Politics and foreign films?

The experience at the Arlington Arts Center last week was indeed unique. I was a little shocked to see how seeming bias the show was, both in terms of pushing liberal politics and of how close-knit the participating artists are. Concerning the left-wing political messages, I understand their exclusive presence in the show. As Randall said, I believe (fine) art creation is a vice more common among radicals and liberals. More conservative groups do tend to express themselves more aurally through vehicles like talk radio and Fox news programs. (Thank you, Nancy Grace!)

Moreover, when I look at the pool from which curator R. Weil pulled his artists, I am not surprised they have similar political beliefs. I recognized several of the name from my time at the University of Maryland. Many of the artists have been graduate students and/or instructors at UMD. I even took a trip with one of the artists/professors to see the Whitney Biennial last spring. In fact, I remember him picking a fight with a NYC cop who had pulled me over for a routine license check. Seeing this list of contributing artists really reminded me how important networking is in this business. But, back to my point: the majority of artists in this show work together and play together. Realizing their political beliefs are aligned it is no wonder they all get along so well.

However, I do question whether or not Weil took a fair sampling of artists in his show. I find it hard to believe that he could not find one moderate-conservative political artist in the DC area. After all, this is the political center of America. Do you think he looked thoroughly for a variety of political messages, or instead had a political agenda of his own? The world may never know.

Speaking of artists from that show, one of my former professors, J. Pinder, introduced me to a film that might be relevant to this class. It is called The Five Obstructions. It features auteurs Lars von Trier, the Danish director of "Breaking the Waves," "Dancer in the Dark," and "Dogville" and his mentor/veteran filmmaker Jorgen Leth.

The men do not collaborate, per se. Instead, they set parameters and challenges for each other in a competition to make compelling short films. The DVD is fascinating, as well as the mini-films produced and the creative journeys of the men. I highly recommend this movie to all. Check it out!

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