Chicago 10

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Malice
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Chicago 10

Postby Malice » Sun Mar 02, 2008 12:05 am UTC

Hey. You. You there. Kid. Yeah, you, the one who feels strongly about today's politics. The one who has at least a passing interest in history. The one who enjoys animation, and isn't afraid to watch an off-beat movie.

Go see Chicago 10. It's a documentary about the Chicago Democratic National Convention of 1968, the riots that took place outside, and the trial that took place afterwards. Sounds boring as hell, doesn't it? It isn't. It's beautiful and evocative, tremendously powerful, absolutely engrossing. The movie goes back and forth between footage of the 68 events, taken from dozens of actual recordings, and animated scenes in the courtroom, based on the actual transcript. The film takes a historical period and uses (non-standard, ie., non-60s) music, brilliant editing, humor and horror to recreate... not really a faithful, perfect, informative view, but one which captures better than anything I've ever read or seen precisely what it felt like to be there, to protest, to scream "Storm the hill!" as you run in a crowd of thousands, to see cops clubbing teenagers who hours before were smoking joints and playing songs in the park, to be a part of the massive collision between opposing generations, to make a bold, brave political statement by walking straight into danger with your head held high.

This is one of the most powerful films, not just documentaries, that I've seen in months. Go, now, before it disappears from theaters because idiots don't know how to sell it to the huge teenaged audience it would appeal to. This is one you should see on the big screen.
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Jarne
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Re: Chicago 10

Postby Jarne » Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:01 pm UTC

I like the way the animation style looks, but the trailer and the reviews I've read make it seem pretty cliched.

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Malice
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Re: Chicago 10

Postby Malice » Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:53 pm UTC

How so?

If you mean cliched in style, well, no, it's an extremely unconventional documentary. If you mean cliched in content... it's talking about a real historical period, using it to tell a more universal, almost mythologized story about protest and oppression. It's not the facts that are new, because how could they be? It's the style and the experience which is new, and worthwhile.
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Jarne
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Re: Chicago 10

Postby Jarne » Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:00 am UTC

Not stylistically. It looks like Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly which I loved to look at. The story looks like the cliched party to me. It sounds like "the young progressives fight against the domineering old, white, conservative male tyranny during the turbulent sixties," which is a story that's been done far too many times for my liking. On the other hand, the difference between a cliche story and a universal one is quality, and you're saying that the quality pushes it into the latter category.
What about the movie makes it especially worth seeing on the big screen as opposed to waiting for the DVD?

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Malice
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Re: Chicago 10

Postby Malice » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:00 am UTC

Jarne wrote:The story looks like the cliched party to me. It sounds like "the young progressives fight against the domineering old, white, conservative male tyranny during the turbulent sixties," which is a story that's been done far too many times for my liking. On the other hand, the difference between a cliche story and a universal one is quality, and you're saying that the quality pushes it into the latter category.

You pretty much have it on the money. It's supposed to be taking this one specific event and in some sense generalizing it, so that it can apply to today or really any time where this same dichotomy exists. But it's not just the filmmakers (who, to their credit, don't paint it quite so much as a black and white picture--it's mostly ambiguous, and you can find fault through the film with both sides of the conflict)--the guys on trial, Hoffman in particular, were well aware of the symbolic dichotomy between, on the one hand, youth and freedom and love, and on the other hand, age and oppression and violence.

Yes, the sixties has been filmed many times. Personally, I've never actually seen these particular events on film before, and I've certainly never seen a movie about the 60s like this. It was a very original experience, to me.

What about the movie makes it especially worth seeing on the big screen as opposed to waiting for the DVD?


It's a colorful, powerful movie, with lots of beautiful wide shots and pounding music that's supposed to overwhelm you. The size of the screen fits the size of the events, which are truly larger than life. A theater is simply going to give you a more powerful emotional experience than a DVD, and that's what this movie is about.

I'm also trying to push this film now, because without word of mouth, nobody is going to see it, and though I don't usually do this, I feel whatever assistance I can give to it would be worthwhile.
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