and I quote

april 2010

click for permalink April 31, 2010

Yes, I know... There is no April 31st but I couldn't stand the thought of a blank space sitting there in the archives memorializing the month of April 2010, literally unremarkable though it might have been. We already know how I feel about April in general so, in lieu of rehashing, I'll share some of the better distractions that consumed the hours of this particular April. Enjoy.

1. Paul Watson, Captain and Founder of the Sea Shepard Conservation Society and my personal hero, speaking at the TEDxSF conference in San Francisco on April 27, 2010.

2. The Staircase (2004) — By French documentary filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, who also directed the incredible, Oscar-winning Murder on a Sunday Morning (2001), which documented a case in Florida that perfectly encapsulated all that is institutionally corrupt, racist and evil about the US criminal justice system. In the words of The New York Times' review:

Staircase"It may seem ludicrous to say that a movie running more than six hours is well edited, but "The Staircase," by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, is. And not only is the editing prize-worthy, but the whole film is also so brilliantly conceived, reported, filmed and paced that you may come to wish it were twice as long. That would be a perverse wish, but it's a perverse film, thick with shocks and subtle revelations, and it's hard to quit watching." — Virginia Heffernan, NYT

We watched every minute of it last weekend (on YouTube, as a 49-part playlist, which can hopefully be found here), riveted as every chapter brought forth ever-more unbelievable revelations, rendering the verdict less predictable with each passing moment. You wouldn't think a documentary this long, this exhaustive in its details and intimate in its access to the people involved, chronicling events which occurred within the decade, could possibly shock you at its conclusion, like the lurid Movies of the Week and episodes of Law & Order it immediately inspired, but in the end (no spoilers), let's just say we were stunned.

3. Bill Hicks Tribute — GodsOtherDevil achieves a transcendent convergence of art and meaning, splicing the raging, philosophical sermonizing standup of Bill Hicks with the hallucinatory, anatomical-spiritual artwork of Alex Grey.