Archive for February, 2007

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down on your luck

February 6, 2007

well.  looks like the Joanna Newsom/Bill Callahan gig at Auckland’s Hopetoun Alpha is sold out.  and guess who hadn’t gotten his ticket yet…  <sniff>  so, while i wallow in self-pity, i thought i’d share some of Bill’s most gloriously depressing songs.

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the crowd that wants to see me dead

February 2, 2007

Death of a Presidentzero and i watched Death of a President the other night, a documentary-style film set in late 2007, detailing the assassination of one George W. Bush.  surprisingly well-handled, the film manages not to take sides on the issue of whether Bush and his policies are right or wrong, but instead focusses on the politics of the aftermath.  the build-up to the assassination itself is somewhat tedious (especially having to listen to Bush’s “staff” wax on about what an intelligent and moral man he is/was) but would be a logical place to start has this been an actual documentary about his death.  however, the filmmakers have kept in mind that this is supposed to fiction – and therefore, entertainment – and spend much of the first part of the film building suspense by teasing us with the idea that Bush could be assassinated any second now…  however, it is not ’til after the shooting that the film really starts to pick up, as we see how the US government tries to deal with the assassination.  priority number one: catch a suspect.  priority number two:  connect him to al Qaeda.  evidence?  make it fit the suspect.  a confession?  sweep it under the rug.

it is a clever film, and the message it sends is not that the President must die, but tries to imagine what would happen if he was assassinated – and it’s a bleak prediction.  the world is not necessarily a better place with Bush dead – Cheney has stepped up as President, the Patriot Act is expanded and people lose more of the freedom they are fighting so hard to protect, and at one stage, it seems another war is imminent.

the film was made by Film Four Productions in the UK, and was screened there on local tv after premiering at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006 where it won the International Critics Prize.  due to the controversial nature of the film, it suffered distribution problems in some areas (especially the United States), but is now available on dvd.  if you can’t find a copy anywhere, below is a link to a BitTorrent file.  if you’ve never downloaded a torrent file before, click here for some basic instructions.