So here’s the lightning round:
I love Danny Boyle. I love James MacAvoy, especially when he’s speaking in his Scottish accent. I love weird twisty plots. I didn’t love Trance.
Certainly, it’s twisty, it’s entertaining, and Rosario Dawson gets naked, which is pretty extraordinary. Art thievery is an amazing subject, and it starts with a huge bang. But it’s a mean-spirited thing, very ugly in parts. Boyle’s movies always have ugly bits, but the dominant impression at the end of the others is one of vibrant, unstoppable, joyous life. Not here. There’s a Martin McDonagh darkness to it, but if McDonagh were doing it, you’d be laughing so hard that the darkness would work. Trance has almost no laughs. It’s one of those movies I think you should see so you can talk about it. It’s beautifully made, because it’s Danny Boyle. I just hope his next one isn’t so freaking grim.
Grim and quiet works on Rectify, a cool series on Sundance that you can see on On Demand even if you don’t get Sundance. It’s by the Breaking Bad writers, apparently, but I’m tired of BB because Skyler’s such a jerk and Walter’s lost the meaning. I loved the first episode of Rectify, which features Sally’s teacher that Don had the affair with a couple of seasons ago on MM.
Tonight, I ushered for Ragamala Dance. Here, the lovely mother/daughter team of Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamytalk about their process, and you can see some clips. It’s beautiful and an extraordinary display of discipline and grace. And holy SMOKES, Rajna Swaminathan wore OUT the drums.
With its deft mixing of ancient/traditional art forms with a modern mindset, Ragamala reminded me of the marvelous Sita Sings the Blues. Watch the trailer here, then watch the whole thing on YouTube (it’ll come up in the sidebar).