Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hustle and Flow

Over the weekend I watched "Hustle and Flow", featuring the Oscar-nominated performance from Terrence Howard and the Oscar-winning song of the year, "It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp" (my favorite Oscar comment from Jon Stewart - "For anyone keeping record, Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars. For Three 6 Mafia, one.") The movie also paired "Crash" castmates Howard and Ludacris for a tense scene.

I enjoy rap and hip-hop music for the most part, except for the profanity-laden stuff (well, that reduces the field considerably, I guess.) So I enjoyed that aspect of the film. But the main impact of this film was the way it transported me into the life and especially the household of Djay (Howard). These scenes, and in many ways the entire movie, felt like a stage play in a cramped theater. I'm not a claustrophobic person, but that's the operative word for the lingering sense of this film. It is set in Memphis during a long hot summer, and pimp Djay along with his crib sweltered in this environment. The effect of heat and drugs deadened them to most attempts at civility, except for a few soliloquies from Djay on the meaning of life, God, and their place in the world. Rage was the main tool in their relational arsenal. Music became their escape and salvation, even thought the ultimate path of musical "success" veered from the path Djay layed out. I have volunteered in inner city settings for some years, but I don't believe I ever felt transported into the home setting like I did watching this film. That impression will linger and hopefully will impact my work in the future.

The theme song continued to stick in my head for a couple of days as well. But I noticed it slowly mutated. Influenced by a well-known song from Annie (why, I do not know...) it became "It's A Hard-knocked Life For A Pimp" :-)

I realized this morning that I probably need to have a films section in the sidebar. And I'm also looking for solar power for my iPod - to support the "Desert Island" media requirements if ever needed :-) I'll try to get the film section and a blog roll in place within the next few days.

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