Friday, December 26, 2008

Rewind #33

Erykah Badu: New Amerykah Part One-4th World War (2008)

Erykah Badu is a goddess, a timeless voice that resonates beyond any caged genre. I have no problem delving into my music library and unearthing her sound, whether it's this latest album we have before us now or something from years gone by. Her portrait will be heard through the ages and when further generations look back on our time, I know that her amazing voice will continue to carry the strength of value. Strength...yeah...her spirit is vital and full. It punishes with heady wisdom and opens the avenues of the soul. She has a political and social voice that strives to bring people together amidst the burning chaos of our age. She uses her artistic virtue to help the world understand its flaws. She moans with the vivacious blood of royalty, enriching all of those who open their minds to her message. She's a dream and I hope that during this wretched time in our lives, she comes among the slumber with vibrant wings imparting the truth.

Oasis: Chang-dong Lee (2002)

A strange true-to-life South Korean film that depicts the love story between a socially awkward young man, Jong-du, and a young woman, Gong-ju, with severe cerebral palsey. What this movie does extremely well is portray the way that "normal" society deflects and uses these outcasts. From the way that his brother allowed Jong-du to take the wrap for manslaughter to how Gong-ju's relatives use her disability to gain access to a premier apartment while leaving her in their old shitty place across town. These are extreme cases of the way our societies take advantage of those who don't seem to fit-in and as we watch them exploit our hero and heroine, we all cringe at their evil behavior. But this type of behavior occurs in varying degrees constantly and we never flinch. It may not be so obvious but it's a defining aspect of our culture to undermine those who are beneath us. It's the easiest way to the top, to make the most money; exploit, exploit, exploit! On the other hand, we have two individuals who are trying to make the most of their situation and amongst all the crap, fall in love. It's not the type of love that is written in the lines of great poems but it is genuine and honest, though awkward for the viewer. The actress who plays Gong-ju, Moon So-ri, is astounding! There are moments when the narrative descends into her mind and she transforms into a woman without any disability whatsoever. Up until the first time that this happens I was convinced that she was really disabled by cerebral palsy and the transformation literally blew my mind, rarely do we witness such acting ability.

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