Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child poster

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

Thanks to a wicked hangover from Claudia’s birthday party I didn’t get to see my first VIFF film until Sunday the 3rd of October.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

It didn’t take much convincing to get me to see a Jean-Michel Basquiat documentary directed by Tamra Davis. In my world she has a golden halo for directing Half Baked and Billy Madison, episodes of Everybody Hates Chris and My Name is Earl, and a raft of great music videos. (Plus having her own vegan cooking show and having married a Beastie Boy.)

Davis’ passionate documentary comes from her direct experience of Basquiat as an artist and friend. Her care is evident through the meticulous amount of detail that she sifts through when attempting to grasp the context that nurtured and destroyed one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. Davis smartly shifts between talking head interviews with Basquiat’s friends, her own interviews with the artist, and reams of art, footage, and photographs. I was particularly struck with the way she engaged with Basquiat’s ambition, charm and intellect while criticizing the art world and the persistent racism that kept attempting to reduce his work as “primitive.”

In the end Davis managed to encompass not only the life of an amazing artist but also New York’s fascinating intersection of graffiti, hip hop and art galleries around the start of the 1980s.

The Eye 3D – Life and Science on Cerro Paranal

A 3D science documentary about telescopes! Perhaps the stargate sequence from Kubrick’s 2001 has spoiled me, but I expected more spacey footage than was offered. It felt like the 3D was wasted as a large part of the film that was remarkably terrestrial. It’s cool that telescope technology is getting the royal treatment, but if you’re going in expecting to be awed in the fashion of The Universe by the NFB then you’re going to be disappointed.

Plasticity 3D Trailer #1 from Ryan Suits on Vimeo.

Plasticity 3D
This dialogueless 3D short has an interesting use of layering, light painting, and pixelation while reflecting on the environment and the separation between people from nature through technology. I particulary liked the light painted creatures, which provide evidence that the hand of the artist hasn’t been completely removed by the introduction of digital technologies. However, I was meh-ed by the Tron-like character effects and the overall generic message.

Altitude poster


Rationale for watching: it’s a high concept film that pushes the boundaries of the horror convention of trapped teenagers in a cabin. This time the cabin is a twin engine plane (shit, I really do work for Boeing) and it’s stuck going up up up.

I hate getting this nitpicky, but I was irritated from the get-go by the blue pallor that overwhelmed the colour range. Having seen the film in its entirety I can understand the decision, but I kept envisioning Photoshop pallets where I would crank up the warm tones to balance the lighting. But it’s not my movie and the reappearance of reds and yellows at the end are such a relief.

Overall the film does hang together and fans of Amazing Stories and the Twilight Zone should be pleasantly surprised that the film manages to keep you guessing even though some things are telegraphed when shots linger on important objects. How’s that for a vague review?

Rag Rah at the Biltmore: Holy Shit, amazing. I’ve been waiting for two years to see Rah Rah since I first heard “Cuba Peru” in The underseen, but awesome movie River. Regina, I love you.

2: People trying to use the Hipstamatic app with no flash while in a dark club. Fail they will.

Also amazing at the Biltmore: Land of Talk and Suuns.

No Comments on “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday”

You can track this conversation through its atom feed.

No one has commented on this entry yet.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>