Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nobody Loves Me: A Valentine's Day Playlist For The Eternally Single

A playlist I created for The Vinyl District

Hey sad sack, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we represent the mix just for your lonely heart, “Nobody Loves Me.” Whether you view today as a celebration of love, or a reminder of the absence of it, we’ve got one wicked wallow. Happy Valentine’s Day?
The “dating scene” is much akin to a Russian land war in winter—it’s brutal, brutish, unwinnable, and full of casualties. And I am well-equipped to give a report from the trenches—in all of my years on this lovely planet, I have never had a date on Valentine’s Day.

Friday, February 1, 2013

2013 Oscar-Nominated Documentary Shorts Article

 2013 Oscar Documentary Shorts Article

This year's crop of documentary shorts is heart-wrenching and tear-inducing in the way that only reality can be. You can see them all for yourself at West End Cinema.

Kings Point, Directed by Sari Gilman

In the 1970s and 1980s, retiring New Yorkers moved to Kings Point, Florida, excited by the balmy climate, palm trees, and $1500 down payment on a home. Sari Gilman, whose Grandmother Ida also lived at Kings Point, lets this community tell their own stories. The result is a film neither maudlin nor contrived but incredibly poignant in its portrayal of the reality of aging. The residents find themselves grappling with love, loss, illness, death, and the scariest specter of all--loneliness. "You try to fill your days as best as you can," is the greatest of seemingly prosaic yet totally not tragedies and a stark commentary on modern life. The people who moved there to find companionship in their old age face some of the same difficulties that people of younger age do too--forming bonds. Nothing is more heart-wrenching than being sick or dying alone, however. Ironically enough the very self-reliant spirit that drove these folks to move down to Florida now has them so incredibly far away from family and life-long friends. As one of the residents explains, "You don't make friends here. You have good acquaintances...it is all about self-preservation." Kings Point is incredibly engrossing in that it presents a look at a population often reduced to the hollow description of "the seniors in Florida." It's a trenchant commentary on a future that we all have to contend with, i.e. growing old. It's a bittersweet rumination on how we treat "old people"--the ones who have so much knowledge and who have contributed so much and are now relegated to facing some literally life-and-death situations all alone

Redemption, Directed by Jon Alpert

Redemption takes a look at "canners"--people who collect bottles and cans on New York's streets and then redeem them for 5 cents an item and the appropriately titled "Redemption Center." It's a crushing, no-holds-barred look into the face of poverty and the creation of a new underclass that only modern conditions and "development" can bring about. The canners come from all walks of life--some are homeless, some are retirees who do not have enough money to live on, some are immigrant families...They walk the streets all day and night, rummaging through trash, in the hope of making twenty dollars a day. When one of them passes by a sidewalk cafe, she wistfully ruminates, "I wonder what it would feel like to sit down and eat in a restaurant. It must be really nice." Therein is the genius behind Redemption--in showing the nauseatingly wasteful consumerist culture that creates the crumbs [cans] that feed a subclass that will never have access to that sort of opulence and is relegated to scavenging on its discarded leftovers. One man's trash is another man's barely subsistence.