WBAI-FM Upcoming Program
Arts Express

Thu, Apr 20, 2017   2:00 PM


** "I want you to walk away from this film if you're a person of color, I want you to watch this film and really connect with your history, and really connect with what came before you...But I also hope that Caucasians watch this film and walk away from it saying, I feel motivated to make a change. That's what I hope people will walk away from my film with."

Burn Mother.. Burn! Filmmaker Sacha Jenkins phones in to talk about his Showtime documentary released in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the Rodney King ignited LA Uprising, this April 29th. Jenkins probes everything leading up to the rebellion and why, including Watts and the origins of revolt, deadly police dynasties; black migration north and the southern white racists who migrated along with them and joined the LAPD; the unusual evolution of a movie title; and the soundtrack of LA that led him to the crafting of this movie, and its potent social change issues.


** "I found myself trying to figure out how these geo-political deals work - and ultimately I think it's all these nice words that don't really explain what actually moves the world."

Richard Gere is Norman, in the Joseph Cedar directed political satire Norman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall Of A NY Fixer. And the cunning and ingratiating hustler in question who somehow manages to infiltrate into the corrupt seats of powers linking Israel's deep government and US Jews. The Israeli director is on the line to Arts Express to explain, while referencing herring, peanuts, 1200 dollar shoes; Goebbels and Cedar's strange fascination with a Nazi propaganda film; an Israeli Turkish deal to build a pipeline - and what exactly is a Norman.

** "A new job had not changed my life, but it had changed my mind about the value of employment at all costs; I hitchhiked home to Tulsa, couch surfed, read Marx for the first time, called myself proletarian..."

Poetry Corner: Julia Stein introduces Oklahoma Poet Laureate Jeanetta Calhoun Mish. Reading poems described as welcoming you to the real Oklahoma - not a musical, but sweat stained people, closed down mines, 'a sparse land with few trees and no rivers'  - and dusty truck stops with names like Busy Bee Cafe.


With much more on its mind than just a conventional crime thriller, though Black Rose is very much that as well, this uniquely and surprisingly conceived Russian/US collaboration plays out on the streets of LA - but could be said in that regard both literally and figuratively, engaged in intentionally veering off the beaten path from Hollywood beyond stylistically. Though with a solidly subversive indie heart.

Russian body builder and former Mr. Universe turned actor Alexander Nevsky, who also produced and directed Black Rose (joined by US screenwriters Brent Huff and George Saunders), is Vladimir. A prominent Moscow police officer, Vladimir is sent to this country in response to an urgent request from the LAPD, baffled by the murders being committed by an elusive sadistic serial killer leaving behind taunting messages in Russian at the crime scenes. While the victims in questions are all young undocumented Russian immigrants, and likely prostitutes.

Compounding the investigation is the local terrified and tight-lipped Russian community. Meanwhile, Vladimir is partnered with criminal profiler Emily (Kristanna Loken), quite an outsider herself as a mocked woman within the testosterone laced LAPD. At the same time, the enigmatic black roses the suspect leaves on the bodies of each brutally tortured female, are determined to only grow in a single remote village in Turkey.

But what intrigues and elevates Black Rose as much more than a conventional cop thriller, is that mostly everything is not as it seems - and in a stylishly subversive political noir kind of way. While channeling all sorts of metaphorical concepts reflected in the real world right now, including false flags, symbolic intelligence subterfuge emanating deceptively from the deep state, sexism, the new Cold War,, post-Soviet sex trafficking, and the ongoing US blame game against Russia. And how Nevsky has very effectively managed to somehow transcend and dramatically envision creating peace and cooperation between the two countries - even if it's just a movie.

Prairie Miller

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