Thursday, March 15, 2007

Back in the day...

Films lately have been getting me down, either because they're badly made (Sleeping Dogs Lie, The Rules of Attraction), or just because they're so damned depressing (Cache, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?). So it's exciting and refreshing to see something like Dave Chappelle's Block Party, which is, basically, a celebration of life- of music, of community, of comedy, of kindness. I'm not a particular fan of some of the music here (and, I must confess, my attention occasionally waned), but the artists here are all so full of life that it's hard to argue against them. I'd only heard of Kanye West (who does a storming performance of 'Jesus Walks') and The Fugees (woo!)- and Mos Def, but I didn't know he sang- but perhaps even better was my discovery of the fantastic Jill Scott and the gorgeous Erykah Badu. And Michel Gondry, who made such a mess of The Science of Sleep, directs with a light, assured hand, and we bounce between artists, public, and Dave Chappelle (hilarious, by the way) without ever feeling like the pace and feeling has been disrupted. Moments like the marching band exploding when they hear they're off to New York are just so wonderfully joyful- it's just great to see a film celebrating what the world can produce, and show that there is still joy in this depressing world.

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