German film "Poem" 2003

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German film "Poem" 2003

Postby RNM » Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:42 am

Anybody seen this collection of "poetry set against the backdrop of images in exotic locales, including Spain, Vietnam, and the Burningman Festival in Nevada?"

The BurningMan section was particularly noteworthy of attention, as the film seems to suggest some rather disturbing ideas. It begins by showing the festival, with hundreds of firespinners lighting up the night. It then moves on to a montage of semi-naked women & men dancing in mobile plexiglass cages, illuminated vehicles criss crossing the desert, and the regular assortment of chaos one would expect at BM. The poem begins with the narrator saying, to effect, that: There are some people in the world, with whom the magic of childhood is so powerful, that it never leaves them.

It goes on describing the joys of this child-like adulthood, but then takes a rather sharp turn. There is an image of some guy dressed up in a big blue monster costume fondling countless half-naked women. The montage then shifts to show an assortment of fondling acts. The narrator then states: Woe unto them, when tragedy happens, and reality awakens them from their dream. The films seems to suggest that the BM festival has become a playground for the perverted. That, in essence, there are wolves in sheep's clothing hiding in the flock.

Anybody seen the film? Been to the festival? Thoughts?
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Mon Jan 12, 2004 11:43 am

Ever seen that CBS special on the Haight-Ashbury from the sixties? That particular sort of pathologizing seems to be constant towards all sorts of "counter-culture" type events.
Not that I've seen the movie of which you speak. It just seems from the discription another lazy, "hey lets make fun of the freaks" type media event.

(Gosh, I really do own Dr. Pyro that apology.)
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Postby stuart » Mon Jan 12, 2004 11:50 am

The films seems to suggest that the BM festival has become a playground for the perverted.


is this statment controversial? (save for the 'has become' part)
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Postby RNM » Mon Jan 12, 2004 12:08 pm

I wouldn't say that the movie was making fun of burningman... but it was suggesting some dark undertones. I guess the message that in BM, people have a tendency to put themselves into a fantasy world, but the danger of doing so is to ignore the darker sides of mankind. I haven't been to the festival, but have been to several BM parties like decompression, and know many burners. They always struck me as artistic and friendly people... maybe too trusting? I don't know. It was a weird movie.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Mon Jan 12, 2004 12:41 pm

So what we have so far is someone who's never been to Burning Man, but who's seen the movie, and people who've been to Burning Man but who haven't (or won't admit to having) seen the movie. Not likely to be a very productive conversation until that changes.

As to your burner friends. I don't know that artist are "naive" nessisarily, there's something about the living a life that is explicitly underground according to the grander social context that gives you life experience. And perhaps leaves you vulnerable to people who accept your values. But I don't find BM to be a dangerous place in the way the movie seems to suggest.

On the other hand, I think there is a long tradition of movies who play a double game by depicting a "deviant" subculture and then condemn it. They get the to expliot the dirtly little thrill that such cultures create in a mainstream audience PLUS they then get to be really moral in condemning it--a winnning economic combination. The are called "Exploitation Movies" for a reason. And I still think that based on the evidence given here that this is what we are talking about.
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Postby Badger » Mon Jan 12, 2004 12:57 pm

It goes on describing the joys of this child-like adulthood, but then takes a rather sharp turn. There is an image of some guy dressed up in a big blue monster costume fondling countless half-naked women. The montage then shifts to show an assortment of fondling acts. The narrator then states: Woe unto them, when tragedy happens, and reality awakens them from their dream. The films seems to suggest that the BM festival has become a playground for the perverted. That, in essence,
there are wolves in sheep's clothing hiding in the flock.


Sounds like more German angst over sex and what not. Problem is when you give some folks a camera and turn 'em loose you get these fucks who feel they have the artistic license to define rather than suggest what the event is all about.
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