Saturday, August 21, 2004

'Fahrenheit 9/11' Due on DVD Oct. 5

'Fahrenheit 9/11' Due
On DVD Oct. 5

Gary Susman, Entertainment Weekly

Just as he promised, Michael Moore will get ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' into video stores well in time for Election Day. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment announced Monday that it will release ''Fahrenheit'' on DVD on Oct. 5, just 102 days after its theatrical release but nearly a month before the Nov. 2 election.

The disc, which will retail for a suggested $28.95, will contain such extras as deleted footage (including sequences involving homeland security and Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison), a featurette documenting the controversy leading up to "Fahrenheit's" release, footage of the movie's gold-star mom Lila Lipscomb at the film's Washington premiere, a featurette about Arab-American comedians in the aftermath of 9/11, and footage from the 9/11 commission hearings this past spring, including the testimony of national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and a press conference held by President Bush after his closed-door testimony. Of course, with the film's video debut coming less than four months after its theatrical opening, it may still be playing in a few theaters. At this writing, according to Box Office Mojo, it's still on 716 screens and has earned $115 million to date in America.

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The Tank: Republican National Convention Blog

The Tank:
Republican National Convention Blog

Information on activities during the Republican National Convention at the Tank, 432 West 42nd St, and around New York City.

A summary of the latest blogposts from RNC bloggers.

Organizations in NYC

Counter GOP Concention events.

The UnConvention.

Imagine Festival

Drinking Liberally.

Beauty rises from dust

Beauty rises from dust

How can beauty arise from bitterly distressed circumstances, as in Afghanistan?
Perhaps only through art.

AP photo

This week, I was invited into another's world by seeing the film 'Osama'. By chance, I happened to find this N.Y. Times article by John Rockwell about the messages we receive of beauty delivered to us through the arts.
I'm also reading a cultural history book I recently picked up at the Plimoth Plantation about leisure and recreation during the Puritan colonial times in New England.

Finding this article..and then realizing that the article weaved both topics in such a way that leads me to believe that, from a personal standpoint, there are meaningful coincidences which lead us to change the world. Our eyes and ears are naturally attracted to the beautiful, and more than a distraction, beauty can be a healing and transforming force.

A repressive, judgmental streak in Western culture, from Plato to the Inquisition to the Puritans to hard-core Marxists to the political correctness of today, remains stubbornly suspicious of beauty. Moralists fear that beautiful church music can distract from the worship of God, that beautiful painting can hide cruel social realities, that beautiful films can sugarcoat contemporary cruelty.

I thought of the recent Afghan film "Osama" (and all the remarkable Iranian films to which it is so clearly indebted). A girl disguises herself as a boy named Osama to support her female family in the harsh years of the Taliban. (All the men have been killed fighting.) Eventually she is exposed, and her punishment, dispatch into sexual slavery to a lecherous imam with a harem, is harsh and cruel; there is no happy ending. The film shows a human and physical landscape stripped of nearly all human warmth or natural richness. And yet nearly every shot is colored and framed and imagined to be breathtakingly beautiful.

Is the beauty of "Osama" a delusion? Does it serve as a mere lure to get us to confront horrors we might otherwise avoid? Or is there no inherent contradiction between beauty and the full range of human experience?

Stooping to indignity with George

Stooping to indignity with George

Seen out in the blogosphere:

"To go to a Bush rally today, I'd have to tell lies that I support the man, and I'm not going to stoop to that indignity just to see a president. This used to be a free country. I miss it. I hope we can get back to that America after November."

Washington Post Slams Swift Boat Vets

Washington Post Slams Swift Boat Vets

Green and gangly trumps the Old Liars' Club.

"For Kerry, then a green and gangly Navy lieutenant........"

Here's a good question:

Will 'green and gangly' trump