Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rewind #22

Human Highway: Moody Motorcycle (2008)

Some music is like the roll of the hills, the smooth of the road, the surge of the waves, melodic and flowing with the heartbeat of a universal perception. You slap on the headphones and the music consumes everything that blazes before it. It's like when you look at something that is in motion, could be anything, big as the world or minuscule like the trail of an ant. Well, as you watch it, you begin to see it as a larger purpose. This moment begins to grow within you. It's a swelling, pulsating organic bloom that opens your mind to this ever-wondrous rhythm in the universe. You can feel the voice of the cosmos buzzing inside your head and no matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, nothing could be more perfect. It's the voice of a dream, the one that you've been searching for your whole life. Yeah, sometime it comes at the strangest times. There's a message hidden there, in that music. It's saying, "Whafa, take a moment,sit the fuck down and notice yer life already."

Offside: Jafar Panahi (2006)

Take a moment to think about your perspective on the country Iran. Personally, I don't know much beyond what I've seen in a few movies and heard from the fanatical hateful perspective by the far right. Yeah, they seem to have a delusional president who thinks that his view is the only one of value and who tends to spout nonsense in the form of global dialogue. But I know another president, a lot closer to home, who shares those same attributes. Watching Offside allowed me to witness a crucial point regarding this grand human experiment. When we look at a country and try to understand the society that governs it, it is wrong to condemn the people of that country when we don't like what we see. The majority of the people living in the society are simply trying to live productive lives within the structures that have confined them. With Offside we witness this truth at the 2006 World Cup qualifying match between Iran and Bahrain. Filmed at the actual game, the movie follows the plight of Iranian women who must disguise themselves as men in order to get in to attend the match because the leaders of Iran have deemed the environment unsuitable for women. Most of the people don't really agree with this ridiculous law but they're stuck under the oppressive umbrella of the ruling class. The film is basically an extended dialogue about the divisive tenants of Iranian society and whether or not they're relevant for a greater human understanding, exactly what every society on the planet should be continuously asking itself. The entire ordeal blossoms with the national elation of their country's victory and as everyone cascades into the streets, there is no longer any separation between the classes. There's no us and them, no soldier and prisoner, no man and women. There is only an ecstatic explosion of joy that they can all revel in, because in the end we all have that one human trait in common. We all want to feel the type of happiness that brings an infectious smile upon our faces. We all want that lovely virus to spread through the heart of our communities.

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