Friday, January 25, 2008
There are a lot of poorly made films at a festival. The majority of the good ones will find distribution and make it to a local art-house at least. Films that have a LOT of buzz will probably even get a wide release. Anymore the festival scene is really about independent filmmakers and artistic and innovative films as much as it is about promoting a certain type of film that "feels" independent (and has a major star trying to earn some acting chops). National Treasure could have been a Sundance film if Nicholas Cage had a 14 year old daughter that was into taxidermy and said whatever was on her mind.
So go see the documentaries. Some are sweet and some are alarmist, many simply have a cause and the Q&A isn't about the craft it's about the cause "But what can we do?!?" I usually like the documentaries about people but sometimes I like the informative ones. I saw two documentaries like this. One better than the other, but both interesting and fair-handed and informative enough to make me care about their causes. FLOW was about water and it talked about a number of issues surrounding the privatization of water (bad) and the importance of conservation (good) and activism (good?). Personally I think activism is a tool for when the normal processes don't work (ie: voting, legislation etc..) some people like the romance of the sit in and the picket sign (but I digress). I left this film firm in my resolve not to buy bottled water (for a number of reasons, we can talk about it if you'd like). It was a nice film by people that cared passionately about what they were doing.
The other doc I saw was I.O.U.S.A. It was a midnight show and it was on economics and debt. To me this was a bigger warning that former vice-president Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Power Point Presentation" (which I only thought was vice-good). I left the theater wanting to vote for a candidate that would raise taxes and balance the budget and diminish entitlements. Did you know in the last 7 years our national debt has almost doubled? and more importantly, the holders of the debt are now, more than ever, foreign entities, specifically China?
Why does this matter? is this only theoretical money? Well kind of, but the thing is, once people realize that money is only theoretical that's when it all goes bad, and if the owners of our debt do that to us our green pieces of paper aren't worth anything anymore, and the zeroes and ones in your atm mean less. But more to the point, these foreign debt holders can influence and dictate policy to US. The world bank already does it to 3rd world countries. So the thing we should care about is that the guys that pulled off the party at Tianemen square also hold our debt, and if at any point we decide to become idealistic the thing that our loan collectors can repossess is our ideal of what America is.
Yeesh, sometimes I just wish we could pay off our National Debt with our National Treasure. Anybody know a Templar Knight?
Posted by Damian at 2:01 PM