Monday, November 21, 2011

Cool Characters: Roland Bishop

Hood films have never been known for their subtlety.  Even the best ones often hammer their points home.  They have always fallen squarely on the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture argument.  Most explanations for criminality are often spelled out in the most overt and expository manner possible.  It’s as if the filmmakers don’t trust the audience to come to the appropriate conclusions on their own.  Still, somewhat vague and ambiguous characterizations sometimes slipped through the cracks.  The randomness of street crime dictates that not every murder has a clear or logical motive.  Any otherwise “realistic” movie about the streets would be somewhat dishonest if it ignored such a fact.  In the midst of the hood movie onslaught of the early 1990’s, a future Hip-Hop legend would be cast as one of hood cinema's definitive sociopaths.

Short Film Review: Rosa

Cyberpunk has been around since the early to mid-1980’s, and has long since become just another pop culture well that genre filmmakers return to time and again.  As such, it would seem to have run dry by now, seeing as how cyberpunk imagery has become an integral part of the dystopian sci-fi filmmaking language.  Video games have also made extensive use of such stories and settings.  However, like so many other fantasy genres, cyberpunk has much more to offer than what has previously been shown, even if just in a superficial or visual sense.  In fact, the imagery is probably best suited by no dialogue at all in some cases.  Jesús Orellana’s animated short film Rosa likely would have thrived in the silent film era, since it functions mostly as a beautifully rendered dream.