Music and Movies
An interesting story that came to my attention this morning: Wildly popular hip-hop/ghettotech producer Disco D., who produced tracks for acts as Diverse as 50 Cent and Spank Rock, apparently committed suicide this past week. The URB Magazine story is here. The video for "Ski Mask Way" is on Youtube here. The video's interesting for two reasons: 1) Disco D's beat really is superb. Like the New York sunrise at the beginning of the video, the beat is lethargic and kinetic, peaceful and ominous at once. I'd love to hear, say, the Beatnuts over it, as opposed to Mr. Peanut Butter Mouth aka Fiddy. 2) Speaking of Mumbles, this video's pretty much a case in itself against the music I love so much. It literally makes me sick to this Conneticut-ass millionaire glorifying a stick-up kid lifestyle that he's not even remotely connected to, except in advertisements for ugly-ass Reeboks. You've got to have some personal sense of responsibility in life, and I'd personally like to slap the dude that took a paycheck to create this video, right in his film school-ass face. I mean, I know there are people out there actually living this life because it seems like the only way to keep the lights on and food in the fridge.
This morning I watched Roberto Rossellini's The Flowers of St. Francis, a wonderful little series of vignettes about the life of St. Francis and his followers, who gave up everything they had to the poor and lived in poverty, walking the land and praising Jesus Christ. I enjoyed the way the film portrayed Francis and his band of followers as proto-hippies. They call birds their brothers, determine which direction to travel in by spinning until they fall down like little children, and just generally smile at everything they encounter. Like the men it portrays, the film is humble and simple, and lacks any pretense or artsiness that some people may associate with the director (as well as the co-writer, Federico Fellini). I'm kind of on an Italian film kick - I've got Umberto D. on top of the TV right now, and I'm curious about seeing Open City soon.
This last month, with Sara back in Denver, I've really been taking advantage of that Netflix. What continues to wow me is how little of the film canon I actually saw while I was a film student. No matter what ends up becoming of my life as far as a career goes, I think I'm always going to be that dude walking around with a scene from some foreign or classic film looping in his head. I could spend the day shoveling shit, go home to Sara and a movie worth discussing afterwards, and be happy. Lots of thoughts lately about materialism and defining yourself by the things you own or consume, but I keep film on a little pedestal above all of that. Whether it's Season 1 of Miami Vice on DVD or a collection of Stan Brakhage short films, I'm not so much a consumer of visua media as I am consumed by it.