To prove that we have lives outside of horror, here are our best-of-2014 choices:
Laibach’s Jesus Christ Superstar was released back in 1996, but it dominated my world in 2014 as the thing most listened to during my travels / commutes. Ever since watching Nymphomaniac and hearing Rammstein’s “Fuhre Miche,” I’ve had the Laibach itch and have clung to this particular piece of work. Maybe because I’m all too familiar with the broadway musical, but I guess more so just because I’m a perverted immature heathen.
And then as luck would have it, her tour brought her to Nashville! Regretting the time I skipped Grimes, I bought tickets 3 months in advance. It’s easily the best consumer decision I made in 2014.
This documentary about the breaking of the NSA surveillance story by the person who broke it, filmmaker Laura Poitras, is visceral cinema verite – as emotionally cutting as it is historically relevant. Facts about mass surveillance are well known (thanks to Poitras) but the dramatic arc of this story is the transformation of Glenn Greenwald from skeptic to believer. The final scene is a heart stab. When the credits rolled the theater was a blackhole of hopelessness, a communal emotional void-space. I hadn’t experienced anything like that in a theater since The Act of Killing. (Checkout last year’s Whorer Awards) Perhaps the only thing more hopeless is the apathy of the American public. Of specific interest to The Whorer is Poitras’ list of free software tools used in the making of the movie. At least one of those tools has since been compromised. This is of specific interest to The Whorer because without free software this website and all its content would not be possible. The tools Poitras mentions though are not creative tools but tools that protect users’ right to privacy. Without such tools, Poitras would have been unable to complete Citizenfour. She’s been on a government watchlist and her computers are routinely seized and searched since the release of her film My Country, My Country. This film was critical of the second Iraq War. Early in The Whorer, I asserted feminism and free software are part of the same project; i.e., peace and justice. Citizenfour is evidence of this. Now I feel guilty for using (abusing?) a movie that has genuine historical significance to put a feather in my Cap of Self-Righteousness. Sometimes you can see me on the street, wearing it, mansplaining things to people. – Meredith Continue reading