Sunday, February 12, 2006

Go, America!

Originally uploaded by adam clare.
I decided to share three observations/experiences from the last 1,5 weeks. To make them fit to the same post, I forced them all in the framework of the New World, known also as the United States of America.

1. It's A Man's World 1: I saw Sam Mendes' (American Beauty) new film Jarhead last week. It is a story of a marine (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is sent to Iraq first for the Desert Shield which turns into Desert Storm. It manages to portray the overmasculinity and frustration in a highly delicate manner. The film once again reminded me of the oppressive structures of the Armed Forces. There are scenes in the film that sent cold shivers up and down my spine like the ones where they run in the heat with gas masks on. Been there, done that. The film is worth seeing in its pacifism.

2. It's A Man's World 2: "Who is Johnny Cash?" This was the comment of a friend of mine after I told him that I saw Walk The Line. I must admit as well that I knew him only based on a few songs but the film made me seriously consider buying a collection. The film is superbly moving and I understand fully why both Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Wetherspoon are nominated for an Oscar. Johnny Cash's traumatic relationship with his father reminded my of Scott Hicks' film Shine where Geoffrey Rush stars as the mentally ill pianist David Helfgott afraid of his father for his entire life. Both films show how men's identity is influenced by their fathers and by the will to please.

3. No nonsense: The American clothing brand American Apparel opened their store in Amsterdam two weeks ago after a big advertising campaign. I visited the store yesterday. It is clear that it will become one of my favourite brands. No nonsense clothes in all sizes and colours, highly American staff (social and superfriendly - a rare quality in this country), quality cotton and decent prices. A bit dawsonscreekish but what the hell.

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