Benjamin Strong interviews director Marco Williams prior to the run of his documentary Banished at New York’s Film Forum. Banished tackles seriously the sensitive, often scoffed at, subject of literal reparations for stolen land in three communities in the South.
As the Tour de France starts today, Benjamin Strong examines one of the last true heroes of cycling, Greg LeMond. With all the doping allegations against Floyd Landis, insinuated against Lance Armstrong, and probably countless others in the past, LeMond stands out as a great who never quite fulfilled his potential, but what he accomplished he did through skill and determination alone, without the doping that’s as pervasive throughout cycling history as any other major sport.
Scorsese scored one finally, but give some props to the departed, the deceased (not the film) that is, like Robert Altman, Ben Strong says about this year’s politically tame Oscar ceremony. Also be sure to check out Kevin Killian’s Oscar coverage.
Donald Rumsfeld wants you! To challenge him to a game of hardball squash. Actually, he probably wants you to enlist as well, but that’s not the point of this column by squash veteran Benjamin Strong. Strong wrangles through the mixed metaphors assigned to the Secretary of Defense’s recreation, and finds they may not be as astute as their writers believe.
Richard Nixon resigned as president of the United States 32 years ago, but his legacy and his downfall still linger throughout the current administration. Benjamin Strong draws out some striking similarities between the life and times in 1974 and in 2006, and finds more than just military quagmires and sunken presidential approval ratings. Possibly our strongest (excuse the unintentional pun) piece to date.
Finally…Why does it take so damn long to get the whole oeuvre of the best filmmakers out there on DVD (think David Lynch for instance?). Are they waiting on Blu-Ray? In any case at least The Passenger, one of Michelangelo Antonioni’s classics, has finally arrived, and Benjamin Strong has been itching to give the whole bunch a wrap up. With focus on the Italian’s gorgeous mise-en-scene, read and enjoy, then hit up Blockbusters, get your Netflix cue in order, or better, support your local independent movie store … mmmm … popcorn, deserves the non-microwave kind.
Well, everyone was expecting fireworks, the Michael Moore moment of 2006, but the 81 year old lion laid down with the lambs on Oscar night, and just promised more work to come.
Strong, a film buff reared on late 70’s blockbusters, questions Peter Jackson’s "purist" remake of the 1933 original. He also posits which one of the 3 Kongs is more relevant to this day and age, coming to his answer through a personal reflection on family, violence and refuge.