Archive for April, 2010

The Runaways as Costume Drama
Hot Chicks Who Rock


I love rock and roll. That’s no secret, so I was pretty enthusiastic about seeing The Runaways, the movie about the founding and demise of the 70s “Hot Chicks Who Rock” band The Runaways that eventually helped pave Joan Jett’s way to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. Don’t get me wrong. This movie is not really about Joan Jett. Based on lead singer Cherie Currie’s memoir Neon Angel, the movie definitely leans heavily on the story of Cherie who, as portrayed in the movie, is a complex mishmash of victim, narcissist, child, sex kitten, rebel, and ultimately lost kid. However, Joan Jett provides a critical counterpoint to Cherie’s role and sets up a pretty interesting bipolar split between the two female characters, one that is no stranger to classic cinema, literature, and stage. In The Runaways, you have the lost blonde Cherie who is exploited for her sex kitten appeal, and then you have the kick-ass brunette Joan who takes control of her own destiny.

Shutter Island

“Shutter Island” and the Radical Viewer


1954, a paranoid moment– US doctors have lobotomized 18,000 people with no end in sight, top CIA officials purchase ten kilos of LSD from Sandoz Labs, the House of Un-American Activities is ramping up the Red Scare, the Cold War is launching into a protracted period of crisis and escalation. Enter Teddy Daniels, a working class detective, ex WWII soldier who was present for the liberation of Dachau and the exposure of its horrors. He is now approaching yet another nightmare zone, Ashecliff Hospital, a mental institution/penal colony for the criminally insane where the benign gardens and open air treatment mask an insidious world of physical and psychological torture. We’re not certain, but all the signs point to Ashecliff as a gothic no man’s land where non-compliant patients are disappeared and converted into drugged or lobotomized zombies– soldier-fodder for history’s insatiable maw of militarism and violence. Fortunately, our detective exhibits an acute critical capacity and intuition, he will not be put off the scent by the Warden Dr. Cawley’s transparent front as humane doctor, he knows that the experiments at Shutter Island are anything but benign and compassionate. Crawley says of his experimental methods, “Valuable things have a way of being misunderstood,” and we, with Teddy, shudder at the sinister implications.

Spoiler Alert

“5 Agents busted in my door this morning – Unlawful entry 3-30-2010 – 6:30 am.wmv”

Terrifying Video: “I Don’t Need a Warrant, Ma’am, Under Federal Law”

Sheriff’s department launches internal investigation after deputies enter woman’s home