We build cultural identities to survive, fit in, feel comfort. But as James Spooners film Afro-Punk: The Rock and Roll Nigger Experience explores, a subculture exists in which African-American youth embrace the underground punk scene as a cultural identity base a choice that at first glance seems like an odd marriage.
Before I present the second annual Dubious Honors movie awards, Ive decided to come out of the closet. Every year at awards time I launch into long tirades about the hypocrisies of Hollywood and other film institutions, but the truth is that Im as biased as the next person. Its time I owned up to my own potential dealbreaker.
Her voice is deep and rich, like the sauce of coq au vin. Her gaze is calm, nonchalant, spacey. But as you watch, bewitched, a sudden switch: a spurt of sarcasm, a wry twist of the mouth, a trenchant stare. She dishes out a tough "Get over it!" dose of face-your-life reality. Though her characters know vulnerability and melancholy, she moves on mordantly, yet wistfully.
Amar Kanwar is an independent documentary filmmaker based in New Delhi whose subject matter includes ecology, politics, art, and philosophy. A past recipient of a MacArthur award, Kanrwars film King of Dreams was awarded the Juries Award at Film South Asia 2001. A Season Outside, exhibited last year at Documenta 11, will be shown at Peter Blum Gallery from February 5 to March 20. On the third day of the New Year, Rail publisher Phong Bui had a telephone conversation with the filmmaker about his work.