible plea deals in order to make sure that the government’s own work is justified. “All the dreams I have, I’m in prison,” says McKay. “Your subconscious takes on your reality.” That idea of prison—so expansive and so daunting—shapes his understanding of the system, or more precisely, what he calls “the injustice of the justice system.”
A master of image, form and story, Federico Fellini’s career could very well serve as a representation of cinema’s evolution. From his early work as a cartoonist and screenwriter, to his eventual worldwide recognition as one of the masters of the medium, he wasn’t afraid of experimentation. During the 1940s he attempted to make films that adjusted to the postwar reality that was pushing European cinema into a style that recalled nonfiction filmmaking. After works like Variety Lights (1950) and his contribution as a writer to the seminal Rome, Open City (1945), but Fellini found his voice when he made La Strada. The film starred his wife Giulietta Massina as Gelsomina, a simple minded woman who joins a traveling circus act led by the savage Zampanó (Anthony Quinn).
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, at the age of 16, filled out a questionnaire required of schoolchildren that asked them about their plans for the future. He replied that his goal was to become a filmmaker, and make such a large amount of films that his life itself would become a film. With all of the well-publicized sexploits, drug use, and provocative press statements (that would give Von Trier a run for his money) it seems he accomplished his teenage goal insofar as he was always on the screens of the media and his films saturated the movie houses. He was born in 1945 in Germany, three weeks after the Third Reich surrendered to the Allied Forces. Over the course of his 14-year career, 1968-1982, he made over 40 films across every conceivable medium dealing with the lingering specter of Nazism and the exploitation of emotions within Germany of the 1970s.
When Beyoncé released her fourth solo album, aptly titled 4, many were confused as to which direction she was going. There were moments of psychedelic electro pop (see “Run the World (Girls)” and “Countdown”), ‘90s R&B (“Love on Top” and “Party”) and straight-up pop (“The Best Thing I Never Had”). Many critics found it difficult to get on board with what Ms. Knowles’ experiments. Ironically, many indie critics praised Beyoncé for steering away from mainstream expectations and risking some bold new moves. The result? An uneven, occasionally engaging record that you want to like more than you do. Yes, she takes chances but they don’t always work in her favour.
“1+1”, the album’s third single, is a slow rock/R&B ballad, which is a lovely song, but suffers from the screaming and belting vocal performance. We get it Beyoncé! You can hit those notes long and hard—you don’t have to do it every time. A little restraint would go a long way. It’s a song that grates on the ears the more you listen to it, especially from the opening lines: “If I ain’t got nothin’ / I got YOU!” where “you” is delivered like an incontrollable spasm.
The video, fortunately, is an impressive display of a slow motion Beyoncé singing earnestly into the camera. The problem is that most of the time the visual display of her singing doesn’t match the audio vocal performance. It’s jarring, because you hear Beyoncé scream the lyrics, but in the video her lips move ever so slightly. Besides that, the video is call back to the ‘90s R&B female vocal videos of En Vogue and Brandy, complete with running water, sparkling body glitter and Amazonian hair. It’s a shame Beyoncé didn’t tone down the agression in her performance for this track as it could have been one of her best in years.