Tag: Racism

2017, TV

The Problem with Apu (2017, Michael Melamedoff)

The Problem with Apu is a brief, made-for-TV documentary about how the only major American (east) Indian character on TV for a very long time was a stereotype voiced by a white guy. As a white guy myself, of course I never had any problems with Apu. Fortunately we now live in an age where …

1999, Movies

Black and White (1999, James Toback)

This overly self-serious film combines the sanctimonious air of a Hollywood message movie with the production values of a late ’90s independent film (real locations, often very woody acting) with the ambition of Paul Thomas Anderson. And it’s a mess. An annoying, sometimes embarrassing, sometimes cringe-inducing, hilariously inauthentic film.

2015, Movies, Society

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015, Stanley Nelson)

Age is a funny thing. I watched this movie months ago, perhaps more than that, on Netflix and forgot to review it (I think!), forgot to rate it, both things I do religiously. And then I got it from the library this week. When I started watching it (because Olympic golf is on!) I got …

2016, Movies

In the Shadow of the Hill (2016, Dan Jackson)

This is a thorough, engrossing and, for its subject matter, pretty to look at film about a favela in Rio and the problems that have occurred since the police “pacified” it in the lead up to the 2014 World Cup of Soccer. There is a lot here of interest and the film is quite well …

1968, 1969, 2015, Movies

TIFF 2015: Ninth Floor (2015, Mina Shum) (9/15)

This is an important film for Canadians, about a subject that should have been turned into a documentary years ago, no doubt. And it is a necessary part of our history. However, I’m not sure this film is the film the events at Sir George Williams University in 1968 and 1969 deserve.

2010, TV

30 for 30: Marion Jones: Press Pause (2010, John Singleton)

This is a real missed opportunity. From the opening credits, it’s clear that John Singleton is not the man to make this film. I have never been a fan (though I have never seen his magnum opus) and the opening credits, which feel like they belong to a melodrama, are the first clue that Singleton …

2010, TV

30 for 30: No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson (2010, Steve James)

Steve James remains one of the few filmmakers I am aware of who can involve themselves to a great extent in a documentary and yet still give that film a feeling of journalistic integrity. Since I was 11 when this happened, I was completely unaware of this. But really hard for an outsider to me …

Movies, Personal

Crazy Italians: On the Cultural Disconnect Between Myself and Italian Cinema

Nearly a decade ago, when I was living in Australia, I went for a couple of organized tours of parts of the country I had never been too.  One such tour occurred in the southwestern corner of Western Australia, an area that is one of the most beautiful I have ever been to in my …

1952, Books, Fiction

Invisible Man (1952) by Ralph Ellison

As a white Canadian born in the last quarter of the 20th century, I do not know in any way shape or form what it means to be a Black American (or any other oppressed minority in a European-derived country) but I think perhaps this is the closest I will ever get to understanding it. …

2008, Politics, Society

Sometimes it’s hard not to be a racist

In high school, we had both Serbs and Croats. There was an effort by the administration to make us understand that the civil war then going on was not a one sided affair, Serbia wasn’t the “bad guy.” Some of us understood that there was more than one side to the story, some of us …

2004, Movies

A Day Without a Mexican (2004, Sergio Arau)

In the CD player: disc 3 of the Velvets boxed set (includes White Light/White Heat album) I love mockumentaries. I think, when they’re done well and on some fairly original topic, they can be absolutely fantastic. Spinal Tap and Series 7 are just two great ones I can think of off the top of my …

2005, Politics, Society

I want to burn Rice, but I won’t…hopefully someone else will

Rice’s confirmation hearing is today. She mentioned this “Town Square Test” (the name of the academic she name-dropped is not important, though I would like to give credit to him or her) that determines whether a society is a “fear society” or not. Apparently, an individual enters the town square and speaks his or her …