Amoeblog

Hispanic vs. Latino & Hollywood Brownface

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 15, 2008 02:24pm | Post a Comment

Hispanic Heritage Month


September 15th to October 15th is officially recognized as Hispanic Heritage Month in the USA.The dates of the observance were chosen due to the timing of El Grito, the "cry" that brought the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua's independence (followed closely by Mexico and Chile.).
 

Some fellows celebrating "El Grito"


"Hispanic" vs. "Latino"


I suppose it's kind of interesting that whoever named the month chose the term "Hispanic" instead of, say, "Latino." Hispanic sounds old-fashioned to me, but then again, I know people younger than me who refer to themselves as just that. I still think it's like calling February "Colored History Month" or May being "Oriental Heritage month." The government's choice of "Hispanic" probably owes to the fact that the term "Latino" was in less common usage forty years ago when the observance was instigated by Lyndon B. Johnson (initially as Hispanic Heritage Week). Both terms are considered offensive by some indigenists since they disappropriate Native Americans from their origins and languages by defining people with sometimes no European ancestry with Eurocentric terms.

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Spotlite on Paul Anderson

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 27, 2008 09:04pm | Post a Comment

Background

Paul Anderson is a prolific Generation X filmmaker with a trademark style and five Academy Awards under his belt. He's also made music videos for everyone who's performed at Largo. In addition to his film-making, he's dated models turned singers, singers turned models, daughters of singers and models who only sing in the shower.

Style

Paul Anderson's films are notable for their flashy style and complicated, interweaving story lines. As one of the video store generation of filmmakers, he employs a large bag of cinematic tricks, including quick cuts, constant camera movement, stunning scenery, dutch tilts, low angles, high angles and revolving pullback shots-- tricks gleaned from growing up with a VCR rather than film school learning. He frequently employs female-led ensemble casts drawn from a stock of trusted actors. Making up that group are such players as Julianne Moore, Sean Pertwee, John C. Reilly, Colin Salmon, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jeremy Bolt, Melora Walters, Jason Isaacs, and Luiz Guzman, to name a few.

Themes

Anderson's ostentatious style is frequently used to elevate the seemingly mundane to epic proportions. Sometimes the point of this ostentatious streak seems merely like showing-off, perhaps an effect of Anderson's high level of film exposure but probable lack of theory. He frequently revels in the seedy underside of outwardly blissful environs. Other frequently recurring themes include constructions and examinations of makeshift families, the role of media, divine acts, secret governmental organizations and the unintended consequences of technology run amok.

Films

He made his first film while still in High School. It was The Dirk Diggler Story. It was a short mockumentary inspired by the teenage Anderson's voracious appetite for porn.

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Walpurgis Night

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 30, 2008 09:54am | Post a Comment

Tonight is Walpurgis Night. Saint Walpurga was, supposedly, an 8th century nun whose relics were transferred on April 30th and her name was given to the holiday. As frequently happened during Christianity's spread across Europe, this was merely an instance of co-opting and Christianizing a much older holiday.

Before Saint Walpurga was dreamed up, 30 April was known as day that Odin died attempting to retrieve the knowledge of the runes and, ever since, the barrier between the world of the dead and the living is at its weakest on this night. For this reason, Odin's faithful build bonfires, play drums and (nowadays) shoot off guns tonight to ward off evil. In some German-speaking areas, tonight is known as Hexxenacht because on this night witches are said to mount their broomsticks and fly from near and far to Brocken Mountain where they "hold revels with their Gods."

In rural Bavaria, children sometimes play pranks-- wreaking destruction on gardens, TP-ing homes, smearing toothpaste in places unintended by the manufacturer, and writing graffiti. In the Rhineland boys bring trees hung with colored streamers to the houses of girls they like. A tree decorated only with white streamers indicates dislike for the recipient. In southern Sweden children gather greenery at twilight and adorn their homes. In Finland, they drink sparkling wine and sima (a mead) and burn strawmen imbued with ill-will and bad luck. In Estonia and  Germany, girls dress as witches and make merry.

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Today's Holidays -- and appropriate DVDs to celebrate/honor them with

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 25, 2008 08:41am | Post a Comment

ANZAC Day - Australia, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga and Samoa



Armed Forces Day - North Korea



Children's Day - Iceland



Flag Day - The Faroe Islands, Swaziland



Red Hat Society Day - Red Hatters



Freedom Day - Portugal

Robigalia - Rome

 

Liberation of Nazism - Italy



Ninas Mal (Charm School) 2007 - Mexico

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 24, 2008 09:23pm | Post a Comment

 


Niñas Mal tells the story of a spoiled fresa named Adela whose single father is running for political office. As far as self-centered Adela is concerned, daddy never makes enough time for her, so she continually rebels... meaning she gets tattoos, body piercings and probably listens to punk. She's seen as a detriment to her father's political career so he sends her off to a prestigious boarding school which promises to turn her into a model daughter. Of course, Adela has other ideas; she butts heads with her suffering teacher and tries to disrupt the experience for everyone.

Niñas Mal is basically almost identical to any American tween movie except that there' s more teen sex and gratuitous nudity. Poor-little-rich-girl Adela is a completely superficial rebel-- extremely obnoxious and unconcerned with anyone but the conventionally hunky gardener at her school. Her classmates are broadly drawn stereotypes-- the bitch, the lesbian, the braniac and the ditz.  She thinks she's got it all figured out but... you know where it's going. 

Of course, Adela's pranks and obnoxiousness never amount to an actual rejection of her privileged status, they're merely bratty.  Her father remains her suffering safety net.  If you've seen teen novelas like Rebelde or Clase 406 where being punk is merely another brand of conformity that involves hair-dye, then you know what to expect from this film.  Fight for what you believe in, kids.  Parents just don't understand.  Basically the message of the film amounts to nothing more than empty slogans and false sympathy designed to appeal to a young, eager, self-important and undiscriminating audience. The film is a harmless nothingness redecorated to appeal to children who don't know any better or care. If you're not part of the PG-13 set, it's best to skip this one.

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