Jul 14, 2005

OT: Our Town

I've been on a documentary binge lately, after seeing March of the Penguins in the theater, we rented Super Size Me and OT: Our Town last night.

March of the Penguins was awesome - nature, drama, even humor in this story about the perseverance of life on the precipice of earthly extremes.

Super Size Me was a great introduction into the evil fast food economy, or at least how awful the food itself is for you. I was really tickled by the fact that it took place in NYC, which I didn't expect, and some of the candid on-the-street interviews were quite enlightening. The style of filmmaking is very straightforward, not nearly as convoluted as Michael Moore's films (though, admittedly, not quite as amusing as watching the walrus of a Michigan'er knocking on people's doors in Toronto). The best part didn't make the actual final cut of the movie, though - "The Smoking Fry", which is part of the DVD package. You have to check it out to believe it. It could have been a documentary of its own.

Now watching OT:Our Town, which I've been meaning to pick up for a while, but finally got around to doing so in light of my desire to see Rize soon, and my interest in the neighborhoods in parts of the country that I that I don't know much about. Basic premise: it traces the staging of Thornton Wilder's Our Town in Dominguez High School, in Compton, where a play hasn't been staged in more than 20 years. Still watching it, but it's just so important to see these young adults who are so much more aware of the stereotypes, challenges, and realities of living in Compton than most adults who are outside of this community. Seeing the students struggle and make this play their own is really amazing. Realizing the privilege I had of choosing not to be in a play in my high school reminds me to keep myself in check when I think about identifying with folks who have struggled.

Any other suggestions for docs that I should watch? I really love When We Were Kings, and am hoping to see Genghis Blues and Amandla! soon.


DesiDancer said...

Incidentally, RIZE was awesome. As much a dancing movie as a documentary. It was fascinating to me; the closing message is amazing... creating options where there are none.

Plus you know me- the dancing was hella good.

Rage said...

Thanks - definitely want to see it. Just saw Control Room as I continue to go through the list of "must sees" that I missed along the way.