Monthly Archives: February 2005

Trembling Before G-d (2001)

I learned of this documentary many months before it eventually played in Austin as part of the Texas Documentary Tour — I bought the soundtrack.

John Zorn wrote the score for the film, and anything he writes becomes part of his Film Works series of albums. I may have even reviewed the CD before it screened in Austin.

I’d been curious about Trembling Before G-d for a while, but I didn’t get around to watching it till I took advantage of a 2-for-1 Tuesday at Vulcan Video. (I rented the NOVA special The Elegant Universe with it.)

One of the DVD extras is a featurette about the cross-faith reaction to the documentary. The struggle of resolving a gay identity with a religious identity resonated beyond gender and sexual politics. One viewer raved about the film and rattled off all the ways she wasn’t its target audience — one parent a Protestant, the other Catholic, her husband from another faith, etc..

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Shall We Dance? (2004)

I feared the worst when first I heard an American version this film was made. Starring Jennifer Lopez. And Richard Gere.

Shall We DANSU? was a subtle film. Perhaps too subtle the first time I watched it.

(I’m using transliterated kana to distinguish the original Japanese movie from its US brethren, much in the same way The Ring is differentiated from RINGU.)

It drew comparrisons to Strictly Ballroom, and while the underlying setting was the same, Shall We DANSU? was the stylistic opposite of Strictly Ballroom. Still, I was expecting a bit of flash from Shall We DANSU? and came a way a bit disappointed.

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