This spirit emerges from my computer, not the heavens above or the natural world around me. No, it comes from the technology at my fingertips. And it is transforming, localizing things that in another not-quite-bygone age the curious seeker of alternative culture would not have been privy to with such ease.
Another marvelous find, the new international promo video for Chan-wook Park’s new English language feature debut, Stoker, creates a trailer of sound and visual breadcrumbs, weaving and remixing elements of the film with the luscious orchestral Hip-Hop from Emily Wells and the time-lapsed creation of the film’s illustrated poster. Formalism and pure pop-inspired production meets uninhibited improvisation. The sum of these parts approximates the meticulous precision and inner workings of the mind of a killer. And it is fascinating that the cast (Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode) feels like an afterthought in the wake of this teaser.
Shifting, for a moment from trailer tracks and scores, to the moving images themselves, I went a-questing to find out what happened to Barry Jenkins, an African-American director who captured the fleeting attention of the indie film scene a few years ago with his low-key Medicine for Melancholy, a portrait of the next-day aftermath of a hook-up between a pair of black San Francisco hipsters (Wyatt Cenac and Tracey Heggins) trapped by their status as minorities in a gentrifying urban landscape. Even though the film never played in area theaters, I tracked it down on DVD and sensed that Jenkins might be able to ride the Next-It-artist wave.
Instead of cashing in and selling out (that sounds so old-school, forgive me), Jenkins joined a collective of fellow independent-minded visionaries and has written/directed a short (“Remigration”) for the web series Futurestates, which explores today’s complex social issues by re-framing them from the perspective of what impact they will have on society in the decades to come. “Remigration,” about an incentive-based program aiming to attract minorities back to the urban centers they abandoned or were pushed out of, is a speculative take on what might happen to the couple from Medicine for Melancholy and it asks audiences to adopt a more modern, forward-thinking view of the currently unresolved immigration argument.
The new Third Season of Futurestates is available (at futurestates.tv) and it has not only touched me; dare I say it has grabbed me by the collar and mashed my face into the future I can no longer avoid because now, everything is local.
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