Capturing facets of life in film

Ever once in a blue moon, a movie is released which perfectly captures some facet of society (western/American at least) and the result is pure genius. Often though, the movie is undervalued because it's not cinematically great (it's not a film) and its ability to capture a specific sociological aspect of our culture is not appreciated. Office Space is one such movie, in my mind. There is real genius in the way the officeplace interactions are represented (and in those TPS reports.)

I saw Zoolander recently and I think it too manages to perform a similar "feat," if you will. (If I were more adept at writing about filmakers making social commentary through their works, this would be sounding more erudite, but I hope you get my point at least.) The male model gas fight scene near the beginning of the film is so over-the-top, so patently ridiculous, that you can almost see someone sitting in the Conde Nast building thinking, "Hmmmm…sexy, splashy…we'll have the boys out-and-about, having fun, getting into a rolickingly-good-time, old-fashioned, GAS FIGHT!" I mean, come on, that was about the best god-damn thing I've seen in a movie in a very long time! I can't wait to see Zoolander again.

Here is New York photos

September 11 was, of course, all around me and in my thoughts frequently during my trip to NYC last week. I heard many moving stories about people's experiences during that day (most of whom were in Manhattan when it happened) and I visited Ground Zero and looked at plywood barricades scrawled with messages that stretched blocks. But our visit (by happenstance) to the Here is New York exhibit on Prince Street had the most impact on me.

Subtitled "A Democracy of Photographs," Here is New York is an exhibit of photos taken by amateurs and professionals alike, displayed anonymously in a room. Take a few moments and browse the gallery; the collection of images is beyond impressive, beyond words really. I am haunted by this image of a woman standing in her doorway.