Edmond Chibeau looks at performance and theatre from the avant-garde communication perspective

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Location: Mansfield, Connecticut, United States

Monday, April 16, 2012

Edmond's comments on Lee's comments on Ina's review in Film Comment

the movie
I love your TwittyCent contribution to the discussion.
I love your distinction between truth and accuracy.  I am not sure I agree.  Metaphorically speaking that is correct but there is much of an assault on accuracy these days.  It is okay to lie and mislead as long as the larger issue is important and for the greater good.  (Whose greater good?)
I agree that both an action film and a drama of affirmation can be valid forms.

You say,
“Is an interesting question; though personal disappointment and valid critical evaluation are necessarily nullifying”

I don’t think personal disappointment and valid critical evaluation must be mutually exclusive or nullifying.  That is what I meant by the question of where you stand when you report back.  Even though there is no neutral place to stand, we can include the 
intellectual-critical location from which we are reporting back.  Objectivity is a quality of texts not of people.

Truth is indeed free, if hard earned.


Lee Archer comment on my comment

My two cents (in fact you can call me TwittyCent, rappin’ on Red Tails unseen):

I have a distinct feeling that accuracy is a McGuffin
 in the woodpile. Is the film any good? Does it work either as an action film or a drama of affirmation? They are directors who can handle both, find or “build” one.

While truth and accuracy can well buttress one another, they are not the same thing. Accuracy is a superb tool for making science and art, useful but inert. Art is fulfilled by truth. Does Red Tails portray the Tuskegee Airmen truthFULLY or  with mere accuracy?

Truth is less expensive than accuracy. Accuracy can be used to shape truth but you cannot pile accuracy or money high enough to make truth. You tell the tale within the budget you have, and truth is free, if hard earned. Does Red Tails tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen well whatever its means?

Dealing with exposition sounds  like grad jargon, so I’ll just take my usual obdurate position (which if you change my mind will be my ex-position) of  Wha’ da hell ar’ ya ta’kin’ about?

“… where does the observer” [an non-disinterested party] “stand to report back one’s evaluation of such a movie? “ Is an interesting question; though personal disappointment and valid critical evaluation are not necessarily nullifying. Wish I could get into Diane’s second review:

I expected a  failure on some level, because you can’t serve whole whale at a sushi bar. The accurate story, well and truthfully told, had to be and still ought to be a mini-series. (Do maxi-series exist?) There are many truthful stories to be made into small or large films. But their success will be hard earned works-at-art.

They might’ve simply made a good war-action film based on the Airmen’s exploits, employing types; in the heat of  war, I believe types tend to be very similar: country boy, city boy, angry guy, nice guy, loud, quiet, etc. Simply having them played by young black men would be striking.

They might have focused the psychological drama more narrowly and efficiently on General, then Col., Davis. His father was the first black General in the US Army and Davis Jr. faced “silencing” for all four years at West Point. In this way you would avoid the problem of trying to choose between many and various heroes and telling their deep stories. You have B.O. ‘s trials and tribulations and the high (flying) adventures and antics of men like my father, Roscoe, Pruitt, etc. A whole film could be made about almost any Airmen.

Expositioning myself to the ridicule of the high muckity mucks of education,

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Red Tails  Tuskegee Airmen

The Ina Diane Archer review of Red Tails raises many questions; some that filmmakers, and producers might answer, and others that can never have a definitive answer and will vary by esteeming:  
Did this movie accurately portray the Tuskegee Airmen?
Did it do so within the constraints of a for-profit Hollywood movie environment?  
Should there be a follow-up prequel or sequel, or both?  
What was the role of women in the lives of the Tuskegee Airmen, and should this find a place in the film?  
It is very difficult to be a good director of both action sequences and psychological drama, which is the right approach for Red Tails?  
And the ever-popular question, 'how do we deal with exposition?'  
Whenever one sees a media report on one’s father it must seem shallow and incomplete, where does the observer stand to report back one’s evaluation of such a movie?  
After having more time to consider the possibilities Ina Diane Archer (in her second review) offers some well considered observations the film.