30 August 2006

Sci Fi Soul Night at Imagenation Film and Music Festival

This past 24 August 2006, I curated the Sci Fi Soul Night for the Imagenation folk. Screened two films, a short entitled "Dread Night Folk" by Erik Knight and a feature entitled "Les Saignantes" (The Bloodettes) by Jean-Pierre Bekolo. Well the first film, was a short that I had seen in graduate school in 1998. dreadnightfolk.jpg It's a tale of an old dying man named Honus, who with the aid of a young boy named Rono, tries to escape from Death on the cold night on the streets of New York. Its a mix of magic realism amd african diaspora folklore. I was really impressed with its subtlely, creativity, imagination and energy. There is a stop motion segment where a dance is created with jars and buttlerflies. This is one of the first times where I felt there could be such a thing as a Black SF film, without it going over the top, but with just enough culture to really feel it. The other time I felt that was with Ganja & Hess, the vampiric film by Bill Gunn. The other film, the feature, Les Saignantes, left me without a lot of different emotions and thoughts. First of all, I had not seen the film before the screening but the directors of the festival were insistent on screening it because the distributor, Kay Shaw could come to speak about it. I must say that if she were not there, I really would not have gotten half of the ideas of the film as she explained them. The film takes place in the future, 2025 Cameroon in a society where prostitution is still a way of life and political and social upper classes and wannabes attend funerals like people go to film premieres as a sign of social nobility. So the first few minutes is like a soft porn sex video, where a young naked woman hangs from a strap above an old naked man. She pounces and twirls and hovers above him in a sexual manner. We get good glimpses of how bottomless the womans costume is while oddly enough the old man is covered. Anyway this prostitute has this important client die on her and then somehow with her friend and fellow prostitute loses the body of the dead man. This apparently is a very bad thing for them as they are kind of social climbers too, so then they go to a creepy mortician who replaces the body with another, so that they may do their social mourning with the other socialites. Then there is this evilish government official whose passion is the smell of women's worn underwear, who becomes the antogonist of the two prostitutes who at some point after the bodyless torso and funeral decide to change their lives around, by quitting prostitution? I'm not really sure about that part. Then there is the climatic choreographed and very laughable fight scene between the government official and the women, and they defeat him because get this they have as a young boy in the audience so aptly yelled, "Mommy they have powers!" so if this quasi-review does not make sense, its because its exactly how i felt watching the film. And all of this was supposed to be SF. Maybe I'll watch it again and take another shot at reviewing it.

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