Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reflection Pond #1

Nneka - No Longer At Ease (2009)

Every year there's one great find that you never imagined was out there. It isn't found through the regular sources or tapped from the vein of gold that provides instant access to the wonderland of music that I've become so accustomed to, but it is pure magic when you hear it. This year, for me, that album is Nneka's No Longer At Ease. Infectious and groovilicious and conscientious and thoughtful and soulful and lyrical and beautiful and intense, Nneka has become a constant present in our house. I often catch Quinita dancing around whenever Heartbeat jumps out of the speakers with its rhythmic beats and I can't help but jump around the room with her. It's so fun to enjoy music of this caliber because it raises you up in so many ways. The lyrics bring light to the blind with awareness and insight. The groove lifts your spirits when the wane of the day is trying to drag down the essence of your heart. To be elevated with music is a precious commodity and now that we have such amazing access to the furthest reaches of the planet, we are able to tap into so many different sources. Nneka hails from Nigeria, with a German mother, and she sings in both English and Igbo, a traditional language from the eastern part of Nigeria. She's on the map now and we are so fortunate to have access to this amazing talent.

Dear Zachary: a letter to a son about his father - Kurt Kuenne (2008)

This movie is psychotic...and I mean that in only the most wonderful way. Trust me when I say this, "Absolutely one of the greatest movies I have ever watched in my life." I get chills just thinking about it and it's been five months since it was on my teevee. And it's a documentary! You can't make this stuff up. A film-maker sets out to make a personal film for the son of his friend who died. But nothing is ever so simple. His good friend was murdered and the prime suspect is an ex-girlfriend who just happens to be pregnant with his child. Somehow she manages to escape the country and the long process of extradition gets under way. Meanwhile it is up to the grand-parents (parents of the murdered guy) to do everything that they can to gain custody of the baby to be. They move their entire life and head to Canada to face their son's murderer and mother to their grand-son. Somehow the woman is freed on bail even though the evidence against her is overwhelming and the grand-parents are then forced to interact with her just to see their grand-son. Simply amazing and that's only the icing on the cake. There are so many layers within this story that if I told the rest, you would not believe it. The entire documentary is filmed as if it was a home movie and since it was began as a gift for Zachary (the baby), it is so intimate and personal and heartbreaking in every way...but damn good. It is absolutely a must watch and that's what I say to everyone I see, no matter their personality. It is one of those rare films that doesn't fit into any mold, so it fits for everyone. Please, no matter what you do this year, get this movie and watch it. You will not be disappointed.

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