Thursday, April 26, 2012

Occupation Nation (movie review)

:: by B Media Collective ::

This is one of those edit/recombine jobs I used to dream about before the Web, when back in Jersey City at PWS 284 (what I called my personal workspace).

Download from sources, remix / value-add, and upload.  That's what people do.  That's what this movie does.

Today's video editing equipment makes that a lot easier.

Take a lot of Dominic's videos from the Laughing Horse collection, run them through a blender, and dollop in healthy doses of recent footage from the Occupy camps, and you've got a basic clay.  Shape it to tell more of a story, and you've got a movie.

That sounds really critical but I'm actually somewhat a fan of video collage, as a still life collage maker myself.  Fast cuts are OK with me.  I appreciate the bandwidth.  I recommend 2:01 to 4:01 as a great sampling, so reminiscent of a Rev. Billy video, I couldn't wait to show it to Melody (she'd missed the first 20 minutes at the opening showing -- a town meeting somewhere).

But it helps to already know a lot of history.  Same as when listening to Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire.  In particular, it helps to know about the Spanish Civil War and the world wide movement to have more local control in the form of worker owned co-ops.

That might be called "communism" or "socialism" in some necks of the woods, but in Oregon we're more likely to think of Burley (no longer a co-op) and Tillamook.  Fascists in Europe moved quickly to put down the 99% in Spain (with Hemingway a witness) but Oregon is pretty far from fascist centers, including from WDC (somewhat strait-jacketed by looney tunes "corporate persons" in this chapter).

Also, the Bonus Army chapter:  there's some good archival footage here.  Again, Portland figures in, as OPDX Park was also the Bonus Army's staging ground (45:10 - 46:10).  Smedley "fighting Quaker" Butler was a hero both times.

JenQ, currently occupying mom's office (with permission -- Carol is away), gets to tell us what Food Not Bombs is doing in the early hours of OPDX (29:40 - 30:18).  Later, FNB moved to a separate tent in Beta Camp.

Lindsey, another housemate, sings Ya Gotta Have Coffee to the camera (53:38 - 53:51) during Occupy the Ports (the movie is chopped into segments).

Good job, B Movie Collective, getting a lot of the action into perspective, and in time for Spring of 2012.

My own work since Occupy has been working with teachers, other characters, on an Occupy STEM initiative, curriculum writing designed to shake more people out of complacency and/or apathy.

On the other hand, for newcomers, it's more about turning the page and moving on from the 1900s and its nightmares.

We don't want the 2000s to be colonized exclusively by those suffering from 1900s reflex-conditioning and/or PTSD.

Faster responders with more apropos reflexes, good intuitive sensibilities are in the pipeline, many of them recruited from Occupy camps and now on more global circuits, looking at lots of problem situations, reporting back to meetings e.g. at Pauling House or whatever.

Speaking of the Pauling House, good job Lew Scholl for rendering Julian's Alpha Helix for Google Earth.