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An interesting treatment in Reason traces the political ins and outs of Sylvester Stallone's Rambo franchise. In light of the fact that Rambo fights alongside US-funded Mujahideen in Rambo III, this excerpt is mildly amusing.
the word "Iraq" appears nowhere in the movie, and neither do "Al Qaeda," "Islam," "9/11," or "bin Laden." The writer/director/actor told Ain't It Cool News that he did this because "the idea of Rambo dealing with Al-Qaeda, etc. would be an insult to our American forces that are actually dying trying to rid the world of this cancer. To have at the end of a 90 minute movie the character of Rambo seizing Osama bin Laden in a choke hold then dragging him into the Oval Office then tossing him in the President's lap declaring 'The world is now safe, Chief' would be a bit insulting." I don't doubt Stallone's sincerity, though World War II-era GIs didn't seem to mind the fact that Superman, Captain America, and the rest were fighting alongside them in the comic books. Personally, I wouldn't have minded seeing some of the Afghan heroes of Rambo III return as villains in Rambo IV, but that might push the franchise into areas that Stallone would rather leave alone.
Part of the 5th international week of action against the apartheid wall, initiated by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, to oppose Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing and to support the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions.
Leading up to ‘Palestinian Perspectives’, an evening of film screenings at the Cinéma du Parc in Montreal on November 29th, to commemorate 60 years of occupation and to celebrate the Palestinian voice. Featuring cutting edge cultural projects from Montreal & internationally, uniting in expression against Israeli Apartheid.
* Lubo Alexandrov: A Bulgarian-born guitarist, composer and singer, Alexandrov has developed a unique musical style, merging Bulgarian, Turkish and Roma musical traditions. Recipient of the 2007 Juno Music Award for the ‘Best World Album’. http://www.luboalexandrov.com
* Valerie Khayat: Poet, singer songwriter, Khayat has been active in folk, poetry and spoken word circles since 2004. She released her first book of poetry, ”The Road to Vesper”, and her first full length album, ”Resonance in Blue”, in 2007. http://www.myspace.com/valeriekhayat
* Kalmunity Vibe Collective members:
Jason Selman: Performance poet & musician
Mohamed Mehdi: Singer songwriter, poet.
Phenix: Hip-hop artist, poet of the Haitian diaspora.
* Ehab Lotayef: Writer, photographer, poet, activist and engineer.
* DJ Kandis: Middle Eastern, international beats, music from DJ Kandis.
Screening two films from the ‘Beyond Blue & Gray’ documentary project of Eyes Infinite Films, with an introduction by series producer Nirah Shirazipour:
A cultural benefit event for Tadamon! Montreal...
Friday, September 7th, 8pm
La Sala Rossa
4848 St. Laurent
* Montreal Launch of the film ‘Roads Through Palestine’:
Screening / Launch of a film by Brett Story, with a piano score composed by Stefan Christoff. A cinematic journey through the roads of occupation and resistance in the West Bank of Palestine.
Including performances from.
Here's a letter I sent to the two corporate-owned alt-weeklies in Montreal. The Mirror didn't print it, and while I confess I haven't picked up the Hour yet, I'm not holding my breath.
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During a visit to New York last week, I went to see the movie 300 on its opening day. The consensus among the New Yorkers I spoke to was that the timing of the movie was "septic," its appearance coinciding with the Bush administration building for an attack against Iran (with Harper and the Canadian media close behind). There, it seemed obvious that a movie that depicted pasty-white greeks slicing up their attackers--veiled and masked Africans and Arabs led by an eight-foot tall dark-skinned king wearing eyeliner, facial piercings, and sporting a throaty lisp--was politically and ethically problematic. The racism and homophobia permeating this movie were never in doubt.
John Powers: "When I found out that 300 had been turned into a film and was due to be released this winter I described its timing as "septic." The comic book was a retelling of the story of Thermopylae - a story that has been used to psych up populations for war in democratic nations since year one of the French revolution. The original story, of warrior idealists protecting Greece against a huge Persian army, was a familiar one from childhood. Making a film from the story I grew up with now, with the US and Iranian administrations playing chicken with nukes and threats of attacks, would seem like tragically bad timing.
There's a screening on Tuesday in Montreal's Mile End of what looks like a pretty interesting documentary about Hezbollah.
ForeignOffice.com has a montage of the advertising and news clips that were part of the background and scenery in the film Children of Men.
Iraq in Fragments, James Longley's three year project, is a beautiful, poignant document that brings the viewer in for a close look at Iraq and it's people.
Coming soon to Calgary, Toronto, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Ottawa, the Peg, and more.
WSWS film critic Patrick Martin has a decent political critique of De Niro's CIA flick:
Nowhere in the film does De Niro touch on the principal impact of the CIA internationally: the destruction of hundreds of thousands of lives and the trampling on the democratic rights of (literally) hundreds of millions of people in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. His Guatemala is a country where the CIA organizes the overthrow of the government without a visible bloodbath. His Congo is an exotic locale for romance and spycraft, not a place of civil war and ruthless struggle for control of vital natural resources.
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.