Saturday, August 12, 2006

Jesus Is Magic Is Magic

I've just watched "Tell them who you are", a documentary about the Oscar winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler (imdb entry) made by his son, Mark Wexler.
I admit that I'm not all that knowledgeable about cinematographers, I recognise a few names and consciously recognise fewer styles so it's no surprise I didn't immediately click. He worked on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Limbo, the fantastic John Sayle's picture.
Where I had heard his name before was from directing the 1976 documentary "Underground", about the Weather Underground Organisation, a radical Left Wing activist group who bombed a number of targets in protest of the US government.
When I initially read about the Weathermen I was surprised at how I hadn't come across their existence before, it was as if violent dissent didn't happen in the US outside protests until the Unabomber and Timothey McVeigh. But that's another story.

Haskell Waxler is quite a character, confident to the point of seeming arrogance, and at first it would seem that the film would focus on his career in movies. It becomes a different beast when Haskell implores his son to make the film about the person, not the career, and we gain an insight into the relationship between Mark and his father, and that of fathers and sons in general.
At once full of glitz with the appearances of dozens of high profile actors and film-makers, the film is down to earth with Haskell's continual reminders of the illusion of cinema - how the angles and editing are all affecting how we are shown the story, and he is anxious of the image that the film will portray. This reminder helps pull you out of the film and think about its construction, the aims which Mark as the creator imbues in it and the fact that its flow is artificial - the events are not merely unfolding in front of the camera while the cameraman passively records it.
It's a very interesting picture and I highly recommend it. Brought a tear to my eye, I can tell ya.

So why is Jesus Magic? Because Sarah Silverman says so.
Jesus Is Magic is a mix of filmed sketches and stand up show, all showcasing Sarah as Funny.
She is funny, it is funny. You may have seen her as the irritated girlfriend in School of Rock or from her version of the Aristocrats, but possibly as "Raving Bitch" in The Way Of The Gun.

No comments:

Post a Comment